The Washington Post

Drinking green to get lean: 32 before 32

While most of you are guilt ridden from stuffing your faces from last week’s holiday, I’m trying to figure out where my focus went.

Thanksgiving was rather unconventional for me this year. Instead of cooking an abundant feast that two people couldn't possibly consume on their own, the beau and I went to dinner and a movie. Dinner was at Carmine’s, a family style Italian restaurant. Key words: FAMILY STYLE. What was I thinking?

Leilah Reese drinks green tea to stay in shape. (Leilah Reese/For The Washington Post)

Needless to say by Saturday I was sick of the never ending tray that I had taken home as leftovers and finally let go of the fact that I wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, eat the rest. So I tossed it in the trash and tried to figure out how I would get my system back on the right path. The answer had been sitting in a box in the cabinet as well as on my desk at work for several weeks. Green tea.

Let me first say that I am a coffee addict. I usually get the largest size from the cafeteria at work or one of the many coffee shops that are downtown. But I also have a dependant relationship with tea. There was a point in my life where I had to have my coffee first thing in the morning and tea in the evening. Chai, peppermint, Jasmine green tea, chamomile, oolong. Name any type of tea, and I had it stocked. However, I was not the tea aficionado I thought I was. I always had my tea with cream (if it didn’t curdle) and sugar. Later I started using honey, but eventually I weaned myself off of needing sweetness and started to drink it as is. After all, the closer tea is to its natural form, the better it is for you.

Many teas offer these wonderful little suckers called antioxidants. Think of them as tiny ninjas in your body that run around sucker-punching free radicals that try and tear you down from the inside out. Not only do they fight to keep your cells and muscles in good health, but they provide the same boost of energy a double shot of espresso gives without the “why did I drink that because now I have a headache and hate life” crash and burn effect. Or does that only happen to me when I drink a double shot of espresso?

Currently I stalk the Blackberry Pomegranate Antioxidant Max Green Tea by Celestial Seasonings. I figured since once upon a time I loved pomegranate martinis, why not try it sans vodka and in tea form? The fruit gives it a natural sweetness, so honey isn’t necessary. I can easily gulp down a couple of guilt free cups without a second thought of empty calories.

‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. I’m working my hardest to control the “eat” part, and being “merry” usually isn’t my cup of tea. As for the “drink” aspect, I think I’ll stick to my assortment of teas, especially if they make me feel like a million bucks as opposed to wishing I could jump into a pool of Aleve after a night of hard apple cider and egg nog.

Leilah Reese is a news aide at The Washington Post. For more updates on her fitness goals, follow her on Twitter and check here each Tuesday for a new blog post.

More from The Root DC

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Dancing the night — and the pounds — away

Can Pinterest keep my weight under control?

Choosing a hard workout over homecoming: 32 before 32

Erika Nicole Kendall of ‘A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss’: Working out without losing your curves

Kick starting my weight-loss journey



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