Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tea for Troubled Tummies

We all have our moments of weakness. Last night was a particularly bad episode for me where I found myself in the middle of the night sneaking around the kitchen with a mad determination in my eyes and brandishing a fork ready to strike at any morsel of food left defenseless to my raid. 

My midnight binge resulted in my shameful retreat to bed nursing a terribly bloated and angry belly. The pressure of food pushing out against the walls of my stomach was so uncomfortable that I could hardly manage three whole hours of sleep. 

I see now why gluttony is considered a sin in many religions. In an effort to find a cure for these occasional transformations into Mr. Hyde, I have turned to the many wisdoms of Google-all-mighty. Much to my disappointment, the world wide web has yet to produce a magical quick-fix for binge eating. After hours of page surfing, I have concluded that a mixture of understanding the triggers and avoiding them, a sincere desire to overcome this habit, willpower to repress sudden urges and a practice of maintaining a regular eating/snacking routine seem to be most effective approach to a successful and long-term recovery.

This approach to recovery certainly makes a lot of sense to me but as with any attempt to break a bad habit, I know that it will be no walk in the park. I am well aware that I won't be able to quit this habit cold-turkey but I assure you am very determined to show Mr. Hyde who's boss. Meanwhile, I can do something now to help alleviate the discomfort in my belly. 

I've decided to self-medicate with some ginger and hot tea. Ginger root has long been said to have beneficial properties such as soothing upset stomachs and improving digestion just to name two. Did you know ginger is recommended for relieving morning sickness and aiding in the prevention of colorectal cancer? This is welcome news to me, though I'm pretty sure I do not need to worry about morning sickness or colorectal cancer any time soon.

Lucky for me, ginger is a very common ingredient in Japanese cuisine and having been raised by a Japanese mother, I have come to be very fond of the taste of fresh, raw ginger. In fact, I enjoy the sharp bite of the root so much that I have numerous times snacked on a piece of ginger as if it were a baby carrot or bit of celery. 

Preparing ginger
Simply grate about a teaspoon of ginger root with a Japanese vegetable grater (it looks similar to a flat cheese grater but the little holes have tiny sharp teeth-like protrusions on one side) and drop it into your mug. If you're not one for having little pulpy ginger particles free-floating in your tea, I recommend putting the grated ginger in a tea bag or steeper.

For the tea
You are free to use whatever tea you like. I have found that zesty lemon and herbal teas seem to go better with ginger than with fruity varieties.

If you wish not to use tea, you can also pour plain hot water over the grated ginger and stir in some honey and lemon juice to taste. With the very first sip you will feel an overwhelming warmth spread through your tongue to the very corners of your belly in such a comforting way like snuggling into a thick toasty blanket. 

Being the ginger-lover that I am, I usually take my remedy plain with just the hot water and extra grated ginger. Today I tried some maple tea that I had been given. I wouldn't say it was the best combination, but I wasn't all too keen on the flavor of the tea itself in the first place.

I hope you appreciate the trouble I went through to take this particular photo.
I had to preform some very advanced contortionist positions.
Cirque Du Soleil should certainly consider scouting me.

If you are someone who doesn't share my taste for ginger, I think your tastebuds are really missing out on an incredible spice but for others with a more adventurous palate, I highly recommend this soothing ginger tea whether you are trying to remedy a stomach ache or even just looking to sip on something to give you a warm and rejuvenating boost on a chilly autum day.

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