Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras – whichever way you say it – signifies the last day of feasting before Lent. This year it falls on Tuesday February 17th 2015. Some people see this as the perfect opportunity to give something up for Lent such as no sweet things, but it is also a chance to challenge yourself to stop a habit for 40 days and potentially beyond.
Chocolate sits high on the list as one of the major food items to be cast aside for lent as well as cakes, cookies, biscuits, potato chips, crisps, crisps or french fries. In the past I have tried to abstain from eating chocolate and it is easy to accomplish as long as there are not too many temptations put in front of you on a daily basis.
I used to work in an office that would constantly have cakes and chocolates, sweets and savory delights brought in “just because” or they were trying to remove the temptation from home and share them with colleagues. Extremely nice, but if your will-power is zero this can be a tricky obstacle to overcome and not forget once the waistline starts expanding. If you are trying to abstain from something like this, share what you are doing with your colleagues or maybe suggest an office challenge so you can try to stick to it together.
In a world of coffee drinkers I sometimes feel in the minority. Not sure why, considering people have been drinking tea for centuries. In fact it was first discovered in China. Legend has it that it was found by The Emperor of China way back in 2737 BC. Now that’s a long time. Let’s take a quick look at the the Coffee bean history. The first evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears to have been in the middle of the 15th century, in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen. Given that tea has been around longer how did coffee overtake the humble cup of tea as the hot drink of choice?
Let me re-introduce you to Tea as an alternative to that caffeine laden cup of joe 😉 you may be surprised, and even if you don’t completely stop your caffeine fix, at least it’s something else to try from time-to-time! If you’re already a die-hard tea drinker, maybe I can uncover a tea you haven’t yet sampled.
During the Han Dynasty around 202 BC thru 220 AD tea plants were quite limited and only the extremely rich or Royalty would drink a cup of tea! During this time tea also spread to Japan and was consumed by priests who enjoyed some of their medicinal benefits.
Tea arrived in England during the 17th Century and never left. It’s the tea you take at 4pm back in the days of old and it’s still offered when you’ve experienced a stressful event or shock – “Shall I make you a nice cup of Tea!” with the emphasis on the nice.
American tea was heavily taxed and so gave way to The Boston Tea Party which sounds lovely until you realize the political protests and American Revolution connotations but I won’t go into any political shenanigans here but I’ve linked to any useful background on the subject should you be interested in exploring that avenue further.
Luckily it’s all calmed down now, maybe they all drank a nice relaxing Chamomile Tea and moved on, but however they resolved their problems and differences we’ve been left with a wide variety of different teas and the list seems to be growing everyday. As the list of teas is huge come back from time-to-time to see what else I’ve uncovered on my tea adventures. I’ll pop the kettle on…