Give Teas a Chance

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As a Health Coach, I get asked a lot of questions about coffee and tea. So I’d like to clear up some myths, answer some commonly asked questions, and share with you the joys and benefits of TEA! I find no matter what the season, many people (including me) love the ritual of making and sipping tea. And with new studies showing the extraordinary health benefits of tea – including Matcha tea – I want to make sure you have the latest wellness information. Whether you drink it hot, iced, or at room temperature, I think you’ll find new reasons to love tea!

Now is a great time to learn about the benefits of tea and why you might want to swap out your coffee for tea, add it to your day, or continue drinking it if you’re already a tea-lover.

Tea dates back to 2700 B.C. According to an article published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Chinese legend says that leaves from an Camellia sinensis plant fell into Emperor Shennong's cup of boiling water – and tea was born, brewed and boosted around the world for its soothing qualities and powerful health benefits.

In the past two years, scientists have conducted more than 30 studies on the health benefits and disease-fighting properties of tea, with nearly 1 million participants. That’s a lot of research! I’ve culled the findings below into several overall benefits. So put the kettle on and discover the health benefits of tea!

The Health and Wellness Benefits of Tea

Cancer-prevention. Tea contains powerful antioxidants that help reduce and repair free radicals in our body. Free radicals are the molecules that cause inflammation and can lead to diseases such as cancer. Herbal and green teas are less processed, and are the best choices to get your antioxidants.

Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease. Black tea has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, while green tea has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Green tea has the highest amount of polyphenols. Polyphenols are particularly powerful in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and osteoporosis.

Weight loss. Some studies have found that tea may help you lose weight and reduce belly fat. The most effective weight-loss tea is green tea because it is high in catechins – antioxidants that can boost your metabolism and increase your body’s ability to burn fat. Other teas that may aid in weight loss are: 

  • Black tea: High in flavones, it’s associated with weight loss and lower BMI (less fat around the middle). 
  • Oolong tea: Some studies show it improves fat burning and speeds up metabolism. 
  • White tea: Early studies show it may increase fat loss.

Multiplied benefits with Matcha. If you want to maximize the health benefits of tea, Matcha tea is the powerhouse!

  • Made from baby green tea leaves ground into a powder, Matcha tea has the nutritional equivalency of 10 cups of green tea! Matcha has more antioxidants and catechins than green tea alone, so you get more of the disease-fighting and metabolism-boosting benefits.
  • One study found that Matcha has more than 100 times the amount of polyphenols as regular green tea, and more than 60 times the antioxidants as spinach.
  • A recent study (NIH) shows that the combo of phytochemicals, L-theanine and caffeine in Matcha (and green) tea improve mood and reduce brain fog.L-theanine is an amino acid known for its calming effects.
  • Matcha also has high amounts of EGCG, a component that stimulates thermogenesis, the biochemical process our bodies use to burn fat and create energy. Studies show EGCG may speed fat burning and reduce new fat cell production.
  • Matcha is still in the scientific discovery phase, so you should continue to read studies and avoid over-drinking it. (More is not necessarily better!) The recommended amount is ½ teaspoon per brewed cup, once daily. Quality matters, so be sure to buy organic Japanese matcha as there are concerns about soil contamination with Chinese matcha.

More Tea Benefits! 

  • Reduces depression. Tea (three cups a day) can lower the risk of depression by 37 percent (NIH, NLM, NCBI) and the risk of a stroke by 21 percent (AHA).
  • Reduces risk of liver disease. Tea reduces the risk of liver disease, including liver cancer, carcinoma, and cirrhosis. (NIH, NLM, NCBI).
  • Reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes. Tea (two cups) can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by nearly 5% (NIH, NLM, NCBI).
  • Reduces caffeine-related symptoms. If caffeine has a negative affect on you (contributing to anxiety or insomnia, for example) note that tea typically has 50% less caffeine. Naturally decaffeinated tea is considered healthier than the chemical process used to remove caffeine from tea (and coffee). An 8-ounce cup of tea using one tea bag, brewed for three to five minutes, has 40 mg of caffeine; a cup of brewed coffee contains 100 mg. For those who still struggle with caffeine-related symptoms even with less caffeine, there are many varieties of naturally caffeine-free tea, including hibiscus, chamomile, rooibos, and most herbal teas.

And as if all these benefits weren’t enough, the ritual of simply making a cup of tea has a calming, relaxing effect for many people. 

I’d love to hear how you enjoy tea! Please share with a comment below or post on my Instagram or Facebook page!

My 2015 Holiday Gift Guide - Fabulous Goodies to Give and Get

Jeannie Oliver Wellness Gift Guide 2015

Here are a few of my favorite wellness and beauty products to give and receive this holiday season. Happy Shopping!

  1. Wellness Journal by Moleskine $19.95 - Keep track of your body and mind. Informative pages: seasonal food calendars, food facts, measurements and conversions. 6 theme-based sections to fill in: Diet, Exercise Log, Personal Goals, General Health, Games, Inspirations. 6 tabbed sections to personalize and 16 blank pages in which to unleash your passion's creativity.
  2. Tata Harper You Are Loved Natural Lip Treatment Set $75 - A 100% Natural & Nontoxic exclusive set of antiaging lip treatments to help volumize the lips, reduce the look of lip lines. Softening and conditioning for healthy, beautiful lips.
  3. Aromaflage Wild Combo $90 - Aromaflage is a fine fragrance that also repels insects. Aromaflage is comprised of aromatic essential oils from the Southeast Asian jungle, with notes of spicy cardamom, warm cedar wood, and snappy spruce. Free of DEET, paragons and sulfates.
  4. Animamundi Herbals Rainforest Immunity superfood $24 - This powerful mix of herbs exhibits strong immune enhancing properties, high levels of antioxidants, and string anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. A deeply therapeutic herbal supplement full of phytonutrients that slow the aging process and strengthen the blood, immune system and nervous system.
  5. S'well 17 oz Water Bottle in Sparkling Champagne $35 - Drinks stay cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 without any condensation on the outside, ever. Ice stays in your bottle and steam stays trapped with a cap that prevents leakage. 
  6. The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Over 300 Delicious Whole Foods Recipes, Including Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Egg-Free Dishes $15 - This is my favorite cookbook! It makes a great gift for anyone who has dietary restrictions or who just wants to improve their overall health and still enjoy great food. And don't let the missing ingredients deter you - the recipes are delicious!
  7. Animamundi Apothecary Passionfruit Seed and Cacao Sugar Scrub $22 - An invigorating blend of firming, exfoliating & antioxidizing ingredients for smooth & supple skin. They source organic brown sugar, biodynamically grown vanilla and passionfruit seeds, organic rose petals, all from small farmers in Costa Rica. An exquisite and healthy way to maintain lymph health.
  8. Tory Burch for Fitbit Fret Pendant Necklace $175An exclusive collaboration between Tory Burch and Fitbit. Transform your Fitbit Flex (sold separately) into a super-chic accessory for work or weekend, day or evening, with the Fret Pendant Necklace. Made of stainless steel, it’s based on the decorative, open fretwork that’s a signature of Tory Burch design — complete with a secure, easy-access latch on the back. Suspended from a thin link chain, it looks polished while keeping the device comfortably close.
  9. Beauty counter Face Oil Collection $175Three luxurious face oils with unique scents to incorporate into your beauty regimen. All Lustro Face Oils promote the appearance of beautiful, healthy-looking skin.
  10. Beautycounter Sheer Shimmer Collection $58 - Hit the party circuit with this duo, designed to give you that holiday sparkle. Our new Lustro Shimmer Oil in Rose Neroli delivers a head-to-toe glow, while our versatile Lip Sheer in Twig complements any beauty look.

Collagen Boosting Foods for Youthful Skin

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After a summer of sunshine and outdoor activities, many of my clients are concerned about damage to their skin. Many of us spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on topical creams, serums, injectables and treatments to reverse the signs of aging, but forget that our diet has a bigger impact than any of these things.

The number one contributor to great skin is collagen. Once we hit our 30s, our bodies begin producing less collagen, and that trend continues as we age. Collagen helps our skin look fuller, so when we produce less collagen, our skin loses that fullness and begins to look thin and/or more wrinkled. But what we eat can make a huge difference!

Read on for the best foods to boost your body’s production of collagen.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids help keep our skin cells healthy. That’s because healthy skin cells contain a protective, fatty membrane that helps promote plumper skin. Foods high in Omega-3s include flaxseed, chia seed, walnuts, hemp seeds, basil, oregano, and of course cold water fish. Wild cold water fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are also very high in Omega-3s, but I recommend limiting intake to 2-3 times a month to avoid excess exposure to toxic metals and radiation.

Fruits and veggies (water-based): In addition to containing high percentages of water, watermelon, cucumbers and celery also contain sulfur, a necessary mineral in order for our bodies to produce collagen. They also help you stay hydrated, which also adds to the suppleness of our skin.

Dark leafy greens: Dark green vegetables such as kale, Swiss chard, collards, and spinach contain vitamin C, which promotes collagen production. They also contain antioxidants, which help prevent collagen from breaking down. You can make a dark, leafy green salad, add cucumbers and celery, and top it off with salmon for a collagen-boosting meal. If you're always rushing in the morning like I am, throw a handful or two of organic kale or spinach into a smoothie with some high quality protein for a nutrient-dense breakfast. 

Berries: Yes, all of your favorite berries help fight free radicals and increase collagen production levels. Hello, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries! Berries are also low in sugar so you can enjoy them more often than most higher sugar fruits. But be sure to buy organic since non-organic berries are heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Red and orange vegetables: Yes, color does matter! Red veggies (such as tomatoes, red peppers and beets) contain lycopene, a natural antioxidant. Experts also believe that lycopene protects the skin from sun damage, so it’s like getting a two-fer: fighting free radicals and the enzymes that break down collagen, while boosting collagen levels! And don’t forget about the orange vegetables, too! Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, all are high in vitamin A, a natural restorative vitamin that helps reverse damaged skin and regenerates collagen. Fall is the perfect season for roasting these veggies!

Garlic: Garlic is a well-known longevity food for many reasons! When it comes to collagen, garlic is one of the best sources of sulfur (and you may remember from an earlier bullet, our body needs sulfur to produce collagen). Garlic also contains taurine, which help builds damaged collagen fibers.

Bone Broth: There are so many benefits you can reap from drinking collagen-rich homemade bone broth daily. Check out my other posts about bone broth for more info and an easy recipe.

Collagen powder: Many people know that using high quality powdered collagen is a great way to promote beautiful skin, hair and nails. But did you know that its is also great for gut health, stronger bones and joints, and healthy brain function? It can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite, and I don't know about you, but that's a major seeing point for me! I add 2 Tbsp to my morning smoothie and/or mix it into some soup or broth later in the day.

Egg whites: Egg whites contain collagen and are also high in lysine and proline, which both support your body’s collagen production. Always buy eggs from pasture-raised chickens that graze outside on their natural food sources.

If you don’t eat eggs: Eggs are a common food sensitivity so nuts are a great alternative since they also contain lysine. The highest source is macadamia nuts, but walnuts and almonds are also good choices.

White tea: Research shows that white tea protects the structure of collagen, and stops the enzymes that break down collagen. Brew white tea as you would any other tea, and you can drink it warm or iced. Forgo the sugar or honey, however, as sugar not only breaks down collagen, but it adds to other age-related symptoms such as achy joints and weight gain.

Now that you know what to eat to boost collagen production, try some of my favorite Age-Busting Recipes! If you have specific questions about your health or nutrition goals, book a free Coffee Talk session with me. I would love to help you reach your goals in every season and feel younger at any age!

Catch Some Rays the Healthy Way!


  1.   MyChelle Dermaceuticals  SunShield-Coconut SPF 28  2.   Goddess Garden Organics  Natural Sunscreen Spray SPF30  3.   Aubrey Organics  Natural Sun SPF 30  4.   Anne Marie Gianni Sun  Love - Natural Sun Protection  5.   Caribbean Solutions  SolGuard SPF 25

1. MyChelle Dermaceuticals SunShield-Coconut SPF 28 2. Goddess Garden Organics Natural Sunscreen Spray SPF30 3. Aubrey Organics Natural Sun SPF 30 4. Anne Marie Gianni Sun Love - Natural Sun Protection 5. Caribbean Solutions SolGuard SPF 25

We know all about the hazards of too much sun exposure - premature aging, skin cancer, and sun spots, to name a few.  Most of us slather ourselves and our children with sunscreen to protect ourselves from the sun (especially those of us in the NW who emerge in June looking like cave fish), but what about the chemicals in all of those sun care products?

Our skin is our body's largest organ and what we put on it can have a major effect on our health, both good and bad. I talked about this in my monthly Healthy Bites Newsletter but thought it was an important enough subject to address in multiple forums.

Many sunscreens are indeed toxic; according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 97 percent of Americans are contaminated with a widely-used chemical in sunscreens - oxybenzone - which can cause allergic reactions, hormone disruption and cell damage. Yuck!

In addition, not all sunscreens provide the protection they claim. To find a sunscreen that offers protection AND uses safe ingredients, check out my recommendations above or go to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) web site. EWG rates sunscreens based on this combined criteria, and provides a list of the top 100 that made the cut. Overall, EWG likes today’s zinc and titanium-based mineral sunscreens because they offer excellent UV protection but do not penetrate the skin. According to EWG, “half of the U.S. sunscreens that meet the United State’s FDA rules would not make it to store shelves in Europe,” which has stricter standards.

What else can you do to protect yourself from skin damage and the threat of melanoma?

  • Eat raw vegetables; they are packed with skin-protecting antioxidants/phytonutrients.
  • Reduce or eliminate your consumption of processed foods and sugars, which can suppress your immune system and increase inflammation.
  • Wear clothing that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays; check out products from  Coolibar  and Solumbra, or dozens of others available online. When in the water (or biking, hiking and running outdoors), wear a swim shirt – today’s versions are good-looking and breathable, and you don’t have to worry about chemicals or the sunscreen washing off. (Do make sure you use sunscreen on the parts of your face and body that are not protected by clothing.)
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, and wear sunglasses whenever you are outside, including when you are driving (don't forget your hands which get tons of exposure when driving!). Eyewear protects the sensitive skin around your eyes and can reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Make sure your sunglasses provide both UVA/UVB protection.
  • Avoid sun exposure during the hottest part of the day, 12pm to 4pm.
  • Avoid burning! Sunburns significantly increase your chances of developing melanoma, according to skincancer.org
  • Do not use tanning booths – these are NOT safer than the sun! People who use tanning beds are two to five times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, according to skincancerprevention.org
  • Remember to examine your body for signs of sun damage, and get a yearly skin check from a board-certified dermatologist.

Have a wonderful and safe summer outside!