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So Long, Winter! Start Fresh This Spring With These 6 Tips For Eating Clean (Tea Is One!)

 

bigelow tea green tea health

Alright, spring, do your thing! It’s the first day of the season and that means it’s the perfect time for a fresh start. Because in spring, freshness is everything—from flowers to food to a freshly-brewed glass of iced tea. Bigelow Tea, of course, has you covered… starting with these 6 tips on getting back on the clean-eating wagon!

  1. Stay hydrated! This one is soooo important. According to the American Heart Association, keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently. In addition to lots of water, keep hydrated by adding tea to your daily routine. And, green teas are highest in polyphenols known as EGCG, which is why so many make it part of their healthy lifestyle—why not include a few cups to your day?
  2. Eat your colors! Add more veggies and fruit to your diet. Try one of these awesome (and EASY!) recipes to get yourself started: Chopped Veggie SaladSpinach Salad Spectacular with Raspberry Vinaigrette or Fabulous Melon and Blueberry Fruit Salad.
  3. Cut out the processed foods. Read the nutrition labels. If there are ingredients that you can’t pronounce, leave it on the shelf. By doing so, you can ensure that packaged produce, nuts, meats and other foods contain no added preservatives, sugars or unhealthy fats. We are what we eat, right?!
  4. Kiss goodbye to the refined carbs. Instead, focus on adding more whole grains—which have more nutrients and fiber—to your diet. Try to avoid ready-to-eat cereals, white bread and other refined carbs.
  5. Add more minimally-processed oils. It’s important to include a moderate amount of healthy fats in a clean eating regimen. Instead of margarine and vegetable oil, try to use extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil and butter from grass-fed cows. Besides, butter tastes better anyway…
  6. Slash that sugar! You may not be eating a pint of ice cream or guzzling cans of sugary soda, but that doesn’t mean sugar is absent from your diet. You’re likely eating added sugar throughout the day without even realizing it. Make an effort to consume foods in their natural, unsweetened state. (And, remember, life is all about moderation. So if you want some ice cream, enjoy a few scoops instead. Just get a few extra steps in to balance them out!)

What are your fave tips for leading a healthy lifestyle? Tag #TeaProudly with your best ideas or recipes!

Stay Pinch-Free With Bigelow Green Tea (And These St. Patrick’s Day Facts May Keep You In The Clear, Too)!

bigelow tea st patricks mug

Let’s face it, you don’t want to be subjected to pinches (legend has it that leprechauns would pinch anyone they could see not wearing green) while carrying around a mug of tea… consider a green scarf, at least. Besides, St. Patrick’s Day is a great reminder of how awesome all-things-green are—starting with green tea. And a cup of Bigelow Green Tea may just be the thing to enjoy while reading about these rad St. Paddy’s Day facts.

Celebrated on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day recognizing the patron saint after whom the day is named. It’s the national holiday of Ireland, but has become incredibly popular around the world. Maybe you’ve heard of it?! It’s a day when everyone wears green, eats corned beef and cabbage, and searches for four-leaf clovers to bring them luck. But, here are a few facts you may NOT be familiar with… Sit back with a cup of green tea and enjoy.

  1. Luck of the… Welsh? St. Patrick was not Irish. He was from Wales.
  2. We hear those New Yorkers love a good party. The very first documented St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City in the 1760s.
  3. Green everything? Err… or blue? For many years, blue was the color most often associated with St. Patrick. Green was actually thought to be unlucky.
  4. How about that Chicago River? Each year in Chicago, the Plumbers Local 110 union dyes the Chicago River green. It takes about 45 minutes for them to dye the river, and the green color lasts for about five hours—just enough time for the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
  5. Take it with a “grain of salt.” Some people think corned beef and cabbage has corn as an ingredient. It doesn’t. Instead, it’s a nod to the large grains of salt that were historically used to cure meats, which were also known as “corns.”bigelow tea green tea box

Now about that green tea? Well, green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves—the same leaves that make black and Oolong teas, too. However, the difference is in the production process; green tea is the least processed, thus providing higher amounts of the antioxidant polyphenols known as EGCGs, which is why so many make it part of their healthy lifestyle. Green tea is made by immediately steaming or pan-firing the newly harvested leaves, rather than exposing them to air. This process ensures that no oxidation occurs, and this special handling makes for a more delicate brew that is typically lower in caffeine than black and Oolong teas. Pretty interesting, huh?

Whether you’re sporting green or sipping it, enjoy the fun of St. Patrick’s Day! With such an interesting history, you’d be unlucky to miss out on the festivities. And hey, you can always take a tea break to relax. Tag us with #TeaProudly and share how you’ll be celebrating!

Travel, Profit and 100 Billion Cups of Tea…A Historical Look at Tea!

bigelow tea cup

As you most likely know, Bigelow Tea has been a family tea blender since 1945 where creating tea flavors continues to be our passionate pursuit. Perhaps that’s why we love exploring the role tea has played in various cultures throughout history. We recently discovered this fascinating map that was published in 1934 by Fortune Magazine and written about on Atlas Obscura, a website that guides readers to wondrous and curious places in the world. The map shows the size of countries based on how much tea was consumed in the area.

bigelow tea map

It displays China as about equal to the British Isles, but in reality the article details that the population of China was at the time, nine times bigger than that of the U.K., and the country’s inhabitants drank nearly twice as much tea as the Brits did!

The map also demonstrates that each person in Britain consumed around 6 cups of tea a day, adding up to 485,000 pounds of tea per year. That breaks down to one hundred billion cups of tea, total – clearly, the British do love their tea!

Also interesting is the discussion of how the British made quite the profit from their tea habit, with earnings from the tea trade leading Britain into colonizing one third of the world! The map text even quotes, “Where Britain goes, tea goes with them.” The article goes on to explain that Britain grows and sells four-fifths of the world’s tea, though part of this large tea industry took place in India, where the British grew and sold Indian tea.

Finally, if you notice the red lines drawn on the map, you’ll see the many routes of where tea traveled during the time period. The information shows the U.S. consumed 95,000 pounds of tea annually.

One last historical nugget: the map was created not long after the 1929 Wall Street crash, as the article points out. This crash caused tea prices to drop, and in 1933 tea companies in India, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and Indonesia (then the Dutch East Indies) came to an agreement to lower output, leading to a slow price increase that was more profitable for all growers and sellers.

Tell us: do you have interesting tea historical tea facts to share?  Please do and tag with #TeaProudly so we can learn too!

Which Foodie Profile Are You? One or All 3, We Have The Perfect Bigelow Tea Recipe For You!

bigelow tea mug recipe

Every day is filled with any number of busy moments that call for a bite to eat whether you are hanging on the coach or jamming away during a workout class. No matter what foodie style you are (and btw, which are you? One or all??), you might just be in need of sustenance inspiration so STOP before grabbing that candy bar—Bigelow Tea is here to the rescue! Check out these easy-to-make go-to’s that will rock your day (and don’t worry, if you fall under foodie style “the soulful cyclist” but can’t resist this amazing bread pudding recipe the “book-loving homebody” will be into, go for it…..there are no rules!!)

Are You The Book-loving Homebody?

Is your ideal afternoon spent curled up on the couch with a novel, a steaming mug, and a comforting treat? Then this super yummy dessert is perfect for feeling cozy inside and out. Put down the book for a minute to bake this awesome bread pudding!

Sautéed Bigelow Cinnamon Stick Brioche Bread Pudding with Vanilla Chai Sauce

Bread pudding

Ingredients

Bread Pudding:

  • 1 brioche loaf, cubed, about one pound
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup dried apple, diced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Bigelow Cinnamon Stick Tea bags
  • 4 eggs

Vanilla Chai Sauce:

Instructions

Cube bread and let dry over night or in low oven (200 degrees) till crisp, but not brown.
Heat milk and steep cinnamon stick tea for about ten minutes.
Remove tea bags and add sugar and melted butter.
Crack eggs into separate bowl and add 1 cup warm milk mixture to eggs and stir. Add egg and milk mixture to milk and sugar and stir to completely incorporate.
Toss bread with apple and pour in egg and milk mixture.
Allow bread to absorb milk mixture for thirty minutes or overnight.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until center springs back when touched.
Let cool completely and slice into one inch slices.

Bring cream to simmer and add vanilla chai tea bags and let steep ten minutes.
Remove tea bags and add sugar, egg and starch mixture and bring to a simmer and cook till thick.
Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat thick bottom sauté pan and melt butter.
Lightly dredge bread pudding slice in flour and place in hot butter and sauté till brown.

Turn over and cook other side till brown and immediately serve on warm plate with vanilla chai sauce.

Are You The Soulful Cyclist?

After an intense spin on the bike to popping beats, it’s time to fuel up with something fast, filling and chock-full of healthful ingredients. Whip up this sweet smoothie and make it a new post-spin class must-have.

Blueberry Green Tea Protein Smoothie

bigelow tea blueberry smoothie recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups iced Bigelow Green Tea
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 3 scoops vanilla protein powder

Instructions

Combine all in a blender, and pulse until smooth. Pour into glasses, and enjoy!

Are You The Mom Making a Mad-Morning Dash?

The kids are dragging as they get dressed, you’re late to work, and the dog still needs a walk- what can fill everybody’s bellies fast? Be prepared for early morning crazy by keeping this tasty banana bread on hand – grab a slice and get going without giving up the day’s most important meal!

Vanilla Chai Banana Bread

bigelow tea banana bread recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 mashed ripe banana
  • ⅓ cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 Bigelow Vanilla Chai tea bag(s)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add banana to stand mixer and beat until mashed. Add yogurt, butter, vanilla extract and eggs to stand mixer bowl and beat on medium speed just until blended. Add sugars and beat on medium just until blended.

In a separate bowl whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and contents of tea bag together. Add to banana mixture ½ cup at a time and beat just until blended.

Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with butter. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely before serving.

And hey, we want to hear from you!!  From what you love to do with your day to your favorite recipes, tag all with #TeaProudly so we can learn from you.  Mug for mug and day by day, we are in this together!  Cheers!!

8 Ways To Get More ZZZZ’s (Hint: Have Some Tea!)

bigelow tea cozy chamomile“I’m SO tired!” Let’s get real – how many times (A week? A day? An hour?) do you find yourself sighing these words to whoever will listen? Well, Bigelow Tea hears ya loud and clear!

It’s amazing how many waking hours are spent dreaming about getting more sleep! Whether it’s work stress, crying babies, or too much distraction from Netflix, it seems there’s always something getting in the way of a good night’s rest. As we are nearing the close of National Sleep Awareness Week and coming into World Sleep Day next Friday, now is as good a time as any to start making some snooze-inducing changes to feel rested and raring to go instead of wanting to hide under the covers. These super slumber tips  will help you get in the right frame of mind for better dozing, starting tonight!

Say sayonara to screen time at bedtime.

Believe it or not, blue light from devices can mess up your melatonin levels causing insomnia. C’mon, you know you don’t need to check Facebook from bed!

Use your bedroom for your bed only. 

Make sure your bedroom is a place without distractions from work, TV and pets (Sorry Fido and Fluffy!) so that the room is limited to the activity you really need to be engaging in. (Um, that would be sleeping!)

Chill out! 

Before bedtime, try a hot bath, some gentle stretching, or a cup of a relaxing tea such as Benefits Chamomile and Lavender Herbal Tea to set you up for sliding into sleep.

Stop using Saturday for sleep.

Don’t let sleeping in take over the weekend- stick to a daily wake time and bedtime routine, and before you know it, you’ll be regularly sleeping like a champ.

Cool it with the caffeine.

Sure it helps you get hyped up when you need it, but too late in the day and you’ll be wired when all you want is to calm down!

Nix the nightcap.

Alcohol may initially make you feel relaxed, but it can actually keep your body from truly melting into a deep slumber. So say no to the Pinot once it’s close to bedtime!

Sip for sweet snoozing.

Spend the evening sipping a soothing hot mug of Sweet Dreams® Herbal Tea or Cozy Chamomile® Herbal Tea, both of which are great for helping mind and body unwind after a crazy day.

Get some rest by listening to Arianna Huffington

The media bigwig shares her secrets for better sleep and greater success- and who doesn’t want both of those things?

Pssst…willing to share your secrets to a good night’s sleep with us insomniacs? We would love to hear how you get your 40 winks- tag #TeaProudly!

 

Try These 4 Tips To Keep Your Eyes Healthy So You Can Enjoy Tea And A Good Book, Always!

bigelow tea book

Tea and an awesome novel go together like bread and butter, macaroni and cheese, chocolate and anything … you get the picture! So why do we mention it? Well, March is Save Your Vision Month, and we want to make sure your eyes are feeling great so you can always enjoy the blissful break of relaxing into a cozy chair with a great read and a warm mug of your favorite tea!

Read on for some great, easy-to-follow tips for keeping your eyes on the prize—a mug of tea and a book you can easily read!

Put on those shades.

Be sure to wear sunglasses that offer UVA and UVB protection, and wear those glasses often- even on less sunny days. What a great excuse to buy a couple pairs, btw– keep one in your car, one in your bag, and one at work. Don’t forget to throw on safety goggles or glasses when playing sports or working with tools, too!

Follow the 20/20/20 rule.

Too much screen time can be uncomfortable for your peepers. The 20/20/20 rule lets eyes rest. Here’s how it works: whether you’re in front of the computer working or just playing on your phone or iPad, every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away or more for at least 20 seconds.

Get lots of antioxidants in your diet.

The saying that carrots are good for eyes is no joke! Fruits and veggies are chock full of healthy nutrients that research says can help protect eyes from age-related macular degeneration.

Drink green tea!

Speaking of antioxidants, the compounds, studies say, in green tea might possibly help to fight Glaucoma and other eye diseases. With all the amazing Bigelow tea varieties, your eyes and your taste buds will both be happy!

What Are Your Favorite Family Tea Memories?

bigelow tea memoriesOne of the tea facts we love most about Bigelow is how making tea and sharing a mug together transcends generations – whether you’re just discovering tea for the first time or have spent many years being a tea fan, everyone can turn teatime into time well spent together! Tea is truly a feel good beverage – not just good for your own well-being but for your favorite company too. We think tea is the catalyst for the best memories!

And speaking of awesome memorable family moments, we just had to share these stories from our tea community which are super amazing examples of how tea brings families closer.

Doreen MacDonald:

As a little girl, my mother would pour me a little cup of “Constant Comment”® when she fixed herself a pot of tea in the evening. Such a wonderful memory of the time shared and the smell of the fresh brewed tea. I still have the cup……

Maria La Fave:

Sitting with my mom and drinking tea (Bigelow Plantation Mint actually). We always used to sit by my family’s old wood stove and sip two, sometimes three cups, while talking the morning away. I have since moved to another state, but those will always remain some of my fondest memories.

Pat New Fearnside:

Constant Comment”® — Growing up, when we had snow days with no school, we’d come in from the cold and Mother would make a teapotful of it. So good! I also add it to my iced tea.

Lin Gregerson:

Still my favorite since late 1950’s when Mom would fix little cups of it as a treat for us girls. Just bought 2 boxes of the decaf to enjoy in the evenings. If I’m craving something sweet, just adding a dash of mild honey or sugar really brings out the orange flavor and nips the craving quickly.

What’s your family’s tea tradition? Share it and tag #TeaProudly.

From Tea Entrepreneur To The White House, Bigelow Tea Presents Four Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped History

bigelow tea constant comment ruth bigelowThere’s an unattributed quote circling the Internet these days—maybe you’ve seen it? “Here’s to strong women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” And, goodness, that quote certainly rings true, especially during Women’s History Month. Which is why Bigelow Tea wanted to take a moment to recognize a few notable women, all of whom share a common thread: They were born in 1896. Let’s start with one that you’re probably a bit familiar with (I mean, you’re on the Bigelow Tea Blog, right?!).

Ruth Campbell Bigelow, Entrepreneur

bigelow tea ruth campbell bigelow In 1945, inspired by an early Colonial recipe and dissatisfied with the tea that was commonplace in the 1940s, Ruth Campbell Bigelow focused her energy on making a better cup of tea in the kitchen of her New York City brownstone. After weeks of trial and error, blending black tea with orange rind and sweet spices, she emerged with the first cup of specialty tea in the country. After that, she didn’t look back—“Constant Comment,”® and the Bigelow Tea Company we know and love was born. Today, we don’t need to look far to be touched by the leadership and spirit of pioneering women. At the helm of the family-owned company is third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow. Before assuming the role in 2005, Cindi spent 20 years in virtually all areas of the company that her grandmother founded. When you’re raised in an environment that embraces female leadership, you’re bound to step up, pitch in and find success.

Ethel Waters, Jazz Musicianbigelow tea ethel waters

The next time you choose a jazz playlist on Spotify, think of Ethel Waters. Ethel was an American blues, jazz and gospel singer and actress. Despite a very tragic and difficult childhood, she made history, garnering many recognitions and “firsts.” She was the first African American woman to appear on radio (in 1922), star in a show at the Palace Theater in New York (in 1925) and in a commercial network radio show (in 1933), and the first singer to introduce 50 songs that became hits (in 1933). She was also the first African American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award in 1962. Recognized as one of the best blues singers of all time, Ethel also performed and recorded with such jazz greats as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Talk about a star.

Louise McManus, Science Extraordinaire

bigelow tea louise mcmanus

Louise McManus was the first nurse to earn a Ph.D. As a member of the Teachers College of Columbia University faculty beginning in 1925, Louise founded the Institute of Research and Service in Nursing Education. She also helped to develop nationally standardized methods for nursing licensure in the United States, and created a “Patient Bill of Rights,” later adopted by the Joint Commission in Accreditation of Hospitals. Another scientist deserving of an honorable mention born the same year was Czech-American biochemist Gerty Theresa Cori. Gerty became the third woman—and first American woman—to win a Nobel Prize in science, and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Thanks to the contributions of these trailblazing females, women today enter the fields of science and medicine with great role models.

Mamie Eisenhower, Fashionista With A Passion For Civil Rightsbigelow tea mamie eisenhower

A 1950s fashionista and self-defined hostess, Mamie Eisenhower was an American first lady and the wife of Dwight D. Eisenhower. She was also a woman who held a penchant for entertaining heads of state and leaders of foreign governments, and for the color pink. Actually, she decorated the White House with so much pink that the White House press corps referred to the place as “The Pink Palace.” The pretty pastel, which is now iconic to 1950s decorating (how about those pink bathrooms?), became known at “Mamie Pink.” However, Mamie was more than just the hostess with the most-ess.

She led the local and national fundraising drives for the American Heart Association in 1956, and later supported increased benefits and the formation of a retirement community for military personnel and widows. She also took a stand to combat segregation through such symbolic acts as inviting African American children to the White House Easter Egg Roll, and she accepted an honorary membership to the National Council of Negro Women.

Whether they’re revolutionizing a beverage market or breaking down social barriers, these women made their mark in history, and it reminds us all that we have the opportunity to do the same. And when you need a break from being absolutely amazing, sit back and regroup with a cup of tea. It’s a perfect way to recharge – you’ve got a lot to do, after all! Tag #TeaProudly on social media and tell us how YOU will go down in history.

Image of Ethel Waters by Florida Keys Public Library via Flickr
Image of Louisa McManus, courtesy of The Women Hall of Fame
Image of Mamie Eisenhower by Terry Saffron via Flickr

What Would Morning Be Without Tea?

bigelow tea recipesAre you the type for whom getting out of bed just doesn’t happen without a big soothing gulp of tea? Yeah, us too. Bigelow Tea is such a great drink to start your morning with because it can help get you going without all the caffeine of coffee. It’s a cozy, warm, and comforting way to ease into the day- plus it comes in tons of flavors!

March is National Caffeine Awareness Month, and considering that 54 percent of Americans treat themselves to some form of caffeine every day according to Health Research Funding, it’s definitely worth noting how much less caffeine there is in tea when compared to coffee. Here’s how it adds up:

bigelow tea caffeine meter

  • Black tea contains 30-60 mg of caffeine – half (way less!) than coffee.
  • Green tea has even less caffeine, around 25-50 mg.
  • Decaffeinated teas have about 1-8 mg of caffeine.
  • Herbal teas have no caffeine. (Making them perfect for bedtime, or anytime you need to chill out and relax!)

bigelow tea bigelow benefitsAs you can see, tea is a fabulous better-for-you alternative to a jolting shot of espresso! And speaking of better for you, Bigelow’s Benefits line is chock-full of ingredients that will help you radiate greatness inside and out. With options such as Cinnamon and Blackberry Herbal Tea  and Blueberry and Aloe Herbal Tea, you can choose to boost your mood and body all day long without any caffeine! If you’re looking for a great morning tea in particular, check out Benefits Turmeric Chili Matcha Green Tea if you haven’t yet. The revved up mix of green tea, chili powder and turmeric is an awesome way to get an energy buzz!

So, what’s your wakeup routine? Share with us! Tag #TeaProudly and tell us which tea helps get you raring and ready to go in the morning!

Let Your Fingers Do the Talking With Bigelow Tea!

bigelow tea green tea nailsAt any given moment, you’re likely to find us with our hands around a mug of Bigelow Tea, sipping while we wake up, work, or relax (loving tea is a proud 24/7 habit over here!)

As a fellow tea junkie, we bet you probably know by now that tea can be good for you on every level. When you sip a tea made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, you’re enjoying a warm and tasty wellness journey as well as a way to lift your spirits. Whether shared with fellow tea-loving pals or on your own with a good book (one of our most favorite tea-related activities!), tea can have a place in everyone’s day! But did you know tea also has some truly awesome beauty benefits? Some studies say that green tea in particular is a terrific way to help your nails be healthier!  Who knew, and just how does that work?

  • The antioxidants in green tea, research say, (again, thank you Camellia Sinensis plant!) are thought to keep nails from getting brittle.
  • Green tea may not only help make nails appear to be stronger but might also help eliminate yellow discoloring (which can happen after getting one too many manicures L).
  • To help support your nails, simply soak fingers in green tea for about 10 to 15 minutes. Any variety of green tea should do the job. Soak regularly, and you may just see a big difference in your pretty little fingers!

So we want to know: how do you get gorgeous using tea? Tag your beauty and tea tips online with #TeaProudly  or visit us at www.teaproudly.com and share it there so we can try it too!