I am in love with David

It’s been 3 months since I fell in love.  It all happened one cold November evening when I went to the Cote Saint Luc library for an event to learn more about tea.   You see, there is a new kid in town.  His name is David and he sells tea.   A lot of tea.  Really good tea.

Before I came to know of David and his tea, I only drank it occasionally.  I always loved the idea of tea but I guess I never really truly loved the taste.   Tea is packed with a plethora of antioxidants that are good for our bodies.  But if doesn’t taste good who is going to drink it?

It turns out, as I learned that November evening, I was brewing tea all wrong.  You can’t poor boiling hot water over green tea or it will turn bitter!  The water has to cool down to approximately 80 degrees Celsius first.  The girls that gave the workshop that night explained about water temperature, brewing time and the health benefits associated with the different teas.  All of this information can be found at DAVIDsTEA.  This website has a wealth of information pertaining to a variety of tea.

The truth is, I haven’t actually met David.  But I am still in love with him anyway.  He has brought the best possible tea to the masses.  According to the website he started this business in 2008 at age 27!  He opened up his first shop in Toronto and 3 years later he has over 40 stores across Canada.  How cool is that?

Back to the tea.  What I learned that evening was fascinating.  Depending from where on the plant the tea leaves are harvested, determines taste, caffeine content, oxidation and health benefits.  For instance, white tea has less oxidation therefore its leaves are lighter in color.  White tea leaves are also harvested when they are younger from buds that are higher up on the plant.  In contrast, black tea is highly oxidized with that characteristic dark color, caffeine and  stronger flavour.  You can pour boiling water on black tea.

I tasted four different teas at the library that night.  They were all very aromatic.  They smelled divine and tasted heavenly.  I was instantly hooked.  The very next day, I headed over to David’s head office on Paré where they also have a store front.  I was not prepared for that experience.  I expected to go in and ask for 2 of the teas I had sampled the night before.  But the girl at the counter started asking me what I like.  I wasn’t sure what she meant but when I said I liked chocolate she took down a canister, opened it up and instructed me to smell.  Wow!  I had never smelled anything like it before.  It was a rooibos (red tea) blended with chocolate tea and cinnamon.  This is how you choose tea at David’s. You tell them what you like, they bring you a canister and then you smell it.  If you like the aroma chances are you will want to take some home.  That is the only danger with David. That first day I left with TEN pouches of tea.  I was back there 2 weeks later for more. The tea is sold as loose leaves.  You tell them how many grams you want and they put it in these airtight bags or canisters.  You can steep it in reusable mesh teaballs, cups or compostable tea bags (my preference).

Aside from the antioxidants, tea is beneficial because it keeps you well hydrated.  Water is very important for our health yet most people walk around dehydrated.   Even though tea has caffeine you will not get the jittery feeling that coffee gives you.  It seems that the caffeine in tea doesn’t get absorbed into the body the same way caffeine from coffee does.

I have been sharing my love for DAVIDsTEA with all of my clients, friends and family. One of my client’s has taken it a step further and is using tea to curb her appetite through behaviour modification.  She was overeating and now instead of doing that she takes a plain hot tea.  She has created a new healthy ritual!

I contacted the nice people over at DAVIDsTEA and told them how impressed I was. Guess what?  They sent me their New Years Resolution Collection to give away to you!!! All you have to do to win it, is follow me on Twitter, post a comment on this blog, a comment on my Facebook page and finally a comment on DAVIDsTEA Facebook page (if you can link Montreal Nutrition and DAVIDsTEA together on Facebook I’ll count your entry as 2!). I will randomly choose a winner on February 3rd! Good luck.

Food of the Gods

I was at the health food store the other day picking up some moisturizer and while waiting in line I spied a bag of chocolate.  I thought to myself, what can I use this for?  I’ve been baking a lot lately and thought maybe they would go well in some chocolate chips cookies.  I brought the bag to the cash and the girl asked me what I planned on doing with them.  I said maybe baking and then she warned me of their bitter taste.

Being the type of person who needs instant gratification, I got into the car and ripped the bag open.  I grabbed a few nuggets of what is supposed to be the food of the gods and tasted it.  I nearly spit it out.  I wondered how the connection was made that this stuff could be combined with other ingredients to make it heavenly.  Chocolate in it’s raw form tastes  well, ick.  However, The mouth feel of raw chocolate is exceptional.  It’s crunchy with the right amount of smoothness.  But it does taste very bitter.

Some experts believe this a superfood.  I think if you like chocolate it might be fun to experiment with raw cocoa.  I have been adding about a tablespoon to my oatmeal.  I also add frozen blueberries and cinnamon.  I find this combination very flavorful.   I also tried it in my tea.  I added about a teaspoon of the raw cocoa to my tea bag along with some very aromatic rooibos leaves.  The cocoa gave a nice subtle yet surprisingly non-bitter flavor.

Sometimes trying something new even for a short period of time has it’s benefits.   I am not sure I will re-buy this again or even put it in a cookie dough batter.  All I know is that I had to try it.  I was curious about this power food and now I know what it is like.   I am enjoying it in my oatmeal and will likely finish the bag.

Man it’s a hot one!

May 2010 070
It is really hot in
right now.  When it gets this hot people’s
nutritional habits change.  For the
better or for the worse I am not sure. 
Some people eat more ice cream and drink iced frappucinos while others
go for more salads and less food altogether. 
The one thing we need to consider when it gets this hot outside is fluid
intake.  You can go in and out of air
conditioning all day but the best way to control your own body temperature is
with proper hydration. 

Last year there was a sale on 100% juice boxes so I bought
about 100.  I guess my brain was fuzzy
from the heat because I really wasn’t thinking. 
Having so many juice boxes available made it easy for my kids to help
themselves.  Consequently, they become
addicted to the juice. 

I lecture my clients over and over about juice, even 100%
juice.  It is basically sugared water,
albeit naturally sugared without any fibre. 
It’s like taking a glass of calories. 
What is the point?  Sure it tastes
good but it comes at a price.  Our bodies
do not register calories in a beverage as satiating.  What I mean by that is if you eat 100
calories (like a large apple) your brain will detect that you are eating and
start sending out signals to make you feel full. Pay attention to these signals
they can be subtle.  If you drink 100
calories (a 250 ml juice box is about 120 calories) it satisfies your thirst
mechanism but not your satiety and you will not feel full.  In fact, you might even feel hungry.  The sugar in the juice can spike your insulin
making you crave even more sugar. 

At the end of last summer I had 2 kids addicted to the good
stuff.  I had to parent them and lay down
the law.  The rule was they could each have
1 juice box a day and the rest of the time milk or water.  It took a few weeks but I got them off the

On Monday it was like a million degrees and I left them for
a bit with their dad, Richard.  When I
got back I noticed several discarded juice boxes.  Richard defended himself with “it’s so hot
outside, they need to drink, what’s wrong with juice, and we should buy
more”.  I would say most people would
have the same thought process as he does.

Water makes up about 60% of the adult body.  It’s the beverage of choice.  I have a filter on my tap and keep a pitcher
of water in the fridge during the hot months. 
Generally speaking, people love ice cold water.  It is very refreshing. However, I have many
clients and kids tell me they hate drinking water so they want to know what
else they can drink.  I recommend tisanes
but obviously that is not optimal in the heat. 
You can try flavouring the water with fresh lemon and lime for a natural
touch.  Otherwise, there is always
Crystal Light.  It contains sugar
substitutes to give water a sweet fruity taste. 
Be aware that sugar substitutes can increase sugar cravings and some
people are even sensitive to these additives. 
It’s fine in moderation.  Another
option is to water down that daily half cup of juice. 

Did you know that coffee can be included in your daily fluid
intake?  Caffeine is a diuretic but
studies indicate that coffee can be counted as a beverage.  I never recommend more than 4 cups a day and
for some people including me that is way too much.  I know this because it makes me feel
dehydrated and jittery.  I opt for
decaffeinated coffee if I have had more than 2 regulars and am still craving
the taste.  Decaffeinated coffee
definitely is a good option if you don’t love water.  You can make iced coffee too.  Remember if you hit the local coffee houses
many of their beverages are high in calories. 
Order a simple brewed coffee or shot of espresso over ice.

Let’s talk about soft drinks.  I am sure you have heard by now that a can of
Coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.  As
a result, you opt for a diet cola instead. 
Neither of these beverages are good choices.  Consider them as treats.  Diet beverages do not replace water and
studies have linked both diet and regular with obesity.

The question now is how much fluid do you actually need to
consume? The old adage to drink 8 glasses a day is good rule, even though it
doesn’t hold much water scientifically. 
I figure if I tell people to drink 8 glasses, they will drink at least 4
which is actually pretty good.  If you
are getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, eating mostly healthy, having a
couple of coffees or teas and 4 glasses of water a day then you are probably
taking enough fluid.  If you are not
thirsty and your urine output is either clear or pale yellow then you are well

In the type of heat we are experiencing right now, don’t
wait to feel thirsty.  Hydrate yourself
properly.  Signs of dehydration include
extreme thirst, hunger, lethargy, poor concentration, moodiness and dark yellow