Friday, November 22, 2013

My Cup Of Tea

The best flavored beverage for me is tea.  And not some sort of iced tea mix, just real plant parts steeped in water.  No sugar, just flavor, water, some antioxidants, caffeine sometimes.  (The health benefits/costs of caffeine are frequently debated since it is America's favorite drug.  I try not to make a daily habit of it, but it sure is helpful if I've had a short night or I have to prop my eyelids open long enough to get through a long procedural document.)

I'm a bit snooty about my teas.  I'd like the whole experience to be pleasant, not just getting my caffeine hit as quickly and cheaply as I can.  I find the better quality teas are all loose leaf teas.

I don't normally recommend products, but I'm in the mood today.

First of all, I recommend Upton Tea for caffeinated teas.  I've not been real impressed with the herbal selections, but every green tea I've tried has been of good quality.  My absolute favorite is Jasmine Pearls.  I was initially spoiled by a gift to my mother and now I can't go back to ordinary tea.
Jasmine Pearls
It is quite pricey, I recommend you try a variety of Upton's 15g sample packets before you spend a lot of money on tea you may not like.  If you are a daily drinker this may be a bit steeply priced.  I have it as an occasional treat so I justify it to myself.

For a long time I used a normal tea ball for brewing my tea, but somehow it got misplaced during the move.  I picked up a new one at the local grocery store, and it was a complete piece of junk.  So with my next Upton tea order, I looked at their infuser options, and settled on a Finum Brewing Basket.

Finum Brewing Basket
The mug that you can get with it is just a small clear mug that has no integration features with the basket.  Just get the basket and use with your favorite mug.  It even fits in my tapered mug that's a little narrow at the bottom.  It could get lost in an extra wide mug, the handles are designed to sit on the mug rim.  The basket has lots of room for the leaves to move around and open up, it's easy to remove, the lid serves as a good drip tray, and it's easy to dump out the used leaves.  I highly recommend it.

I'm still considering my options for herbal teas.  I'd like to move to a loose leaf tea, but I've not been fond of Upton's offerings I've tried.  (All the bags, tags, individual wraps are wasteful and don't brew as well as the basket.)  Maybe I could order plain hibiscus from Upton and blend in my own fruit/spice flavorings.

I'm currently drinking Twinings Orange & Cinnamon Spice.  It's a nice warm-up when I come in from the cold in the morning and don't need caffeine.  If I'm really cold I will spike it with a little honey to get the internal furnace going.

So that's my cup of tea, what's yours?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Picking a Breakfast Sausage

I saw these two products on the shelf, but the serving sizes were way too different to do the math in my head to intelligently pick one.

Serving Size (g)Fat (g)Carbs (g)Protien (g)%Fat CaloriesKetogenic Ratio
Bob Evans Precooked Link Sausage451001069.23%200%
Jimmy Dean Precooked Link Sausage68242983.08%268%

Next Time I'll pick Jimmy Dean.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bean Feast

ProductServingsFat grams per servingProtein grams per servingCarb grams per serving
Refried Beans24716

Total Calories712
% fat Calories51%
Ketogenic ratio70%
At home this dish is served with fried onions, peppers, ground beef, and sour cream, but when cooking at your desk one must simplify.  Higher carb than my average lunch, but sometimes you just crave a little comfort food but you don't want to totally jump off the bandwagon and buy a sub sandwich.

Refried bean selection is tricky, but if you look carefully you can find a brand made with lard.  Look first at "Authentic" brands and not "Fat Free" or "Vegetarian" varieties.

Salsa doesn't traditionally have fat or sugar in it, so most brands are seed oil free , corn sugar free, and grain free.

I have to be careful with my shredded cheese selection because I'm allergic to one of the common preservatives, but most folks won't have a problem with any of the traditional cheeses.  Beware of "taco cheese" and other convenience blends that may have vegetable oil in it.

I have to admit, I further blew my Kotogenic ratio on this one by having orange juice with it, tanking at 41% ketogenic.  Hopefully I can stay away from the other fruits I bought for a couple hours until I'm done metabolizing the lunch carbs.  (Sometimes you just get in a mood for fruit/veg that are high carb.)

Assembly: Half a can of beans, 1/3 a jar of salsa, half a bag of cheese into a bowl, stir, microwave.

Serving Suggestions: 
  • Eat with a spoon.  
  • I've tried serving on tortillas, but the store tortillas don't have the sturdy scooping capacity of homemade ones.  
  • Chips would be nice, but I've not found any seed oil free chips in the store, and the attempt to bake some with olive oil in the company toaster oven was a dismal disappointment.
The bonus with this one is that you have enough ingredients to do it again tomorrow.