Spill the Tea

Gongfu tea table

I have been a little obsessed with learning new styles of tea making. I am practicing a style from China called Gongfu, which means right effort.

The brewing vessel is called a gaiwan. It is designed to brew leaves in many small infusions. To start, give the tea a 10 second wash and discard by pouring over your tea creature (and into the tea tray.) Then infuse using progressively longer times and hotter water.

I really enjoy the complexity of oolong (a hybrid of green and black tea) and Pu’reh (fermented.) I’ve been trying different varieties from The Tea Spot and Yunnan Sourcing. Check out this four year old fermented Pu’reh tea in a tangerine peel (below!)

Tea shelf
4 year Pu’reh

Jimminy in the cabinet

I guess we are really really really lucky cause we’ve had a cricket take up residence in our kitchen for the past couple weeks!

Every night they sing and I follow the sound (warmer… colder… warmer…) until I zero in on their exact location. For a week it was the cabinet to the left of the stove. Last week it was a different cabinet! Then a couple days ago, jiminy went over to the hutch.

I suspect this magical adventure is sponsored by Elvis, who is a professional cricket catcher and loves to share his catch with the family.

Cricket Cabinet

PS- Hope you enjoyed my dusty cupboard! 😬

Rare Footage

Happy Camper

As you know Biggie Smalls jumps the fence a hundred times a day to patrol his domain.

Today, Elvis made a dash for it and somehow eluded a camera notification!! When he came running up the front sidewalk, I went back through the footage to find this special moment in time.

Elvis and the gate

Biggie’s Little Loop

Cat Route Around the House

I’ve slowly, SLOWLY let the cats outside under extreme “hover-cat-mom” supervision. They are both well trained to return home with a couple claps out the back door. Most of the time, they come inside in their own and start napping, cause it’s over 110 degrees!

Elvis camps out in the backyard like a zen master. He’s very conservative.

Biggie Smalls is our wild child adventure seeker. His latest game is to exit the back door, jump the gate and come back through the front. When my gate camera gets triggered, I know to answer the door for him and he knows to be there!

Biggie Smalls scales the walls

I can can.

Southside Mike’s freshly canned

Official results on how many jars sealed will be tallied tomorrow. I am anxiously *ahem* excitedly waiting the 24 hours it takes for them to cool and seal. Based on the pings I heard after pulling them from the hot water bath, my very first canning session is a success. I just bought myself some shelf life!

I was kinda put on the spot to try hot water bath canning. I ran out of my last case of Southside Mike’s BBQ sauce. He doesn’t have any bottled, so there’s no way I’m gonna say no to a gallon jug of this delicious dark brown glassy spice infused gold!

“I’ll just can it,” I told myself when I made the order. The jug arrived at the perfect time. My ribs came out great! Now I gotta get that gallon canned… I’ve never canned anything before… until now!

Visit Southside Mike’s BBQ in Humboldt County, CA if you’re ever in the area; he puts love in the food!

Southside Mike’s BBQ sauce
Southside Mike’s BBQ Nutrition Facts

Roots of Addiction

This article from Medical Medium is surprising but makes sense:

…there are two different deep roots behind addictions: adrenaline surge dependency and glucose deficiency. Other factors can certainly play a part too, including life stressors, immense pressure, and abuse. Nonetheless, adrenaline dependency and glucose deficiency – or a combination of the two – are nearly always involved. This is unknown to medical research and science. From these root issues stem countless possible addictions, including to alcohol, drugs, sex, food, diet soda, extreme sports, and more.

This fits with what I’m learning about prometabolic eating to regulate blood sugar and decrease the excitability of the nervous system. Your physiology affects your psychology, including addictive behaviors.

I have been living beyond my means! For years I have starved myself, drank coffee and powered through life. Now I am changing course and changing my state- from surviving to thriving!

In the morning, I check in with my body and see how it feels. Then I eat an efficient fuel that sounds good based on my hunger level (more or less dense foods.) Twenty minutes post meal, I check in with myself to see how I feel: still hungry, tired, energized, full?

This practice sets the trend for the day: awareness.

What you eat deeply affects the way you feel and how well you can function. Each person is unique in their needs, what satiates them and for how long.

The results so far are a stark contrast to what I’m used to. I feel more grounded, calm and safe in my body. I’m less anxious and stressed. It’s unbelievable to me that I can feel this good just by eating and actually noticing how my body responds and what it needs. I am creating a new rhythm for a return to vitality and resilience!

To learn more about the Restoration Thyroid Nutrition program I am using, visit Eastwesthealing.com or check out @realfoodgangstas on IG.