I got a free copy of The Ultimate Tea Diet by Mark "Dr. Tea" Ukra from Parent Bloggers Network to review. I was interested because I need to lose weight, and thought this might be the push I needed to get going. I'm not exactly sure how it got to be the end of January without me actually starting a diet, but eventually, I'll get around to it.
I did read the book, and followed some of the advice, but not whole-heartedly. I think it would probably work, not because tea is some miracle drug, but because it advocates sensible eating, exercise, and a reduction of caffeine.
He starts out by recommending weaning yourself off of coffee by replacing it with tea that you like--any tea will do. I did this part, and found that I really enjoyed the tea. I didn't get the normal caffeine-withdrawal headache I normally get when I stop drinking coffee cold-turkey.
Ukra explains the different types of teas, and has some recipes for cooking with tea that went from things that sounded good to bizarre. I have not been cooking much lately, so I didn't get to try the recipes yet. I haven't followed the diet carefully, but it seems as thought what he is recommending is not terribly radical. It couldn't hurt, and seems much more enjoyable than South Beach or some of the other popular diets out there.
I enjoyed reading the final section of the book, which is a history of tea throughout the world. It's interesting to me that so many different cultures enjoy tea in different ways, and in some, it's an almost religious experience. It reminded me of our travels around the world, and how tea time in England is a completely different cultural experience than the tea house I visited in Beijing, that came complete with sipping lessons. We had the chance to participate in a Japanese tea ceremony some years ago, and it struck me then that ritual was somehow as nourishing and warm as the tea itself.
I liked the folksy no-nonsense tone of the book. He isn't offering any miracle solutions, just some dietary instruction, recipes, and a great enthusiasm for tea. He didn't recommend any particular tea for optimal results, just a general switch from coffee/soda to tea.
He claims that tea contains much less caffeine than coffee, but I have to say the biggest caffeine buzz I ever got was drinking green tea in Japan. I don't know what was in it, but I felt like I was vibrating at one point. It's not the same thing we have here, and the taste was quite different.
So, if you're looking to lose a few pounds in a not-terribly-stressful way, check out The Ultimate Tea Diet. Whether or not you lose weight, it just might soothe your soul.
Cross-posted at The Silent I Speaks, my review blog where I occasionally review stuff when people ask me to.