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Your Tea (14 Day TEAtox)

December 10, 2014

Your Tea Package

A few days ago I received an email from Your Tea asking if I’d like to do a review on their product. Your Tea specializes in organic herbal tea blends for digestion, skin, mood, energy etc. Since I am already a huge tea drinker (the asian in me lol ^_^), I thought to myself, “Why not?” But of course me being me, I do my research and dissect everything.

The first thing I look for in ANY product, especially if I am putting it into my body, is INGREDIENTS. 

Oolong Tea

Jue Ming Zi

He Ye

Shan Zha

Lai Fu Zi

Chen Pi

Mai Ya

The only ingredient I recognize is Oolong Tea so I went on handy dandy Google to see what the other ingredients were and its benefits ^_^. Before I go on and explain each ingredient, one thing I discovered during my research is that all these ingredients are found in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which I am a huge fan of. Growing up, my mom had a cure for everything and it was all from TCM. So YAY!!! ^_^ Here we go…

  • Oolong Tea: Comes from a plant called Camellia Sinensis. Teas from the Camellia plant (also found in green and black tea also) are rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant that detoxify cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Polyphenols can also help activate thermogenesis, which increases fat oxidation in our body. In addition, Oolong Tea also prevents aging of skin, reduces high blood pressure, and lowers blood sugar levels! Pretty cool right? ^_^ You can read more here. 
  • Jue Ming Zi: Also known as Foetid Cassia Seed. This seed nourishes the kidney and liver by moistening intestines and unblocks the bowels – basically helps with constipation. It also lowers blood pressure and helps with cholesterol. 
  • He Ye: Comes from the Lotus Leaves! I am a huge fan of Lotus!!! Read my previous post here. Lotus leaves helps burn fat, eliminate constipation, and works as a diuretic. How? Because it contains a wide range of alkaloids naturally. (Some examples of chemical alkaloids are yohimbie, and ephedrine/ephedra). 
  • Shan Zha: Also known as Hawthorn Berry. Shan Zha has been used in TCM to treat indigestion, as it promotes digestion, transforms food retention,  invigorates Blood, eliminates accumulation, etc. by enhancing the functions of spleen, liver and stomach channels. I found this information here. 
  • Lai Fu Zi: Comes from Radish/Turnip Seeds and it goes to 4 meridians. The spleen, stomach, lung, and large intestine. It promotes digestion, relieving food stagnation, descending qi, and transforming phlegm.
  • Chen Pi: Tangerine Peel!!! Chen Pi regulates Qi, improves function of the spleen, relieves bloating and fullness. This is my favorite ingredient yet. Who knew tangerine peel has benefits too! Hooray! 
  • Mai Ya: Also known as Barley Sprout, Malt. Also reduces food stagnation, and strengthens stomach. 

IMG_2606Can we say WOW! ^_^

Here is what the packaging looks like. Super cute!

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Now that I have the ingredients dissected, I am ready to try Your Tea. I will do a full review on taste and effectiveness when I finish the 14 day TEAtox.

sandy lieu yourtea

**UPDATE**

December 26, 2014

Finished my TEAtox today and I must say I am very pleased with this tea ^_^.  It definitely eliminates bloating and keeps that tummy flat! And the amazing thing is the ingredients are all natural (read my post above). If any of you guys follow Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)… a lot of the ingredients are in this tea. I will be reordering more this week for sure!

Xo,

Sandy

Blog Inspiration Lifestyle

Inspiration

December 9, 2014

A couple days ago, I watched Jared Leto’s documentary called Artifact on Netflix.

It was one of the most touching, inspiring, motivating documentaries I have watched all year and was exactly what I needed.

Some days I feel like I am going absolutely nowhere in life. I set super high goals for myself and when I don’t accomplish them, I feel hopeless.

I am a dreamer and a perfectionist. But sometimes I have to remind myself how will waiting for the perfect moment move me forward in life?

I recently discovered a blog called B L A W D E by Annie Lawless, Co-Founder of SUJA Juice and in one of her posts, she said…

As human beings, we often have perfectionist tendencies and wait to do things until circumstances are just right or this, that, or the other happens first. Then we will be ready. Then it will be perfect timing. Then we will have enough money saved, have a better plan, or whatever it is that will be better then than it is now. THEN. What is then? Why do we postpone living until this elusive “then” when we could be living right NOW? Time is precious and we don’t have a lot of it to waste not doing the things we really want to be doing or living the way we want to be living, so why do we?

For me, I fear failure and I fear judgement. But you know what, Annie is right…

Stop Waiting, Start Living.

So today, I will make a change. I will make a change to stop thinking everything has to be perfect and Just Do It. 

What will you change?

Xo,

Sandy

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Blog Food Lifestyle Recipes

The Perfect Green Beans

November 22, 2014

I love to snack.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with plaintains & green beans. I know… Such an odd combo right?! LOL

I LOVE broiling my green beans until they are almost burnt. Tastes like chips to me (kinda hehe). This recipe is super super easy & takes like 10 minutes!!! ^_^

Ingredients
  • 3-4 oz Green Beans (I love French Cut)
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Set oven on BROIL HIGH
  2. Place Green Beans on baking dish
  3. Spray Olive Oil, all over
  4. Salt and Pepper, to taste
  5. BROIL HIGH for about 10 minutes

ENJOY!!!

Xo,

Sandy

Blog Lifestyle Training

Current Favorite Ab Circuit

November 13, 2014

So lately I’ve been eating a lot of fruit ^_^. It just makes me feel so satisfied. In my previous post, I talk about what fruits I am currently obsessing over and why they’re so amazing for us!

With only 14 days left before Thanksgiving and 42 days left before Christmas, I feel indulging on fruit is a great way keep our tummies slim before the big feasts ^_^ But what else?

Ab training!!!IMG_1927Lately, I’ve been doing an ab circuit after my weight training or cardio session. I feel that my abs aren’t as strong as I’d like them to be so in order to improve them, I train them just as hard as I would with any other muscle. What are your favorite ab workouts? Here are mine ^_^

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging from a secure bar, I lift my legs to crunch middle, left and right side making sure I engage my obliques and my abs.

3 sets of 15-20 reps

Russian Twists

Using an 8 pound medicine ball, I face forward at all times twisting only my torso to the left and right maintaining control and make sure my ab muscles are engaged. (Tip: Don’t hold your breath!)

3 sets of 20 reps (10 twists on each side)

Medicine Ball Leg Raises 

While laying down on an exercise mat, securely hold a medicine ball over your head and stretch out your arms and legs. Crunch upwards keeping your arms straight and raise your feet to the medicine ball. Lower your legs and upper body to the starting position.

3 sets of 20 reps

sandy and fiona

I spy a poodle hehe ^_^. Happy training!!!

XO,

Sandy

Blog Food Lifestyle

Snow Lotus cured my Tummy

October 13, 2014

A few months ago, I had extreme abdominal pain. It was so painful I couldn’t do ANYTHING. =-(. You can find the article here.

And stubborn me didn’t want to go home to mom so I tried to suck it up and cure myself. No luck…

About a week later… I finally gave in and went home because sometimes mommys know best and sure enough…

She said she had just bought some “Lianghe” and it is suppose to be really good for the stomach + lots of collagen. So later that evening, she made it into a herbal soup and added gogi berries during the last 10 minutes of simmer time.

It was very chewy and gooey lol. The image above is what it looks like in its dried form (how most herbal medicine ingredients come) and the below image is how it looks when it is has been soaked/cooked for a few hours (usually about 3 hours).

So of course right after I ate it, I did my research.

Here is what I found:

According to Qi-Journal, the Snow Lotus Flower

“is extremely rare and precious. It comes from one of the most remote areas of Asia. Snow Lotus has a general health promoting effect. It regulates the functions of different organs. In particular, it improves the immune system, prevents internal and external diseases, improves adaptability, and eliminates body toxins. Snow Lotus is anti-aging, strengthens the body, preserves youthfulness, and helps with all kinds of diseases. Snow Lotus calms and eliminates wind, smoothes Liver function, sedates rising Liver yang. It replenishes the Yin, strengthens the Yang, tonifies the blood, strengthens the sinews, relieves swelling and pain, improves blood circulation, removes blood stagnation, is said to remove sludge from the blood vessels, and promotes longevity. It clears away heat, toxic material and dampness. It is extremely rare and precious. Though it is equally beneficial to men and women, Snow Lotus has been the favorite herb of female Daoists and Qigong practitioners for many centuries.” 

But most importantly, it helped me with my

  • Digestive Disorder
  • Stomach Ache
  • Inflammation
  • Peptic Ulcer
  • Indigestion

You can find the complete list here.

Now I’m sure you guys are wondering where to buy this. Right now, my mom purchases it per pound (around $50) at a Chinese herbal medicine store in San Gabriel Valley. If you are interested in some, shoot me an email (mssandylieu@gmail.com) and I will make sure you get some ^_^.

So the question now is… did it work?

YES! 

snow-lotus-

After taking it for about a week, my stomach pains were gone. The slimy, gooeyness actually coats your stomach and slowly heals it. I am all about healing our bodies naturally so I HIGHLY recommend the Snow Lotus Pod for those of you that have digestive issues or are prone to ulcers like me.

Let me know if you have any questions. I will be more than happy to help!!!

Xo,

Sandy

 

Blog Food Lifestyle

What is “Kei Chi?”

October 7, 2014

Growing up, drinking herbal soup was a must after dinner. I was always curious what it did for me, but all my mom said was…

It’s good for you. Drink it.

The taste never bothered me so without asking questions, I drank it. But as I got older, I began to question everything, especially those little red berries floating in my soup.

So what are those little dried red berries that have become so popular recently (in Western Culture) and what do they do?

In Chinese, they are called “Kei Chi” also known as, Gogi Berry.

Golgi Berries have been used for thousands of years in Tibet and China as a culinary ingredient and medicinally. (My mom always told me it was great for my eyes). They are native to the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet and Mongolia. Sooooo what is their purpose???

Here is a list I gathered ^_^

  • Golgi Berries contain all essential amino acids
  • Naturally high in Vitamin C & Vitamin A
  • Contains 21 trace minerals (iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, etc.)
  • More than 12% of daily fiber
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Anti-Fungal
  • Boots immune system
  • Help with liver & kidney meridians such as lower back pain, dizziness and eyesight.

So now it makes sense why my mom put them in her herbal soups! ^_^. The ones she buys come from asian markets, but my favorite is this one. Who else loves gogi berries?

Xo,

Sandy

 

Blog Food Lifestyle Recipes

Roasted Dill Potatoes

October 4, 2014

Who loves potatoes?! I DOOOOO! Especially when they are Teeny Tiny Potatoes!!! LOL ^_^

I love creating new recipes when I’m in the kitchen. Most of the time I just look in my cabinet and create it on the spot. Sometimes it turns out crappy but sometimes it comes out quite lovely hehehe but hey that’s what make cooking fun right? 😉 I have to say this recipe was pretty awesome and very easy to make ^_^.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb (454g) Teeny Tiny Potatoes (I got these from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 chopped Sweet Yellow Onion
  • Fresh Dill (I used about 3 sprigs…enough to sprinkle all over your potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes in a medium size pot of water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a baking tray, add chopped onions, fresh dill, and mix in the extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper (I typically just use a pinch or if you have a grinder, grind it all over).
  4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until onions are golden brown. If you like them a little crispy or extra cooked like me, turn the oven on broil for the last 5 minutes.
  5. Serve and ENJOY!!!
 I divided my potatoes into 4 servings and served it with 4 ounces of marinated chicken breast and sauteed spinach. Let me know what you think ^_^.

Xo,

Sandy Lieu

 

Blog Food Lifestyle Recipes

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie

September 29, 2014

So lately I’ve been craving fruit… A LOT of it. Since I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store or going out to get one, I decided to create one with what I have at home. I opened my fridge, freezer and pantry to see what I had.

Frozen pineapple, frozen strawberries, fresh apples, fresh oranges, rice milk, honey, stevia, agave.

I grabbed the frozen pineapples, strawberries, an orange, rice milk and honey. But just to be safe, I wanted to google a recipe. Most of them had bananas. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bananas. Booo…

So I decided to just use what I had and YEEESSSSSS it turned out AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Here is the recipe.

All these ingredients came from Trader Joes.

Let me know what you think ^_^

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie
Prep time:
Serves: 1 Serving
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen pineapples
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 orange (juiced)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla rice milk
  • 2 tablespoon clover honey (can substitute with stevia or you choice of sweetener)
Instructions
  1. Add the pineapples, strawberries, juiced orange, rice milk and honey into the blender.
  2. Blend on high power until smooth and creamy. If you like it more creamy like me, add a tab bit more milk (so about 1.25 cup of rice milk).
  3. Pour mixture into glass and ENJOY! 😀
Blog Food Lifestyle Recipes

Mouthwatering Raspberries

September 18, 2014

Who loves FRUIT?!?! I love ALL fruit ^_^ but since raspberries were on sale at Ralph’s this week (2 for $4) I choose raspberries hehe. Have you ever encountered a batch that wasn’t so sweet? You know you have… >_<

For those of you that have stomach sensitivities like me, add Stevia on top and ta-da! Problem solved!!!! Hooray!!!

Ingredients
  • Fresh Raspberries
  • Powdered Stevia (or preferred sweetener)
Instructions
  1. Place raspberries in a bowl
  2. Sprinkle with stevia
  3. Enjoy!
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Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 60 Fat: 1g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 14g Sugar: 6g Sodium: 0mg Fiber: 9g Protein: 1g
Blog Food Lifestyle

Our Digestive System

September 18, 2014

Growing up, I’ve always had a sensitive stomach. Dairy was always a no no and when I get too stressed out, I get ulcers. Booo…

A couple months ago, I had my stomach pains that were out of this world. At the time, I had just gotten off contest prep and according to My Fitness Pal, I was eating about 50% protein, 30% carbs (in which majority of that came from veggies), and 20% fats. I had no idea what was going on.

So since I wasn’t feeling well, I just thought… maybe I’ll just cut out carbs and reduce my protein intake.

Next day. Same thing. Still bloated and pains in my abdomen. >____< I asked myself what I ate. 

Eggs, chicken, fish, broccoli sautéed with onions and garlic cloves in olive oil, cucumbers…

Wait… duh… it must be the broccoli cause of the fiber! And me being me, I googled. 

“Why does broccoli causes gas and bloating?” lol

Somehow that lead me to googling Digestive Health Issues, which lead me to leaky gut syndrome, IBS, Peptic Ulcers, Candida, etc. 

Basically what it all came down to… all of the above. The thing that triggered my pains came from the garlic AND onions + stress = ulcer. BOOOOOOOOO =-(

Devastated. 

My good friend David Katcef once told something I would never forget.

“70% of your immune system is in you gut, ~90% of your serotonin, ~50% of your dopamine.”

Ever since that day, I learned how important it was to keep our gut/stomach healthy, especially alkalized. We do this by eating lots of veggies and if veggies isn’t your best friend, something I love to do before my first meal is take some sort of superfood greens. You can find these at any local organic health food store. (I love mixing one scoop with stevia ^_^. Makes it easier to drink hehe).

Now there are many layers to this post. I will discuss in my next post what I am doing to heal my tummy. In the mean time, happy training, stay focused and never give up on your dreams. I believe in you.

Xo,

Sandy Lieu