Tag Archives: Tea

The Right Stuff

9 Dec

This not an homage to NKOTB, the loves of my life in fourth grade. This is about having the proper equipment. Having the right equipment from the right workout clothes, to the proper knife in the kitchen, to the best quality ingredients can make or break achieving health goals.

Have you ever tried to lift weights without weights? You can’t. That’s obvious. What may not be so obvious are other pieces of equipment you need to keep up with your nutrition and fitness goals. As I mentioned in the Turkey Trot post I had dressed warmly enough for running outside. The  proper equipment, proper apparel and the right tools can give you that little edge in achieving nutrition and fitness goals.

This doesn’t just apply to fitness and nutrition, but it also applies to sanity day to day living.

For example, I purchased a travel mug from Starbucks because I liked it, it looked like one of their paper cups but a plastic version. After a couple of months of using it, it started to leak. I thought to myself, “I have to be careful, I’ll just hold it upright.” Well after a year and a half of spills in my car, in my backpack, on my coat, in my purse, on my pants and all over my arms and getting super angry each and every time… I bought a new mug.


OXO mug

This OXO mug from Target is leak proof. I no longer waste time or energy screaming and wiping down my arm or my car. This helps not only in saving me energy, but it also helps save time and aggravation. It also encourages me to make coffee or tea at  home in the morning rather than buying coffee during the day.

You may be thinking it’s a mug, what’s the big deal?. Having a travel mug I like is important, it fulfills on my commitment to being calm, to saving time, to being environmentally conscious, to resisting temptation of buying high sugar drinks and to using only the highest quality ingredients (at home I use either raw grass-fed milk or almond milk and raw honey to my coffee).


‘Afternoon Tea’ at the Peninsula

2 Dec Peninsula cake

A couple of weekends ago a few girlfriends and I had Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula in Chicago. We went to celebrate my friend Carolyn’s birthday and her becoming a CPA. This was my first time at Afternoon Tea and I think that’s a great reason for a review. I’ve had a few people ask me if I ever eat sweets and junk food. The answer is yes I do. I just prefer them on special occasions like this one and when possible I prefer to make ‘clean’ versions of my favorites.

Now on to the Tea.

Tea cup

Tea cup

These were the ladies of the afternoon, we dressed up for the occasion.

Carrie, Lynn, Alana and me

The setting at the Peninsula is luxurious and equipped with fine China, fresh flowers, live music and extraordinary customer service. From the moment we walked in the staff attended to our every Afternoon Tea need.

Ordering from the menu we chose the prix fixe option which included warm scones, desserts, savory sandwiches, warm quiche, coconut cake and choice of tea. There were also gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, children’s and a la carte options. Overall, everything was delicious and decadent. The ladies ordered champagne with their tea, I almost never drink alcohol, so I didn’t have any. Our server, to have me feel included brought out a champagne glass with ginger ale. It was a nice gesture and we were all able to share a toast with no one left out.

All the food was served on a three-tier tray…

Three-tier tray

…sweets on the top, vegetarian in the middle (for Alana), and savouries on the bottom. You can’t see it here, but we also had a basket of warm scones with a side of butter, lemon custard and raspberry preserves.

First up was a warm spinach and mushroom quiche. It came straight out of the oven and it was delicious. Just the right size for the start of our snacking.

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

Next up was this bite sized turkey sandwich, simple and fresh just how I like it.

Turkey sandwich

Turkey sandwich

I then moved to the top tray of sweets. There were six sweets total. I liked all but one of them. There was a nice variety of tart, chocolate, fruity and nutty so that everyone could enjoy their favorite flavor. My favorite was this cranberry cake.

Cranberry cake

Cranberry cake

In the middle of our feast a server brought out this warm coconut cake with warm melted chocolate inside.

Warm coconut cake

Warm coconut cake

The last thing we ate were the scones with lemon custard and raspberry preserves.


Scones with lemon custard and raspberry preserves

At first glance, the tray of sweets and savories didn’t seem like it would be enough to satisfy my hunger but after two hours of munching on tiny sweets and sandwiches and sipping on tea I was full. It was much more sugar than I am used to in a single afternoon.

On a scale of one to five, five being the best, I would rate the Afternoon Tea a four for flavor and quality and I give it a two for health and feeling good afterward. At the end it was just too much sugar.

Overall, a good experience, worth it every once in a while. I’d like to make my own ‘clean’ version o afternoon tea. 🙂

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