Want to know what all the fuss about green tea is? Apart from being a refreshing, soothing beverage – served hot or cold – it's an easy metabolism-booster, packed with antioxidants that help burn fat.
Green tea and weight loss Research shows that green tea can lower blood sugar levels and reduce the absorption of fat from the intestine. So, if you're looking to shed a few pounds, you may want to consider adding a cup or two of green tea to your daily diet.
Healthy green tea for a healthy heart Most teas contain vitamins and antioxidants, but green tea goes one step beyond. Not only does it aid with weight loss, it's also helps fight various cancers and heart disease. The antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), helps to speed up the recovery of heart cells and minimizes cell death after a heart attack.
How to make healthy green tea There are many different flavours of green tea you can enjoy. So long as those green tea leaves are present, you're going to get all those great health benefits that come with it. If you're steeping green tea leaves in hot water, be sure to throw in your favourite herbs, such as ginger, mint or chamomile. For refreshing iced green tea, just let the fresh tea cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and then refrigerate for about two hours.
Healthy green tea recipes:
1. Citrus Mint Iced Tea Toss some mint leaves, orange slices and green tea bags into a boiling teapot for a delicious homemade tea. Serve over ice and garnish the glasses with orange or lime slices.
2. Green Ginger Mint Tea Green tea with spearmint is a popular Moroccan digestive. Green tea lives, such as gunpowder leaves, are rolled into small balls that unfurl in hot water to release a slightly bitter, smoky infusion. This refreshing brew is also good iced. Sweeten with honey, if desired.
3. Mango Calendula Ceylon Tea When sweetened with mango and ginger, delicate teas like green gunpowder make for refreshing afternoon drinks or light, fruity iced teas. Add sugar after steeping if you wish to accentuate the fruity flavour.
Page 1 of 2 -- Discover seven more healthy green tea recipes on page 2. 4. Mint Tea Chinese green tea is often served before meals, and always after. Spearmint has the best flavour; other infusions, such as cinnamon, saffron and lemon verbena, can also be added for fragrance.
5. Chamomile Mint Tea For this blend, it's especially nice if you use jasmine tea, which is made from green and black tea leaves, because of its flowers. Chamomile and lavender heighten the floral bouquet and create a pretty pattern when they unfurl in a glass cup or pot.
6. Rose Petal Tea Choose the aroma you prefer for this blend: black tea leaves offer a floral aroma and citrusy flavour; green tea leaves are more like perfume and tobacco.
7. Peach White Iced Tea White tea is a mild tea that comes from the same plant as green tea but is picked when the buds are still covered in fine silver hair and not fully opened – it blends perfectly with fresh or thawed peaches.
8. Puffed Wild Rice Green Tea This blend is adapted from a Japanese green tea that contains toasted puffed rice. We use puffed wild rice and add cranberry-like rose hips for a fruit-and-nut variation. After bringing fresh water to a boil, remove it from the heat and let it stand for two minutes before pouring over leaves; the right temperature is essential for bringing out the best flavour.
9. Raspberry Iced Tea Bright and colourful, this tea is intriguingly tart and fruity. Serve with lime slices or raspberry ice cubes.
10. Honeydew Mint Iced Tea Subtle flavours of mint and melon mingle on the tongue with this iced green tea. Serve with fresh mint or mint ice cubes.
We polled family doctors from across the country, and they laid down the law on eight things they wish we'd do—or stop doing.
According to our panel of general practitioners, Canadians aren't always doing what they should to make the most of doctor visits—and skipping out on these crucial tactics could lead to a delay in diagnosing serious conditions. Here's what our experts say you should add to your patient checklist.
1. Stop feeling shy
Many of us hesitate to talk to our physicians about sensitive issues (think substance abuse or sexual health—or even gender identity). But honesty and openness are important, both for fostering a good doctor-patient relationship and for ensuring that you get the best care, says Dr. Laura Pripstein, medical director of the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto and a staff physician on the family health team. That's why it's OK to try out a doc before committing. Dr. Pripstein recommends booking an initial visit to see if your potential doctor is a good fit. "You want to see if this person seems like someone you can talk to, someone you feel comfortable with," she says. And if you don't think your doctor understands or respects your concerns, don't be afraid to find someone new. "If you feel you can't ask questions that might be embarrassing, you don't have the right provider," says Dr. Pripstein.
2. Don't come to your appointments unprepared
Get the most out of your time—and your doc's—by arriving at your appointment with a clear plan for what you want to discuss, says Dr. David Ross, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "It's good to have patients think about their problems from when the issue began, then look at it chronologically to the present," says Dr. Ross. Making a prioritized point-form list in advance helps ensure that you don't forget anything or mix up the order of events, he says. Then, work with your doctor to address the most serious issues first.
3. Choose your family doc over the walk-in clinic whenever you can
Yes, a clinic is convenient, but what we gain in easy access, we lose in familiarity. "I think it's really valuable if people can connect with a family physician who they'll be able to see long term, rather than just looking for the quickest way to access care," says Dr. Maurianne Reade, a physician with the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team in Mindemoya and M'Chigeeng First Nation, Ont. A family doctor will know your medical history and will keep it in mind when suggesting treatment—so, for example, if you've recently taken several courses of antibiotics for a UTI, your physician will likely look for a different course of action if you come in with another infection. According to the most recent statistics, about 4.5 million Canadians don't have a regular family doctor. If that's you, contact your provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons, or check to see if your region has an online registry (Ontario has Health Care Connect, while Quebec launched a web-based family doctor finder last year). "It's important to know that we doctors are privileged to share in your stories and to help you through difficult times," says Dr. Reade.
4. Share what's happening in your life
There's a reason your doctor wants to know where you're working, if you're dating and how the kids are—and it's not just because she likes you. (Though she does, we're sure.) Physicians need a picture of their patients' lives beyond their specific health symptoms and conditions, especially when they're first getting to know you, says Dr. Stephen Wetmore, the family medicine chair at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University in London, Ont. "Doctors need to know these things to understand how your lifestyle and habits may be influencing your health," he says. So when you're talking about your exercise habits, your health history and whether you smoke, drink or use drugs, mention your employment status, family obligations and intimate relationships, too, says Dr. Wetmore.
5. Be a better googler
Doctors know you do it (hello, late-night web searches), but they would prefer you to ask about good sources of information, rather than going rogue online. They also want you to be honest about your fears if you've read something particularly upsetting. Physicians can't address your concerns or point you in the right direction if they don't know what your fingertips have been up to. "The thing we want our patients to do is ask us for the most reliable Canadian websites to go to as resources," says Dr. Heather Waters, an assistant professor of family medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton.
6. Don't think your symptoms are "no big deal"
If you've noticed you are having more headaches than usual or are sleeping more or are eating less, you might not think to tell your doctor—but you should. There's no set of rules for determining which symptoms are worthy of investigation or discussion, says Dr. Wetmore, but make a note to mention anything that is new or has changed since your last appointment. "You should bring up things like sudden weight loss or fatigue that seems excessive," he says. "It could be a sign of a larger problem, or the cause of a developing problem." Evenif it doesn't end up being serious, seeing your doctor will help ease any anxiety you might be feeling, and that's worth the visit, too.
7. Talk about what you're taking
Tell your physician about any herbal medications and alternative treatments you take, says Dr. Mel Borins, a University of Toronto associate professor and author of A Doctor's Guide to Alternative Medicine: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why. It's important for patients to share what's working for them and for doctors to be open-minded about therapies outside their own practice or traditions, he says. This is also a concern when it comes to conventional meds, especially if you're pregnant; there are only 23 medications specifically approved for use during pregnancy— yes, out of every available drug—which can leave women feeling anxious about taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs when they're expecting, says Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Bridgewater, N.S. But don't stop taking your meds as soon as your pregnancy test comes back positive. "It's really important to talk to your doctor instead of stopping cold turkey," says Dr. MacQuarrie. Physicians can help you determine the risks and benefits of using different drugs, and they can let you know when the effects of not taking a medication while pregnant may be worse than taking it— which is the case with some antidepressants.
8. Avoid diagnosing yourself
You know doctors don't like it when you come in prepared with a diagnosis you've made thanks to the aforementioned Dr. Google. But do you know why? It's not because they think you're encroaching on their territory! Rather, they worry that a serious medical problem might get missed or you'll cause yourself unnecessary anxiety over something not serious. That's because not everyone has the most common symptoms of a particular condition. Plus, men, women and different ethnicities can have varying symptoms for the same problem. For instance, Dr. Reade's community has a large proportion of people with diabetes, which can affect the warning signs of cardiac disease, a major killer in Canada. Instead of the usual pain or pressure on the left side of the chest or arm, men and women with diabetes may instead have spells of profuse sweating with weakness. And, of course, women who don't have diabetes can have differing symptoms, too; sometimes, a heart attack can feel like acid reflux or come with sudden nausea, vomiting and lightheadedness. So always tell your physician if your symptoms are surprising or strange—like a headache that feels different than usual, for example. And if you're worried about a specific diagnosis, be sure to bring that up, too.
While every Canadian faces his or her own unique set of health hurdles, there are a number of ailments that have become pervasive in Canada. Though medicine has advanced over the years, our modern lifestyles have introduced a new set of health challenges. Here are some of the top health problems that Canadians face today.
Buying art is easier than ever thanks to online shops that offer everything from contemporary abstracts to landscapes—often in a variety of sizes. With prices that won't blow the budget, you can curate an art collection from the comfort of your couch.
1. He and I wall art
The image wraps around the sides so you can enjoy its beauty from every angle.
Artwork has the power to transform the look of any room in your home, but it can be hard to find a perfect piece that fits your space and your budget. Our favourite online destinations for affordable art will help you decorate your walls without emptying your wallet.
Science says you should spend more time socializing. For more than 75 years, researchers at Harvard University have been studying what makes us happy and, according to current project director Robert Waldinger, strong social connections are the number-one predictor. "Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period," he said in a 2015 TED Talk.
Save the day
Everyone knows about the pay-yourself- first rule, but when you're staring down a stack of bills, saving can easily drop off your radar. So take yourself out of the equation entirely. Talk to your bank about setting up a TFSA, or a regular preauthorized transfer from your chequing to your savings account, and soon you'll be watching your money grow. And don't forget to check in once a year to see if you can afford to up the amount you're tucking away, even by a few dollars.
If life feels too full and noisy, try a no-gadget night once a week. Switch off all electronics, turn down the lights, enjoy relaxing activities and fall asleep earlier. Take it to the next level with no talking! — Jo Bennett, life coach
Don't go to bed angry
No, really—don't. According to a 2016 study, going to sleep while angry might reinforce negative memories, making it harder to get over the things that made you mad.
Looking to get ahead at work? It may not be enough to just tell your boss. Research by Catalyst, a nonprofit that promotes inclusive workplaces, says we should get comfortable talking about our accomplishments instead. The study found that women who clearly articulated career wins, "advanced further, increased their compensation growth and were more satisfied with their careers."
Tools of the trade
Three must-have smartphone apps that make life better, easier or just more fun.
1. Flipp (free, iOS and Android): The high-tech version of coupon clipping, use this app to price match, redeem coupons or see who has chicken on sale.
2. Field trip (free, iOS and Android): Discover hidden gems as you walk through any city—the app sends restaurant referrals, trivia and shopping tips based on proximity.
3. Downcast ($4, iOS): If you've been meaning to get into podcasts, check out this highly rated app. Search for interesting podcasts, download them to listen later and catch up on back episodes.
Canadian-made fashion, beauty and personal-care brands are just a click away! Whether you're on the hunt for minimalist stackable rings (British Columbia), colourful, affordable beach attire (Ontario) or handmade beard oil (New Brunswick), we've found it online and want to spread the good word.
Artifact Masque in Moroccan Tangerine Clay, Brazilian Supermask and Egyptian Honey Rose, $52 each, artifactskinco.com. Necklace, $189, jenny-bird.com. Handbag, $79, nella-bella.com. Hudson's Bay Company + Lacoste watch, $95, thebay.com. Anointment Natural Skin Care Woodland Sage Soap, $7.50, anointment.ca. T-shirt, $42, roots.com. Saje Natural Wellness Arnica Rescue Acute Injury Ointment and Saje Natural Wellness Stress Release Tension-Reducing Mist, $20 each, saje.ca.
Strong and free While Canada celebrates almost a century and a half, our red-and-white flag with a maple leaf at its heart is a mere 50 years old. To commemorate the design and the first use of our national emblem back in 1965, Roots has launched a clothing collection made entirely in Canada. If you're feeling particularily loyal to your hometown, choose a style with a city patch on the sleeve or back; the places represented are Victoria, Vancouver, Whistler, Banff, Calgary, Mont-Tremblant, Montreal, Quebéc City, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Halifax—each available only in its respective location.
Dress, $78, roots.com. Under the sea Montreal-based twins Dexter and Byron Peart of Want Les Essentiels de la Vie are known for their simple yet luxe design esthetic. Their latest collection, A Life Aquatic, features a colour palette inspired by the ocean and its creatures.
Shoulder bag, $650, wantessentiels.com. Painted ladies Jolie handbag designer Ivy Chen first met illustrator Jocelyn Teng when Teng drew her portrait at a fundraiser. "I still have it framed in my house," says Chen, who approached Teng to collaborate on her Le Sac collection for spring 2015. "Illustration has always been my strong suit," says Teng. "My style is abstract and dramatic."
Tote, $295, and illustration, $60, worldofjolie.com. Office space Inspired by the shape of manila envelopes, these red vegan-leather handbags from Nella Bella by Tarek's Nu Essex collection are perfect for a working lunch or a boardroom presentation.
From left: Handbags, $139, $149 and $99, nella-bella.com.Canadian Maple Beloved Toronto lippy brand Bite Beauty has finally launched a collection that's exclusive to its Canadian customers. The new limited-edition lipsticks, from bright orange to lush berry, are maple-scented and come in five shades inspired by the changing colours of maple leaves. Or try the Agave Lip Mask in Maple, which smells (and tastes) sweet and is perfect for rough, dry lips.
Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lipsticks, $28; Agave Lip Mask in Maple, $30; sephora.ca.
Marriage material Whether you're planning your big day, leading the way down the aisle as a bridesmaid or simply attending as a guest, Canadian retailer Le Château now offers all the goods to get you dressed for a wedding from head to toe. The Wedding Boutique collection includes wedding gowns, flirty bridesmaid and guest dresses, jewellery, headpieces, clutches and shoes—all to make that special day easy and affordable (pieces run from $10 to $395). The online shop also features info on the latest in bridal hair, makeup, colour and decor trends from experts in the biz.
Shoes, $90, lechateau.com.
Face time Beards are having a moment and, contrary to popular belief, they require a healthy dose of care (tell your man!). A high-quality beard oil can work wonders, balancing oily and irritated skin and softening tough bristles. This oil from New Brunswick's Anointment Natural Skin Care features certified-organic sunflower and jojoba oils to moisturize, plus sage, cedar and lavendar essential oils to calm irritated skin. The plaid packaging bursts with Canadian cool. "I drew inspiration from the men in my life," says founder April Mackinnon. "Almost every Saturday, my father and brother can be found cutting trees for firewood or planting to replenish the forest. My childhood memories of my father largely include him wearing a black-and-red plaid work jacket."
Anointment Natural Skin Care Beard Oil, $16.50, anointment.ca.
Amazing lace A graduate of George Brown College's jewellery-arts program, Sarah Dobranowski of SarahAnaDesigns makes beautiful baubles cast from moulds of intricate pieces of lace. Indulge your feminine side with a sterling-silver bracelet or embellish your wedding attire with a sweet pair of earrings.
Necklace, $125, etsy.com/shop/sarahanadesigns.
Tiny treasures Vancouver-based Katherine Huie of Foe and Dear has always loved jewellery making but was especially motivated by a summer in Brooklyn, N.Y. When she returned to the West Coast, she took some classes and began designing refined minimal pieces in her Gastown studio.
Top to bottom: Choupette kitten ring, $33; Tiny sparkler point ring, $160; Point stacking ring, $30, all foeanddear.com.
Tressed to impress When Toronto-born hairstylist Marc Anthony first launched his hair-care range, there were six products sold at just one Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. Now, the line's 20th anniversary year, the wildly successful brand's more than 60 SKUS are available in 45,000 stores across 20 countries. One of Marc Anthony's oldest and most popular lines is Strictly Curls, including the iconic Curl Envy Perfect Curl Cream, which is great for waves and soft curls. For women with tight, coarse spirals, the brand-new Kinky Girls with Wild Curls line features coconut, avocado and argan oils to nourish and hydrate while eliminating frizz.
Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Envy Perfect Curl Cream and Marc Anthony Kinky Girls With Wild Curls Exotic Oil Treatment, $11, marcanthony.com. Working for le weekend Known for her colourful prints, Toronto's Virginia Johnson has released Le Weekend, a series of swimsuits, beach coverups, flip-flops and more, all inspired by her grandmother. "She is my biggest style inspiration—and she had a great sense of humour," says Johnson. "She loved polka-dots, Hawaiin florals and brightly coloured sunglasses." The collection honours her well. We're especially enamoured with the flamingo print and the fabulous price point—everything is $50 or less.
Swimsuit, $50, virginiajohnson.com.