I lost 26 pounds starting last September 2015 by going on a very simple diet: Very low sugar, minimal dairy, and cutting out most processed foods. I cannot lie and say that I do not eat processed foods at all, but I have significantly cut down on them for myself and my family.
I found that I was getting very sick – irritable bowel syndrome, vomiting, tummy aches. You name it, I had it. I was constantly tired and sluggish. I noticed similar symptoms starting to crop up with other members of my family. It was a tough decision to start a family detox of sorts. My kids don’t eat much sugar, but I do! And I had to cut it down to just a bit for coffee in the morning.
I began to work with a doctor I adore. With his guidance and support, I stopped dairy – cold turkey – for two weeks. I could not believe how much my stomach improved. My inflammation started decreasing. I was able to keep a decent walking schedule and my mood improved. I had been constantly blue and upset and this whole new, clean diet made me feel a lot better about myself. It was almost as if a fog lifted. I could see the change in my family as well – we all seemed to have more energy. We did not reduce “good” fats as much, just sugar and processed foods.
I have been working on clean recipes now. I eat a lot of different foods and well-seasoned recipes, and no longer have the urge to gorge on ice-cream!
My novel, Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken, focuses on, among other things, the taste of comfort and to me nothing spells comfort like a cup of hot, steaming tea. It always reminds me that there is so much warmth in life. My cup of tea is my solace.
Nothing spells comfort like a cup of hot, steaming tea. Enjoy this recipe for Cardamom Tea and the warmth it brings you.
- 2 cups water
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 3 pods cardamom bruised
- 1 whole clove
- 1 tablespoon black tea leaves loose
- 1/2 cup milk optional
- 2 teaspoons honey or unprocessed sugar such as demerara, rapadura, or muscovado. more or less to taste
In a saucepan, combine the water, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove.
Bring to a boil and continue simmering for about one minute.
Add the tea and simmer for another minute.
Add the milk, if using, and simmer for another minute.
Remove from heat, strain into cups, and sweeten to taste.
Photo by Simi Jois.
About the Author
Monica Bhide is an internationally renowned writer known for sharing food, culture, love, and life with a lyrical voice and universal appeal. She has built a diverse audience through the publication of three cookbooks, her collection of short stories, her website, and articles in top-tier media, including Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Saveur, The Washington Post, Health, The New York Times, and many others.
Monica is a frequent presence on NPR, and serves as a speaker and teacher for organizations such as Georgetown University, the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ), and the Smithsonian Institution. Her seventh book, Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken, is available now. You can also find Monica on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
I want to do it but is it black or green cardamom? ???
Hi my name name is Ada just had a birthday I’m 56 YRS OF AGE I started getting into drinking beneficial great tasting healthy teas, now I traveled to to Georgia for my vacation stood in a fabulous 5 star hotel they served breakfast every morning I grabbed a tea bag it had black tea with cinnamon and cloves and the cardamom spice it was delicious now I’m wanting to get more into cardamom tea can you give me the best brand of cardamom tea or nuggets or possible where can I buy it .
Beautiful words Monica, beautiful photo Simi and thanks to Andrew for bringing all this inspiration together each year. I love cardamom – such a ubiquitous and wonderful spice in so many parts of the world but so overlooked by many. My favorite part of October Unprocessed is discovering so much flavor in a single ingredient and realizing how much that can improve our cooking and satisfy cravings that might have been fulfilled in a less healthy way.
It is one of my fav spices! I did a story for Savuer on cardamom a long time ago. Here is the link if you are interested – http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/Queen-of-Spices Also, very grateful to Andrew for including me.
Monica, this looks like a really delicious, comforting cup of tea. Thank you.
Thank you so much! I hope you will try it!
Looks like a delicious cup of tea! My son and his fiancé live in Cambodia and use fresh cardamom pods for cooking and tea. Hoping they’ll send me some ?
I hope you will try it! You can also try other spices – fennel seeds or cinnamon or even a touch of saffron if you like (while you wait for the cardamom!)
It’s so inspiring to hear your story, Monica. Most people have no idea how important nutrition is in health. Your tea sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it.
Thank you so much. I have a long way to go but I feel like I am finally on the right path. I just love Andrew’s newsletter – it offers me so many tips and encouragement when I need it most!
What suggestion, if any, would make for substituting herbal tea instead of the black tea leaves. I avoid caffeine.
I would make the same with decaffeinated black tea (I avoid caffeine too).
Susan – When I was young, my dad would make me a “tea-free” tea. Maybe you will like that — a pinch of saffron, a cinnamon stick, a clove and a cardamom are simmered for a few moments. You can add any herbal tea you like to the water at this point, if you like. He did not. He would then strain this liquid and add a touch of honey and a few slivered almonds. That was my “tea” 🙂 I hope you will try it!