My Twisted Teas :^)

Now….I’m not a person that needs caffeine. I like coffee. I looooooooove tea. But, neither gets me going for the day like they seem to do other people. When I worked in Center City, I used to stop at Starbucks every morning for a quad caramel macchiato – that’s 4 shots of espresso – and I’d be baseline. I no longer work in town, though, so a cup of Wawa joe was good enough for breakfast until it started tasting like death back in October.

When I got pregnant….first, I should have known right off that I was pregnant way earlier than any pregnancy test could have told me because I could not find a happy cup of coffee anywhere – Wawa, 7-11, Dunkin’ Donuts….they all tasted completely awful! Even at home, and DH can brew some coffee ;^) So, I started drinking my most favorite tea in the entire world, Stash Premium Double Bergamot Earl Grey Tea – love it!! But I usually only drink tea at night so…..it was a little weird at first.

Now, I’m always amemic…but when I was pregnant with Monkey, I was severely anemic. I expected nothing less this time and right from the start, my OB gave me some iron supplements to complement my prenatal vitamins. Then I lost my taste for meat.  Not good when one is already anemic and now I was lacking protein I’m used to getting, as well.  So, in addition to the iron supplements, I tried making up for it with fresh veggies that are high in iron and other things that would give me a boost.  Things were going along well, but then I recognized the tell tale signs of my hemoglobin dropping and asked if they would check the level for me. Sure enough, it was slipping.  I had gone from 10.2 with the blood they took at my first visit to 8.4…..not good.  So they called in another iron supplement for me, but it was going to cost me $75 out of pocket each month.  I mean if I knew for sure it was going to make a difference, okay….but just on a chance that it might help? Yeah, no can do.  I started searching around online for other foods that would help get my hemoglobin back up, I was even trying to convince myself that I could totally manage to choke down a liver smoothie or something :-p

But in my searching, I came across something equally as important as a list of things to have when one is anemic.  It was a list of things not to have, things that can impede your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals.  #1 was coffee – not really an issue right now.  #2 was tea – crud.  #3,  dairy – bugger me.  Sugar was on there, too, but I barely blinked at that because I don’t really use much sugar in anything and I’m not a crazy sweets fanatic.  Not only was I having I cup of tea every morning with milk and a packet of sugar in it, I had cereal like 3 times a day – because I’m a total cereal junkie even when I’m not pregnant! – and was making up some of my lost protein with things like cheeses and yogurts.  Crud again, I say!  There was also a suggestion that an increase in Vitamin C was a wonderful way to increase mineral absorption.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate orange juice?  and oranges? and grapefruit….anything?

But, I’m trying to be cost effective and have a good pregnancy and not be fatigued all the damn time.  So I cut out the tea and cut myself down to one bowl of cereal a day, started drinking orange juice and stuck with the iron supplements I started out with.  When I went back for my next visit about three weeks later, I felt a gagillion times better.  I was due for my glucose tolerance test and they used that blood to check my hemoglobin as well.  It was back up to 9.8.

I didn’t really care about the number, I just knew that I felt better.  It really is a horrible feeling – like your muscles just want to give out during the simplest tasks.  I’d be filling the stainer in work and just have to stop and let my arms rest – guh! But now, I’m eating red meat again and waaaaaaay happy about it – oh, steak how I’ve missed you!!

So lesson for the day; don’t just look at what you should be doing, look at what you shouldn’t be doing, too!!

Having said all that, I did gradually re-introduce some caffeine.  Coffee, though I don’t really have a taste for it yet.  Maybe once a week – if that much – for medicinal purposes, to counteract some of the unpleasant side effects of the iron supplements.  And tea……because now it’s summer!!

I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of “iced tea”. Meaning the bottled junk you get from Wawa, out of the fountain at restaurants or the powdered crap that ya mix up at home…..I do drink the powdered stuff in a pinch when I want something with a little taste because I don’t usually drink soda, either…..but it is seriously watered down, I mean like half what they suggest mixing-up.

Real brewed iced tea – and, most especially sun tea – are a totally different story.  When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for the summer months to roll around because I knew my mom would put her big jar in the front window to make up some sun tea and that was the best iced tea in the world.  Everyone else wanted that syrupy sweet Turner’s crap in the mini milk carton that you could get in the corner store for a quarter, I just wanted the sun tea.  I never understood why she only made it in the summer, though – we had a huge bay window that would have been perfect for brewing tea all year round!! But, our new apartment has a gihuuuugic patio that gets a good amount of sun early in the day.  Perfect for sun tea and I’ve been making up about one jar a week. I told DH that I need to start collecting tea jars, though….I’d love to get a few different kinds going at once so I can be all hoity-toity and say “I’ll have the raspberry tonight, Jeeves….” while I lounge on the patio…….

Ummmmm….but anyway……I don’t usually use a ton of tea bags when I make sun tea because I just don’t think iced tea should be overpowering in any way.  So for one jar, I usually use only 8 tea bags.  But, for now in the interest of keeping the caffeine low (and the iron absorption high!) I use 4 decaf Lipton tea bags….I really try to use the brand because……I just think it’s right…..I also try to get the huge box of them when they’re on sale, though.  Then I use 4 regular tea bags and cut up some lemon in it if I just want regular tea, but for something different, I replace a couple of those with a flavored tea.

This week, I made up a jar of mint-ish tea that I am enjoying the heck out of.

For about a gallon of water:

4 decaffeinated Lipton tea bags
2 regular Lipton tea bags
2 Bigelow Sweet Dreams Herbal Tea

Sugar to taste…..I add about 1/4 cup of sugar to the whole jar and, depending on how I feel or how much ice I put in my glass, add a pinch more to the glass if I need it.

*Please note – there are all kinds of varying opinions on teas that you should and shouldn’t drink when you are pregnant and on how much caffeine is “safe”. Use your own common sense and talk to your trusted pregnancy adviser.

So, have you had to make any adjustments to your diet during your pregnancy other than the average recommendations? anything that’s been really hard or are you just taking it in stride?

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Posted on 07|07|2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks for linking up! The tea sounds great. 🙂

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