November 23, 2015

After a lengthy amount of research, I traced cold hands and feet back to poor circulation.  This was after I tried changing my diet, introducing core exercises, shedding a few pounds, and the list goes on.  In the end, it turned out that I had a Yang deficiency, which may have been caused by diet or a car accident I was in over 10 years ago. Happy to say, I found another solution: Moxibustion.

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy.  It uses Moxa sticks, which are a dried form of the mugwort herb, to heat up your core body temperature. You light the Moxa sticks with a match, and use it to warm regions and meridian points on your body, which stimulate circulation of your blood and qi.  For folks with cold hands and feet, the meridian points/regions to warm are as follows:

1.       For the first 5 minutes, warm up the area 3 fingers width beneath your belly button with the Moxa stick.

2.       For the next 5 minutes, warm up the area 6 fingers width beneath your belly button with the Moxa stick.

3.       For the last 5 minutes, continuously move the Moxa stick from your belly button to the top of your pelvic bone.  Keep moving the Moxa stick slowly between these two points in a straight line.  If you can’t feel the heat, you’re moving too fast.

Give this a try once a day three days of the week.  You will feel your hands and feet warm up near the seven minute mark in every session: It’s remarkable.  After about four weeks, you should be able to go down to once a week.  Moxa stick are usually around $20 for 10 sticks, which will last you months, so this is an incredibly low cost solution to warm you up quickly and solve circulation problems.    

Be careful not to burn your skin.  If your skin feels to hot, raise the Moxa stick away from your skin for a few seconds then bring it back down again.  Scars start to itch, and it’s not very pleasant - trust me.

November 1, 2015


Matcha is simply a powdered form of green tea.  

The differences: Ding.  Ding.  Ding.

1.  Taste and Texture:  When you drop a bag of Green Tea into hot water, you’ll eventually take the bag out, so whatever was able to drain out from the tea bag in that short period makes up the Green Tea taste and texture.  Matcha powder is grind down Green Tea, so it all mixes in with the water and stays mixed.  Nothing comes out.  The result is a grainy texture and rugged taste difference from Green Tea.  In my opinion, Matcha leaves you feeling full almost immediately because of that grainy texture and rugged taste.  If you’re looking for an alternative to high-calorie but filling Frappuccino’s and some Latte’s, Matcha in water will give you that feeling with a heck of a lot less calories.  Green Tea has no wow factor.   

2.  Health: You’ll see many articles online claiming Matcha is the next super food.  One claim is that Matcha has 100x the antioxidants of Green Tea, so I researched it, and it doesn’t add up.  1 teaspoon of Matcha is made out of roughly 2.5 teaspoons of grind down Green Tea; therefore, 1 cup of Matcha is equal to 2.5 cups of Green Tea, so Matcha will give you roughly 2.5 times the benefits of Green Tea maximum.  

3.  Antioxidants: Both have antioxidants called polyphenols like EGCG that may boost metabolism and prevent cancer.  For people with anxiety, both contain L-theanine that has had good results on folks with anxiety challenges.  It also counter effects the jittery feeling from the caffeine.  It’s an interesting mixture.

4. Caffeine: 1 cup of Matcha is about 2.5 cups of green tea, so it has 2.5x the caffeine as green tea.  Green tea typically has 1/5th the caffeine of coffee, so the math puts 1 cup of Matcha at roughly half the caffeine of coffee.  From personal experience, the metabolic boost is even keeled; you know when the coffee has kicked in but with Matcha it is gradual. For those who are sensitive to caffeine like me, you won’t crash after the Matcha wears off but at the end of the day, you’ll feel drained.  It took me a while to tie this feeling back to Matcha but it was the Matcha.

5. Color: For those who love color in their life, it turns into a brilliant green because of the chlorophyll, which is known for its ability to help give you clear skin and prevent joint inflammation.  

6.  Concern: It’s important to understand where your Matcha is grown. Arguably, the best Matcha is from Asia particularly China or Japan; however, the environment out there is naturally much higher in lead.  If you’re from those countries or from a country where, for example, your water is high in lead, you may be fine because your body can tolerate it; however, if you live in say Canada, you should limit your Matcha to one cup daily if you choose to buy from those Asian countries.  

7.  Recipes:

  • Hot tea: 1 teaspoon Matcha in hot water.  Make sure the water doesn’t come to a boil.  Pour the water into a small bowl and whisk the Matcha in using a W motion (not circular).    It’s normal to find Matcha at the bottom of your bowl after drinking.
  • Protein Shake: 1 teaspoon in a protein shake with ice is my favorite.  Use a mild tasting protein flavor like cookies and cream (Vanilla would work), add water, then blend with ice.  It’s fantastic.

8.  Try before you Buy: If you have a Blenz Coffee Shop near you, try Matcha there.  They have many varieties, so you’ll know which one you like best.  By variety I mean, Matcha Frap, Matcha Latte, Matcha tea, etc.  Blenz is where it all started for Matcha and me.

9. Where to Buy: The highest quality organic Matcha balanced with cost is available online at the Body Energy Club for $5.99 Canadian.  This gets you a 25 gram bag, which will make 13 cups ($0.46/cup).  The brand of Matcha is WestPoint Naturals and it’s certified Organic.  You’ll not find high-quality organic Matcha cheaper than this, and you won’t find it available in such a small quantity, which makes it perfect to try.