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Quick And Easy: 6 Ways To Make Tea Taste Better Than Soda

Quick And Easy: 6 Ways To Make Tea Taste Better Than Soda

Your mornings are hectic, your afternoons are busy, and you’re always in search of that extra boost of energy. You head for the nearest Coke to regain your vigor and curb your sugar cravings in the process. Soda has become your trusted friend and has proven to give you what you need to get through the rest of the day. Maybe the caffeine is a comfort for you, giving you increased alertness and an elevated mood.

Whatever the reason is for drinking soda, there is a better, more healthier way to get all the benefits of caffeine and enlighten your taste buds by turning to tea. You may be saying, “I don’t believe you, tea doesn’t taste nearly as sweet as soda.” Well, think again.

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Check out six ways you can make tea taste better than soda:

1. Look for natural sweeteners. 

Sure, sugar is the go-to sweetener. It’s quick, cheap, and always around. However, there are other natural sweeteners that taste just as good as sugar and are better for your health. Consider stevia, date sugar, coconut sugar, and raw sugar. Raw honey, molasses, and whole stevia leaves are also an option. Some lesser known natural sweeteners include: Yacon syrup, xylitol, and erythritol.

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2. Consider fruit-flavored sweeteners. 

While there are many fruit-flavored teas such as pomegranate, there are just as many fruit-flavors sweeteners. You can look for teas that include ingredients that are naturally sweeter, but if your tea is not to your taste, you can include fruit that are not high in sugar. Dried pineapple, apple, coconut, and orange rinds can add an extra punch to your cup of tea. Additionally, lemon is a good sweetener (it also includes vitamin C), ginger, and cinnamon. If nothing else, just drop a few teaspoons of your favorite fruit juice.

3. Create an integrated tea drink.

Tea can be added to drinks that are already full of sweetness. An iced ginger and green tea mocktail consists of green tea, mint, ginger, honey, and lemons cooled on top of ice. You can brew your tea at home or at work, put it in a thermal cup with ice, and let it chill. Consider adding sparkling or carbonated water to your tea to curb carbonation.

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4. Research the best steeping methods.

No two teas are the same. Get to know your favorite tea. Pay attention to recommended steep times and water temperature. As an alternative to tap or bottled water, consider using filtered, purified or natural spring water. Being aware of all of these factors help to bring out the best in your cup of tea.

5. Drink whole leaf tea.

Drinking tea made from whole leaves is the closest one will get to tasting the richness and sweetness of tea when it comes straight out of the garden. When you drink whole leaf tea, you’ll notice a fuller experience and a more complex flavor. This will add a kind of flavor and complexity not found in “dust tea” which most tea drinkers are accustom to.

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6. Think outside the box. 

Did you know chocolate can sweeten tea? If you’re a chocolate lover (like me), you can get your chocolate fix in your daily cup of tea. Dark chocolate adds a rich flavor to chai tea. Some people add white chocolate to black tea. Melt some and enjoy! Boba (also called bubble tea in Taiwan) is another creative alternative. This mainly consists of tapioca, milk/creamer, sugar, and water all added to your favorite brewed tea.

Conclusion

Hot or cold, green or black, drinking tea is just as effective and healthier for you than drinking soda. To lessen your withdrawal symptoms, try one cup of tea each day, replacing the can of soda you would normally drink. After a few weeks, you’ll experience more alertness, more energy, and a more vibrant you.

What’s your favorite tea? How do you sweeten it? Share in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Green Tea / JD via flic.kr

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Daniella Whyte

Psychology Researcher

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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