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By my reckoning it’s been 23 days since I had my last cigarette.  Breathing is easier, eating is more enjoyable.  Drinking – now that is pure bliss.

Josh and I went to a specialty tea shop yesterday so I could try something new.  A few weeks ago he spotted a special tea bag at the grocery store that was big enough to allow you to brew iced tea, but from good tea – not just that black Lipton crap.  This is put out by Tazo and it’s quite lovely.  I’ve been drinking the Passion flavor.  You brew the big ass bag in 4 cups of boiling water, let it steep 5 minutes, then add another 4 cups of cold water.  I also add a healthy amount of Splenda.  This makes 2 quarts and will get me most of the way through the work day.  The Passion tea brews up a lovely shade of pink and has a delightful fruity flavor.  But no caffeine.

I’ve been trying different kinds of tea from the grocery store, mostly herbals.  I had good luck with a Celestial Seasonings blueberry, but again, no caffeine.  I tried a Bigelow Peach, but it didn’t have enough flavor on it’s own.  That one I found was much improved by replacing the cold water with regular brewed black tea.  However, none of this is really what I’ve been wanting.  So off to the specialty shop we went.

Today’s selection is a very lovely Rose Congou, which is a black tea with rose petals.  It tastes pretty much just like you’d imagine – a very smooth black tea with a beautiful note of rose.  It’s simply delightful.  I also got a Japanese green tea called Cherry Blossom and a black flavored tea called Blue Shadow that’s supposed to be sweet with a distinct strawberry flavor.  I got enough to make 2 batches of each.  I figured that way I could try them with different amounts of sugar or sweetener and make sure I really did like them before buying quantities.  Plus this way I could get my little pouches done up with just the right amount for a batch so I don’t have to weigh anything.

I can’t imagine ever turning into a snob about tea, or any kind of food or drink for that matter.  I just like good quality consumables that taste good to me.  And I like to share when I find something good.  Speaking of something good, I’ve been steadily tweaking my mocha recipe.  This last batch I turned out is by far the best.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Brew 3 cups worth of chocolate flavored coffee.  Add 3 heaping tablespoons instant coffee.
  • 1/2 C chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 C Splenda
  • 3 1/2 C 1% milk
  • 1/2 C Almond Joy flavored coffee creamer

This turns out almost exactly like the Almond Joy lattes I was getting at the coffee shop, only WAY less expensive.  I make that size batch every few days and store it in the fridge in a cleaned out juice jug.  I drink approximately 48 ozs a day, so that much lasts about 2 days.

So far I haven’t noticed any weight gain since I quit smoking.  Food and drinks taste way better, but my tummy is still able to tell me when it’s had enough.  And I’ve noticed in general since I started taking Lithium that most times I’d rather have something to drink than something to eat.  The trick really is to have good tasting things to drink that aren’t full of sugar or artificial chemicals.  Brewing my own tea at home and making my own mocha helps with that.