A while ago I posted  a note saying I was going to try the flat belly diet. It turned out that was a powerful starting point, although it is made up mainly of just good suggestions to get us on the right road.

Well, one thing leads to another, and before I knew it, I was making a big decision…to give up drinking ordinary orange pekoe tea. 

Now, I’m not talking a glass of iced tea here, or a cuppa in the afternoon. I’m talking pots and pots of delicious hot black tea with milk and sometimes a spoon of sugar or Splenda. From morning to bedtime.

This was an addiction I caught on to starting age twelve when mom decided twelve was old enough to start drinking caffeine. I felt very grown up, as children do at such a milestone. Unfortunately, there were quite a few things I didn’t know about tea at the time.

I didn’t know it contained a lot of fluoride—much more than drinking water, when a town fluoridates its water. In those far off days, we never heard of fluoride. You had to be a biochemist or something to know about its existence.

Then the fluoridated water arguments began a few years ago, and we took our stand for or against. I was always against. Then people started bleaching their teeth. I just couldn’t think what was wrong with the human race. Every second person is battling cancer, and the population starts bleaching the main end of its digestive tract??? I did not approve.

It was only months ago that I wrote a post talking about my amazing discovery that tea contains tons of fluoride. So does coffee. Lots and lots of it, much more, as I said, than fluoridated drinking water.

Here I had been drinking, like, maybe six pots of (big brown betty pots) of hot tea every day of my life for, maybe say, 55 years or so. And I am arguing against fluoride in the drinking water????

Well, that was my number one problem starting the flat belly diet. How can you get a flat belly when you are pouring a waterfall of liquid into your tummy all day long? Impossible. If I were to take a tarot reading and ask about tea, the first card I would draw would be the Temperance card.

In years past, I would ignore that card. I was entirely addicted, not so much to coffee, but to tea. Nothing can beat that first cup of the day. Etc.

Having now, two good reasons to stand up and fight, I began to outline a battle plan. I needed to reduce the amount of liquid I was consuming in tea form, and I needed to reduce or eradicate the fluoride thing.

Can you imagine how hard this was? Maybe not as hard as heroine or cigarettes, but very, very tough.

When I adopted out my first beautiful baby girl, the creature who first opened my heart chakra after twenty years of being shut right down, when my heart first opened and then broke into a zillion pieces when the nurses, having been told I had signed my baby away to Social Services due to my crazed alcoholic first husband…when the nurses stepped in dutifully and took her away from me right after birth, and I wakened later to storms of heartbreak and tears, the first thing I did upon leaving the hospital was to have a hot cup of sweet tea. Two or three of them. They actually did help a bit.

To my dying day I shall remember that first cup of tea following the loss of my baby girl. I named her Elizabeth, but her adoptive parents named her Suzanne and proceeded to give her everything I could not. I swallowed resignation along with the tea. I had fought with Social Services, I had changed my mind, I wanted her back, but they did not listen. My pleas fell on deaf ears.

Tea. The panacea of many generations. The drink of choice for long-suffering Russians, boiling it all day in a samovar. My substitution for a samovar was to put my brown betty teapot on an asbestos (or something) hot plate on top of my stove burner and leave it on all day at “2”.  Two hours later, it was equal to any good black, tarry Russian tea.

Sticks to your ribs. Also your heart. Keeps you standing when your heart is full of bullet holes. The stronger the better.

Best thing is, no one condemns you for drinking tea. It is not disapproved of, doctors don’t shake their head at you when you say, The Strongest Thing I Drink is Tea.

The fact that your pot of tea contains four teabags simmered for two hours is something you don’t mention.

One more really good thing about tea is, every time I drank it I added milk (sometimes sugar, not always). Now, since drinking milk congests my upper respiratory tract and gives me endless colds and snuffles, I don’t drink milk much. But putting it in tea gave me my daily requirements for calcium and stuff like that. Can you say that about cigarettes, heroin, ativan? No. You can’t.

So anyway, the flat belly diet. They don’t tell you to quit tea, but somehow I decided to. Getting tea out of my life became number one and took weeks and weeks. It is only now, months later, that I have begun to graduate from fluoride-containing GREEN tea (to which I used to say “yeugh, how can you drink that anemic stuff?”) to the utterly innocent, unarguably healthy, NETTLE tea.

In fact, yesterday I had a couple cups of nettle tea in the afternoon and a bedtime cup of dandelion tea. So there.

As I sipped away, I did dream of a nice, hot, dark brown, sweet cup of milky REAL tea.

However. I’ve won the tea battle, I can safely say.

What else all that tea did to my body and its organs and endocrine system over fifty years I cannot imagine. I have chronic (non-alcohol-related) pancreatitis, and in all likelihood that is down to the tea habit. The pancreas does not like fluoride. Poor pancreas. Poor me.

Well, next challenge on that damn flat belly diet, which I sometimes wished I had never heard of. Probiotics. A healthy gut.

Have you tried Kefir yet? A fermented milk, superior to yogurt for sheer quantities of health-giving bacteria.  Absolutely delicious. Something really good which reading about the flat belly diet has led me to. I love it. Addicted to it, in fact. I could happily drink a whole carton every day but it wouldn’t fit my budget. It has champagne bubbles in it, and when you take the cap off, your eyes are met with a silver top which has a bump in the middle, usually a sign that something is “off”. But in this case, that’s how it is supposed to be. You carefully peel back that sealed-on silver cap and there it is…smooth, silky, white, utterly delicious, health-giving Kefir. Apparently it is easy to make at home too. Haven’t done that yet.

The third flat-belly-diet thing that has changed the look of my daily diet habits is fibre. I always thought I had enough fibre but 35 grams??? That’s  a lot of fibre!

Next, I started on the Fibre 35 diet, Brenda Watson’s invention. A terrific diet, gives me 30 -40 grams of fibre daily, keeps my appetite under perfect control and is making me lose about two pounds of weight most weeks. Enough to keep me proud and happy. The whole package is workin’ folks.

Yep. The pounds are coming off. And then I read online about interval walking for people with low thyroid (thyroids don’t like fluoride either, so mine went on holiday eventually).

This is how interval walking goes.

First, you buy a dog who has to walk every single day at least once. Maybe twice. Then you retire so you have time for this activity..no, just kidding. People who still work walk their dogs, too.

Ideally, you have a stopwatch or something similar. The cell phone watch will do also.

You say, well, if I was walking at, say, TEN, that would be, about THIS fast. And you trot along gently probably.

Then you cut that in half. You walk for TWO minutes at FIVE level, half of the TEN level. Easy peasy.

Then after two minutes of easy strolling, you up the pace to a SIX. Whatever that would be for you. That’s for one minute only.

Then up you go to your own personal SEVEN. One more minute.

And you increase the pace gradually to an EIGHT, NINE, and, if you want, a TEN for a minute each.

Then you drop back from, say, NINE to EIGHT for a minute, the to a SEVEN for another minute, and so on till you get to FIVE, which you give two minutes again.

Then you do it all one more time, up and back down again. About twenty minutes in all.

It’s so EASY!!!! Effortless!! I love it. I can honestly look my doctor in the eye and tell him I am jogging. Well, jogging for a minute at a time, maybe two. But you don’t have to weigh the man or woman down with details.

So that’s my new health routine. It has gone some distance from the flat belly diet which started all the trouble, and I tealessly and fluoridelessly go trotting down the road with my happy 80 pound dog at my side.

Great, eh? Finally, some results. Not bad for 67. AND, I just ordered a Total Flex workout machine. I’ll let you know how that goes.

By the Way…if you want a herbal tea that tastes just like REAL black tea, try making a pot of nettle tea and leave it on the hob (that means leave it on the stove burner on a hot plate) set at low for about four hours and it will taste just like the real thing. How that affects the human body I do not know, but it tastes great.


About gentlenurse

Blogging is not only a pleasure, it is a basic necessity...I don't know how I have lived so much of my life without a blog. It gives me a place to write, a motivation to write, lots of reasons for reading lots of mind-expanding and challenging books, plenty to think about and be happy about. It has become a centerpiece of my retirement life along with my friends and pets, my faith and my afterlife journeys.
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