Treadmills and Podcasts

A while ago my sister asked me if I ever download Podcasts to listen to while I run. The answer was no – I have a couple of running playlists that are my standbys and, being a creature of habit with my workouts, I always listen to one of them whether I am running outside or at the gym on a treadmill.

If I am being totally honest – my playlists are getting stale and they are not motivating me to run the way they used to and since I am always trying something new in other parts of my life, last week I gave the Podcast idea a try. My sister had also recommended I listen to the series Making Oprah: The Inside Story of a TV Revolution. It is a public radio broadcast with several episodes. I downloaded all of them on my phone and found them very interesting and easy to listen to.

The Verdict:

I am now hooked on the Podcast thing. I feel like I am running faster, keeping a more even pace and running further – especially on the treadmill. No longer do I turn on my stale playlist and The Food Network and listen to music while watching people cook while I exercise. My new problem is that I need to find a new Podcast series to download for next week – any recommendations?

Hibiscus Tea

For the longest time I have been looking for natural ways to help lower my blood pressure. Most articles suggest the same two or three things – exercise, weight loss, and reducing consumption of  both alcohol and reducing salt. However, recently someone suggested reading the book How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger and his suggestion was Hibiscus Tea.

Well, once I started looking into Hibiscus tea, I soon found that it had all sorts of supposed health benefits – lowering high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, improving digestion, improving your immune system, aiding with inflammatory problems, helping with depression and anxiety, increasing your metabolism and facilitating weight loss AND it is high in antioxidants, minerals and Vitamin C. With all those benefits, how could I not try it?

Instead of driving around looking for a box of Hibiscus tea at my local grocery store, I headed straight to Amazon and purchased a GIGANTIC bag of Davidson’s Organic Hibiscus Flowers for a very reasonable price. Unfortunately, it was only Friday and it wouldn’t be delivered until Monday morning, so I popped into Whole Foods and found a small box of Hibiscus tea bags to try on the weekend.

The Verdict:

Hibiscus Tea is delicious. It is ruby red in colour and it has a tart flavour, similar to cranberries.

The tea bags brewed very nice tea, but when the bag of organic loose Hibiscus flowers arrived on Monday, it was so superior I abandoned the tea bags. In fact, I started making big pots of the tea and storing it in the fridge so I could drink it cold throughout the day.

Now, it hasn’t even been a full week yet, and I can’t be sure of the health benefits – but given all I have read about it, I am going to continue to make Hibiscus tea a part of my day for the foreseeable future.

I’ll let you know how that goes.