Getting Twiggy with It: A Toasty Love Affair

Turns out my cat is just as bonkers for twig tea as I am.

As of last week, I am making (and drinking) a pitcher of twig tea each day for a 45-day detox (see below).

It's actually completely delicious! (For reals.)

I drink it unsweetened, hot or cold. It has a toasty, earthy, nutty flavor. YUM.

So, about my cat and the twig tea.

She loves drinking water out of human glasses. You really can't leave a water glass where she can get to it, or you'll have not only cat tongue but cat paw in your water. (Seriously, sometimes she drinks by dipping her paw and then licking it. Never fails to make me laugh.)

The other day, she starts sniffing at my glass of chilled twig tea and then, indicating true interest, almost pops her paw in there!

So I poured her a little monkey dish of twig tea to keep her grubby mitts out of my beverage.

Japanese kukicha twigs are the roasted stems of the green tea plant, camellia senensis. The caffeine is super low, 7mg or so compared to 150-200mg for coffee.

It's full of antioxidants and is a great cleansing agent and digestive aid.

Sure enough, after a good tea sniffing, in went the paw.


Twig tea is easy to make. I used to make it in college but basically forgot about it til now. You ever do that? Just forget about good things?

Skip the tea bags and buy the kukicha twigs in bulk, because the twigs should be simmered (not boiled!) in a pot of water for 20 min, not merely steeped. 2 TBSP for 8 cups of water does the trick.

I love it when she does this. Hilarious.

The twig tea is a small part of this 45-day total body detox I've been tweeting about (which is part of a 120-day reprogramming), led by my new medical nutrition coach, Cancer Cookbook author Roxanne Koteles-Smith of Asheville.

And she reaches in for more.

So yeah, um, as of last week, I've gone macrobiotic, gluten-free (wheat-free), meat-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free. Oh, and booze free, too. Yikes!

But strangely, it's actually not so bad, since there are so many great newfangled health food alternatives out there and Roxanne, a former Ritz Carlton SF chef, has set me up with all of these excellent menus and recipes*, customized for my health issues.

Basically, I'm eating a lot of veggies and whole grains and health food elixirs like umeboshi plum vinegar and flaxseed oil -- typical healthy stuff that I've been wanting to get into for years.

I'll let you know how it's going here and there, mainly when I come across something particularly "foodie delicious" beyond the oft compromise-ridden scope of "health food delicious."

Well, a few paws' worth was all she was in for before she looked up at me like, "Hey, um, this is okay, but where are the cat treats, yo?"

So I gave her some cat treats and poured out the dish of cat paw tea.

 Me? I had some more twig tea and a piece of shockingly good, soy-buttered millet-flax toast and went about my business.

Dang, that toast is good. Sami's Bakery makes it; you can order it online but I get it in the fridge at Rosewood Market. I'll bet Rainbow in SF has it, or something like it. Organic millet flour and brown rice flour are two great tastes that go great together!

Surprisingly low calorie at 76 cals per slice, compared to 110-150 for normal bread, and the difference is indistinguishable! Booya.

I have this feeling that after a couple months on this crazypants diet, I'm going to look and feel as healthy as a freakin' yoga teacher.

I guess I should probably get off the computer and do some yoga, in that case.

*Roxanne's coming to Columbia this Thursday, Nov 12 to give a free seminar w/free samples of her yummy, chef-prepared, vegan food (Pasta with Greens; Tempeh Stew; Pressed Salad with Bok Choy, Wakame and Dried Cranberries, and Peanut Butter Mousse). She'll discuss her cooking classes, custom nutrition consultations for people with cancer, lupus, allergies, chronic pain, etc., and fresh prepared foods she makes for NC, SC and AL health food stores.

It's 6:30-8pm out at Sandhill Shopping Center, 487 Town Center, Apt. 208 in Northeast...I'll be there for sure! If you want to come, drop Roxanne a line and RSVP by Monday evening to 828-367-0671 or Roxanne [[at]]
photos: TB


  1. So excited you're doing this and I can't wait to hear all your updates!

  2. Thanks, Anne. Your devotion to eating local (and having fun doing it) is definitely a motivator!

  3. very inspiring've got my support!


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