I woke up to some devastating, heartbreaking news. A friend of mine was killed in the line of duty yesterday afternoon in Euless, Texas. Officer David Hofer served with the Euless Police Department for two years and previously served with the New York City Police Department for five years, where during that time frame I met him at a Union Square bar, originally called Forum. He was a giant teddy bear with a quiet but confident demeanor. What first struck me about David was his never-ending wit and sense of humor. Being that I almost became a cop at some point in my life, I found this attribute to be rare and extremely endearing. I liked him immediately. He moved to Texas for a better quality of life and to embark a new beginning with his fiancée. He was only 29.
I had planned to blog about my new favorite obsession with Japanese matcha tea this morning, but after hearing about David, I'm finding it difficult to write, let alone concentrate. This hits so close to home. Why do the good die young? You never really know when it's going to be your last day, so you better be doing something you abso-FU#*^ng-lutely LOVE. Nothing less than that. So in honor of my friend, I'm going to keep it moving and keep pushing forward. This cup of tea's for you, dude. (Since I don't drink very much alcohol, if ever.)
Did you know that powdered green tea was first used for religious rituals in Buddhist monasteries? Matcha, the Japanese ceremony tea has been around since the 12th century. The style of the tea preparation where green matcha powder is placed into a bowl, then hot water added, and finally the tea and hot water whisked together, was introduced to Japan by a monk, on his return from China. The little tea seeds he took back with him eventually produced tea that was considered to be the finest quality in all of Japan. I think they were onto something because ever since I've been drinking matcha tea, I'm more focused and energized and with an extreme appetite like I haven't had in YEARS. Especially in the morning after a run or rollerblading session with MaQ, that cup of tea makes me ferociously hungry for breakfast. Overall I'm feeling healthier and because I've been taking extra steps in taking care of myself, I have never felt better!
If you are into tea, matcha is the way to go. I'd strongly recommend purchasing a matcha whisk like this one from Teavana. It is carefully well-made with 80 bristles of bamboo, which won't misshape or break easily. You'll be whipping up a great, smooth cup of matcha every time. There's also a wide range of sizes and styles when it comes to tea bowls, and they're used for thick and thin tea. Shallower bowls, which allow the tea to cool extremely quickly are used in summer; deep bowls are used in winter. This beautiful white clay tea bowl, also from Teavana, was exactly what I was looking for when it came to my first real Japanese tea bowl. And the color of the stoneware complements with the green matcha color very well.
No one is getting any younger and in my opinion the earlier you start to think in terms of your body being a temple and that it should only be worshiped, the better you'll start to feel about yourself, both physically and mentally. Whatever you intake is also the final output of yourself. In everything you do. Botox won't take care of you. Neither will liposuction. That's only temporary and you're injecting your body with poison! Think in a non-materialistic way, such as eating right, drinking healthy goodies such as water, natural juices and tea, exercising and doing WHATEVER it takes to be at your best all-around. And don't do it because it'll make you into a skinny-mini or because it's some hot, new current trend - do it because you're genuinely interested in taking care of YOU or because you actually enjoy/love it! Whatever that may be, as long as you're not hurting anyone or yourself, you're good to go! That's the way I've always seen it. For example, I'm not even close to being Japanese, but the Way of Tea brings me peace of mind. And this has been my highest priority for 2016 because I believe everything else around my life will follow in this Way of Thinking. Taking care of me comes first. Mind. Body. And Soul.
Hug your loved ones a little tighter today. There is so much to be thankful for.