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Note – this post is in no way sponsored by Tazo tea. I’m singing its praises regardless.
I don’t know how it happened exactly, but somewhere along the road in high school, I fell in love with green tea. Not just any tea in particular, but that pinnacle of excellence known as Tazo Zen. It was that time where drinking Green Tea was the Kale and Green Smoothie of the health world. You know, where if you had even one kale salad or power green smoothie, you felt like you lost 20 pounds instantly? Even though I was barely 17 years old my senior year of high school, I decided that my skin could use the antioxidants and fountain of youth look and took the plunge. At first, while taste testing various green teas, I couldn’t stomach any of them. I’ve tried the real authentic green teas, and I cannot get over how bitter some of them taste! It’s like coffee, I assume, where you have to work to get used to the taste (but everyone else is in love with it and drinking coffee makes you cooler, right? Isn’t that how it works!?)
When I tried Tazo Zen, it all just clicked. The lemongrass provides the blend with just enough freshness for rejuvenation and the hint of spearmint cleanses your palate and opens your soul. I was hooked.
I cannot even begin to tell you how incredible I felt about myself when I’d show up to first period with a travel mug full of Tazo Zen. Not that I was drinking it to show off – I was usually at high school around 6:20 AM for meetings and organizations and I definitely needed the caffeine – but I did feel a little spring in my step for not turning to coffee like the majority of my classmates. When I started working in the hospital setting, my trusty mug of Tazo Zen saw me through morning admits and days full of surgery. It really boils down to the fact that I was always feeling at peace with myself and having great mental health days whenever I was drinking this tea. I felt in control, not overworked or exhausted, and was really looking forward to the day ahead of me. I wasn’t dreading work or class or even social interaction. I was…simply put…ZEN.
When things started to change in college, the Zen was quickly neglected for lattes and mochas and trendy blended coffee drinks that cost more than $5 for a grande. I was spiraling out of control, stressed by everything I had on my plate with school and volunteering and student jobs and toxic friends. I had no Zen in real life, and would face this battle for years to come. I’d break a caffeine addiction cycle, only to come crawling back begging for forgiveness and promising to never abandon again.
After moving back home post-graduation, I had the chance to do what I never had before done – actually break my caffeine addiction. It started slowly, coming off of probably the 2 hours of sleep I had during Finals Week and Graduation celebrations. Pretty soon, I’d forget to make a morning cup of coffee and would not even realize it. Then I found a box of my old staple, my best friend, my miracle drink Tazo Zen, and the rest was history.
Even after my medical school application cycle has sent me reeling into a tailspin, my Zen has kept me going through it all. My morning and afternoon cups have kept me going, and I look forward to staying committed to their cause throughout my MCAT studying.