It is an understatement to say that things have been a little crazy lately. With the pandemic and a very strange election cycle, a lot of folks (including myself) have been struggling with high levels of stress.
In situations like this, I know there are a lot of things I can’t control, but I know I can control some things–like how I care for myself. And I know that how I care for myself can make it much easier for me to think clearly, to remain clear-headed in the midst of difficult emotions, and to handle things I cannot control with greater wisdom and strength.
Lately, I have discovered several beverages that have helped me to take care of myself, and I wanted to share them with you in case they help. Keep in mind that people’s bodies react to beverages (and beverage ingredients) in different ways, and, of course, this post is not meant to offer medical advice. Rather, it is a reflection of my personal experience.
One: Golden Milk
Golden Milk is a warm beverage featuring turmeric. Many Asian cultures have long believed that turmeric has various healing properties. People in the West have become increasingly interested in turmeric for its potential to help with problems like inflammation, arthritis, and cognitive decline.
Since turmeric is the main star of Golden Milk, drinking Golden Milk can potentially help with these issues, too. Here is a recipe I like for Golden Milk:
Golden Milk Recipe
2 cups of milk—I use vanilla soy milk, but you can use dairy milk or other dairy substitutes.
1 to 3 t of turmeric—to taste.
A dash of cinnamon
A dash of pepper
A small knob of ginger, peeled and grated—adjust the amount to suit your taste.
½ T of coconut oil.
½ T of honey
Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan and put on medium heat to warm them. Do not boil the ingredients. Stir them regularly until they are all mixed.
How Golden Milk helps me: I have been drinking Golden Milk for the last few weeks, and I am really enjoying it. I drink it in the morning or night (and sometimes both). It is a soothing and delicious drink, and it is also filling. It helps me not drink as much coffee, which is good for me because too much coffee can make my blood sugar feel uneven. Golden milk does not mess with my blood sugar at all, and it helps improve my digestion.
In addition, for the last year or so, I have had some occasional knee pain that I especially notice when I do exercises like squats or lunges. The other day I was doing squats and lunges, and I thought, “Wow! My knees don’t hurt at all. I wonder why?” And then I remember that turmeric can act as an anti-inflammatory. It may have reduced inflammation in my knees which decreased some feelings of painfulness.
This is just an anecdotal report, of course, and (once again) should not be taken as medical advice. Nevertheless, personal experience can sometimes be a helpful source of information. I will be curious to watch the long-term effects of Golden Milk on my knee pain.
Two: Holy Bananas Green Smoothie
I strongly believe that we are meant to feel good in our body and to have a good relationship with it. I call this happy state of affairs Basic Body Confidence. Unfortunately, many social and personal factors often disrupt our ability to develop Basic Body Confidence.
One of the things I do to encourage my own Basic Body Confidence is to gain a clear understanding of how I want to feel and then to do as many things as I can to support those feelings.
For example, I want to feel graceful, energized, agile, light, and free in my body. Lately, I have been looking for food and drinks that help me feel this way, and one of the drinks that does this is a drink called “Holy Bananas Green Smoothie”. I call it this because the first time I drank it, it was so good, it knocked me off my feet (metaphorically). My husband was sitting nearby, and I said to him, “Holy Bananas, this smoothie is amazing!” Thus, the name of the smoothie.
Here is my recipe.
Holy Bananas Green Smoothie Recipe:
2 peeled and frozen bananas
2 peeled and sliced small or medium-sized apples
2 peeled and slice pears
2 cups of washed lettuce
1 cup of washed spinach
Several sprigs of washed, fresh (not dried) cilantro and parsley
The juice of one lemon
Place all the ingredients in a blender and add enough cold (preferably filtered) water to cover about ¾ of the ingredients. Blend. Add more water, if you need to, to achieve your desired consistency. If you like thicker smoothies, you do not want to add too much water. If you like thinner smoothies, you will likely want to add a little more water.
How my Holy Bananas Green Smoothie helps me: This smoothie feels fresh and alive. It wakes me up, gives me energy, and improves my digestion. I also notice that it makes my skin glow a lot. I don’t eat or drink foods just to make my skin glow. Rather, I eat and drink foods that I love, that make me feel good, and that give me energy. I find that when I do that, it often leads to my skin glowing. My Holy Bananas Green Smoothie is definitely a beverage I love and that makes me feel good and gives me energy.
Three: Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
Raw apple cider vinegar has long been touted as a home remedy used to address a variety of ills. Interestingly some medical studies have recently suggested that it might, indeed, do good things like help balance blood sugar, fight bacterial growth, and bring about a variety of other health benefits.
Straight apple cider vinegar is intense, sharp, and pungent, so a lot of people drink it diluted in various other liquids so they can reap its benefits without suffering the abrasiveness of drinking it straight.
Here is how I drink it:
Apple Cider Vinegar Beverage Recipe
¼ cup of cranberry juice (I used unsweetened) or other juice.
¾ cup of cold water, preferably filtered. We use a Brita filter.
1-2 T of raw apple cider vinegar. I recommend Braggs, which can be found at your local health store.
½ T of maple syrup (or use another natural sweetener to taste).
Stir all the ingredients together in a glass and drink up. Take it easy at first, as the apple cider vinegar will still be strong. I drink this once or twice a day.
How my apple cider vinegar drink helps me: This drink perks me up, helps my digestion, and reduces puffy and bloated feelings.
As a side note: My husband and I went on a hike today. To be honest, I have not moved or walked or hiked much in the last two and a half weeks because I have been a little overwhelmed with life.
Despite this, I felt surprisingly strong and energetic on our hike today and had virtually no knee pain. I think that regularly drinking the above beverages may have had something to do with that.
These drinks may or my not be for you–only you can decide that. If they sound interesting, however, maybe give one or more of them a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.
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