I’ll Drink To This
I have to admit, I love to drink some of my meals. Quick, easy and nutrient-dense appeals to my busy lifestyle so you’ll often find me running out of the door with some type of concoction in a mug or jar. My husband, Dr. Stockton, always gets into my car commenting that I have some sort of “drinking problem” when he looks around at the myriad of mason jars and coffee cups piling up.
This time of year when the days are shorter and the weather is cooler, I’m inspired to think about warming soups, teas and broths… drinkable meals and snacks. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you today. It just might be time to drink to health in a refreshing way.
The first and simplest trick is sipping on warm water throughout the day. Boring, yes, but so much better for us than the ice drinks and cold tap water we are accustomed to and yes, even better than room temperature water. Many other cultures do this regularly in the form of teas. I love herbal teas, but we also need water during the day and warm water provides many benefits. Warm water is soothing to the nervous system, so when you’re feeling stressed or high strung, sipping on warm water sends a calming signal to the brain. Warm water is soothing to the digestive tract. You actually spend a good deal of time and energy warming up ice cold drinks in the digestive tract and that energy is better spent digesting your precious food. Your digestive tract is one long muscle, so when you add ice cold water to the muscle, it contracts and closes down… the exact opposite of what you want to happen when you are trying to digest or when you want a calm digestive system overall. Get in the habit of warming up your water, particularly if you’re stressed, have any type of digestive issue or are looking to take your health to the next level.
Plain warm water can get boring, so add things to it! Lemon, fresh ginger and fresh mint are great additions. I like to add a lemon flavored magnesium powder to help with relaxation. And of course, try leaves and other herbs… green or white tea, holy basil tea (great mood lifter) and one of my personal favorites is rooibos. Rooibos has some great research for its antioxidants and mood-enhancing properties. I love chai tea so I get rooibos/chai tea bags, add a little extra cinnamon and occasionally some coconut milk or coconut oil.
When drinking teas, get creative. Think of ways to add a little extra nutritional punch. I add ground cinnamon to almost anything I’m drinking. I also try to add coconut oil, MCT oil or grass-fed butter to my teas. Turmeric is another versatile and powerful addition to your routine. Ground turmeric powder with that beautiful, bright orange/yellow color and mild taste goes well in all kinds of liquids from broths to teas to smoothies. I even add it to coffee!
Here is a past blog with one of my favorite turmeric tea recipes: Potent-Antioxidants, Daily. I’m not sure, but I don’t think you could find a more well-researched or useful herb for its broad health benefits than turmeric.
Feel the Difference
Another very easy and convenient drink variation, full of quick absorbing amino acids is collagen (powdered forms are so easy). The hydrolysate version mixes well in any type of liquid, hot or cold and is completely tasteless. This is a great way to bolster your own collagen production for healthier joints, smoother skin and even better sleep. Glycine, a calming amino acid, is abundant in collagen, so powdered collagen before bed, perhaps with some chamomile tea, is a great way to encourage restful sleep. Collagen can also suppress appetite so sipped on between meals can help you stay focused and alert and not reaching for something sweet. Watch your source of collagen; we make sure we only carry and use a grass-fed, clean source of collagen in the office.
I can’t do without my smoothies as a quick meal or snack, but in the colder months, I try not to add frozen fruit and only use warm temperature water or coconut milk. Oftentimes I don’t even bring out the blender, I add my protein powder, cinnamon, turmeric, collagen, water, close the jar, shake and go. Protein powders are actually quite complex; there are so many types and forms. The trick is finding the right protein for you.
I’m partial to the clean, organic, non-GMO, pea-based protein we use on the Metabolic Cleanse as well as its clean cold-processed whey protein counterpart. I alternate between the two. Both contain clean sources of protein along with a complete spectrum of nutrients (in absorbable forms), so there’s no need for an extra multivitamin… bonus!
My Essential Mugful of Deliciousness
I will leave you with my all time favorite, drinkable, supercharged food… broth! You’ll quite easily find me walking around with a mug during the day but it’s probably not coffee. It’s usually some type of broth. Homemade bone broths are easy to make, full of minerals and the collagen we just talked about. Once you get into the habit of making broths at home, you’ll soon notice and feel the benefits. It might just become your essential mug of deliciousness.
Kale is great. Chai is nice. Cacao nibs in your smoothie are tasty, but in my opinion bone broths trump them all! Here is my simple recipe for a basic bone broth: Basic Bone Broth Recipe.
Rest assured. I always drink to my health. Join me.