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Adaptogen-ing to Change: A Recipe for Your Wellbeing

Every morning, I start my day with a nice hot cup of adaptogens. This began three years ago when I embarked on a one-month intensive yoga teacher training at Refresh Yoga Center in Old Town Alexandria. We were asked to choose at least three ayurvedic practices to follow during that month. As part of our yoga training, we practiced daily asanas, meditation, and pranayama. And for my personal ayurvedic pratices, I chose to eliminate alcohol (which was very easy for me since I’m such a lightweight due to my inability to process it), go to bed early, wake with the sunrise, drink lemon and ginger in hot water, tongue scrape, and eliminate caffeine from my diet.

While I never experienced caffeine withdrawal, I did miss having a hearty warm beverage in the morning. The lemon and ginger in hot water was lovely, but once my training was done, I stopped that, along with going to bed early and getting up with the sunrise. I didn’t want to go back to coffee, so I started experimenting making morning beverages with various adaptogens. I had learned about this category of plant medicine during my herbal studies over a decade earlier, and had used them here and there, but never made them a part of my daily routine.

Adaptogens are roots, mushrooms, berries, and leaves that enable us to adapt to stressors by strengthening our immune, endocrine and nervous systems, as well as modulating our response to stress. Unlike pharmaceuticals, adaptogens are generally considered safe to take daily and have no side effects. Taken regularly, they boost our resistance to infection and our susceptibility to the effects of stress. In addition, they provide a whole host of nutrients. Plus, I think most of them taste really good, too.

Here is my favorite recipe. This makes a delicious, satisfying beverage. I’ve found that, when I go without it for a few days, I feel a noticeable difference in my energy level and mental alertness.

You can play around with the flavors by adding your favorite adaptogens. I multiply the quantities below by 18, and make a quart jar of the mixture ahead of time, so that I can just scoop out a serving in the morning. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! In the coming months, I will share a few more of my favorite adaptogenic recipes.

Recipe: Morning Eye Opener

1 teaspoon raw organic cacao

1 teaspoon organic maca powder

1 teaspoon organic fair trade coconut cream powder

½ teaspoon organic stinging nettle powder

½ teaspoon organic reishi powder

¼ teaspoon organic eleuthero powder (optional)

a pinch of organic fair trade vanilla bean powder (optional)

hot water

nut milk (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a large mug until well-blended. Add hot water to fill the cup, stirring slowly to blend. You can add your favorite nut milk, to give it a creamier texture. Enjoy!

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