December 15, 2014
Written by Guest Contributor Lisa Grace Byrnes of WellGrounded Life.
Here in the Northern hemisphere, some of us are easing into the winter season while others are getting slammed by its snowy arrival!
This is a time of year that we revel in holiday festivities and gather with loved ones.
It’s also the time of the year when relations can feel strained, emotions can take a roller coaster ride, and our schedules feel like they are on steroids.
One of the simplest tools I use to help ground, cleanse, and restore me is sipping on nourishing hot beverages each day of these winter months.
There is just something about having a warm cuppa-goodness always nearby to help me take a few minutes to pause, sip something that will calm and cleanse me, and give me an opportunity to decide how I most want to handle the next moment of my day.
What we eat and drink can provide natural ways to support, cleanse, and nourish ourselves. When our bodies are well cared for, we have the raw materials our minds and moods need to stay resilient and uplifted.
Many choose to do intense, short-term cleanses as a way to rid the body of toxins and excess. Although doing this type of cleanse can have significant benefits, it can also feel overwhelming during an already busy season.
An alternative, simpler approach is to consider how you can weave cleansing foods and drinks into your everyday diet. The winter months are a perfect time to add cleansing and immune-boosting drinks to your menu.
Here’s a few nourishing winter drinks that you can begin to have around throughout your days.
Lemon & Hot Water
Lemon is a natural detoxifier and works to counteract acidity in the body. Because lemon is a high source of vitamin C, it helps to convert toxins in your body to a water-soluble form. This allows your body to flush them from your system. Squeeze half a lemon into hot water for an excellent beverage (with the option to add raw honey if you like it sweeter).
Miso, vegetable, and natural bone broths are excellent ways to provide proper electrolyte and mineral nourishment while hydrating and warming the body. Broths can be made and sipped from a mug - an especially healing drink if you’re battling a cold or flu, but also an excellent support throughout the winter season.
Ginger is a warming spice and excellent for supporting the body’s circulation and digestion. You can take 1 pound of fresh ginger root and thinly peel or grate it into a sauce pan. Mix with 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 4 minutes. Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and leave for 24 hours. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve and add the juice of 2 limes, plus maple syrup or raw honey to your taste.
When cacao beans are dried at low temperature, they are called raw cacao beans which can be consumed whole, broken into pieces called nibs, or ground to produce raw cocoa powder. Cacao beans are rich in natural antioxidant compounds with many health benefits and consuming them raw preserves the highest amount of antioxidants possible for this food. Personally, I love the Gnosis Raw Chocolate Elixirs.
Milk and Turmeric Drink
Turmeric possesses a wide variety of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as vitamins and minerals. It also has a strong flavor so finding the right recipe is important to enjoying this incredibly healthy beverage. I generally combine about a cup of warm milk to 1/4 tsp turmeric and add honey, cardamom, cinnamon, and vanilla extract to make a delicious beverage.
Apple Cider Vinegar (with “the mother”)
Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s) also contains “mother” -- strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance. Simply heat water and allow it to cool slightly so that it is not scalding in temperature. Add a couple splashes of an unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar and sip throughout the day.
Why don’t you choose just one beverage from above and give it a shot today ~ you may be surprised how so little effort can make you feel so good!
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Author Bio: Lisa Grace Byrne, MPH is a mom of three, founder of WellGrounded Life and a trusted authority on women’s vitality and wellbeing. She is a passionate speaker, teacher, and mentor, and recently published the bestseller, Replenish: Experience Radiant Calm and True Vitality in Your Everyday Life. She has a degree from Cal Poly State University, SLO in Biochemistry with an emphasis in Nutrition and Metabolism. She also holds a Masters in Public Health degree from Boston University and she is a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in conjunction with Columbia University.
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