Not to be overly cliché, but I thought I would start off this new year with a few posts on getting back to basics with some simple tricks on healthy eating. It seems like in January, it’s impossible to watch TV without being bombarded with commercials regarding the typical new year’s resolutions (yes I’m talking to you Proactiv commercials for clear skin and all those gym membership ads), and as corny as they are, it seems like “being healthy” is still on a lot of people’s goal list this year. So, to usher in 2016 on the right foot, today’s recipes are not only ridiculously easy (as I hesitate to even call them “recipes”), but they are also great ways to make small habits that can help start your day off on a nice and positive note-and who doesn’t like that?
Along with the goal of losing weight, exercising more, and getting in shape, another resolution I often hear a lot of people reaching for is to limit their caffeine intake and cut down on their daily cups of coffee. I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker myself, and while I don’t see anything wrong with a nice cup to kickstart your day, I definitely see the value of downsizing that trenta sized Starbuck’s into something a little less extreme. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share my two favorite morning drinks that are completely, 100% caffeine free! Call it a placebo effect, but drinking either one of these before heading to school really does perk me up in the morning, and if you’re an avid coffee addict, either might be a nice change from your routine. I’m also calling them tonics because neither is either quite tea or anything difficult, but do really have that invigorating and healing quality of a “tonic”.
8 oz boiled water
one quarter of a lemon
**optional: a few leaves of mint to infuse, a dash of cayenne pepper
Again, this tonic is barely even a recipe, but to make it simply boil the water and pour it over whatever ingredients you choose to infuse. Add more lemon for some extra citrus punch, or less for a mellower and simpler flavor. The cayenne and mint are also optional, but I find every so often they are nice for a balance of earthy and kick.
So why should I drink hot lemon water?
The Benefits: Not only does drinking hot lemon water before a meal help jumpstart your metabolism (ie get everything moving first thing in the day), but you’ll also be getting a nice burst of Vitamin C from the lemon (which is especially awesome to decrease the chances of catching that winter flu), and getting immediately hydrated after (hopefully) getting a nice night’s sleep. Studies have also shown that drinking hot lemon water helps fight viral infections, boost your potassium intake, and helps improve your complexion by decreasing blemishes and wrinkles. New year, new healthy drink? Check and check.
Tonic Two: “Tumeric Tea”
8 oz of water
¼ tsp of tumeric
*Optional: a tsp of honey, a pinch of ginger, a squeeze of lemon
*Note: you can also swap the water for your favorite milk and add a
dash of cinnamon to give your tonic more of a latte feel
This second tonic actually came to me by accident, after I ran out of tea bags one night and used only turmeric and water to create the tonic. And although this bare bones combo sounded quite strange at first, it was actually delicious! Granted, I do love all warming Indian spices like turmeric, curry, etc, so I’ve added the other add-ins for all of you spice-skeptics. But don’t be intimidated; the combination works really well and is so nice first thing in the morning! Not only will the bit of spice wake you up, but I’m sure it’s something completely new—so now you can check “try new things” off your resolution list too!
The benefits of turmeric: Highly regarded as the anti-inflammatory wonder spice, turmeric has been used for ages in China, India, and all throughout Asia for centuries due to its incredible healing power. It’s been proven to not only prevent numerous conditions like cancer, arthritis, and diabetes, but turmeric also promotes healthy cholesterol, supports joints and bones, and improves your blood and liver functions.
So this week, maybe put the cup of coffee aside one day and try replacing it with one of these tonics for an extra boost and a nice refresher. Cheers!
by: Lizzie LeBoyer