Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ode to Super Herbal Elixirs (and a recipe!)

7-8 years ago, I discovered a Holy Grail of the food world, and it changed my life (and continues to).  Imagine a combination of smoothie + herbal tea + some of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, then multiply the taste and nourishment factor x 50, and you have what I call a Super Herbal Elixir.  Breakfast, lunch & dinner of champions.

Why are they so amazing?  What are Super Herbal Elixirs?

These drinks are a meal in a glass.  The various components serve to stack the odds in our favor, nutritionally.

First of all, blending food in a high-powered blender and drinking it makes it far more digestible.  The blender breaks the cell walls of vegetables, seeds and fruits far more effectively than our teeth, even if we chew 50-100 times per bite (and who really wants to do that?!)  It's also way faster to prepare a blended meal than cook, chop, and carefully arrange various foods on a plate, and you have much less to clean afterward.  Preparing elaborate meals is wonderful and fun, and personally, I'm definitely NOT enthusiastic about doing it 3x per day!  My days are smooth and easy when I drink 1-2 elixirs during the most active parts of my day (or as a nightcap), and prepare 1-2 regular meals when I'm in centering/integrating mode. 

Elixirs are a delivery system for all the nutrient-rich foods, herbs, and supplements we wish to consume that day.  By understanding the basic components of an elixir, you can literally make infinite variations, depending on your health and life goals at that time.

For example, lately my health goals are building strength and toning my body, boosting my brain power and creativity, increasing my bone mineral density, building rich, healthy blood, and gentle maintenance cleansing.  My elixir ingredient choices lately are catered specifically to helping me reach these goals.  Including hemp seeds, sprouted rice protein powder, raw cacao, maca, Jing-and-blood-building tonic herbs, marine phytoplankton, a food-based iron & B-12 supplement, wild-harvested horsetail powder & pine pollen tincture, and coconut oil, helps me further ALL of my health goals with ONE drink!

I have prepared an estimated 1000-2000 elixirs for myself and my family in the past 7-8 years, and every one of them has been slightly different, although I stay with certain themes for a while.  As my health goals, ingredients on hand, and nutrient requirements change, I slightly alter my daily elixir composition, for extraordinarily customized nutrition. 

When you understand the basic components of an elixir, it is easy to start making infinite variations of drinks that taste amazing and satisfy your hunger and nutrient requirements, every time!

The basic components of a "meal type" elixir:

* the best liquid ever (wild spring water or herbal tea)
* an easily-digestible, clean, nutrient-rich fat source
* a healthy sweetener (unless you're making a savory elixir)
* superfoods to add loads of nutrients & emulsify the fats, sweets & liquid
* tonic & adaptogenic herbs
* fresh veggies & fruits (optional)
* supplements (optional)
* additional flavor components like spices or essential oils (optional)

That's it, in the most basic sense.

Now here's an example recipe for you to play with!  This is a fun and delicious drink my husband and I created soon after our son was born, when we were waking up at 4am every morning and felt an extra requirement for adaptogenic nourishment!!  Enjoy!

Superfood Mocha Latte

~ 2 cups spring water or adaptogenic herbal tea
~ 2 Tbs lucuma powder
~ 2 Tbs raw chocolate (cacao) powder
~ 1 Tbs tocotrienols (vitamin E rich concentrate from rice bran)
~ 1 Tbs wild blue-green algae (AFA)
~ 2 tsp soy lecithin (non-gmo)
~ 1 tsp maca
~ 1 tsp ground vanilla bean
~ 1/2 tsp chaga extract powder (or use the whole herb in your tea base)
~ 1/2 tsp ho shou wu extract powder (or use the whole herb in your tea base)
~ 1 Tbs coconut oil
~ 1-2 Tbs raw honey (or other sweetener of choice, to taste)
~ 4 drops coffee bean essential oil (or a splash of actual coffee if you're into it!)

Optional additions, to add a raw, whole-food caffeine source:  1/4-1 tsp guarana, yerba mate, or yaupon holly powder.

You may also leave out some of the above ingredients, or substitute with other things, and it will likely still taste amazing!

Make a warm drink if it's winter, or a cold drink if it's summer, by varying the temperature of your water or tea base (you can even throw in some ice cubes to make it extra cold!).  Add everything to your high-powered blender and blend well. Pour into a cozy coffee mug or fancy glass and savor each sip!


If you desire to learn more about this powerful, ecstatic form of nourishment, I am teaching a Super Herbal Elixirs class this Sunday, Feb 24th, in the Dallas, Texas area.  I will be demonstrating and sampling 6 delicious, original elixir recipes!  Read more & sign up for the local event here. 
This class will also broadcast LIVE via the internet, so if you live somewhere else (or just can't make it to the physical event), you can still be part of the action and the fun!  You can watch the webcast from your iPad, iPhone, computer, or any other internet device capable of streaming video.  Click the local sign-up link above to read the class description, and if you're ready to participate remotely, sign up here for the Elixir class webcast.


Please comment below with any questions, or to share your own experiments and LOVE for Super Herbal Elixirs!!

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