Before writing anything else I must first declare guilty of having the worst dietary routines ever (insert here many movie nights accompanied with considerable amounts of cheetos). So please read this post with compassion towards someone who “saw the light” and wants to share with the rest of the world. This means that some of you probably already take well care of your diet and the things you will read here are known to you. Like -for example- the notion that huge amounts of coffee every day, without the intake of equal amounts of nutrients and water can really
hurt intoxicate your body -dah. Or what adaptogens are and how they can help your body recover a dietary abuse or a highly tiresome and stressful everyday routine.
In all honesty I must admit that my bad dietary habits have been facilitated by two things:
1. a good DNA inheritance that allowed me to eat all the junk and not show in terms of weight gain or excessive cellulite, and
2. an unfounded belief that whenever I wanted to cut down on bad habits my organism would magically return to normal without any signs of damage.
You may say that I have been living in a bubble -and partly I was- but it seems that magic does happen after all, and there are amazing healing ingredients for us available in nature that help the body regain lost ground or even better prevent any damage or malfunction.
So, in the dawn of 2018 and as my new year resolutions clearly stated that i had to take better care of my well being, I decided to start from my coffee addiction. If you have been following me on Instagram you already know that this struggle has turned into a love story with matcha maiden green tea (after reading the Ikigai book – an absolute must in your reading list). It was apocalyptic to find out that one can stay energized and focused without the side effects of coffee, namely, increased stress levels, crazy heart palpitating, restlessness, headaches.
As i was going through this honeymoon phase with matcha and kept reading like a nut-lady, I then discovered Adaptogens and found out that matcha is actually one of them. Adaptogens are what their name claims: herbs that help our body adapt to any kind of stress whether physical, chemical (seems that cheetos fall in this category too) or biological and renew the body functions bringing longevity and lasting youth. Sounds too good to be true, right? Yet it is. These herbs and roots have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions, but they’re having a renaissance today. Some, like holy basil, can be eaten as part of a meal, and some are consumed as supplements or brewed into teas.
To keep up with the magic chain of events, right at the moment that i was obsessed over adaptogens, the amazing British company Indigo Herbs, a leader in adaptogenic herbs, announced the will to collaborate with bloggers who wanted to spread the good news. Indigo Herbs is a brand passionate about natural health with a mission to inspire people to achieve their personal best physically and mentally, by encouraging them to take ownership of their daily nutrition and healthy lifestyle. I could not be more thrilled and honored to team up with them and present you with this treasure. Their site has been an amazing source of inspiration as it is bursting with information and recipes on each herb. After reading and reading I pilled up my pantry with the first and absolute essentials to begin with:
This is a powder mix of organic Wheatgrass, Barley Grass, Moringa, Spirulina and Chlorella powder fueling the body with exceptionally high amounts of vitamins A, C and E which all interact with free radicals to prevent cell damage and containing a wide spectrum of B vitamins. The inclusion of Spirulina, Chlorella and Moringa in this blend also make it a complete protein (containing all 9 of the essential amino acids).
Maca root is an ancient Peruvian vegetable with a rich supply of vitamins and minerals and a taste of caramel. It is proven to have balancing effects on hormonal issues, it lowers cortizol (the aging hormon) levels, helps on fertility issues, and at the same time boosts immensely energy levels, helping you deal with chronic fatigue, the plague of our days.
Fo-ti is one of the most widely praised herbs in Chinese herbal medicine, for it’s long history of reversing and preventing the effects of aging. It’s name translates to “old black haired mr.He” after a Tang Dynasty man who lived to 160 years of age still with black hair! After scientific studies it has been credited with reversing many diseases, DNA protection and repair, and extending lifespan. It does recover white hair and it’s also been said to promote spiritual receptiveness, creativity, and inspiration making it the herb of choice for mystics and artists.
All herbs and roots come in form of powder and are extremely easy to blend into your culinary habits. My suggestion (and personal choice) is to incorporate them into your morning routine. My mornings have become a lot happier since the adding of adaptogens into the mix and I now start the day with an amazing boost of energy and clarity. Let alone that it’s much easier to wake up in the dark of dawn when you have something nice and comforting waiting for you. I have come down to three choices for a breakfast depending on the day and time i have to prepare. I will share the recipes here with you and if you are connected with me on Instagram stay tuned because Indigo Herbs will be giving away a package of choice full of adaptogenic magic soon.
half espresso cup of rolled oats
1 tbs honey
1 espresso cup almond milk (or other milk of choice)
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp crushed cocoa nibs (highly optional)
2 tbs muesli
half a banana sliced
The evening before your morning of delight, mix the oats, milk, honey and maca powder into a glass vase, stir well and put into the fridge. Next morning, stir again and add cocoa nibs, muesli, banana and raspberries. About the cocoa nibs, please take into consideration that they add an intensely bitter taste into the mix and in all honesty most of the days I myself omit them. But as they add a chock-full of iron (my most frequent issue being lack of iron) and magnesium into the mix i force myself to them. So there you have a good choice of meal, also ready to take away to work. And for the burning-hot Greek summers it is a bliss to have such a cooling breakfast ready to go.
1 big banana
1 cup of orange juice
1 tbs supergreen powder
1/2 tsp matcha
Not much to say about this blend other that you throw everything into the smoothie maker and the magic potion is ready. It brings amazing boost of energy, also keeping you tummy full for a while.
1 tsp raw cocoa powder
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp he shu wu
1 tbs honey
This is the drink that has replaced my coffee cravings along with matcha latte. The name is after the hot chocolate drink that Juliette Binoche served in her french chocolaterie in “Chocolat” movie. Her herbs of Mayan origin that made the beverages irresistible always intrigued me and since I discovered that maca originates from Peru, i have been certain that i found her secret recipe. For this cup of magic you put just a little boiled water at the bottom of the glass, throw in the ingredients and stir well with a frother. After they are well stirred you can add more hot water or ice cubes for the warmer days. Keep a spoon inside the cup if you want to keep getting the thick consistency as you drink.
So there you have it. The basics to start your adaptogenic journey and boost your well being. All recipes above make a perfect addition to the diet of athletes but I would avoid introducing them to the diet of children or pregnant women without consulting a doctor first.