moringa is the new matcha – try it in this mint lemonade recipe

fullsizeoutput_132b I first heard about it probably a year and a half ago or so when watching a documentary that claimed moringa was a ‘miracle’ food that has incredible high, bioavailable nutrient, minerals, and amino acids. On top of that, it is an excellent supplement to our diets, as the nutrient content in our food supply becomes increasingly diminished.

After doing some digging, I found that the claims were backed up. While moringa was new to me, this plant has been used as a primary source of nutrition in countries with inadequate food supplies for centuries. What’s more, studies have shown its efficacy at relieving anxiety, promoting sleep, increasing energy (without caffeine or stimulants), strengthening digestion, and stabilizing blood pressure.

If you’re not yet familiar with moringa, I think you’re going to start noticing it more and more in beverages, on menus, and on the shelf next to your other go-to supplements. I’ve been started to see it at Whole Foods, and in a matcha moringa latte at a local coffee shop. Not only is moringa super nutrient dense, when compared to other pricey supplements, it’s a pretty good value. But be careful not to opt for the cheapest, and choose from a well reputed brand. I trust the quality and sourcing of Sun Potion and went ahead and ordered a jar to experiment with this celebrated leaf.

Moringa is most commonly consumed as a tea – and that was how I began drinking it. I mixed ½ teaspoon of the powdered leaf into 8 ounces of hot water. I’ve found the powder dissolves best if you let it absorb the water for a few minutes before stirring. The taste is really reminiscent of green tea, but slightly more herbal and brighter tasting. I’ve shared moringa with participants at several of my cooking classes, and the consensus seems to be that those who like green tea really enjoyed the moringa, and those that don’t found it a little harder to adjust to.

This recipe for Moringa Mint Lemonade is one way to integrate this nutrient-dense super food into your daily diet that you may find more palatable. That being said, if you do decide to add moringa into your daily wellness routine, I encourage you to do so regularly in whatever way is easiest and most enjoyable. Some cooking class participants said they have take to mixing a bit into a large water bottle in the morning and sipping it throughout the day.

resources:

• Therapeutic Potential Review – A Food Plant with Multiple Medicinal Uses
• Conscious Lifestyle Magazine – Health Benefits of Moringa

Moringa mint lemonade

This recipe is for one serving, but you can triple or quadruple the recipe and make a big pitcher to share with friends or enjoy over a few days. Will keep for a week or so.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon moringa powder
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
2-3 drops liquid stevia (optional – can use honey or another alternate sweetener to taste)

Procedure:

Add water, lemon, moringa, mint, and stevia to blender. Let sit so moringa absorbs water – at least 3 minutes or so. Blend, adjust flavor to taste (maybe more sweetness or lemon). Serve over ice with mint and/or lemon as garnish.

Yield: 1 large serving, 2 small

my daily routine — the supplements + superfoods i take on the regular

supplements.white

One of the eight questions on my intake form for new health coaching clients is, “Are you taking any supplements?” I’ve seen this tiny section filled out all different ways — from leaving it blank, to having every centimeter of space scrawled with names of vitamins, pills, potions, and powders.

There’s not really a right or wrong answer to the question. Taking 100 pills everyday won’t necessarily make you any healthier — in fact, you can be in absolute perfect health and take nothing at all. Ideally, we are getting satisfactory nourishment from our diet — but our nutritionally depleted food supply and stressful modern lifestyle can make that difficult. That’s where ‘supplements’ and ‘superfoods’ come in. I consider them to be herbal medicines that do exactly what their name states — ‘supplement’ our diets and fill any gaps you may have that prevent us from achieving optimal health.

I usually always make it clear that I’m not a pill pusher — in fact, if you aren’t going to stay committed to regularly taking supplements (or superfoods) for the long haul – I don’t think they’re necessarily all that beneficial. More holistic, herbal remedies can be very potent and powerful, but they work in a slow, steady fashion. Taken regularly over a long period of time, and you can see amazing results. But if you’re looking for a quick-fix, magic bullet situation – save you’re money.

If you’re like me, are one time or another you’ve stocked your pantry or medicine cabinet with tincture vials and pill bottles, taking them once or twice (and feeling very virtuous), and then have them collect dust until their expiration date. I’ve gotten much better at minimizing my wellness routine, and only purchase something if I will commit to (at least) taking it until the bottle is gone.

I wanted to share the 6 supplements/superfoods that I take (practically) everyday. By no means do I think that these foods are appropriate for you. I have specific, in some cases, personal, reasons for taking all of them – which I’ll share. I encourage you to choose your herbal ‘medicines’ with care, picking high quality products that will help you to combat some of your health challenges and boost your overall health.

And most importantly, find products that you either ENJOY taking, or that you know you can commit to consuming on a daily basis. And beyond that – after check in with yourself after before repurchasing another bottle of your supplements: Do you notice any changes? Do you feel better?

After all, that’s the whole point.

*Please consult your doctor prior to starting any new supplements or medicines

Aloe Vera Juice – Lily of the Desert

I take 2-3 ounces of Aloe Vera juice most mornings, as I discovered a few years ago I’m prone to silent acid reflux. I don’t have traditional symptoms – rather I’ll get a bad sore throat that won’t go away. I’ve tried all sorts of other holistic remedies for the reflux – without much success. I take this in the morning on an empty stomach to prevent flare ups, and will also take it if I have any symptoms.

Aloe vera has also been studied to benefit bowel regularity, digestion, skin health and blood sugar management.

Tocos (Rice Bran Solubles) – Sun Potion

I add this to my tea every evening — primarily because I really enjoy the flavor. It adds a creamy, vanilla, flavor – and I’ve become slightly addicted. It’s been noted to be be an ‘ultimate skin food’, a detoxification aid, as well as being a bio-available source of vitamins D & E. I also think it would be great in coffee or smoothies.

Liquid Chlorophyl – ChlorOxygenn

This is a supplement I mostly take in the winter. When it’s gray and there isn’t a lot of green outside, we can miss the oxygenating effects of their chlorophyl. I add a dropper full of this to my first glass of water in the morning to energize, detox, and oxygenate the blood. It can also aid in boosting immunity and preventing body odor. The chlorophyll tastes good – it comes in a mint flavor if you’d like – and it adds a nice body to the water. I find it refreshing and crave it in the morning.

Reishi – Sun Potion

Called the ‘Queen Healer’, Reishi (a rare type of mushroom) is a potent adaptogen noted for it’s balancing, calming effects. It’s also an incredible antioxidant source. I add this to my evening tea (along with the Tocos) and enjoy the calm, soothing effects before bedtime.

Collagen Peptides – Vital Proteins

Collagen is sourced from the bones of cows. Definitely seems like an odd thing to put into your morning coffee – but hear me out: This powder is flavorless and odorless, and has similar benefits of bone broth – which is the health food ‘du jour’. It’s studied to benefit joint health, hair/skin/nails, and is also a great protein source. I like having a dose of protein first thing in the morning to help boost metabolism. Vital proteins is a reputable brand that sources from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows. While it’s definitely not vegetarian, they do make a marine version that comes from fish.

Evening Primrose Oil – Barlean’s

This is the only pill I take — and I do so for it’s assistance in balancing hormones. For me, this benefits severe PMS symptoms like breast cysts, tenderness, cramps, and skin conditions. I like that Barlean’s is a high quality organic oil.