The Secret Bedtime Drink For People Who Need Better Sleep

In a world where more people are turning to Ambien, benzos, Nyquil and Melatonin, a whole food solution for sleep and health may not be the first choice.  As a Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner, whole foods and natural options are my go-to’s.  If a good night’s sleep is a challenge for you, join me and learn about the secret bedtime drink for people who need better sleep.

 

Turmeric is one of the most researched plants on the planet. Over 8000 scientific studies explore and confirm turmeric’s medicinal properties for everything from depression and diabetes, to inflammation and blood pressure regulation, to liver detoxification and immune system support! 

 

This is an ingredient that you definitely want to have on hand. The good news: turmeric is affordable and available, has a neutral taste and is easy to incorporate into your daily routine.  Hint: it’s the star of our bedtime elixir recipe!

 

Traditionally, turmeric is used in teas, curries, broths and herbal supplements. Those are great ways to get turmeric into play and as a healthy foodie, you are probably familiar with adding turmeric to a meal. 

 

Here’s my truth:

I’ve had a relationship with turmeric for years. It’s been in my soups and stews, tossed in with my potatoes and pasta sauces and even creatively added into my morning smoothies. As a student of Ayurveda, I learned that daily use of turmeric could have a profoundly positive impact on my health… so we’ve been in a hot little relationship ever since!  

 

Turmeric tea sipped throughout the day is a go-to if I’m feeling bloated or at all inflamed; I simply slice a piece of turmeric root and a piece of ginger, grate them and add them to a pot with water — simmer, steep and sip. 

 

But overall, incorporating turmeric into my nighttime routine has been magical. Here’s the thing I especially want you to try because you deserve something magical, too!  

 

Turmeric And Coconut Milk Bedtime Elixir

Servings: 4

Turmeric-infused coconut milk is delicious and warming. Try this ancient elixir before bed to improve digestion, calm the nervous system and prepare for restful sleep. Best results will be seen over time as the ingredients in the elixir work to repair and replenish your body.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tsp powdered turmeric or 2 tbsp peeled, fresh turmeric 
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger or 2 tbsp peeled, fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, raw honey OR a squirt of liquid stevia
  • 12 peppercorns, gently crushed

Directions:

  • Combine everything except the coconut oil into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. 
  • Let the mixture bubble gently for about 5 minutes, then shut off the heat.  
  • After about 5 minutes of cooling, strain the mixture through a few layers of cheesecloth or a very fine strainer if you prefer a smoother texture.
  • Stir in the coconut oil.
  • Taste and add maple syrup, honey or stevia if desired! 

 

The Amazing Benefits and WHY You Should Consider This Turmeric Coconut Bedtime Elixir:

  • Coconut Milk And Coconut Oil – The fiber and fat content of coconut are what help coax sound sleep by how each support balanced blood sugar.
  • Ginger Natural anti-inflammatory that can help relieve symptoms of arthritis, bursitis and other musculoskeletal issues; particularly calming for the digestive tract. For sleep, it’s the melatonin present in ginger that seals the deal!
  • NutmegActs as a natural relaxant in small doses.
  • Black PepperThe piperine in black pepper enhances the absorption of turmeric. It also contains essential nutrients, including manganese, iron and vitamin K and is commonly used to calm digestive issues.

 

Bonus Tip –

Some golden milk recipes include cinnamon. As a Functional Nutritionist, I encourage you to skip cinnamon at bedtime. Why? Because cinnamon is more of a stimulant. Traditional aromatherapy uses cassia and cinnamon oil to promote alertness and while the scent is warm and comforting, the actual spice helps light up your digestive fire. So, save cinnamon for the morning cup!

 

Sources:

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03511/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Golden-Milk.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

Everything You Need to Know About Turmeric Tea

Before I tell you everything you need to know about turmeric tea, I need to share a bit about turmeric itself.

Turmeric is a plant that is native to Southeast Asia.  It is in the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family.  The turmeric root has been used as an herbal ally for thousands of years in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.

78 percent of the global supply of turmeric comes from India. While turmeric powder, teas and supplements are available in health stores or online, you can also buy turmeric root in most grocery stores (and you can even grow it at home!).

In this article, we look at some of the health benefits. I’m also going to share everything you need to know about turmeric tea!  Why turmeric tea?  Let’s find out…

What is Turmeric Tea and Why Drink It?

Turmeric tea is made by simmering grated turmeric or turmeric powder in water. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, is fat soluble.  This is why a little ghee or coconut milk is needed.  To unlock the potential of the curcumin and improve bioavailability, we pair turmeric with a healthy fat.

There is no specific recommendation for daily intake of turmeric. Studies suggest 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric powder, three times daily, or 1 to 3 grams of grated fresh turmeric root is safe.  Your trusted practitioner can help determine a good amount.  Until then, a mug of turmeric tea daily can be an easy way to add a little turmeric goodness into your life.

Making Turmeric Tea

Turmeric tea can be prepared using fresh or dried turmeric root. Here is my easy recipe:

  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated turmeric root OR 1 teaspoon dried, ground turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • coconut milk

Add the turmeric to the water in a small saucepan.  Stir to combine.  Set the pan on low heat on your stove and bring it to a simmer.  You want small bubbles, but not boiling.  Simmer for 10 minutes and shut off the heat.  Allow the tea to steep for another 10 minutes before straining.  Pour into a cup with a splash of full fat coconut milk or a little coconut oil or ghee to improve absorption (because curcumin needs fat!)

Variations:

  • Add a little raw honey or a few drops of stevia or monk fruit, to sweeten the tea. Raw honey adds to the anti-microbial properties.
  • Add crushed black pepper to the turmeric and water before simmering.  Black pepper contains piperine, which also helps curcumin absorption.
  • Add sliced or grated fresh ginger with the turmeric for a warming, spicy beverage.
  • Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

Some Benefits of Turmeric

A July 2017 review in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine reported that the active ingredient in turmeric, called curcumin, can help in treating chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis (other autoimmune arthritis conditions likely too),  Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.  The review also found that turmeric may also help protect from cancers like lung, colon, skin cancers, stomach and breast cancer.  And, curcumin looks promising for treating asthma, pulmonary and cystic fibrosis, lung cancer or injury, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

  • Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties; all are known to improve immune function.
  • Curcumin helps reduce pain and inflammation.

Turmeric is a traditional Ayurvedic and TCM remedy for many digestive conditions.  Several studies have found that curcumin reduces pain associated with IBS and improve the quality of life of those people with the condition.

For people with transit time issues, it is possible that turmeric tea can help.  A 2012 study in rats found that curcumin helped with speed gastric emptying (the time it takes for food to empty from the stomach to the small intestine). This may be beneficial for gastroparesis.

Who is this NOT good for?

Believe it or not, turmeric is not a good choice for everyone.

The National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network states no adverse effects are expected at doses of up to 8,000 milligrams per day.

Although turmeric is considered safe and non-toxic as a food, supplement and topical, there are studies that show turmeric can cause gastrointestinal issues in some people. High doses or long term use can cause stomach problems, according to The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Because turmeric contains oxalates, people who need a low oxalate diet or who have a history of kidney stones may want to use turmeric more sparingly than others.

People who are anemic likely should not supplement with high doses of turmeric.  If you develop symptoms of anemia while taking or eating turmeric, consult with your doctor.  This study has more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6414192/ 

Use of supplemental turmeric is contraindicated for people who are taking medications including:

  • anticoagulants,
  • antiplatelet meds,
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

If you have stomach issues or take any drugs of these types or if you are unsure, talk to your doctor. These warnings only apply to the supplemental form of turmeric. Turmeric is safe to use in its natural whole food form in cooking or in skin preparations unless you are allergic!

 

A Couple More Things You Should Know

Turmeric is a dark yellow-orange colored root.

  • When you work with the fresh root, your fingers and cutting board may be temporarily stained.
  • Teeth staining may also occur, but swishing with water or brushing normally should remove it immediately.
  • If you have a temporary crown or plastic aligners, turmeric may stain permanently.
  • Turmeric makes a great yellow dye for fabric!

Now you know about turmeric, where it grows, what benefits it offers, how to make it into a delicious tea and how to figure out if it’s a good choice for you!

If you decide to make turmeric a regular part of your diet, consider using a food mood poop journal to document your experience and help yourself assess your body’s response.

These Two Sexy Low-Sugar Smoothies Are Your New Secret Weapon

Low Sugar Smoothie Ideas  

Smoothies are a filling and nutrient-dense, but I can’t tell you how many of my clients come in wondering why their weight loss has stalled or why they are breaking out when everything seems to be on point… smoothies included.

The problem with many smoothies is that they are loaded with high glycemic fruits which spike blood sugar and can trigger hormone imbalance and a host of other health issues.

Don’t ditch your blender just yet, though!

Healthy smoothies are not only possible, but they’re easy and delicious! 

The keys to making smoothies that will be your new secret weapon on the journey to health:

  1. Take a break from sugar-laden fruits like bananas, mango, and papaya.
  2. Opt for fiber, fat, and protein from flaxseeds, hemp seeds, dark leafy greens, and avocados.  Believe it or not, cauliflower is another great substitute for banana when it comes to creaminess and neutral flavor!

Your body will get the nutrients it needs to remove toxins, boost weight loss, and help to strengthen your immune system, minus the blood sugar spike from traditional smoothie recipes.  

I love drinking a green smoothie first thing in the morning to get my day started.

The Green Magic Smoothie (see below) is my favorite energy booster.  If you’re struggling with extra stress, try the additional cacao or maca for magnesium and minerals known to help keep stress levels in check. 

Green Magic Smoothie  

  • 1 ½ cups dairy-free milk or water 
  • 2 cups baby spinach 
  • ½ avocado 
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil 
  • 2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder or 1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)

  

Wellness 101 Smoothie  

  • 1 ½ cups dairy-free milk or water 
  • 2 cups baby spinach 
  • ½ avocado 
  • ½ orange, peeled 
  • 2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds 
  • Dash of cinnamon 

For both smoothies, simply add all ingredients to your high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You can add ice if you prefer a colder drink.  Do try to drink your smoothie right away as these are best fresh. 

Tip: If 2 cups of spinach grosses you out, start with 1/2 cup and work your way up.  Baby stepping is a-ok when it comes to shifting into healthier habits!

 

Your Action Steps:

  1. Comment below and share your favorite low-glycemic smoothie combo.
  2. Post a pic of your secret-weapon smoothie on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @yourholistichealthcoach and hashtag #smoothieswsarah 
  3. Join me over on Facebook and on Instagram (Like and Follow so you don’t miss a thing!)
  4. Check out my new partnership with Soul Path Wellness — we are offering off a FREE 7-Day Sugar Challenge October 20-26. Don’t miss out on this goodness — trust me!  Get all the details here! 

 

Cheers,

Sarah

 

What To Drink When You Drank Too Much… or just need a pick me up!

‘Tis the season for a little indulgence.  Whether it happens at the holiday parties, dinners out, or just cozied up by the fire, here is my go-to sipping solution to fix what ails ya! 

Drrrrrruuuuummmmmm rrrrooooolllll please…

It’s a simple, nourishing Potassium broth… truly, my what to eat when you (eh-hem) overindulged or just need a bit of a pick me up this is a sip of perfection!

This broth is also perfect for cold weather support in general.  It’s also not unusual when seasons change to feel the impact of a congested liver. I have had many clients email about this — feeling drained, with lower than normal energy, even lower back pain. If you’re in this camp, you’re not alone and this broth can help.  It is easy to digest and has vitamins and minerals that your body can use to help you feel better faster.  It’s essentially a detox drink that tastes great and nourishes!

Make yourself some of this goodness and let me know what you think!

To your health. 

xo, Coach Sarah

The Recipe

  • 6 medium Russet Potatoes
  • 6 celery stalks
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 beets
  • 1 bunch dark leafy greens (kale, collards, chard)
  • 3 one-inch slices of ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  1. Put 10 cups of water into a pot, cover and bring to a boil. 
  2. Gently wash your produce, but don’t scrub too hard. 
  3. Slice the peel off the potatoes at about 1/8 inch depth. We are using the peel for this broth, so set the potato insides aside for another use. 
  4. Roughly chop remaining vegetables. 
  5. When water is boiling put in everything except the ginger. The water should cover the vegetables with an inch or two to spare on top. 
  6. Return to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. 
  7. Cook covered for 1.5 hours. 
  8. Add the ginger and continue simmering with the lid on for 30 minutes. 
  9. Turn off the heat and gently mash the veggies, then strain the broth.

Sip this throughout the day or use some as a base for a light soup.

The Simple Formula for Perfect Smoothies Every Time

My mornings are smooth sailing when I just go with what I know and blend up a big smoothie for me and my crew.  I mean, it doesn’t get any easier!  Plus, when I set aside my recipe creation experiments, I have a foolproof formula that always yields delicious and nutritious smoothies!  The recipe below makes 2 liters, so you can have enough smoothie for sharing or pour half into a mason jar and store it for a quick sip in the afternoon (or even tomorrow morning!)

My Go-To Smoothie Formula

4 bananas, peeled
6 Tablespoons of hemp seeds (or a peeled, pitted avocado or chia seed gel)
1-2 stalks of celery
about 1 cup of citrus fruit (1 big orange usually does the trick)
4 cups packed greens (baby spinach or baby kale are nice, but romaine is mild and lovely too)
3 cups water

Put all the ingredients into your high powered blender and blend until smooth!

Store in the fridge up to 48 hours or enjoy straight away!

Tips

  • To make a smoothie bowl, omit the liquid to start.  Only add enough to get a smooth blend.  You will have a thick, bowl worthy, spoonable delight!  Just add toppings and dig in.
  • Glass mason jars make great storage containers for smoothies.  You don’t need to worry about BPA or other yuck leaching out of glass like you would with plastic. Plus, glass doesn’t retain odors, so your smoothie will taste as lovely tomorrow as it does today when stores in glass.
  • If you are going to store your smoothie, be sure your container has an airtight lid. Your smoothie won’t taste fresh if it’s stored without a lid, even if it’s in the fridge!  Just like when a cut apple or banana goes brown if left out in the air, so too will your smoothie change color and be terribly affected if it’s not properly covered.  Take my word for it —

Orange Smoothie

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Orange Smoothie
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Prep Time 2 minutes
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Ingredients
Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
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Instructions
  1. Blend until smooth.
  2. Adjust consistency by adding more liquid if needed.
  3. You can add a few ice cubes to make your smoothie nice and cold, just blend them in until smooth!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Orange Smoothie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 372 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 268mg 11%
Potassium 1455mg 42%
Total Carbohydrates 48g 16%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 16g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 747%
Vitamin C 559%
Calcium 51%
Iron 25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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