By SARA Nicholson, Food and Health Contributor, the wedge.LIVE
This is NOT an article about the 7 reasons why you should drink a specific drink every day. In fact, this article is about the exact opposite. Don’t drink the same thing every day. If you want to drink the same thing 2 or 3 days in a row, go ahead, but maybe on day 4, give something else a try.
This article is about giving you options: for money, for time and for your body. When you diversify, you don’t need to buy in bulk because you are rationing and savoring the little bit that you have. When you aren’t buying in bulk, there is less chance of produce going bad because you have too much of it. And although your grocery bill may be the same at the end of the day it may feel better to see a bunch of small purchases rather than a few bulk purchases. (Hey, it can’t hurt!)
#1: The Classic: H2O! (Water)
Not only is clean water a base for many morning drinks, be it your tea or coffee or smoothie, but water on its own can do wonders. I hate to have to say this, but do filter it if you can. There are many types of filters available. My favorite is heading up to the cottage and stacking up on fresh spring water from the mountains. Keep a bottle (with a lid, as it will evaporate but also pick up dust in the room overnight) beside your bed, for when you wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning parched. Water (at room temperature which can be easily absorbed by your body) is the easiest morning drink. Plus, it’s FREE!!
But why? Flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body (after being asleep from 4-8 hours = no hydration).
#2: Clean warm water and lemon
Wake up and with your eyes half closed and turn on the kettle, or warm some water up on the stove. (Feed the dog, let him out to pee) and then pour some warm water into your favorite mug. Squeeze half a lemon and add some lukewarm water to bring the temp down so that you can enjoy right away. Sit back, put your feet up and slowly sip away at your lemon water as the sun rises.
But why? Calcium, potassium, vitamin C and pectin fibre.
#3: Warm water and apple cider vinegar
No lemons? Or tired of the usual lemon water? Go for some apple cider vinegar in warm water. Same thing as above. No apple cider vinegar either? Mix some warm water with apple cider/juice. Most of the time apple juice/cider is very sweet, it’s not just our kids who need it cut with water. Plus, if you are buying local (organic) apple cider that may be more expensive than the sugary stuff from the supermarket, you will want it to last, so water it down a bit, it still tastes just as good.
But why? Helps to regulate insulin and blood sugar (very good for diabetes.)
#4: Classic Morning Tea or Coffee
Can’t do without your morning tea or coffee? Go for it then. If you want some, have some. Perhaps though I can convince you to try it without the white sugar or Splenda or milk, and instead add some healthy fats and oils into it that will actually fill you up and carry you through till lunch if you are a busy body. If I’m not sipping on a flavorful black coffee that I don’t want to dilute, then I very much enjoy sipping on a nice frothy coffee or tea. Throw your coffee or tea into a blender with a spoonful of coconut oil, some local raw honey and perhaps some cinnamon. (If you’ve got some maca or cacao nibs, go crazy). After blending, you have a makeshift looking latte (you can always add in milk or an alternative as well). It’s not just delicious, it’s also nutritious!
But why? Coconut oil is a saturated fat (medium chain triglyceride) and a very efficient source of energy.
#5: Tea without caffeine
Caffeine can be good. Caffeine every day: not so good. So give yourself a break from your caffeinated tea or coffee ‘routine’, and have a herbal tea here or there. Peach tea is a treat, as is chamomile or mint.
But why? Soothe a troubled tummy and calm a troubled mind.
Looking for a breakfast of a drink? Not enough time in the morning to have a full meal? Don’t have an appetite for a full meal? Try a smoothie. There is a whole smoothie world, but ultimately, smoothies consist of the following:
Water (easy peasy), maybe some ice
OR coconut water/coconut milk/milk/milk alternative/yogurt/kefir
(again, normally with water to increase amount, never mind that a blender full of milk/milk like products is expensive!)
Fruits: go berry crazy (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, cranberry, frozen or fresh), bananas, mangoes, pineapple, peach, apple (be my guest)
Veg: Avocadoes (a great replacement for a banana), frozen greens (kale/spinach/chard), cucumbers
Extras: cacao nibs, cinnamon, mint, chia and/or flax seeds (or ground), maca, protein powder of choice, and the list goes on!
But why? A great way to ensure you get a filling breakfast when you don’t have time to sit.
#7 Morning Juices
Very similar to a morning smoothie (perhaps less filling) but definitely yummy and normally very refreshing. I am actually more likely to go for veggie juices, and fruit smoothies. So this is where I would bring in the greens, or carrots and apples, or beets and ginger. OR you could even just go for some good ol tomato juice in the morning. I like to spice mine up and make a faux Caesar (sans the alcohol). Which looks something like this: tomato juice (could be fresh tomatoes!), Worchester sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper and maybe some dill pickle juice. Yum Yum!
But why: It’s a quick way to get a hit of phytonutrients and a whole bunch of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and antioxidants.
#8: Morning Shots!
Think apple cider vinegar + lemon + cayenne (HELLO!)
Think apple cider vinegar + lemon + ginger (GOOD MORNING)
Think aloe vera juice (homemade).
Think cranberry juice or prune juice or acai.
Have fun with it. Grow some hair!
But why? Wake up your metabolism (even when you’re not that hungry) and boost your immune system.
Buy some locally produced kombucha (look for low sugar content) or make some yourself. This is a great pro-biotic with a great fresh taste in the morning (and good for a hangover).
But why? Because Dr.Axe says so! Jks Jks. Live probiotic cultures help the gut repopulate with good bacteria and crowd out the CANDIDA yeast!
#10: Good ol OJ
And last but not least, some good ol FRESHLY squeezed orange juice. Just use one orange and savor the little bit you have, or sip on as a dessert after a savory breakfast. If you are really thirsty, go for 2 oranges.
But why? Good ol Vitamin C! (and Vitamin A and Vitamin B9 and Iron and Calcium and Potassium.
About Sara Nicholson
BSc graduate of McGill University, Major in: Ecological Determinants of Health. Certificate of Nutrition from Shaw Academy. Holistic Health Advocate and Organic Gardener. Recent Founder of By the Seasons: an online grocery in the Brockville area that offers delivery of fresh and sustainable produce from local farmers. Tagline: Feel Good with Fresh Food By the Seasons!