When making dietary changes many of us struggle with a way to replace our favorite nightly indulgences with healthier alternatives. Rituals like having ice cream at night in front of a favorite show, pouring a glass of wine after a long day, snacking on savory treats or salty snacks while catching up with friends or a family. We know these foods are easy to overindulge on and stall our progress toward our healthier goals. However, simply expecting to stop a habit or a routine we LOVE is hard! Willpower is not infinite, and therefore if we don’t replace an unhealthy habit or routine with a mutually enjoyable yet healthier option we often find ourselves slipping back into old ways. Most of us know that Oreo cookies and milk, ice cream or wine are not the most nourishing options for our bodies but the truth is, we like them! They make us feel good, they give us a chance to relax, reward us for a long day at work, or the time we allow ourselves to sit, talk, relax, unwind.
There are lots of books and resources about how to develop healthy habits, identify and eliminate triggers for the behavior we want to change. My favorite books on the subject are listed here in 5 Books To Help You Build Better Habits — These five books have wisdom for making moves toward better choices. I also love books by Gretchen Rubin — Better Than Before. For those of you who don’t have time to read through the pages of these fabulous books and just want some ideas for WHAT to replace your wine and ice-cream with at night, below are a few of my favorite suggestions.
Keep an open mind, change is always hard at first. Often the best way to help yourself make the shift is to eliminate the TRIGGER. If you always clean up after dinner and sit down in front of the TV with a big bowl of ice cream… then change the venue. Instead of sitting on the couch, try cleaning the kitchen and watching your favorite show in your bedroom which may not be a room you associate with eating and snacking. This can be a great way to help yourself get used to the new change. Once you get into a new routine, the impulse will lesson and triggers will be less powerful.
Golden Milk has been revered in India for millennia, turmeric tea has been coveted amongst the Okinawans, some of the longest living people in the world, for hundreds of years. This is a milky, spicy, rich, and warm drink that can calm the nervous system while nourishing the thyroid and the adrenals, leading to a sense of emotional well-being. This drink is also a superstar inflammation eliminator, as well as a gentle liver cleanser, a digestive enhancer, a blood sugar balancer, and a heart-healthy, soul-soothing sidekick!
You can drink it hot or cold, depending on the season or your preference.
Turmeric contains an anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin. Curcumin is a compound well-studied for its health benefits. Turmeric contains up to 3% curcumin by weight. Curcumin is believed to halt an enzyme that may be responsible for turning environmental toxins into carcinogens in the body. (This is one reason turmeric has long been a folk remedy for helping protect the body from the effects of smoking or chewing tobacco.) Curcumin may also improve the digestion of fats and sugars and help alleviate inflammation in the digestive system. It is even used in the mouth to help alleviate gum problems!
1 ½ CUPS Unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1 tsp dried turmeric
½ tsp dried ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp coconut oil
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 TBSP raw honey
Pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt
These spices all work together synergistically to help slash inflammation while calming and nourishing the nervous system to prepare you for a deeper sleep.
Black pepper allows for 300% greater absorption of the nutrients of turmeric, while powdered ginger is clinically proven to be 10K times more effective than chemotherapy at killing cancer stem cells. Ceylon Cinnamonbalances blood sugar; coconut oil supplies fat to the thyroid for deeper sleep, and the combination of raw honey and sea salt have a calming effect on the brain.
If you prefer not to go through the trouble of making your own Golden Milk, I also love the mix from Gaia Herbs that comes with adrenal and thyroid Indian adaptogen Ashwagandha.
You can buy this yummy blend by Four Sigmatic (this is the one I like best). They have lots of other options worth trying as well, such as Mushroom coffee which boasts ingredients like Lion’s Mane for brain health, Chaga Mushrooms for immune health, and the adaptogenic herb Rhodiola for adrenal health and stress.
Loin’s Mane is your brain’s best friend. Long used for its benefits for focus. Chaga mushrooms support your immune system and Rhodiola root is an adaptogenic herb known as “golden root