Today, I’d like to share with you two of my favorite drinks to help you to calm and soothe your nerves. Just like eating mindfully, we can also “drink mindfully” –using all of your senses and mindfully being in-the-moment as you sip. Also, hydration is a key aspect in managing your appetite. It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Personally, I love curling up with a hot cup of Cinnamon tea or a cool, bubbly spritzer. The cup of tea spreads warmth throughout my entire body—which is exactly what I need in chilly Ohio. No matter where you are, mindfully sipping on a drink can change your sensations, tap into your taste buds and fill you with stress buffering nutrients.
S Sit down. Get comfortable.
I Involve all of your senses. Sniff the aroma. Feel the heat or coolness on your hands. Watch the steam rising. Feel the bubbles on your tongue.
P Present when you drink. Be-in-the moment. Let go of what you are thinking about. Notice each sip. Keep your mind focused on the experience. Notice how the drink changes your sensations (ex. cools you down, warms you up, soothes your throat etc).
A long time ago, your great-grandmother may have made cherry pies from tart cherries and put them on the windowsill to cool. Now, tart cherries (also called sour cherries) are recognized as a superfruit with multiple health benefits. Tart cherries get their healing benefits from flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins. Tart cherries have been shown to reduce muscle soreness after exercise, improve heart health, ease arthritis pain, boost immunity, regulate metabolism, fight abdominal fat and improve sleep.
A study published in the Natural Medicine Journal, revealed that the natural melatonin (sleep hormone) contained in cherry juice significantly increased time in bed, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency in participants who consumed the juice. It is also believed that the anti-inflammatory properties of cherries may reduce inflammatory cytokines that could interfere with a restful night’s sleep. A study published by the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that older adults experiencing insomnia enjoyed a modest improvement in sleep when consuming cherry juice for a two-week period.
You can drink eight ounces of tart cherry juice straight, or pour two tablespoons of tart cherry juice concentrate into an 8-ounce glass and consume it twice a day. One of my personal favorites is the tart cherry juice spritzer.
To make it you’ll need one bottle of seltzer or mineral water and some cherry juice concentrate. Fill an 8-ounce glass with five ounces of water. Add 1 ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate and 1 ounce of freshly-squeezed orange juice. Garnish with a sprig or two of fresh mint leaves. Enjoy mindfully.
Mint is very refreshing and gives a great boost to the taste buds and senses. If you need to wake up or reduce boredom, try some mint and spritzer.
What it is:
Cinnamon is a warm, aromatic spice made from the rolled bark of a tree native to Southeast Asia. The organic compound that gives cinnamon its distinctive odor and flavor is called cinnamaldehyde, and it is a powerful fungicide and anti-microbial agent.
Cinnamon has been used medicinally to treat infection, act as an anti-inflammatory, lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, and improve insulin sensitivity.
Unstable blood sugar levels, especially those caused by hypoglycemia, can lead to increased food cravings, sudden fatigue, and anxiety. The American Diabetes Association recognizes cinnamon’s ability to improve insulin sensitivity while reducing fasting serum glucose. This helps improve the way your body responds to insulin while keeping your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
In other words, it is a great drink to help manage sugar cravings!
To fully experience the soothing benefits of cinnamon tea, I recommend making it with organic cinnamon sticks. One cinnamon stick is equal to half a teaspoon of cinnamon, which amounts to approximately one gram.
Follow these steps to make a strong, soothing cup of tea:
Step 1 – Put 1.5 cups of water into a pot or pan. Place 1 cinnamon stick inside.
Step 2 – Using a medium-low heat, allow the water to come to a boil. (This should happen within 15 minutes.)
Step 3 – Once the water is at a rolling boil, turn off the stove but allow the pot to remain on the burner.
Step 4 – Let the mixture stand for 15 to 20 more minutes.
Step 5 – Carefully remove the cinnamon stick, and reheat the tea. Step 6 – Pour the tea into a teacup or mug and add a teaspoon of raw honey, if desired.
Step 7 – Find a quiet place to mindfully drink your tea. Inhale its spicy aroma, take note of the different flavors you experience, and feel your stress melting away.