Here’s my list of winter warmers to keep us healthy and alternative tipples to see us through the festive season:
With its spicy, aromatic warmth, Yogi Tea has to take the number one slot. With the warming and stimulating spices of cinnamon and ginger, the digestive powers of green cardamom and cloves and the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory quality of black pepper Yogi tea is the perfect winter warmer – comforting, nourishing and therapeutic.
You can buy tea bags or loose tea of the shelf of course, but nothing beats making it yourself. I have shared more than a few cups of home made Yogi Tea with my good friend Hari Karam Singh and as far as I am concerned he is the king of Yogi Tea, so I bow to his expertise and send you straight to his charming and informative blog on all things Yogi tea.
Photo courtesy of Hari Karam Singh
Golden milk is absolutely delicious and has wonderful healing properties. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. Golden milk contains almond oil, which helps with the absorption of the curcumin. Yogi Bhajan considered it an essential nutrient for women over the age of 28. You can substitute milk for plant milk of your choice.
Weight –loss Tea
I’ve included this one in recognition that it might be possible to over-eat during the festive period! Its ability to support weight loss might be down to the potent combination of digestive support and laxative action in the main ingredients; tamarind, mint, lemon and black salt. The recipe comes from “Kundalini Yoga” by Shakta Kaur Khlasa.
Nothing could be simpler and quicker to soothe than freshly made ginger tea. Ginger root has many healing properties; anti-inflammatory, a circulatory stimulant, soothing for the digestion and a great respiratory support with its anti-viral activity. Just add lemon juice and honey to thickly sliced taste fresh ginger root that has been boiled for around 15 minutes.
I’ve taken to drinking ashwagandha sometimes last thing at night. This adaptogenic herb has a long history in Ayurveda and is a great antidote for our often busy lives. It clarifies the mind, aids sleep and reduces the impact of stress. The flavour is unusual at first, so begin with just a quarter teaspoon in warm plant milk with a little honey to taste, then build up to a teaspoon.
If you’d like to reduce your caffeine intake, how about trying a mushroom coffee mix? For example, Four Sigmatic has one that is 50% lower in caffeine and contains the benefits of medicinal mushrooms – Lion’s Mane for cognitive enhancement, Chaga to boost immunity and the stress reducing adaptogen herb Rhodiola. I’m not a coffee drinker but I have it on good authority that it’s rather delicious! And a couple of non-alcoholic festive tipples to see you through the holiday period:
Seedlip is a non-alcoholic botanical distillation, which can be used in place of spirits. Here is a recipe for Seedlip & Chicory ‘Espresso Martini’ created by Sheetal Karia for the Vegan Chef Diploma Course at my college. The seedlip gives you an aromatic flavour without the hangover and the chicory can reduce anxiety.
Non-alcoholic Spiced ‘Wine’
The deliciously spicy aroma of oranges and spice in mulled wine is so enticing at this time of year, but there is no need to miss out on the just because you don’t want to drink alcohol. Try this one from The Mother Cooker and everyone will be wanting to pop over to share a warming glass!
Wishing you peace and joy all through the festive season. Look out for my first blog of the next decade in 2020!
YOGIC NUTRITION is a regular feature written by Anna Ranprem Kaur, a Kundalini Yoga teacher with more than eight years of experience, now also in her second year of a diploma in Nutrition Therapy and Naturopathy. In this monthly blog, Anna will share knowledge and explorations as she moves forward on her journey in nutrition. www.annakundaliniyoga.co.uk