Posts tagged healthy drinks
Healthy Holiday Beverages

It’s that time of year where we all crave warm, comforting beverages to help us through the cold weather and celebrate the holiday season. Unfortunately, some of the most popular winter beverages are loaded with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.

Check out these hot beverage sugar stats:
Small Tim Hortons French Vanilla Cappuccino – 31 grams
Small Tim Hortons Candy Cane Hot Chocolate – 45 grams
Tall Starbucks Gingerbread Latte – 31 grams
Tall Starbucks Chai Tea Latte – 32 grams
Tall Starbucks Eggnog Latte – 39 grams

Remember that it is often recommended that we shouldn’t be consuming more than 25 grams of sugar a day (and the less, the better). These drinks are clearly above the recommended amount.

Given that sugar is terrible for our health, we might want to consider cutting down on consuming these drinks, especially if we indulge in them frequently during the holiday season.

Giving them up or reducing their intake does not mean we have to go through the holidays without satisfying our need for festive, yummy beverages.

Here are my recommendations for holiday drinks that are healthy, satisfying and have energy therapy benefits:

Heart Chakra Vegan Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate usually contains a lot of sugar. Check out these hot chocolate stats:
Tall Hot Chocolate – Starbucks – 34 grams of sugar
Small Hot Chocolate – Tim Hortons – 38 grams of sugar
Three Tablespoons of Nestle Carnation Hot Chocolate – 19 grams of sugar, corn syrup solids, artificial flavouring and other chemicals (yikes!)

For a healthier version of hot chocolate, try this recipe that uses unsweetened cocoa, which has long been associated with heart health:
1 cup of almond milk
1-2 tbsps of unsweetened cocoa powder (use 2 if you want it stronger)
1-2 tbsps maple syrup or stevia to taste

Combine all ingredients in a pot and stir over medium heat until steaming.

Want to top it off with whipped cream? Try this recipe:
1 can of unsweetened organic coconut milk refrigerated for at least one night (the refrigeration allows for the cream to separate from the water). Once separated, scoop the cream part out into a bowl and combine with:
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tbsps of maple syrup or stevia to taste

Whip all ingredients with an electric mixer on high speed for 3-4 minutes until the texture is light and fluffy.

Use this to top off your hot chocolate. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon and/or raw cocoa nibs on top.

Solar Plexus Vegan Eggnog
Eggnog is usually packed with preservatives and refined sugar. For example, a cup of Neilson’s eggnog contains 42 grams of sugar – yikes!

Along with being yummy and healthier, the ingredients in this eggnog match the energetic frequency of the solar plexus, making this a great drink choice for therapy of this chakra:
1 frozen banana
1/2 frozen avocado
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup of almond or soy milk (unsweetened vanilla flavored)

Blend all ingredients, pour into mug and top off with ground cinnamon.

Root Chakra Cappuccino – Gojiccino
Although this is made of Goji berries, it tastes more like herbal coffee. It’s caffeine-free and has numerous health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants and an immune system enhancer.

Add around 4 tablespoons of Gojiccino concentrate to almond milk or soy milk. Heat with a milk steamer or on the stove. Use a milk frother to top off your cup with foam and sprinkle cinnamon and/or raw cocoa nibs on top. Add stevia if you wish to sweeten it.

Heart & Solar Plexus Herbal Tea – The Spice is Right (Organic) by David’s Tea
So many holiday herbal teas have artificial flavouring (a.k.a. chemicals) along with added sugar. If you want herbal tea that is healthy and festive in taste (especially if you love spices like cinnamon), try this one. Its ingredients are warming, anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants.

Ingredients: cinnamon, green tea, orange peel, chili pepper, natural flavouring

Use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons and steep for a couple of minutes before consuming.

I hope you’ll try some of the healthy holiday beverages mentioned above. Remember that you can enjoy the holidays while being healthy at the same time. 🙂

Do you have any healthy holiday beverage recipes? Please share!

Why Your Cup of Coffee is Poison & What You Can Do About It

Mmmm! Coffee! The smell of it in the morning is enough to set a smile on my face and get me through my day.

Most of us are on the go and end up stopping by a place like Tim Hortons, McDonalds or Starbucks for our morning wake-me-up. However, these places don’t offer organic options (with the exception of some Starbucks locations in the U.S.) and the coffee beans that are used by these companies are exposed to pesticides prior to being brewed and sipped by you.

What’s the issue with ingesting pesticides? Well, you’re adding toxins to your system, which obviously isn’t a good thing as they can wreak some serious damage on your overall health over the long run – especially your liver and gut health. If you’re drinking coffee everyday, you might want to think about this.

So that’s the coffee part of it. Then by the time you add the milk or cream (which is never organic at the places we typically get our coffee from), you are also adding in additional chemicals and hormones to your system.

Then comes in the sugar – which we all know is a terrible thing in our daily diets (though small amounts are considered to be okay if the rest of your diet is generally healthy).

So your cup of coffee is really just a cup of poison for your body.

I know, it’s sad – I love coffee. I was so shocked when I learned about all of this but I couldn’t bear the thought of giving up that lovely cup of it in the morning. So I decided to do some research and change my coffee habits for the better.

Here are my recommendations on how you can enjoy coffee in a healthier form:

Buy Certified Organic Coffee
As stated above, it’s hard to find a cup of organic coffee at most places. You will find it at the coffee bar at Whole Foods so if you work close to one, that’s an option – though they use a brand called Allegro, which I am personally not that fond of. I find their blends to be incredibly bitter. However, if you like dark roasts you may not mind it.

In Canada, some Second Cup locations will brew an organic cup of coffee for you. The blend to ask for is Cuzco, which is a mild roast. They also sell it in large packets for you to take home and brew yourself.

You can also go to Shoppers Drug Mart or Loblaws and get President’s Choice Organic Coffee.

Another brand I recommend is 23 Degrees. It is sold at Whole Foods and is roasted in Toronto. They have a variety of blends – I am fond of “Morning Star”as I prefer light roasts.

Finally, Marley Coffee (created by Bob Marley’s son) is another great option, which I purchased at Loblaws (it also available in the U.S.). Not all of their blends are organic, but quite a few are. I am fond of the “Get Up, Stand Up” blend and here’s the best part – K-cups are available! So if you have a Keurig machine you can easily pop it in and drinking organic won’t become an extra time commitment for you.

Buy a French Press for Your Office
If you can’t grab a fresh cup of organic coffee near your workplace, buy a french press so you can brew your own cup of coffee a work.

Use Organic Dairy or Dairy Alternatives
If you add dairy to your coffee, opt for organic cream or milk. The brands Organic Meadow and Harmony Organic have both available. Keep some in your workplace fridge if you plan on drinking your coffee at work.

You can also add almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk to your coffee if you want to stay dairy-free.

Caution: if you are using soy milk, you have to heat it up for about 30 seconds in the microwave or on the stove otherwise it will curdle in your coffee.

Use Stevia Instead of Sugar
Stevia is probably the healthiest sweetener to consume. Some brands have an aftertaste. I recommend Now Better Organic Stevia. You can get it in packets or a small little jar that you can scoop the powder out of, which is ideal to keep with you on the go.

Consume Coffee Responsibly
Even if you practice the tips mentioned above, remember that caffeine is caffeine regardless of its form and you shouldn’t overdo it. Having too many cups of coffee a day can be damaging to your health. Among other things, it can upset the ph balance in your body, damage your intestinal lining, deplete your body of calcium and overcharge your adrenal system, which can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue.

It is important for you to take an active part in your daily health. I promise that drinking healthier, organic coffee is just as, if not more, satisfying than drinking the poisoned version of it! 😉