We'd all love to feel centred, all of the time. But the truth is that everything from the strain of the pandemic to perimenopausel symptoms can put paid to our inner zen in an instant.
While it's tempting to reach for a glass of merlot when we're feeling less than chipper, we've got five easy-to-make liquid prescriptions that help trade hangovers for happiness. And they're tasty to boot!
1. When you can't focus...try water plus!
It's a fact, lack of the wet stuff can kill concentration and reduce metabolism to a bloat-inducing crawl. Love water more by flavouring your daily eight glasses. Robyn Youkilis, author of Go With Your Gut (Kyle Books), has a great glassful that works when you're bleary, puffy or in need of a detox.
Slim from within water: "This combines natural diuretics and detox ingredients in one glass," says Robyn. "Cucumber and lemon work to alkalise your body, while the cayenne and ginger jumpstart your metabolism and aid in ﬂushing out your organs."
To 2 litres of water add...
- 1tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 medium cucumber peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
- Juice of 2 limes
- ½tsp cayenne pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a large jug. Stir, cover and refrigerate. Aim to have one jug every one or two days.
2. When you're blue...hit the chocolate! A luxe smoothie with a shot of chocolate - well super-cacao actually, can add a little pep to your step. Super-cacao is high in mood-enhancing serotonin boosting flavinols - 8 times more than the regular kind!
Chase the blues smoothie: What's in it? Super-cacao of course plus walnuts for a dose of blues beating fatty acids. Cherries to help your brain produce mood-enhancing hormones while banana is rich in magnesium - effectively nature's ‘chill pill'. Good vibes in a glass!
Into a high speed blender throw...
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cherries
- 1 cup dairy free milk
- 1 ripe banana
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 2tbsp super-cacao powder
- 1tsp honey (optional)
Whizz up and pour. Serves 1-2. Try Aduna Super-Cacao, £7.49 for 275g, hollandandbarrett.com.
3. When you're flagging...make green tea! A regular cup of green tea will get you over the energy hump for sure but matcha green tea adds more oomph! "Matcha is bursting with antioxidants and a rare amino acid - L-Theanine that has a calming effect on the mind whilst still keeping you alert," says herbalist Tipper Lewis. Try Tipper's tea alternative - an energizing latte!
Pick-you-up matcha latte: This is perfect for the mid-afternoon slump. With mineral-rich maple syrup for a sweet hit and nutmeg to help regulate blood sugar, this is a satisfying alternative to your usual coffee/biscuit break.
Make a paste with1tsp matcha green tea and a little hot water. Heat 1 cup almond milk in a pan with 1tsp maple syrup. When it's warm, whisk in the matcha, pour into a cup and top with grated nutmeg. Yum! Try: Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder, £10.99 for 40g, clearspring.co.uk.
4. When you're knackered...drink soup! If Gwyneth says soups are the new smoothies, it must be so, and an energising bowl of beetroot is right on the button if your stamina needs a kick-start. A study led by the University of Exeter found that drinking beetroot juice can boost stamina by 16% and make exercise less exhaustive. Other research has indicated that it can also play a role in lowering blood pressure, so it's heart protective too.
Borscht Boost: "No need to boil beets for hours when juicing gets you all the flavour plus vitamins and iron," says raw food expert Deborah Durrant of the Deliciously Raw Culinary School. Her Borscht Boost is a souper shortcut!
Juice together... 1 beetroot, carrot and apple and pour into a pan. Whisk in 1 finely grated clove of garlic, 1tsp Barley Miso, 1tbsp tamari and 1tsp olive oil. Heat until warm to the touch. Pour into a mug and drink. For a more substantial meal grate a little raw carrot, beetroot and perhaps some red cabbage into the bowl and pour the soup over. For more raw soup recipes, go to deliciouslyraw.kitchen.
5. When you're sluggish...try bone broth! While it doesn't sound super appetising bone broth is packed with nutrients and works perfectly in a smoothie hybrid. "A cold smoothie isn't always the best thing to get your digestive system going," says Robyn Youkilis "I set out to create a one utilising gut-friendly bone broth and the savoury smoothie was born. The perfect way to start your day."
The Savoury Smoothie: It seems odd at first but it's wonderfully soothing. Loaded with protein and minerals known to help heal your gut, prevent fatigue and even alleviate anxiety.
In a blender combine...
- 120ml bone broth (at room temperature)
- 1 chopped and peeled cucumber
- 10g fresh chopped coriander
- juice of 1 lemon
- 15g spinach leaves
- 2 celery sticks chopped
- pinch of sea salt
Blend until smooth but don't overblend as this creates foam. Pour into a glass or bowl and enjoy! Try: Ossa chicken bone broth, £5.35 for 500g, planetorganic.com