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This month, my April steep is a bit different. Although I love creating new blends every month, experimenting with flavors and energetics and emotionally supportive herbal allies...there are some points in time when I just want to feel tended to. I'll preface by saying that this is not a sponsored post, but rather a genuine outpouring of love for an herbal blend (and herbal company) that I absolutely love. Gaia has been a company that perpetually impresses and inspires me. They formulate the most amazingly therapeutic herbal products, and it's happened more than once over the years that one of their herbal formulas (either a tea blend, or a targeted capsule or an extract) came to the rescue for exactly what I needed. I often feel like sometimes their herbal blends were made just for me, which is kind of a magical thing considering how many thousands of people take their products. That was the case for their Golden Milk blended with my homemade almond milk. At first sip, I melted into the rich flavors and felt immediately taken care of. And it couldn't have come at a better time. At the end of March my grandmother passed away, and with her passing came an array of emotional and mental and physical experiences that I'm sure will persist for many months. But for the month of April, at least, Gaia's Golden milk will be my daily steep because of how warm and nourishing and well tended to it makes me feel. 

Gaia's Golden Milk is a therapeutic and time honored blend of turmeric, dates, ashwagandha, cardamom, vanilla bean & black pepper. When decocted in a warm milk, the medicinal components are extracted beautifully to create a creamy, nourishing, grounding and calming tea that's best sipped in a quiet space, curled up in a blanket with a pup at your feet and a box of old letters. Turmeric is incredibly therapeutic to so many organ systems (largely due to its curcuminoids content), but when taken as a whole in traditional fashion, turmeric is extremely restorative to the liver and functions as a profound anti-inflammatory and immune support. Turmeric is often difficult to absorb, but when combine with black pepper the absorption is enhanced. The added sweetness of dates, vanilla and cardamom make this Golden Milk blend so decadent it's like sipping an indulgent dessert (and the creamy richness of almond milk doesnt hurt either). And then there's wonderfully strong yet subtle ashwagandha, the magical adaptogenic yet calming herbal ally to support both the adrenal glands and central nervous system - making it ideal for both morning and evening consumption. 

I started sipping this the day I heard the news about my grandmother, and I never realized it before, but the taste and smell of turmeric remind me of her. When sipping this golden milk blend with my homemade almond milk every day since, I feel completely taken care of. Sort of like a time when you just want your mom and a teddy bear and all of your responsibilities to go away for a while. This is how golden milk makes me feel - even if it only lasts for one mug full of warmth. I drink it in the morning to begin my days, and also in the evening while Greg sips is nighttime herbal tea, and the calming restorative turmeric + ashwagandha combo helps me ease into peaceful and restorative sleeps. 

Now through April 19th, you can enter to win a years supply of Gaia's Golden Milk + a 1 year supply of Califia Farms Almond milk. 

Almond Milk + Golden Milk

For the Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds, soaked at least 6 hours
4 pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
4 cups filtered water
For the Golden milk
1 serving Gaia Golden Milk
1 tsp organic ghee
8 ounces almond milk

Combine soaked almonds, dates, pink salt, vanilla and filtered water in a high speed blender (I use a vitamix) and blend very well until frothy and creamy, about 1 full minute. Strain through a nut milk bag or finely meshed cheese cloth. Store in a glass container for up to 5 days, shaking before each use. 

Golden Milk : pour 8 ounces of almond milk into a small pot and add 1 serving Gaia Golden milk and 1 tsp organic ghee. Heat slowly and stir often until very hot but not boiling. Remove from heat, pour in your favorite mug and sip consciously. 


 




Simple. Easy. Nourishing. I love a good salad. This time of year however, the last thing I want is a cold, raw salad. Summer yes. Autumn, not so much. I'm craving squashes and warming spices and greens and colorful roots and gourds. I'm basically craving the season. In Ayurvedic nutrition, your body (and your health) is never stagnant. Your diet should change as your body - and your external environment - changes. This means altering your diet with the flexibility of the season, and relying on the abundance of what is available to balance, nourish and align your physical body. As we ease into Autumn, the weather becomes more crisp, the chill in the air penetrates our sun kissed skin, and our digestive tract subtly reflects this change in the season by hinting at new cravings.

As we transition out of Summer, foods like soups, stews, casseroles, roasted roots and warming pots are what many of us crave, and for good reason. Balancing our internal environment with our external environment is a major way that our body remains in homeostasis and becomes neither too cool or too warm. In the heat of summer, cooling moist foods like milks and coconut and raw veggies help to balance that external sweltering heat. Likewise, in the autumn and winter, foods like ginger, roasted squashes and cooked beans and turmerics help to warm our body from the chill outdoors. This makes the transition easier, and allows for less strain on our organ systems during seasonal change. Also, NUTRIENTS. In all seasons, if you're lucky enough to have access to colorful fruits, vegetables and proteins, that means you have access to essential nutrients the body needs to perform basic physiological functions like liver detoxification, thyroid function, kidney filtration, cardiovascular function and overall cellular health. 

I'm not a huge fan of taking multi-vitamins, which is why when I create meals I like to keep them as nutrient dense as possible to make sure I'm getting what I need from the foods that naturally pack a powerful nutrient punch. Butternut squash, quinoa, greens, pomegranate, onions, sea salt - all in all, this has everything a multi vitamin will give you and then some. Quinoa alone is packed with minerals including zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, B-vitamins, fiber and protein. I add a whole grain like this to almost every dish I eat for the mineral content alone (and they taste amazing - added bonus). Butternut squash is an excellent source of Vitamins A and C. Pomegranates are high in polyphenol antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. And greens - well, seasonal micro greens are magical little things that have all of the above AND give you that hint of bitter flavor that's so supportive of overall digestion AND liver function. 

But let's get out of this tiny micro-view of food and step back to the big picture. You don't have to know the mineral and nutrient value of every single food you eat to put a simple, nourishing meal together. Keep it seasonal, keep it colorful and you've pretty much got it. That's what I did with my Savory Autumn Nourish Bowl. With 8 ingredients, 5 colors and 1 hour, I'll have this all week, and all week it's going to be chilly, so this will be an addition to breakfast AND lunch if my little Vata body is feeling the chill....which it always does. 









Optional: add your favorite dressing to this hearty savory salad, as I like to add some Flaming Elixir to mine, with a dash or olive oil and sea salt!

Savory Autumn Nourish Bowl

2 small Butternut Squashes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dried Sage
1 tsp sea salt
1 Pomegranate
3 cups seasonal micro greens
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup soaked quinoa
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Pre-heat oven to 400F

Peel and chop the butternut squash into cubes and place in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, sage and salt and stir to coat well. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 1 hour, or until a knife can insert easily into the cubes. 

While the squash is cooking, combine the soaked quinoa with 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth and let simmer (covered) for 15 minutes. 

While the quinoa is simmering, chop and seed the pomegranate and place the seeds in a small bowl. 

Chop about 1/2 cup scallions and place in a small bowl. 

Once everything is prepared, in a large bowl, add the micro greens. Top with about 1 cup butternut squash, 1/2 cup quinoa, pomegranate seeds, scallions and eat throughout the week. You will have leftover squash and quinoa to eat throughout the week to add to other meals. 

 


I’m not much one for new years resolutions, personally. I often make changes all throughout the year, and when something isn't working, I make a shift.  I’m also a sucker for routine, and I love love love having ritual and routines in my day…which is awesome in many ways, and also terribly hard to stop doing when that routine isn't serving me anymore. A few months ago, I realized that an INSANE amount of my day was spent with my face in the computer - answering emails, doing research, patient charting, creating invoices, placing orders, reading blogs, editing writing submissions…so much so that I started to track it. Actually noticing every 15 minutes where I was and what I was doing with my time. And then I knew something had to shift. 

Enter Prajnaparadha. In Ayurveda, the concept of prajnaparadha literally means “an offense against wisdom” or, mistakes in judgement. I see this as innately knowing what is right and knowingly doing the opposite. Obviously, this is a state of major resistance and a primary cause of dis-ease and imbalance that I see come up for people All. The. Time. Now, I’ve known about this concept for a few years, and a couple of months ago I started to see this word everywhere. (When it’s time to make a change, the universe just doesn't let you ignore it). I can take a hint. So I stopped and reassessed. 

Once we’re on a roll with our routines, it is extremely difficult to stop and make major (and even minor!) changes to our comfortable habits. But I did, and here’s what I noticed:

1. What makes me the happiest is spending face time with people, my partner and my furry animals at home. 
2. What makes me happiest is being outside, working in the garden, going hiking/camping, seeing my family and exercising my body. 
3. What makes me the happiest is having daily practices and rituals, like yoga, coffee and tea time, meditation and alone time with good books and learning new things. 
4. What makes me happiest is having time to cook good food from start to finish and sharing it. 
5. What makes me most unhappy is not doing any of these things. 

I started to notice that I was only doing my happiest things when I had 10 or 15 minutes to spare occasionally, maybe three times a week. My time had been so consumed with saying “yes” to so many things and not managing my time well that I was knowingly going against my better judgement and not allowing time for better balance. So I’m making the intention to change some things (which is way harder than I thought). I felt like I was literally giving myself a kick in the pants to let some things go and start better routines and habits. It is seriously alarming how hard it is to change my routine - I have so much ingrained resistance and fear that if I let too many things go, my business would suffer or I would be letting people down somehow. Obviously, upon even a speck of reflection, that was all a story in my head. All of the things I’m doing I actually do love doing - I just didn't have enough of a balance to make it feel like a healthy routine. 


So I reassessed again, and here’s what I decided:

1. I will readjust my work schedule to have 2 full days per week to devote entirely to writing, researching, finishing notes and charts and catching up on emails. This will help funnel all of that work into scheduled, intentional time. 
2. I will become a little more impervious to the expectations of replying by email. I will reply within a week, not within a day (emergencies excluded). 
3. I will keep one weekend every month free and plan absolutely nothing. 
4. I will spend at least 45 minutes every day reading something awesome/inspirational/magical/intriguing that’s not on a computer screen.
5. I will put aside some time (be it 5 minutes or 30 minutes) to sit quietly and meditate, drink tea, and be present every morning before I start the day. 
6. Far less computer time at home. MORE FACE TIME. 

So these are major changes that I started about 2 months ago, slowly working them into my new routines and rituals. Suddenly, a lot of the things I “didn't have time for” made their way back into my life like cooking and enjoying meals every night, starting new study programs, movement/yoga practices nearly every day and just being an overall happier and more balanced person. I have never been a “stressed out” person, however I do feel measurably different and lighter knowing that I am not over booking and over working myself. Thus far, my schedule actually feels pretty lax because I’ve been more intentional with time management. 

It’s alarming how our culture today has openly accepted working overtime, being overloaded with obligations and constantly chained to their devices for quick communication. Sure - they’re a blessing and curse, a convenience and a ball and chain. So many jobs now require people to be available 24/7, accessible at home at all hours and expect email replies within the hour. I hope we all know that we are allowing this to happen. For so many people, it’s wearing them away, causing stress and anxiety and the shunning of otherwise happy, reinvigorating things from their life. Keep in mind the prajnaparadha - what is your truth and what are you doing about it? What is one change you would make in your life if you could (because you can!). Even the small things make such a difference. 

HELLO, I’M LINDSAY.
Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.

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