In May I did a Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse with our local Yoga Healer. About 100 people participated in the cleanse from all around the country. Most of the support is done online with a chat group, call-in conference calls and videos so look into it if you're interested. Cate is awesome.
For me the cleanse consisted of cutting out caffeine and eating waaaay more veggies than usual over a 2 week period and then drinking nothing but green smoothies, and vegetable juice for 4 days. There was also a big change in self-care--tongue scraping, sinus cleansing, self-massage and yoga. I have to say that it did a lot for my energy level and gave my immune system a nice reboot. I could really tell a difference in how I felt.
Unfortunately, abut a month later I went back on coffee. And again, I could tell a big difference. And it wasn't an "Ahhhhh! Thank God things are back to normal and I have my coffee" kind of difference.
It made me feel awful.
Even so, instead feeling like my relapse was a "bad thing", it's felt more like a gift. It was only going back ON coffee that helped me realize how bad it made me feel. I was so draggy and exhausted in the mornings.
So, I've gone back OFF coffee again and, with the clear comparison under my belt now, I'm planning to stay off it this time. The problem (besides the fact that Stephen did not quit coffee, so there's always a pot on the counter in the morning) has been finding the warm, comfort drink I still crave in the mornings.
And I think I have finally found it.
6 Cardamom Pods
6 Whole Allspice
1 Whole Cinnamon Bark
1 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
1 tsp Whole Cloves
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Anise Seeds
1 inch piece of fresh Ginger Root
2 bags of Decaf Black Tea
4 cups water
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp brown sugar, or honey to taste
1) Put all the spices in a mortar and grind them enough to break open the seed pods and peppercorns to release their full flavor.
2) Add the spices to 4 cups of water and bring to boil.
3) Turn off heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes.
4) Put in the 2 tea bags, bring to a boil again.
5) Turn off heat, cover and steep for 5-10 minutes.
6) Strain out the spices and tea bags.
7) Return tea to pot and add 1 cup of milk & 2 Tbsp of brown sugar.
8) Warm back up to almost boiling.
When my chai is finished I pour myself a cup and put the rest in a thermos to have over the morning or take with me. I do also keep a carton of Tazo or Oregon Chai concentrate in the fridge for mornings when I don't have the time or wherewithall to make it homemade.
But trust me, homemade chai is waayyy better than storebought.
It's spicier and less sweet. This brew is flavorful and peppery! You can play with the spices to make this more or less "peppery" if you prefer, but I like it with some kick.
So far, it's the only thing that leaves me quite as satisfied as a nice morning cuppa.
Yep, even without the caffiene. Try it.