Adaptogens 101 -with recipes

I am often asked about what adaptogens people should be taking, and what do what... So below is a quick easy guide to some of my favorites, and 2 basic recipes for making them...Enjoy!

Adaptogens are a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes and by regulating your adrenal system.  They help you respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing your physiological function through your adrenal system.  They can be herbs, mushrooms, amino acids etc…

There are many different reasons to take them, and people say different things about how to cycle them, taking too much, taking for long term…I suggest, get in the body and do some “MEsearch”. See how you feel and take that into consideration when playing with them. I personally use them like a medicinal pantry.  When I am feeling like I need a little energy I will grab for ones like Rhodiola and Maca .  If I am feeling stressed and anxious, I will work with Ashwagandha and Mucuna Pruriens.

Below is just a few quick notes on some of my favorites..  They all are anti inflammatory and have immunity boosting effects, amongst many other things not listed.  Ones that aren't in the recipes, but I love as well are Pine Pollen and Astragulus

Ashwagandha- reduces stress and anxiety, decreases cortisol (Cortisol is the principle hormone tied to our innate “flight-or-fight” response, which is how the body reacts to acute stress by either helping us run from the situation or stick around and fight our way through. When short spikes in cortisol/adrenaline happen over and over again nearly every day, they cause wear and tear on the body and speed up the aging process. (Dr. Axe).  This is my go to. I will often take it at night, where for me my anxiety can rise.  Often people take it in the morning when cortisol is at its highest.  The taste can be a little bitter.

Astragulus A great one for metabolism and general energy.  I will sometimes swap this out for other things in my morning tonic.

Cordycepshelps with energy, in both the physical and mental planes.  Boosts immunity and arousal.  I love this one before a work out. It helps with stamina and energy. It is also known to be some what of an aphrodisiac. It doesn't have much of a taste, so it it easy to sneak into things.

 Maca- Definitely my favorite of all, and the one I have been taking the longest.  It gives energy and stamina, helps with fertility and sexual arousal, and balances hormones. It also tastes delicious and creamy, slightly sweet. 

Mucuna Pruriens- is 15% L-DOPA,  a precursor to Dopamine. This is a mood enhancer.  It soothes the nervous system and can take you into relaxation and bliss. It is known as a "feel good" adaptogen.  I am very sensitive to this one, and can feel a bit "out of it", so I tread very lightly with it.  Again, you have to see how you feel, in your body...

Pine Pollen great for hormonal support and energy.  I will sometimes sub this one out for something else in my morning tonic.  It has a mild taste, which is nice.

Rhodiola Rosea- This one is almost always in my morning drink.  It reduces fatigue, can help with focus, improve cognition. I feel like it gives me an extra boost.  It does not taste good, but in the right recipe you don't notice...

Reshi This is a huge immunity booster and known to help connect to spirit and calmness, centeredness, balance, inner awareness and inner strength. It is actually the first adaptogen I would have back when I was living in Venice and working at Rawvolution.  I loved it from the beginning.  It helps to make me feel connected...


Tocos- The beauty one. It is all about the skin. Bio available form of vitamin E.  Tastes great, sweet. I will eat it straight, and it feels like a treat! 

 

RECIPES

These are all warm tonics, but you can easily add any of them to smoothies as well.  Tocos is the only one you do not want to add to something warm. The benefits of Tocos are minimized if you heat it.

Also, play around with the recipes and what herbs feel good to  you! I would start slow and see how you feel! 

 

My Morning Tonic

2 shots of Organic espresso (You can substitute this for Matcha, Tea, or Water)

8 oz of warm water

½ teaspoon Rhodlola

½ teas spoon Cordyceps

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1 teaspoon of Maca

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

½ teaspoon of Ghee or Coconut Butter

Put the warm liquid in first. It should be tea temperature. Warm to the touch, not scolding.  Blend.  If you don’t drink coffee you can sub out  it out for plain water, matcha, or tea… To make vegan, swap out Ghee for Coconut oil.

My Evening Bliss

10-12 oz of  warm water

½ teaspoon Reishi

½ teaspoon Ashwagandha

½ teas spoon Mucuna Pruriens

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

½ teaspoon of Ghee or Coconut Butter

 

Put the warm liquid in first. It should be tea temperature. Warm to the touch, not scolding.  Blend.  To make vegan, swap out Ghee for Coconut Butter

 

Drop me a line, and let me know what you think!

 

Interview with A Wild Dove: Being Mindful During the Holidays

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for  A Wild Dove

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for A Wild Dove

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, our lives are basically a cluster-you-know-what of holiday events - with what feels like 20 different dinners, lunches, brunches and drinks in a given week. We know that holiday dining (and drinking) every day and night wreaks havoc on our skin, body and mood. And it’s even more intense for our kids, whose stockings become stuffed with cookies, chocolates and treats. So we checked in with life coach Jamie Graber, who shares her tips on how to survive the most festive  time of year and avoid falling into a destructive cycle that will have you feeling like holiday roadkill come January 1. Her advice below...

1. Jamie, please help us! How can we keep the holidays healthy for kids and parents alike?

One thing I advise for most people and myself is the “crowding out” theory. We don’t have to tell ourselves that we won’t have this or that. But we should make sure we’re filling up with healthy things, like vegetables and salad. So by the time the dessert rolls around, which is often a place where destruction can happen, we’re already full. So when you do have dessert, it’s small but that’s enough. Some people will fast until the big meal and then you get ravenous and you end up eating all the stuff. Eat throughout the day. Crowd in all the healthy food. It sets you up to have a taste. And you should have a taste! Enjoy it. It’s a holiday. It’s a beautiful time to be with family and enjoying connection. You don’t want to be in place where you’re saying no and associating food with the bad. So allow for it and allow for it mildly. And drink water. So again you’re filling up.
 

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for  A Wild Dove

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for A Wild Dove

 

2. Totally makes total sense. Can you share any hacks to avoid falling victim to every treat that crosses our path?

Water and filling up with healthy stuff. I also highly recommend meditating and working out over the holidays. The mindset to how you start the day snowballs and builds momentum. The better you care for your body, the less likely you’ll be to throw trash in it. Your body is a temple. Be more connected and have more understanding of what enjoyment feels without shaming it. Eat something if it will make you feel good. And move your body or meditate. There is something about taking care of the physical body in the mind and starting the day off in a good way.

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for  A Wild Dove

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for A Wild Dove

 

3. Let’s talk post-holiday. What are some tips you can impart on getting back into normal habits and routines after the holiday, for mamas AND kids?

Often what happens is these habits snowball. They say the largest amount of weight gain happens from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. And it doesn’t have to be like that. There are ways to recognize. So if I go heavier today, I’ll go lighter tomorrow. For example, today was Thanksgiving and I had all the things and I enjoyed them. Tomorrow I will be a bit cleaner. Personally,  I’ll do liquids for the next day until dinner so I don’t start the rollercoaster. If I can catch myself quickly, I won’t go down the rabbit hole. So the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’ll make sure I do all liquids until dinner and stay plant-based for that day. So you’re helping your body as much as possible. Your body is tired from digesting. So give your body more energy. Drink smoothies, enjoy some soups, and be plant-based at night. And go back to your normal ways the next day.

4. Talk to us about boozing during the holiday. Any hard and fast rules for managing intake?

As long as you have a healthy relationship with alcohol, by all means enjoy! Clear liquids and mixers are best. Part of what happens is that sugar makes a hangover worse. Any clear is better. Have vodka with lemon juice or sparkling soda. Wine is clean and simple too. Just be mindful. Have a glass and then a glass of water. Pace yourself. Or add sparkling water to make wine lighter. So one drink is split into two drinks. And before bed, drink tons of water. Also add minerals to your water when you go to bed and make sure you’re taking probiotics, especially during the holidays. They will be your friend. 

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for  A Wild Dove

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for A Wild Dove

I live by Probiotics and Magnesium. They are important for healthy gut and digestion.  They help to restore and regulate healthy bacteria in the gut.  I love Prescript Assist  because it is shelf stable and powerful.  I take it every morning, on an empty stomach. Magnesium helps to calm the nervous system and it helps with sleep and digestion.  For people who have problems with regularity, this is a great non-habit forming addition to the night time routines. It is calming for the body, and helps with allowing it to release.

 

5. Got it , these are already in our cart. Lastly, for those of us with packed schedules, how can we best treat food/alcohol/sugar hangovers when we have back-to-back events?

Do some meditation in the morning. It sets you up for success and a good day so you can feel good about yourself. When we feel good about ourselves, we’re not as inclined to make decisions to make us feel badly. Enjoy the cake. But don’t eat the entire cake. And all you need is three bites. The first bite is confusion. The second bite, your mind figures it out. By the third bite, you’re bored. Think of all the things went into making it - the farmers, the cooks. Everyone. Enjoy it and savor it. If you do have a bad one night, go liquid the next day until dinner. Have smoothies and savory soups. There is great oil and fat in them. Get back in the body. It’s not about a six day cleanse because that starts to cycle into binge and restriction. It’s about letting the body rest and digest. 

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for  A Wild Dove

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for A Wild Dove

 

Check out the recipe for Jamie’s favorite evening healing tonic that you can sip on after a long day-to-night holiday hustle... 

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for  A Wild Dove

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell for A Wild Dove

 

A GREAT ADAPTOGEN TONIC FOR RELAXATION

Put the warm liquid in first. It should be tea temperature. Warm to the touch, not scolding. Blend.