Changing a daily routine is difficult. We’re still in the process of changing ours (up earlier, taking time to meditate, read and breathe), but as more and more time goes by the things that we try here and there have become more habitual. Our morning tonic was one of the first changes to our daily routine, and the benefits have surprised us. It is warming, hydrating and refreshing. It is the perfect fast-breaker and prelude to breakfast and coffee.
Last year, we started our day with simple warm lemon water. After only a few days, the morning desire to have something fresh and easy on the tummy grew to something that felt more like a need. It was the sort of change we needed.
This year, we upped our game with the addition of freshly grated turmeric and ginger, along with crushed cardamom seeds and a pinch of cayenne pepper. All of these ingredients alone are powerful antioxidants, but together they create a super punch of nutrition and flavor.
This warmly inviting tonic gently wakes us without the jitteriness that comes from coffee on an empty stomach. As the tonic steeps, we spend the time in quiet reading, meditating, and journaling before starting our day. The tea itself is refreshing, comforting, and spicy first thing in the morning. It’s also great anytime you feel under the weather or hungover. The concoction gently wakes the body and senses. We feel more awake after a mug of tonic then we would had we gone straight to a cup of coffee right out of bed. Of course, coffee comes next in our daily routine, (the preparation for a cup of coffee is worthy of its own post).
If you can’t find fresh turmeric root in your local market, there is no shame in using the dried variety. But be sure to use fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh grated ginger root. Both are easily sourced from your local supermarket. The processed stuff will never taste as good, or offer as soothing a start to your day, as the fresh stuff!
Our morning tonic
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 1-3 teaspoons freshly grated turmeric
- 1-3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- Small pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 cardamom pod, gently crushed
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (optional)
Add all the ingredients to the mug and with hot water. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes before enjoying.
I love this! First of all – fresh turmeric is terrific – no? What a revelation. But combining with the ginger, lemon, and cardamom. Just love it. When I really am an empty nester in the fall, I think it will be time for a routine change for me too!
It honestly surprised us the first time we tried it. It’s delicious and our mornings aren’t quite right without it. It’s a very gentle wake up for the system. And it’s hydrating after a night’s sleep!