Natural Remedies to Relieve Period Cramps

For some women, period cramps can be completely debilitating. They can cause nausea, migraines, diarrhea, and interfere with everyday life activities such as work or relationships. According to Alisa Vitti, the author of WomanCode and creator of FloLiving, period cramps cause the US Workplace to lose $2 billion annually; they are nothin' to play around with.

Prior to September of last year, I had been on birth control for almost ten years. I got on birth control in hopes of controlling my cramps because they were so terrible when I was first experiencing my period in middle school. I remember having sharp, shooting pains in my abdomen that felt like someone was stabbing me - no thanks. This, coupled with other symptoms such as nausea, hormonal acne, and overall fatigue, made getting on the pill an easy decision for me. That little pill had been chemically controlling my hormones for me and I never once experienced a period cramp while on it. I even chose to skip my period for a whole year while I was traveling abroad; crazy, I know. Not having to deal with a period interfering with my life seemed awesome at the time until I started getting more into holistic living last year. I quickly realized that I had been using birth control as a bandaid for almost ten years to cover up these symptoms and fears. Fast forward to September of last year when I made the conscious decision to get off of birth control and the cramps flooded in with full force. 

After I stopped taking birth control, I lost my period for almost five months. I had spotting here and there, but my full, regularly scheduled periods were long gone. However, I was still getting cramps. My body wanted to bleed, but my hormones were so confused it didn't know how. This was so incredibly frustrating for me and I had many moments where the thought of getting back on birth control seemed like the best idea. Why am I doing this to myself? I'd think. But I wouldn't allow myself to go back down that path. I had already read the book WomanCode (two times), which was my reason for getting off of birth control in the first place, and had been cycle syncing for a month. I was dedicated to healing my body the natural way. 

My periods these days are still a bit late, but are pretty normal otherwise. I do still get cramps for about the first 24-36 hours of my period, but they are nowhere near as painful or excruciating as before. Since I'm all about those natural remedies these days, I have an arsenal of tips and tricks I use when Aunt Flo is visiting for the week that make my period less painful and more enjoyable. 

WHAT ARE CRAMPS?

An elevated level of Prostaglandin E2 trigger menstrual cramps while the uterus is contracting and expelling during the menstrual cycle. Prostaglandins are a group of fatty acid compounds with different hormone-varying effects, the most notable being period cramps. 

I find that my cramps vary depending on my levels of self care and overall lifestyle balance. When I am on top of my diet (eliminating sugars/gluten/soy/dairy/eggs/meat), managing my stress and anxiety consciously, exercising regularly and according to my cycle, and regularly practicing self-care routines, my cramps are significantly less than if I were to throw that all out the window. Basically, the strength of my cramps depends on how I treated myself that month. I've observed that if I steer from those lifestyle choices, my period cramps are significantly worse, I get more hormonal acne, and I experience traditional PMS symptoms such as mood swings, night sweats, breast tenderness, etc... To keep myself in check, I track my symptoms and cycles on the MyFLO app to get in better touch with what I need and how I feel. It's the coolest thing to experience your body healing first-hand.

NATURAL CRAMP REMEDIES

ESSENTIAL OILS

I use essential oils for different aspects of my lifestyle (anxiety, abhyanga, etc...), but giving myself a belly massage while having period cramps may be the greatest use I've found thus far. Clary Sage is antispasmodic, meaning is naturally treats spasms and muscle related issues, such as period cramps, by relaxing the nerve impulses that we can't control. Rub a few drops of clary sage with a carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, almond, etc...) between your palms and then gently massage your lower abdomen/upper pelvic region in a counter clockwise motion with light to medium pressure. It works wonders! I've also applied this on my inner thighs, hips, and lower back when cramps are really intense.

DIET

By now, you probably know that I'm a huge proponent of having a healthy, well-balanced diet full of whole foods. This has made a huge difference in my overall lifestyle and allowed me to get my period back after it was lost. Western medicine can be quick to cover up symptoms with a pill or a shot, but that's simply a bandaid and doesn't address the true, underlying hormonal imbalance. After reading the book WomanCode cover to cover many, many times, I learned that there are certain foods that you should enjoy during the different cycles your body goes through. During menstruation, Alisa Vitti recommends foods higher in fatty acids to get more PGE 1 and PGE 3 into your diet since our levels of PGE 2 (as mentioned above), are already elevated. I also find that eating warmer meals such as roasted veggies, soups, overnight bircha, or kitchari during my period makes me feel my best.

FOODS HIGH IN ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

  • olive oil
  • flax seeds
  • chia seeds
  • nuts (walnuts, almonds)
  • pumpkin seeds
  • hemp seeds

FOODS TO ADD INTO YOUR DIET

  • seaweed (dulse, wakame)
  • mushrooms (all kinds)
  • kelp
  • reishi mushrooms (I like Sun Potion)
  • miso

FOODS TO AVOID

These foods can cause excess inflammation and I've found that avoiding them causes less painful cramps. For many of us, we immediately reach for sweets or junk foods while on our period. But, I've actually noticed that the deeper I get into cycle syncing, the less I crave these foods.

  • dairy
  • soy
  • gluten
  • alcohol
  • processed sugars
  • caffeine
  • raw vegetables in excess
Food chart from  WomanCode  - what to eat and when to eat it. I keep one of these on my fridge and reference it daily.

Food chart from WomanCode - what to eat and when to eat it. I keep one of these on my fridge and reference it daily.

HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE!

H2O is the healer of all healers. During menstruation, us ladies lose a lot of liquids from our uterine lining and it's crucial to constantly be replenishing them. Dehydration during your period can actually worsen symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and brain fog. Avoid drinking sugary beverages and opt for big glasses of water, it's a quick fix.

GENTLE YOGA

During menstruation, your body is working overtime and your energy levels are low. Forcing yourself to do high intense cardio or cycling is not what your body needs during this time. Incorporating gentle yoga poses into your daily routine is beneficial, especially when you're on your period. I would not recommend doing any inversions while you're bleeding, as your uterine lining will travel back into your body. But some gentle yoga poses such as child's pose, supine twists, happy baby, supine butterfly, and camel pose can all help with pelvic discomfort. If you want more gentle yoga sequences, YouTube is full of free tutorials.

CHILL OUT

Know when you need to rest. Honor this time during your menstrual cycle and allow your body to release. It can be hard to relax and unwind in a fast-paced world. We tend to feel like we need to always be doing something or always stay busy but we rarely give ourselves time to just chill out. By tracking your cycles on the MyFLO App, you can plan ahead in preparation for your menstrual cycle. Get the hard, time consuming tasks out of the way, avoid planning a lot of social events around this time, buy yourself a bath bomb, and get the Netflix ready. Instead of scheduling gym time, schedule journaling time, meditation time, bath time, and nap time. Giving your body a chance to rest actually relieves a lot of the inflammation we can experience during menstruation. Low stress = low inflammation = less cramps. Science.

I'm a huge proponent of self-care every single day, but take a little extra time for yourself during your period. Simply recognizing and honoring the process of menstruation is a beautiful act of self-care.

How do you treat your period symptoms?

With love and light xx

The Best Vegan Pesto Recipe

I whipped up this pesto recipe one night as I was scrambling to make dinner and had some basil in the fridge that needed to be used up. I threw all the ingredients in a food processor and audibly gasped when I tasted it - it’s freaking delicious! I try to always have a fresh batch on hand, swapping out the nuts to benefit whatever cycle I’m in. 

Sautéed spinach, flax tempeh, and purple cabbage with Banza chickpea pasta and walnut pesto - yum!

Sautéed spinach, flax tempeh, and purple cabbage with Banza chickpea pasta and walnut pesto - yum!

Basil is packed with antioxidants and antibacterial properties, and provides a healthy dose of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, and magnesium. It’s also an important medicinal herb in many traditions and has been used in Ayurvedic herbal treatments for thousands of years.

The addition of nutritional yeast, or nooch, in this recipe adds a nutty, cheesy flavor among a slew of health benefits. Nooch is packed with B-complex vitamins (super important for vegans and vegetarians to incorporate into their diet) and contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium, and zinc. It’s one of the tastiest superfoods! Just one dollop of this green sauce is a tasty, nutritious addition to any meal - not to mention it hardly takes any time to whip up.

Toast with smashed avocado, walnut pesto, and hemp seeds

Toast with smashed avocado, walnut pesto, and hemp seeds

Vegan Pesto Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup fresh basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (can sub with almonds or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil

Optional: 1 clove of garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Optional: 1/4 cup hemp seeds (aid in digestion/additional protein)

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Place all ingredients except oil into a food processor and blend until combined.
  2. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in your oil of choice until desired consistency. You can add more or less oil depending on how thick you’d like it to be.
  3. Place in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze the pesto into ice cube molds to prolong the shelf life and make for easy meal prep! Just pop as many cubes as you'd like out and add to a skillet with your favorite ingredients.

Add a dollop to your favorite pasta, sautéed veggies, salad, or avocado toast - I literally put it on everything. Enjoy!

With love and light xx

Lemon-Turmeric Bliss Balls

Now that spring is (kind of) here, I'm craving light and fresh flavors. I always keep bliss balls on-hand for snacking, so I decided to add a little lemon to the recipe to freshen up the flavor. They're easy on the eyes, too.

These little nuggets pack a mighty punch. They're great before or after a workout, as an afternoon snack, or added on top of a smoothie bowl. It's hard to stop at one...

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Lemons aid in digestion and are a great source of Vitamin C.

Turmeric contains curcumin which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is a strong antioxidant. It also adds a vibrant, yellow hue to these bliss balls. Curcumin is fat soluble, so the addition of coconut shreds and coconut butter helps with the absorption of this compound. 

Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and provide fiber, iron, plant-based protein, and calcium.

Let's get to it!

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Lemon-Turmeric Bliss Balls

Makes about 12 balls

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup coconut shreds
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until combined. It should resemble a wet dough.
  2. Form the dough into balls - feel free to switch up the sizes for different hunger levels! You can use a tablespoon measuring cup or small ice cream scooper if you want more uniform balls.
  3. Place in an air-tight container in a single layer to prevent sticking and pop them in the refrigerator.

These are great on their own or you can top them with nut butter or coconut yogurt. They're low in sugar and packed with good fats - so satisfying!

With love and light xx

The 411 on Menstrual Cups

If you’re still using tampons and pads, toss those puppies aside (or donate them to a woman in need - please do that instead) and get yourself a menstrual cup. I’m not exaggerating when I say that using a menstrual cup has completely changed my period game for the better.

Menstrual cups have been around for 80 years but I just started using one in June of 2017, partly because I was stuck in my ways of buying tampons and pads, and partly because I didn’t see a lot (or any) information on menstrual cups in the mainstream media. I didn’t even really know they existed. 

Power to the ladies

Power to the ladies

PERIOD STIGMA

First and foremost, using a menstrual cup has completely transformed the way I view my period. There are a lot of stigmas attached to periods that are engrained in our minds from the time we experience our first flow. 

They’re gross.

They’re dirty.

We shouldn’t talk about them.

Now, of course you need to take proper hygiene into consideration when using a menstrual cup, but let’s get one thing straight: periods are awesome.

The female body is a powerhouse and it is something to be so proud of. 

Over 50% of the world’s population menstruates, yet these conversations about periods are frowned upon and not typically welcomed. 

Despite the power to the period mindset I have now, I didn’t have this same belief before getting off of birth control in September of 2017. After I decided to leave the pill behind and control my hormones naturally, I lost my period completely for about four months. I felt really discouraged and started to think I made the wrong decision. Even though I inherently knew I would have a lot of work to do since I had been on birth control for over nine years (!), it really rattled me once I was experiencing the symptoms first-hand.

But, slowly overtime, my period started to come back. I was healing my body with foods, exercise, and self-care. I’m still working towards getting a regularly scheduled period to this day, but this journey has completely amazed me. I'm truly experiencing the natural rhythms and cycles of my body for the first time without chemicals controlling my hormones for me. It's pretty cool.

WHY MAKE THE SWITCH?

Nearly 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons, and applicators are dumped into North American landfills every year.

On average, a woman experiences her period from 3 to 7 days and menstruates from age 13 to 51. That means the average woman endures some 456 total periods over 38 years, or roughly 2,280 days with her period - 6.25 years of her life

With 70% of women using tampons that we're instructed to change every 4-8 hours (using 6 hours as an average), the cost adds up quickly. A box of 36 tampons costs $7 at CVS.  

1 tampon every 6 hours = 4 tampons per day x 5 days of having your period = 20 tampons per cycle  x 456 periods = 9,120 tampons. At 36 tampons per box, that's 253.3 boxes x $7 = $1,773.33.

And that price point doesn't even include the cost of pads, panty liners, birth control, heating pads, or any other necessity that's a part of your monthly period routine. Read more about that here.

Chances are, most girls are not starting out with a menstrual cup when they experience their first period. From that time on, we get so used to buying tampons and pads because it seems more convenient to stop at a local pharmacy whenever you need.

I haven’t purchased pads or tampons in a year. 

My period vessel is always patiently waiting in my bathroom cabinet and the convenience is undeniable. It comes with a little bag for clean storage so I sometimes throw it in my purse if I think Aunt Flo will be stopping by that day.

Furthermore, tampons are made of toxic-laden cotton that can easily be transferred into your bloodstream via your vaginal walls. Over 85% of the tampons that are produced today contain glyphosate - a cancer-causing agent and one of the primary ingredients in the weed-killing chemical Roundup. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't want anything close to Roundup coming near my yoni.

According to Dr. Maggie New, the co-director at the Women's Clinic at the Akasha Center in Santa Monica, California:

Chronic exposure to these toxic ingredients increases our risk of cancer, causes oxidative stress and metabolic changes, and disrupts the endocrine system. This can contribute to adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immunological effects. Conditions such as infertility, endometriosis, and thyroid disorders are all on the rise, for example, and are affected by exposures to chemicals and toxins in our environment.

Menstrual cups are made out of medical grade silicone and are BPA free, making this method non-toxic, eco-friendly, affordable (it’s a $40 investment for 3+ years of use), sustainable, and hassle-free. 

It's worth noting that I've only used the Lunette Menstrual Cup in my experience, so I'll be referring to that particular cup here.

WHAT IS THE THING?

Menstrual cups are easily inserted into the vagina to collect the uterine lining during menstruation. Rather than absorbing the blood as a tampon would, a menstrual cup collects the blood over the course of your period and is periodically cleaned to prevent leakage or a risk of infection. Tampons hold 6-18g of blood whereas menstrual cups can hold up to 30ml in the largest size.

HOW TO USE YOUR CUP

I’m not going to lie, the first time I went to insert my menstrual cup (or even thought about it), I got really nervous. Even though I had been using tampons for years which is essentially the same type of insertion method, this was so new to me and I started to get all these wacky thoughts about it.

What if I can’t get it out?

What if my blood leaks all over my underwear and misses the cup?

What if I damage the inside of my vagina?

Will I be uncomfortable for the next 5+ days?

The 'c' fold

The 'c' fold

I can confidently say none of those situations have ever happened.

I definitely experienced some discomfort the first couple of times because I was so tense and had a hard time relaxing. But with practice and patience, that quickly disappeared and it's been super easy ever since. Introducing a menstrual cup into my period regime has been amazing. When inserted properly, they're more comfortable than tampons and 99.99% of the time I can't even feel it. 

Start by folding the menstrual cup in half so it makes a ‘c’ shape and then simply insert the cup as you would a tampon. If the 'c' shape doesn't work for your body, you can watch this video and learn about nine more fold variations that may work better for you. Some things to keep in mind while inserting:

  • Relax your muscles. This is the most important thing to keep in mind while inserting your cup. The first couple of times I tried, I was very tense and had to continually remind myself to relax. Relaxing will help position the cup right under the cervix and behind the pubic bone. 
  • Insert your cup while you’re in a squatting position, this helps with opening the vaginal walls.
  • Once the cup is inserted, you need to make sure it fully opens and does not stay folded inside of you. To do this, keep relaxing your muscles and pull on the tab gently as to not pull the cup out. This allows for the cup to open and creates a seal formed by the walls of your vagina and vaginal muscles. You can also slide a clean finger around the bottom of the cup to see if it has opened, but the tab method works better for me.
  • Since vaginas are tilted backwards, guide the cup towards the small of your back to ensure proper insertion.
  • Use water or a non-toxic lubricant if you find the area is especially dry and not allowing for the cup to be inserted comfortably, although blood typically acts as a natural lubricant during menstruation.
  • Notice if the stem on the end of the cup is too long once inserted which can cause discomfort while wearing the menstrual cup. You can simply snip it down a bit so there's enough left to help with removal.
  • Insert your cup the day before your period is due to prevent any leakage.

A menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours depending on your individual flow, and it's recommended that you change your cup 2-4 times a day. It can also be used with different contraceptives (such as an IUD), while swimming, during yoga (although it is not recommended to do inversions while on your period as this would cause the contents of the cup to spill back into your uterus), and while you're sleeping. 

Easy breezy.

To take the cup out, a lot of the same guidelines apply that you would use for insertion. First and foremost, relax those muscles. This is pretty crucial. If you’re tensing up, your vaginal walls will hug the cup and not allow for it to be removed - they're just doing their job.

Pinch the bottom of the cup and avoid tugging on the stem, this allows for the seal to break for a smooth removal. However, if the cup has traveled a little too far up there, you can use the stem to help release it a bit, just make sure you pull gently. There shouldn't be any pain or discomfort during removal. 

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR CUP

First, wash your hands with a fragrance-free, mild soap. Then, simply remove the cup, dispose of the blood in your toilet, rinse with cold water first to prevent staining, and then wash with warm water and a bit of the Lunette Menstrual Cup Cleanser. Lunette also makes cleansing wipes for gals on the go. Look closely and check that the air holes around the top of the cup are clear and fully open, as these can sometimes get clogged.

After your period is finished for the month, wash the cup as normal and then put it in a pot of boiling water for 15-20 minutes. Your cup should always be disinfected before and after your cycle to ensure proper cleanliness. 

As for cleaning your cup in public, I never find that this is an issue because of the lengthy wear time. If I know I'll be out and about for awhile, I make sure to clean my cup beforehand and have never had to change it in public. If you find that you do need to make a quick change in a public restroom, own it. If you know that you have an especially heavy flow, I would recommend purchasing the Lunette cleaning wipes just for peace of mind.

SIZE GUIDE

That’s right, there are two different sizes of menstrual cups because no two vaginas or periods are the same. 

Here's a chart to help you determine which size fits your unique shape the best:

 

Lunette's  guide to finding your right size

Lunette's guide to finding your right size

Throughout my time using a menstrual cup, the biggest takeaway I've had is learning to truly appreciate and honor my body. I've become so in tune with the cyclic nature of my body and it's the coolest thing to experience first-hand. I felt my body ovulate for the first time this year and I was in complete awe.

We need to make an effort as a culture to destigmatize periods and stop period-shaming women for something that is natural and vital. 

After all, women are the life-force of the world.

Have you switched over to the menstrual cup way of life? If you have any questions or want to share your experience with a menstrual cup, leave me a comment! 

With love and light xx

 

Mad About Matcha

Happy Sunday everyone!

I'm sharing this to give you all the 411 on matcha - where to buy it, how to use it, and why it benefits you. 

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I've never really been a big caffeine person.

I’ve never had a coffee habit that took me weeks to kick or any addiction to other caffeine sources. I would occasionally get a latte to-go at a coffeeshop that was laced with processed sugars and the only time I drank soda was mixed with alcohol. 

I find that coffee, similar to alcohol, is a very social thing in our society. People meet for coffee at all hours of the day, cap off their nights with an espresso (genuinely confused how those folks fall asleep…), or grab coffees for coworkers. Even when I didn’t want to be drinking coffee, I’d find myself ordering one here and there because I was usually with someone else doing the same. The power of peer pressure.

Some people drink a cup of coffee and feel perfectly fine. Others, including myself, find it very hard to digest. After I would finish a cup, I would experience nausea, sweating, irritability, jitters, acid reflux, indigestion, increased heart rate, clammy hands, and was easily startled.

Not an ideal situation first thing in the morning or during any hour of the day for that matter.

I switched to hot, herbal teas a couple of years ago and haven't looked back since.

MORNING MATCHA RITUAL

There’s nothing I love more then a slow, sweet morning. 

Getting to enjoy my rituals and not rushing to pull myself together before leaving for work or yoga is heavenly and helps set the tone for the rest of my day.

I began seeing matcha popping up all over my Instagram feed awhile ago and became curious about this green potion. It looked so inviting and cozy so I decided to give it a shot with a recipe I found online. This particular recipe included salt (why…just why?) and I remember immediately spitting it out after my first sip. I thought it was disgusting so I set matcha on the back burner for a bit.

But, I continued to find myself being drawn towards matcha. I knew there had to be a recipe out there that I would enjoy if so many people were raving about it. I found a salt-free recipe, gave it a whirl in my blender, and it was delicious.  

Since I deal with Generalized Anxiety Disorder as I talked about previously, I got a little weary of reintroducing caffeine into my system because I didn’t want it to cause mood swings or any type of hormone imbalance. I’m pretty in-tune with my body so I observed any side effects matcha might have had on my body after my first cup and was pleasantly surprised. I still felt calm, my mood was elevated, I didn’t break a sweat, and I was ready to take on the day. 

I also think it's worth noting that I don't drink matcha every single day and I don't rely on the caffeine in matcha to function properly. I like to have one cup about 4-5 times a week and I don't find that I experience any withdrawal symptoms if I don't have it.

SO, WHAT IS MATCHA?

Matcha is a green tea powder made from a specific tea leaf that comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. White and black teas also come from this particular plant, but matcha is harvested from plants covered and grown under shade for 20 weeks which boosts their chlorophyll levels, hence the vibrant green hue.

Matcha has been used for centuries in Japan as a sacred ceremonial drink, whereas today you can grab a matcha beverage at any trendy neighborhood coffee shop whenever you’d like. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

This vibrant green powder packs a powerful punch and has been proven to:

  • Sustain energy and produce a lasting calming effect. Matcha contains L-Theanine, a non-dietary amino acid that assists in boosting alpha waves in the brain, which works simultaneously with the caffeine from the green tea to produce a sustainable calming effect. Since matcha is ground into a fine powder, it provides the entirety of the Camellia sinensis plant’s benefits unlike traditional green tea that you would steep in hot water.
  • Improve mental clarity. The L-Theanine found in matcha has been found to reduce anxiety levels and enhance your overall mood by promoting a natural state of relaxation while simultaneously improving your mental alertness. 
  • Protect you from harmful free radicals. Matcha contains high levels of antioxidants in the form of catechins, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These powerful antioxidants protect your body from harmful free radicals AKA the pesky guys that are responsible for aging, tissue damage, cancer, and some inflammatory diseases. Just one cup of matcha has the same amount of antioxidants as ten cups of regular green tea!
  • Boost immunity. Those powerful antioxidants found in matcha are also responsible for helping your body fight diseases and infections, thus boosting your body’s natural immune defense. Matcha also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which helps boots immunity and promote overall wellness. The EGCG also plays a big part in fighting harmful bacteria in the mouth that can cause staining in the teeth, cavities, and bad breath. 

KEY TOOLS & INGREDIENTS

  • High speed blender. I'm currently using a Vitamix which is the real MVP of blending, but it is quite pricey. I've used a NutriBullet before with success, but be extra careful as I've read some reviews of people's NutriBullets exploding from the hot liquid. Always blend hot liquids with caution and never, ever put boiling water into a blender, you'll set yourself up for a third degree burn.
  • Tea kettle or small saucepan. Unless you can heat your liquids up with magic.
  • High quality matcha, duh. There are a ton of different matcha brands out there and some can get quite pricey. I'm using Ippodo Matcha right now and I'm really enjoying it. If you're new to the matcha world, I would definitely recommend finding a cheaper brand so you don't have to spend $50 on a 40g container not knowing whether or not you'll enjoy it. Mizuba Tea Co. has some affordable options as well as Whole Foods. Always check the ingredients list when searching for matcha online, a lot of brands can add fillers so make sure it's 100% matcha and preferably sourced from Japan. Quick note, I store my matcha in the fridge to prolong the shelf life and keep it fresh!
  • Coconut butter. The stuff that makes a matcha latte so creamy and dreamy. I don't use any nut or seed milks in my matcha latte, so coconut butter is essential to create maximum frothiness. You can always add half water, half milk of your choice to your matcha recipe if you really want to up the creamy factor, but I just find that it's an unnecessary extra step in the mornings. Coconut butter also provides a healthy dose of fat which prepares the stomach lining and can eliminate some of those not-so-pleasant feelings that result from drinking plain green tea or matcha on an empty stomach. I love the Artisana Coconut Butter.
  • Adaptogens. First off, these are not necessary. But, why not pack your matcha latte with a little more healing power and health benefits? If you're not up-to-date with the recent adaptogen craze that's taken the wellness world by storm, they're a specific group of healing plants that support your health and adjust your body to natural stressors. There are so many adaptogen options out there, but I typically stick no more than three adaptogens in my lattes. My favorites are ashwagandha (soothes the nervous system and boosts mood), reishi (supports immunity), triphala (supports digestion), and cordyceps (brain power while supporting the liver and kidneys), but I encourage you to do some research and find some that speak to you. Sun Potion has great options that are worth the investment. 

EVERYDAY MATCHA LATTE

Serves 1

  • 16oz hot (160°-175°) water
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1 teaspoon matcha 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha

(Note: if you prefer for your latte to be a tad sweeter, you can always add 1/2 a teaspoon of maple syrup, a few drops of stevia, or 1/2 a teaspoon of honey if you’re not vegan)

  1. Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle or saucepan and let cool for a bit before placing it in your blender.  
  2. Add all of the other ingredients into the blender and blend on high for 2-3 minutes for maximum froth potential. Pour into your mug or tea bowl and enjoy!
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HORMONE-BALANCING MATCHA LATTE

Serves 1

  • 16oz hot (160°-175°) water
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1 teaspoon matcha 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha
  • 1/2 teaspoon maca 
  • 1/2 teaspoon reishi 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

(Note: if you prefer for your latte to be a tad sweeter, you can always add 1/2 a teaspoon of maple syrup, a few drops of stevia, or 1/2 a teaspoon of honey if you’re not vegan)

  1. Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle or saucepan and let cool for a bit before placing it in your blender.
  2. Add all of the other ingredients into the blender and blend on high for 2-3 minutes for maximum froth potential. Pour into your mug and enjoy!

GINGER-TURMERIC MATCHA LATTE

Those nails doe

Those nails doe

Serves 1

  • 16oz hot (160°-175°) water
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1 teaspoon matcha 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

(Note: if you prefer for your latte to be a tad sweeter, you can always add 1/2 a teaspoon of maple syrup, a few drops of stevia, or 1/2 a teaspoon of honey if you’re not vegan)

  1. Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle or saucepan and let cool for a bit before placing it in your blender. 
  2. Add all of the other ingredients into the blender and blend on high for 2-3 minutes for maximum froth potential. Pour into your mug and enjoy!

Leave me a comment letting me know if you tried out one of these lattes! 

With love and light xx