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My Morning Elixir

My Morning Elixir

Recipe At-A-Glance

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My Morning Elixir
My Morning Elixir

Recipe At-A-Glance

This lemon, chia, and apple cider vinegar drink is how I start each morning! My morning elixir has lots of health benefits, but most important to me, it gets me in a healthy mindset for the day.

Vegan, Gluten-Free

Ready in 1 minute

I’m about to get real hippie-dippie, crunchy granola on you. So those of you who maybe aren’t on the natural medicine bandwagon, consider yourself warned, k?

I try to live my life by the middle path, and that applies to my health and medical care, too. I’m not even a little bit against Western medicine (shout out to the chemo that knocked out my mom’s breast cancer 20 years ago), but I do think part of our responsibility as humans on this planet and citizens of our society is to try to do the best we can to take care of ourselves without always relying on a prescription or a surgery. I believe natural remedies and medical remedies should (and can) work hand in hand.

That’s why I try to eat healthy. I drink lots of water. I go on lots of walks. I meditate. I’m trying to cut back on the stress in my life. And I make sure to really evaluate when if I need to take medicine or not (and if I need to, I do it—hellllooo Excedrin Migraine, never stop being awesome).

My Morning Elixir

Now, there are a lot of drug commercials out there with smiling happy people that will try to convince you that you are powerless when it comes to your health. Like there is no way you’ll ever feel better unless you ask your doctor about this specific drug. And for some people, those drugs are really necessary. And if you’ve found something that works well for you? Awesome. I’m super stoked for you!

But I do, in general, wish that our first instinct when something feels off with our bodies or minds is to look to the decisions that we make on a daily basis—specifically our food choices. Am I saying that eating some chia seeds and drinking a kale smoothie is the same as a miracle drug? No. But I’m saying it can’t hurt. And sometimes, it might even really help.

My Morning Elixir

And that’s where My Morning Elixir comes in. I wake up each morning, stumble downstairs, and make myself a cup of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, chia seeds, and warm water. And it’s changed my life.

I’m not going to claim that this drink is going to make you run marathons until you’re 120 years old, but I will tell you how I feel when I make sure to drink this drink each day. Is this anecdotal evidence? Totally. But the great thing about using food as medicine is that anecdotal evidence is all you need. There is nothing to lose (except maybe a few bucks on the ingredients if they aren’t things you have kicking around). If drinking this makes you feel nothing, oh well. But if drinking it makes you feel as great as it makes me feel, well isn’t that a win?

Okay, here is what drinking this drink every morning has done for me:

  • Helped my chronic heartburn. I had a rough pregnancy with a lot of vomiting—my esophagus hasn’t healed from it (and I’m not sure it ever will), and I get a lot of heartburn. On days when I drink this drink? No heartburn. When I skip it? Holy heartburn hotel. Seems counterintuitive considering two of the ingredients are acid, doesn’t it? Many folks believe that heartburn and acid reflux are actually caused by your stomach having too little acid instead of having too much. Lots more info here.
  • Kickstarts my metabolism. When I skip my morning elixir, I can go hours without feeling hungry. Like full on skip breakfast, forget to eat, bad for you kind of un-hungry. When I get up in the morning and drink this? Within 15 minutes or so, my tummy’s all like “Alright, kid. That was awesome. Lets have more healthy food!” More about the metabolism boost here.
  • My skin is awesomer. I’ve never had great skin, not bad, but not the glowing, fresh, healthy skin you see from truly healthy folks. It never bugged me until I started to show some signs of aging. The more wrinkles and grey hair I got, the more I wanted my skin to feel healthy. It’s my subtle way of saying to the world, “Hey, I may be getting older, but I’m still healthy and bonkers awesome.” When I drink this stuff? My skin actually has a glow to it. I’m not going to be on the cover of any magazine anytime soon, but I can see and feel the difference. And that’s all that matters.
  • Gets me in a healthy mindset. This is my favorite benefit! This is all psychosomatic, and that’s why it’s such a huge win. When I get up in the morning and make time to make my elixir and drink it, it’s like a switch flips in my brain. Today will be a healthy day. Because I drank my morning elixir. When I start the day with a healthy decision, it makes it easier to make more healthy decisions. Health begets health. Even if you don’t want to do the full elixir, just getting up and drinking a glass of water in the morning will give you the same mind trick!

Now, there are a ton of other benefits listed out there if you just Google “benefits of lemon water” or “benefits of apple cider vinegar” or “benefits of chia seeds”. But that list up there is what I really notice from drinking this personally. And those changes are impactful enough for me, that I want to share my morning elixir with you!

My Morning Elixir

Before I dig into the “recipe” (it isn’t really), I do want to give you a few notes on ingredients. Some things to keep in mind when shopping for your ingredients:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: You’re looking for raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I use Bragg’s because it’s readily available—they sell it at my regular grocery store in the salad dressing/vinegar aisle. You want to avoid using the regular apple cider vinegar that has been filtered and pasteurized (the clear stuff). The healthy enzymes and bacteria from fermentation are good for you, and filtering and pasteurizing the vinegar removes those.
  • Lemons: I choose to use organic lemons, because I figure that if I’m drinking something for my health, avoiding as many pesticides as possible is a good idea. I use half of a lemon in the morning in my elixir, and then I usually squeeze the other have over a salad at lunch.
  • Chia Seeds: One of the great things about chia seeds being so popular—you can get them almost anywhere now! You want whole chia seeds, and either white or black will work.
  • Water: If you’re really anti-added chemicals, you’ll want to use purified or filtered water. I personally just use warm tap water. There are lots of different articles out there about the temperature of water you should drink, and it seem there are advantages and disadvantages to just about every temp range. I personally use warm water, because I’m almost always chilled when I get out of warm bed and head to the cold kitchen!

Oh, and a note about taste. This is definitely an acquired taste. If you often drink kombucha, you probably won’t mind the tart flavor of the drink, but if you don’t, it might take some getting used to. When I first started drinking it, I’d add about a teaspoon of raw local honey (lots of health benefits to that, too!), and then slowly stepped the honey down. Now I drink it without sweetener, and I love it. To your health, my friends!

My Morning Elixir

  • Author: Cassie Johnston
  • Prep Time: 1 min
  • Total Time: 1 min
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


This lemon, chia, and apple cider vinegar drink is how I start each morning! My morning elixir has lots of health benefits, but most important to me, it gets me in a healthy mindset for the day.



  • 1 tablespoon whole chia seeds
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water


  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chia seeds have formed a gel. Drink up!


Cassie Johnston

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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58 thoughts on “My Morning Elixir

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  • Preach, Sister!! :)
    [as i down my ACV drink at my desk this morning]

    • Cassie SAYS

      Oooh! What do you put in your ACV vinegar? Inquiring minds want to know!

      • I like to mix half water, half apple juice or cider with a capful or two of ACV.

        I also drink the It Works brand Greens powder sometimes and use the same water/apple juice mix and add a scoop or two of Greens powder.

        I like your addition of chia seeds!! Will have to add that to my mix sometimes, too!

  • Kelsey SAYS

    Just started the lemon + ACV combo last week! I’ll have to start adding in some chia seeds and really make something amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    • Cassie SAYS

      I so love the texture of the chia seeds, too! Although, I know some folks out there aren’t a big fan. :)

  • Thanks for sharing your tips and experience with us Cassie! I’ve been meaning to get back in the routine of drinking some lemon water in the mornings, will add some ACV and chia seeds to my glass from now on :-)

    Just a question: how much water do you recommend 1 and 1/2 cup? The unit was left out :-)

  • Rachel SAYS

    I’m assuming that’s 1 1/2 CUPS of water? Thanks for this motivation!

  • Sounds really interesting! I have a hard time with lumpy texture, especially when I’m pregnant so I’m not sure about the chia seeds…

    Im a big fan of acid fighting acid. I eat a grapefruit when I have heartburn and 99% of the time it stops it.

  • Hi Cassie. I found your blog around Christmas (don’t remember how) and read the annual report. 2 thumbs up.
    I just wanted to say I agree with you on everything in this post. My husband drinks warm lemon water every morning. I have a recipe on my blog but I drink it on and off. I should start tomorrow forever. I agree about organic lemons. We try organic as much as we can. I also make my own anti-inflammatory tea.
    I agree. We should combine healing through food wit western medicine if necessary. My mom had tumour and I can’t imagine dealing with that naturally. I will keep reading your blog because I like your honesty. Take care.:)

  • I drink hot water with lemon and chia every morning for just feel good moment too. I have to try with a very soon…

    • Cassie SAYS

      I love that—”feel good moment”—that’s totally what it is! Starting off your day by doing something to take care of yourself is HUGE.

  • Jackie SAYS

    Love this idea. Definitely going to try it because I’ve been suffering from acid reflux too. Random (kinda stupid) question….do you chew up the chia seeds or just drink them whole? Thanks!

  • Rebecca SAYS

    Hey Cassie,

    my great-aunt has been going on about ACV for a long time, especially now that I’m pregnant. She’s pretty esoteric (think Prof. Trelawney, without the crazy hair and glasses), though, and I never really took her advice too serious (because, really, vinegar?). But your post made me curious :) I tried to recreate your recipe (without Chia) yesterday and I really couldn’t drink it :( I somehow made it too sour. It tasted too much like the vinegar to me. So I contacted my great aunt and she told me her recipe: 2/3 honey + 1/3 acv. Mix really well (this way you have the important part premixed. – you can store it in your fridge) and then add as much as you like to a glass of water. I used 2 teaspoons and it actually tasted quite okay :D
    Now, I’m curious whether you need to wait a specific time until you eat. I already have to wait half an hour before I eat/drink anything else than water because I have to take a hormon supplement .

    • Cassie SAYS

      No need to wait! The only reason I do is so the chia seeds turn thick an gelly. You can drink right away or in a half hour. :)

  • Jen K SAYS

    sold! you had me at heartburn — what is it about being pregnant that does that?! I have been still struggling to get over it — and girlfriend is already 9 months old!

    • Cassie SAYS

      For me, I think it’s leftover damage from the months and months and months of tossing my cookies everyday!

  • Debbie SAYS

    I drink a combo of ACV, lemon juice and chia seeds every morning too. Although I tend to have it after my first coffee haha Still does give me a bunch of benefits though so still a better choice then not having it.

  • Kaja SAYS

    If I’m not wrong, all these “acid” things, like vinegar and citrus fruit, have – contrary to our logic ;-) – an alkaline pH! I also drink lemon water whenever I can – I can imagine that there’s no better way to start the day than with a drink such as yours! I wish I could just get round to liking the taste of the apple cider vinegar :-)

    • Anita SAYS

      Kaja – vinegar and citrus fruits do not have an alkaline pH. Both apple cider vinegar and lemon juice have pH values between 2 and 3. Anything below 7 is acidic.

  • April SAYS

    A word to the wise about Chia. Chia is bulk in the intestine. If you aren’t careful and you have a gut problem that involves frequent blockages or a stenosis (narrow area), you’ll want to be cautious with the Chia until you know how your gut will react. I’m speaking from experience with this. Chia is a great food, I’m not saying it isn’, but some of us have to beware.

  • Marge SAYS

    Hi Cassie! I’m glad I came across this post, and I’m definitely going to try this recipe. I keep hearing about the benefits of ACV and lemon juice. I have all the ingredients already in my kitchen, so there’s no excuse. Thanks for the info. This one’s getting pinned to my recipes board!

  • Shannon SAYS

    I like to muddle in 6 raspberries with my lemon and acv. I’m definitely adding chia tomorrow morning!

  • krishnamani SAYS

    Will this be helpful for Weight Loss.

    Thanks and Regards,

  • Rosie SAYS

    Does this drink help with constipation my sister has been battling that for a long time?

    • Winston SAYS

      Every morning I take two tablespoons of chia seeds mixed with 1 cup of water, and I can say it improves my bowel movement. Do remember to drink plenty of water for the rest of the day.

  • Jennie SAYS

    I know I’m late to the game, but thank you, thank you, thank you for posting such a rational, well thought out article without sensational claims or needless hype. I totally agree that medicine and prevention should go hand in hand. Will have to try your recipe very soon! Thanks :)

  • Hanna SAYS

    I will try this before breakfast tomorrow, have one of your overnight oats waiting for me in the fridge also :D (my tummy is already looking forward to that!). But one sidenote, you should never drink hot water from the tap, as that is the perfect place for bacteria in the “hotwaterpipe”. You should always heat the water your self :)

  • Peace SAYS

    I also drink ACV AND Chia powder. i was using chia seed but i had to prepare them overnight so for a quicker job i prefered the powder,

    so my drink is Water, Acv, chia powder and raw honey. Yummy!!

  • Nicole D SAYS

    Tried it.Went 3times today..never happened b4.ty

  • Charlie SAYS

    Will this help with diet as well.need to get ready for knee replacement

    • Cassie SAYS

      Hi Charlie: I can’t give individual dietary advice—you’ll have to chat with your health care professional for that. Good luck with knee replacement!

  • Sue Ann Larzelere SAYS

    Do you drink this before you eat or drink anything else? Or whenever? Also could I drink this before bed like some of the health sites say to do, acv before bed and first thing in the a.m. ?

    • Cassie SAYS

      You can drink it whenever you like, but I personally drink it first thing in the morning before I consume anything else. :)

  • Ashley SAYS

    I recently started getting kidney stones, as in the past year. And I can tell you this drink as helped me to get rid of them and to keep them at bay! Thank you so much. I really can’t take most pain meds they make me very sleepy I have two small children and work in a kitchen as a chef so being very sleepy is a no go at all times.

  • Amiee SAYS

    Does this drink help you loose weight in any way some people say it does but i wanted to know your experiences.

    • Julie @ Wholefully SAYS

      Sorry, I can’t give individual dietary advice—you’ll have to chat with your health care professional for that.

  • Sophie SAYS

    Could I soak the seeds the night before and mix the gel and seeds with the rest of ingredients the next morning?

  • Can you grind up the chia seeds first before you put in water or blend all ingredients and then drink it? TIA.

  • Christa Brown SAYS

    2 questions.
    1. I made this drink this morning and the seeds bunched up. Any tips to prevent that?
    2. I do take a thyroid pill in the morning (directed: 30 min before eating) does anyone else with these restrictions take your pill with this drink?

    • Renee SAYS

      Christa- my gmas doctor told her water and only water for her thyroid meds. Not coffee (which is what she was doing) and not with her b-12 vitamin (again, like she was doing). I would err on the side of caution and take it as prescribed, fix your chia drink, and it will be ready for you once your allotted time has expired!

  • Kelly SAYS

    Can you have a cup of coffee after having this drink? I know probably not back to back but if you wait awile after you eat breakfast ?

  • karen SAYS

    What a great idea to use both, lemon and apple cider in combination. I am a big fan of lemon water in the morning for years. Thanks, Cassie!

  • Katie SAYS

    I’m allergic to ACV. Do you think this would work without it?

  • Darcy SAYS

    This is essentially exactly how I drink my ACV, the only difference is that I add a bit of honey.

    What can I say, I have a sweet tooth.

    5 Star Recipe!

  • Belinda SAYS

    How long do I wait to eat after taking this chia drink in the morning and do I only drink it once a day I’m going for weightloss I’m not active had a accident

    • Cassie SAYS

      I don’t recommend/use this drink for weight loss purposes (it most definitely shouldn’t be used as a meal replacement). I drink it first thing in the morning, and you can drink as much as you want throughout the day!

  • Kayla may SAYS

    Absolutely loved your post Cassie! Thanks so much!! Can’t wait to try my morning Elixir!!! :)

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