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.
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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).
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.
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!
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!