Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Everything Ventured, Everything Gained

It has been a slow but sure process of getting my act together, and to be honest I don’t know where to start. Eight weeks of being on autopilot, of finding the balance of taking care of myself and still being responsive and kind to others’ needs, of wondering if graduate school was the right choice, of being numb and filling the void with not so smart choices, and it finally came crashing down around me. 

'Tis the season to be changing...

I struggled to find out what happened, what went wrong with my plan of discovering what being “successful” and “grown up” meant, and there were a lot of factors to consider. I own my mistakes, and accept that I’ve made quite a few as of late, especially where others have been on the receiving end of them. But everything happens for a reason, and my priorities are thankfully back on track.

October was a “shift or be shifted month”, and November follows with self-reflection and being the best Morri I can be. Perhaps it was getting an “A” on my first graduate school paper that has me truly believing that everything is okay, or that I finally have the information to heal myself from the inside out. So to really work on this aspect, I've decided to celebrate "Good Nutrition Month." For the entire month of November I will be going fairly "primal" (as shown on Mark's Daily Apple) in my eating habits, and have officially removed coffee from my diet completely.

My search for fulfillment of the higher self was like searching for a coffee substitute: everywhere I looked there was something offered but nothing that truly fit to my needs. There are herbal coffee replacements out there, the majority of which contain roasted grains of the gluten variety. I was excited to see that Elana of Elana’s Pantry had this recipe for a gluten free, DIY coffee alternative, and I couldn’t wait to come up with my own ratio for a mug of "Joe".

Over a week of drinking my own brew and I haven’t drunken any coffee. Sure, the desire for tea and hot cocoa comes and goes, but this has been my go-to drink as a way to warm my core while the temperature drops a little more each day. I prefer to drink it black, as it has this fantastic peppery taste to it my palate adores, but I also recommend it in the form of a latte with almond milk and honey/stevia. I’ve also prepared it in two ways, depending on how “chewy” (i.e., concentrated) I want a cup to be. Regardless, it still fulfills my coffee needs, and is a wonderful drink to have in the mornings while eating breakfast and in the afternoons with a small snack before dinner.

Note: this recipe is a ratio*, so no matter how much you make, it will still turn out delicious. (And stay tuned for “coffee” recipes and variations in the coming weeks!)

Morri’s Herbal Coffee Alternative

4 parts Roasted chicory root
2 parts Roasted dandelion root
1 part Raw cacao powder

For a more concentrated brew:
Combine a mug’s worth of water with a heaping teaspoon of my HCA in a small saucepan on high heat.
Get it to a rolling boil and then simmer for five minutes.
Pour the liquid through a small strainer into your mug of choice.
Add your preferences of creamer and sweetener (or leave it black) and enjoy hot.

For a lighter brew:
Prepare water in a kettle like you would for tea and place a heaping teaspoon of my HCA in a liquid measuring cup (I used my two-cup measuring cup).
Once the water is steaming and the kettle is whistling, remove from heat and pour the water in with the HFA and allow it to steep for five minutes.
Pour the liquid through a small strainer into your mug of choice.
Add your preferences of creamer and sweetener (or leave it black) and enjoy hot.

Both directions make 1 serving.

*For example, my jar of HCA contains about 100 g chicory root, 50 g dandelion root, and 25 g cacao.

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