I celebrated my birthday earlier this week. In the world we live in it is hard not to look at birthdays as a scourge, something that forces us to come face to face with our own mortality. Long gone are the days of joyful anticipation, counting down to this special day just for you. Now we are bombarded by anti-aging serums, featured in ads showcasing models and celebrities airbrushed to resemble something that doesn't actually exist. But you can rest assured that it looks really young. And pore free of course.
This year I have made a conscious decision to take a different approach. I choose to express gratitude for every second I get to spend on this beautiful planet. I choose to embrace the craziness, messiness and chaos of life because underneath it all lies a beautiful opportunity for growth and spiritual development. I choose to see the challenges in my life as growth experiences that help make me a stronger, more spiritually evolved person. I celebrate the lines on my face as a reflection of the wisdom I have gained through life experience. I still have my challenges in making peace with myself (who doesn't?) but at least this process of choosing acceptance brings me one step closer to living my life from a place of peace and contentment.
Longevity is a hot topic these days. There are so many studies and articles popping up all the time, with the promise of a holy grail of health and vitality. For longevity advice I tend to gravitate towards David Wolfe. His energy level is unreal, and his enthusiasm is infectious. I am working on his Nutrition Certification through the Body Mind Institute at the moment, and enjoy participating in his conferences. I have not made it to either the Longevity Now or Women's Wellness conferences in person yet, but definitely have plans to do so in the future. In the meantime I appreciate having the opportunity to participate virtually, thanks to an online access pass. I really enjoy being able to watch at my convenience, and my husband and kids get in on the action, making it a family affair.
This year's lineup of speakers was incredible (as always) not to mention highly inspirational. One of the people we listened to was David Asprey, founder of Bulletproof Coffee. I had heard about bulletproof coffee before, but hadn't paid much attention, as we don't eat butter and I am not a coffee drinker (two pretty basic requirements - or so I thought). Through the course of the talk I discovered that an important component was coconut oil, due to its medium chain triglycerides that help to kick start your metabolism (while also keeping you nicely satiated due to its status as a healthy fat).
In the spirit of personal experimentation (after all how can I recommend or dismiss something if I haven't tried it myself?) I did some internet research and found some plant based interpretations of bulletproof coffee. We went high octane to start (using Organic Longevity Coffee) and then I decided to branch out into coffee free alternatives, for the sake of my poor, already overworked adrenals. David Asprey suggests using green tea on his website, but I prefer to combine Dandy Blend, a great coffee subsitute and Kickstart, an amazing blend from Harmonic Arts.
My husband and I have been really enjoying our not so bulletproof morning ritual. We have found that Kickstart gives us a gentle energy boost, while Dandy Blend provides a rich, coffee like flavour. I appreciate that this coffee free alternative helps us take advantage of the detoxifying benefits of dandelion root, the immune boosting properties of chaga, and the antioxidant benefits of raw cacao, all while providing much less acidity than a cup of coffee. We have also found that we are pleasantly full until lunch, which I was highly skeptical about as I tend to have a pretty healthy appetite. Will we continue to do this every day? I am not sure, variety is the spice of life after all. But for now we are really enjoying our morning ritual.
Here is our current recipe (feel free to modify to taste):
Not So Bulletproof "Coffee"
Combine all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. We use a Nutribullet or Vitamix, but a regular blender works well too. If you like your beverages super smooth, you can strain the liquid through a mesh sieve, or blend it a bit longer until no chunks remain. Skipping the blender step doesn't work so well - instead of a frothy, creamy drink you will likely end up with oil floating around in your cup. Not so appetizing!
If you want to add a sweetener of choice, feel free - although I personally don't think it needs it. Some of my personal recommendations would be coconut syrup, maple syrup, honey or stevia.
If you don't have Kickstart on hand, you can swap it out for 1 Tbsp raw cacao and 1 tsp maca powder for a gentle energy boost. Or you can go the traditional route and use regular coffee - organic of course!