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food caffeine healthy 3 Healthy Hot Drinks To Replace Your Coffee

Promoting a healthy circadian rhythm is fast becoming one of my most popular discussions with my patients as a Naturopath. As establishing a healthy sleep/wake cycle is one of the best ways for us to get that deep, blissfully rejuvenating sleep we all desire. A healthy sleep cycle should allow our body to know when it is we should feel awake and when we should feel sleepy, but there are many factors which can disrupt this internal body clock such as sunrise and sunset times, feeding times, body temperature fluctuations, and levels of certain hormones such as cortisol and melatonin.

One of the most common ways we can lead our internal body clock down the wrong path and certainly one of the most entrenched habits I see from my patients is the use of stimulants such as caffeine

Researchers have long known that coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks can make a person feel more awake and alert, but recent evidence suggests this might not be caffeine’s only effect. Caffeine delays our circadian activity by suppressing melatonin levels therefore making us less sleepy in the evenings and delaying our drowsiness, resulting is an alertness of our brains when we should be enjoying that blissful sleep.

If you are looking to create a healthy sleep cycle then I suggest you quit that daily caffeine hit and enjoy one of my healthy caffeine-free hot drinks instead. The recipes below can all be found in my recipe book 'The Yoga Kitchen'. All recipes are sugar, dairy and gluten free. 

1. Turmeric Mylk

Serves 2–4

If a soothing cup of something warm and milky is your thing then a hot cup of turmeric mylk will put the world right. Turmeric is fat-soluble, so be sure to consume it together with some fat – hence the addition of coconut oil here. Black pepper increases the bioavailability of turmeric by over 1,000% – so I’ve added some of that too.

:: Ingredients ::

  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 2cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and cut into thin slices (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried dates, stoned (pitted)
  • 500ml coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil


  1. Place the peppercorns, clove and cardamom pod into a mortar and pestle and slightly crush, then place all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and gently bring to a low simmer.
  2. Give an occasional stir.
  3. Remove from the heat just before the liquid starts to boil.
  4. Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow to infuse for 3–4 hours if possible.
  5. When ready to drink, reheat gently to desired drinking temperature and then strain the liquid through a fine sieve (strainer) before serving.
  6. If there is any left, it can be stored, when cold, in the refrigerator for a few days and reheated as required.

2. Hot Penicillin

Serves 1

Sweet and soothing the healing properties of this tea are second to none. Drunk throughout the day this herbal concoction will keep you totally in tune with you and your natural circadian rhythm. If elderberry is unavailable, add a tablespoon of blackcurrants to the saucepan instead.

:: Ingredients ::

  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • juice and flesh of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons manuka honey
  • 1 tablespoon elderberry syrup
  • 250ml filtered water
  • 15 drops of echinacea extract


  1. Place all the ingredients, except the echinacea drops, into a saucepan.
  2. Slowly bring to the boil, while stirring to dissolve the manuka honey
  3. Once boiling remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve (strainer).
  4. Add the echinacea drops and serve in a comforting mug.

3. Cure Me Tea

If tea is your thing, then brew up a cup of this aromatic spicy tea for a real caffeine-free stimulant kick!

Makes 1 Litre

:: Ingredients ::

  • 1 litre boiling filtered water
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 heaped tablespoon YEP tea (use peppermint or green tea if unavailable)
  • 1⁄2 lemon, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon manuka honey


  1. Place all the ingredients in a French press teapot and allow to steep for 15 minutes before plunging.
  2. You can refill the plunger one more time if needed.
  3. Alternatively, simmer all the ingredients together in a covered pan for 15 minutes. Strain before drinking.

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