Use Your Mornings to Head Exhaustion Off at the Pass

The Urban Monk

Exhaustion is an epidemic.

The answers? They’re either within us or all around us.

And I don’t mean in your medicine cabinet.

You see, holistic medicine practitioners from Ayurveda to Traditional Chinese Medicine to functional medicine believe that every bodily system is designed to work in synergy with every other bodily system. When something isn’t connecting the way it should…

We have no energy. Weight gain is inevitable. Focus is impossible. Healing ourselves is out of the question. Autoimmune disorders are one of the worst problems in the West.

That’s why so often, many symptoms of modern diseases overlap with each other — if one system malfunctions, they all malfunction.

We don’t get enough sleep. When we do, it isn’t restful. We drink too much, smoke, eat fast food, and if we don’t, we’re eating packaged food with trace amounts of endocrine disruptors and heavy metals.

Our grocery store produce is laced with pesticides. Personal care products from lipstick to shampoo are jam-packed with toxic chemicals. The furniture we sit on is made with flame-retardants and covered in dust that can mess with our hormones.

Adrenals are taxed beyond use, the microbiomes in our guts are imbalanced, and we’re sitting more than humankind ever has.

Of course we’re exhausted. And one of the worst parts is…

If we were living in alignment, our bodies would wake up with energy per our circadian clock instead of straining to get out of bed.

A Molecularly Superior Alternative

You see, we’re meant to get energy from our food. And then, we’re meant to store that energy as glycogen in our lean muscle mass, to be released into the bloodstream as we need it.

But when we aren’t eating fresh, true whole foods and we aren’t exercising to build our store of lean muscle mass…

Then we aren’t able to utilize natural energy.

Enter coffee, energy drinks, and even worse offenders like performance-enhancing steroids and methamphetamines.

If you’ve ever cracked a joke about how you can’t start your day without a cup of coffee first… or poured yourself a second, then a third cup… or struggled to get to sleep because the half-life of caffeine is six to seven hours and you had coffee too late in the day…

Then you know deep down there’s a problem.

For plenty of people, there’s a simple answer:

Smoothies.

Start the day with a delicious treat packed full of detoxifying and empowering natural ingredients, supplements, and adaptogens for sustainable energy.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes to get you started!

MATCHA PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

While matcha tea is lightly caffeinated, it also contains L-theanine (often used in conjunction with melatonin to help induce relaxation) so that your morning energy jolt remains free of coffee jitters… which inevitably leads to a crash. Plus, the pear and kiwi provide plenty of vitamin C, which helps to fuel the creation of L-carnitine whose function is to provide fat to our cells in order to create energy.

  • 2 oz baby bok choy
  • 1 pear — chopped
  • 2 kiwis — peeled
  • 1 tsp matcha tea
  • 1 tbsp hemp protein
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ice

MORNING MACA SMOOTHIE

The maca root plant, native to the Andes, has been used for many years to increase stamina and as an adaptogen to help regulate hormones. The cacao powder in this smoothie also contains caffeine and antioxidants, and can boost serotonin levels as well, resulting in a happier, more functional you right at the start of your day.

  • 1 banana — peeled
  • 1 pear — chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tsp maca powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup ice

GREEN PEAR MINT SMOOTHIE

What makes this smoothie unique is the addition of pea protein, which is easily digestible and helps to build lean muscle, which we know is essential for storing glycogen to use as energy. The fiber in kale and pear helps keep the digestive system running smoothly, and the banana provides potassium and magnesium which activates ATP in the body to create energy.

  • 1 1/2 oz lacinato kale
  • 1 banana — peeled
  • 1 pear — chopped
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 1 tbsp pea protein
  • 3 tbsp cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ice

PEACH AND BASIL SMOOTHIE

Basil, a well-accepted adaptogen, helps to regulate the hormones that in turn activate and maintain energy levels — not to mention that it’s anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and anti-stress. Peach is rich in iron, which we know helps to bring oxygen to our cells. And the almond butter and hemp seeds give us protein to sustain us for longer during the day.

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup peaches
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 3–4 fresh basil leaves*
  • 2 fresh mint leaves
  • ½ lime juiced
  • 2 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon monk fruit to taste (or any sweetener of your choice)
  • Optional: 2 ounces water

If you enjoyed these thoughts and think we’ve got something in common, I have a feeling you’re going to love the Urban Monk Academy. It’s the home of every class I teach — from Qi Gong to Life Gardening to Dream Yoga to Gut Health and even Tantra (I teach that live!) — and for two weeks, you can try it for free.

NY Times Best Selling Author, filmmaker, and founder of whole.tv.