Anti-inflammatory Chai Spiced Almond Milk

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Guys, I am not a happy camper right now. I seem to be in the middle of a big fat flare up of my SI joint, and that always makes me grumpy, because I can’t be active when this thing flares up. Me and resting have a love/hate relationship. I love it when I’m able to be active and a good rest after a nice long hike or jog feels fantastic. I hate it when I’m forced to do it. Sooooo…at least one good thing is coming out of this, and that is that I realized I’ve never shared my anti-inflammatory chai-spiced almond milk recipe with you all!

This is my go to anytime I have a flare up, because it’s great for reducing inflammation, and it feels like your drinking a super yummy treat! The anti-inflammatory properties come from the spices in there: turmeric, ginger powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. All of these have strong anti-inflammatory properties (especially turmeric), but on top of that, they all have a tremendous amount of other health benefits as well! Check out these pins for each of these four spices explaining these benefits!

TURMERIC

turmeric

GROUND GINGER

ginger

CINNAMON

cinnamon

NUTMEG

nutmeg

Guys, seriously, there’s too many health benefits to even count, and you get all of these in this anti-inflammatory milk! On top of all that, it also contains coconut oil, which is known to reduce inflammation and joint pain, among its gazillion other health benefits. So, yeah, this stuff is pretty awesome, and honestly, even if I’m not in a flare up, I like to make a batch of this stuff to have on hand, because it is sooooooo yummy!

You can enjoy it warm or cold, and if you make a big batch at once, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week. If you do it this way, you can also reheat it after its been stored in the fridge if you prefer it warm. I like it both ways, depending on the weather outside (cold weather = warm and cozy, hot weather = cold and soothing).

One last thing! I use almond milk in this recipe, but you can replace that with coconut milk, regular milk, or you can even make this using tea or just plain water. Since most of the anti-inflammatory benefits come from the spices and coconut oil, the liquid you use to make it (barring some sugary or chemically laden drink) doesn’t make a difference.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY CHAI SPICED ALMOND MILK

Ingredients: makes 3-4 servings

  • 3 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • dash of black pepper (this is completely optional, and I don’t usually add it, but it can help with absorption of the other spices – however, if you’re sensitive to pepper, like me, it’s perfectly fine to leave it out)
  • raw honey or stevia to taste (I usually use stevia to keep it completely sugar free, also, you can use no sweetener at all if you would like)

Directions:

1.) In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the almond milk and coconut oil over medium heat. Add the spices and sweetener, and use a spoon or whisk to stir and combine completely while continuing to heat the mixture over medium heat.

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2.) Once the mixture is combined completely, the coconut oil is completely melted (if it was in solid form when you added it), and it has reached your desired temperature, remove it from the heat, and transfer to a cup.

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YUMMERS, and YAY to a more natural remedy for pain relief! Enjoy! 🙂

Anti Inflammatory Cauliflower and Injury Update

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As I explained in my post on extensor tendonitis, I’m injured.

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Sooooo, I am on week 4 of complete rest, and I am going somewhat insane with cabin fever, but I am hanging in there…sort of…

Last time I updated, I was just starting complete rest and the light therapy.  I’ve done the light therapy for 3 1/2 weeks now. I’m not sure if it’s really doing anything, so I am backing off on using it and will only use it sporadically here and there.  At my last PT session, we decided to try putting me in one of those air boots.  It felt okay for about 1/2 an hour, but after about 6 hours in that thing, my foot was actually feeling worse, so I decided that’s a no go.  We also tried massage – hokey pete, that hurt!!!  I didn’t want to do dry needling, so we tried “irritating” the area with massage.  That turned out about as well as you would expect it to from the sounds of it – won’t be doing that again!  I do think that once the pain settles down much more (yes, it has settled down some) that massage will be good for the tightness.

Okay, so let’s talk about some positives.  The things I have noticed that have helped a bit are icing, resting, and eating as much turmeric as is humanly possible.  I’m  noticing that I can now sit indian style without much pain, which was an impossibility before.  I also notice that I can wiggle, point and flex my toes with much less difficulty and pain.

I’m thinking I’m going to have to go old school with this injury and just follow R.I.C.E and stretches.  I’ve notice that my body doesn’t seem to like anything aggressive, so I’m going to have to just be patient and gently guide my body in the right direction to healing.  I’ll get there, it’s just going to take some time.  I’m hoping to be walking again in another month or so, and then I will get back to running VERY slowly hopefully next fall.

***UPDATE: All together, it took about a year for things to calm down completely, however, I started running (slow and short distances) again 6 months in.  After the 12 year mark, I was pretty much good to go, with flare ups here and there, and after about 18 months, I was completely healed with no more flare ups.  If you’re dealing with extensor tendonitis, I highly recommend just doing the basics for treatment (rest, ice, etc.) and nothing too aggressive.  Everything that I tried to do outside of the basics made things much worse and seemed to prolong recovery.  At any rate though, I know this is a nasty injury, so just want to say that if you’re dealing with it – don’t worry – it will get better eventually…it just takes time! 🙂

So, as I mentioned, I have been eating TONS of turmeric!

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This spice is one of the best anti-inflammatory spices you can possibly put in your body.  Many people use it to treat pain as opposed to anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, because it’s MUCH better for your body, and it WORKS!  I’ve been making a lot of rutabaga fries using turmeric as my seasoning.  I also have a great recipe for turmeric cauliflower, and I’ve been eating it as much as possible!  It’s delicious, easy to make, SO healthy, and STRONGLY anti-inflammatory!  Not only is the turmeric anti-inflammatory, but so are ALL the other ingredients!

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY TURMERIC CAULIFLOWER

Ingredients:

  • Red Onion, chopped
  • Cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • turmeric
  • sea salt
  • water

Directions:

1.) In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

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2.) Add your cauliflower, garlic powder, turmeric, and sea salt.  Stir to combine.  Add a small amount of water, then cook until the cauliflower is tender (or to desired consistency), probably about 10 minutes.

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Transfer to a plate, and enjoy! 🙂