For the past 2 and 1/2 weeks, I’ve been on a lifestyle/food/drink challenge (among several other challenges I’ll address in future posts, so stay tuned for those!). My stress levels are always high and obviously, in turn, my health suffers. Whenever I stress out, there are times when my stomach churns, there’s an occasional burning in my chest, my bowel movements are slightly irregular, and I don’t have much of an appetite. So, every morning, I vowed to make this healthy, albeit smelly, cocktail using a star ingredient that’s been said to improve namely digestion, ward off a cold or soothe a sore throat, and even aid in weight loss. Can you guess what it is?
Yup, it’s Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). It’s the super smelly cousin of white vinegar that smells–I’m going to say it–like ass right out of the bottle. When you spill it on something or apply it topically to your skin and allow it to dry, the odor is similar to smelly feet.
What is ACV? ACV, particularly raw and unfiltered or “from the Mother” as it says on one of the most popular brands of ACV which means it’s been unprocessed, is fermented apple juice. Fermentation is a process that takes place in food when it sits out for a period of time so the sugars turn into alcohol (goodness, all the acid!!). Fermentation = benefits. Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimichi are gut healthy foods. They contain probiotics (good bacteria), digestive enzymes and nutrients. Basically, they’re jam-packed with nutrients. Similarly, fermented skincare products contain powerful ingredients to combat aging.
I first saw ACV in an article in Seventeen magazine years ago about how Jessica Simpson takes a spoon of ACV when she has a cold. As I mentioned, I started to take it orally to promote better digestion. I started on the 2nd of the month and I can honestly say, I haven’t experienced any digestion problems and I don’t eat well all the time. I actually am pretty hungry when I wake up, but tend to feel nauseous when I jump into eating right after I brush my teeth and do my morning skincare routine. So making this drink and sipping on it for 20, sometimes 30 minutes helps ease my body into eating my first meal of the day. I actually don’t leave any wait time between drinking and eating (I’m starving by then xD) and I haven’t experienced any uneasiness in my stomach.
In this drink I mix in honey. You definitely don’t want to drink ACV alone because it’s too acidic and will burn (it still does even diluted with water, but obviously not as badly!). Honey not only adds sweetness, but in raw form it provides vitamins and is an antibiotic that fights off infection. Honey heals everything, doesn’t it? I think this drink has also prevented me from getting sick from all the restless nights! If you’re making this drink for a sore throat, honey is extremely soothing. If you’re vegan, scroll down to the recipe to see what else you can add as a sweetener!
Note: The first time I started this challenge I made 2 cups, which I drank all of and did experience over-the-top burning from the ACV. I suggest starting out or just sticking with making 1 cup. This stuff is powerful.
Let’s get into how I make this drink (makes 1 cup (double recipe to make 2 cups)). There are only 3 ingredients (4 if you want to get fancy ;D)!
Another note: You can enjoy this drink anytime before a meal. You can wait 30 minutes afterward until you have that meal!
Step 1: Put into a cup of choice 2 tablespoons of ACV.
My favorite brand of ACV is Bragg’s Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. You can purchase it at your local health food store or here.
Step 2: Squeeze or spoon 1 tablespoon of honey into the cup.
I recommend using raw honey as it contains more nutrients and enzymes that would’ve otherwise been lost from processing and that it’s more liquid than a solid. Since we’re not using warm or boiling water, the solid honey won’t melt as quickly in the water. My favorite recent discovery of honey is Nature Nate’s 100% Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey which you can purchase here.
OPTIONAL: You can add in 1-2 tablespoons of apple juice.
My favorite brand of apple juice is Martinelli’s 100% Pure Unfiltered Apple Juice. Vitamin C is the only other ingredient, added to maintain color. It’s super sweet like biting into an apple. It pairs well with ACV, of course! This is optional if you don’t want to use honey.
Step 3: Fill your cup with 1 cup of plain, room temperature water (filtered/distilled).
Give this drink a mix until the honey has incorporated with the liquids and sip away!
Have a go at this drink and let me know how you feel! The key here is to be consistent. Honestly, a lot of the benefits aren’t exactly scientifically proven, so don’t expect miracles. Still, getting in some liquid in the morning is beneficial to revving up your metabolism and flushing out toxins from your system.
Until next time,