Morning Ritual – Preparing A Mindful Drink

Preparing a special drink each morning has become a morning ritual that I won’t often skip, and I am very grateful that I have the time and space to do it. This drink can be different some mornings, but a select few always return. It’s a beautiful thing to wake up, open your eyes, and be thankful for another day. Stretch, meditate, smile. And start your morning ritual by preparing a nourishing drink to heal the body and mind. It might be different for everyone and might take a few tries to find out what works for you. To inspire you to maybe try out a few new ideas for each morning, I decided to write a little bit about my favorite drinks to wake up with. Keep in mind that some of these herbs might take a while of continuous use to notice an effect (although I feel that if you listen to your body – you start noticing subtle things quite quickly). Of course, always check certain herbs and their contraindications (especially when you are pregnant, breastfeeding, …), and safety precautions before adding them to your day. Although most of these herbs are very safe and easy to use and are probably also well-known to you already.

Warming & Stimulating Lemon Water

Something that I often enjoy in the early moments of the morning is hot water with lemon juice (inspired by Ayurvedic tradition, and the ginger-lemon-honey tea we often enjoyed in India) to gently wake up the stomach and get things going. I often combine my hot lemon water with turmeric (anti-inflammatory), black pepper (to activate the curcumin, the active compound in turmeric), ginger (anti-inflammatory and digestion aid), and on cold mornings: a pinch of cayenne pepper – a powerful and heating stimulant that boosts circulation and digestion.

As I mostly prefer to wake up my stomach with a hot water drink that is not caffeinated (no coffee, tea, yerba mate, …), this is what I prepare right after I wake up, and before I start to move my body through yoga asanas or stretching. I feel that this special drink wakes up my body, and gets everything moving and warmed up to start my day.

Healing Hot Milk

But later in the day, and definitely on colder days, there is something I often look forward to, which is to prepare a creamy, milky, latte-like drink. Made with (plant-based) milk – I prefer (homemade) oat milk at the moment – and combined with herbs such as raw cacao powder (rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals), ashwagandha (Ayurvedic herb, tonic, and adaptogenic abilities, reduces stress and anxiety), maca (used by the Incas to give energy and strength), matcha (powdered green tea, bursting with antioxidants and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals – providing clean energy for the body and mind), turmeric (powerful anti-inflammatory herb – combine with black pepper), cinnamon (warming and stimulating, boosts the circulatory and respiratory system). You can heat the milk, or first whip everything in hot water and then add a bit of milk, it’s up to you.

And often finishing with a scoop of raw honey to welcome in the antioxidants and antibacterial properties it contains. Of course, you can use any kind of sweetener you prefer. Another idea is masala chai, the spiced milk-tea they drink in India. It’s full of healing spices such as clove, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and so on. It’s made with black tea, which has plenty of antioxidants and helps you wake up in the morning. Leave out the black tea and add turmeric and you’ll have golden milk, again a drink that has its origins in Ayurveda and India.


Of course, one of the most obvious and well-known morning drinks, enjoyed by many people around the world, is coffee. A steaming hot cup of coffee in the morning is definitely something I enjoy, but I’ve noticed that coffee is often more of a social drink for both me and Tim, and we drink it most often when we are camping, or staying with friends. While we were traveling with our van through the States, coffee was the perfect drink to accompany us on long rides and seemed to fit perfectly at that moment. I remember early, cold mornings in misty forests, when we were quickly cooking up a pot of coffee in our percolator, to enjoy the warmth of a cup and to fill the van with the heat of the stovetop. Or slow mornings with friends, sharing coffee, breakfast, music, laughter, … These are moments that I hold very dearly, and the drinking of coffee together has been an important part of that.

Coffee has medicinal benefits but is not for everybody. It’s widely over-consumed, which is probably not good for any herbal remedy. Coffee is a stimulant. It boosts energy, circulation, and digestion. For some people, a cup of coffee a day might work, but for others, it might not. People who have trouble sleeping or have anxiety issues probably won’t always benefit from even one cup of coffee a day. The important thing is (as always) to listen to your body, what does it say? 

Yerba Mate

Another drink that I greatly appreciate and enjoy is yerba mate, which was the thing I drank most in the mornings for a whole while. Not in South America, as some people will expect (as it’s an important drink in many South American countries) but in Malaysia. It’s made from the dried leaves of the yerba mate plant, native to South America. The plant is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and boosts energy and can improve mental focus, along with plenty of other benefits. It’s traditionally consumed through a tea straw called a bombilla and the cup is traditionally a dried calabash gourd.

These are just a few of my favorites, but I’m curious to hear some of yours! What is your favorite drink in the morning? Which healing herbs do you include in your morning ritual?


Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide

Herbs With Rosalee

Yerba Mate: Herb of The Week – Katja Swift

Healthy Coffee Benefits

Our American Adventure and Why We Started This Blog

We both grew up in Flanders, the northern and most populated part of Belgium, a tiny country in Western Europe. Our views were filled with fields, farms and a lot of houses everywhere, with not too much space for wild nature in between.

(Caro) I spend my entire childhood in the city of Antwerp. This meant I had a limited connection with nature growing up, but the memories I treasure the most were the ones from the park I spend a lot of time, or the family vacations to Luxembourg, where my cousins and I explored the forests, played games and were almost constantly outside. Getting older, that connection with nature got a little bit lost, being in the city constantly. But it immediately returned once we both decided to quit with what we were doing and embark on our big adventure, exploring the world.

(Tim) Growing up in the countryside, I could play and walk in the forest whenever I pleased. From a young age, I started sensing the wonders nature had to offer. The beauty of Autumn leaves falling from the trees, or the colors of the sky on a clear Summer morning or a warm Winter evening was something I truly loved as a child. Growing older, there were other things that had to be thought about, there had to be an answer to society’s call. Good grades, getting a job, and behaving appropriately became more important, and so the magic of nature slowly faded away as I grew into my teenage years. After dropping out of college and tuning back in with my inner self, by which I mean, growing up and becoming a child again, made me realize what I was missing out all this time. I opened up again, and before me was everything I never knew, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be explored.

Our American Adventure

Since a young age, there has been a fascination with American culture. When we were growing up, things often seemed to be a little bit dull, because you know what they say, the grass is always greener on the other side, definitely when you are a teenager. As a result, the whole Hollywood culture, and everything we saw in movies was very exciting to our young minds. Our interests shifted as we grew older, and we dove deeper into American culture. Jazz, blues, Beatnik literature and more …

For a few years, a special connection with the United States had been building up. The movies we watched, the music we listened to, the books we read, they all seemed to have come to life in this mystical continent, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. And one thing that was described in all of it was the American Open Road … A lonesome road, going on for miles, with a never-ending yellow stripe in the middle. White mountain peaks on one side, a high-desert on the other.

So, a few years back, we got the idea of embarking on our Great American Adventure, a road-trip, which we did in the summer of 2019. On August 14th (exactly six months after Valentine’s day, the day we returned to Europe from Asia), we left for North America.

“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.”

Song of the Open Road, Walt Witman.

After we flew to Canada, we bought a van in Montréal, which we named Lazy Lightnin’. We visited family in Ontario, where we spend a week converting our van into our tiny, cozy home, and we left for the United States at the end of August. There was a strong feeling that we had been called to the United States and when we arrived, we felt home immediately. The people we met, the nature we explored, the music we danced to. It all felt like a part of a bigger picture as if it were all little miracles being send our way, the universe telling us we were on the right path.

The natural environment of North America (especially the west, which we mostly explored) is one of the most diverse, most beautiful ones we have ever encountered. You can go from a lonesome desert to the mountains, to a wild coastline, all in one day. A lot of people live close to nature and wildlife is everywhere, even in bigger towns. Growing up, the only “big” wildlife we could see (if we were lucky) was deer, while in Ashland, a town in Oregon where we lived for a while, every day they could be found in someone’s front yard. Bears (and sometimes even moose) visited towns too. It was one of the most incredible things we noticed in the States, the thin boundary between human society and The Wild.

Our first time camping in nature with Lazy Lightnin’.

Discovering a New World

(Caro) We have been interested in alternative forms of medicine since our first travel to India, where we found out about Ayurveda, an ancient healing system. It opened our eyes to the wonders of holistic and traditional medicine, and we learned that there were a lot of alternatives to the western medicine system we had known all of our lives. These were ways of healing that were aware of the person as a whole, not just to a particular disease, and that worked together in harmony with our body, mind and spirit. The spark was there, in India, but the realization that this was something that I wanted to pursue came to me in the United States. A dear friend of mine in Oregon had told me that she thought of me as a healer, and those words gave me a very special feeling inside. I knew then that I wanted to learn more about all the wonderful, healing gifts of nature, and that I wanted to share this knowledge with my friends, and hopefully be able to help people along the way.

Tim and our van that just broke down, on a full moon evening in Wyoming.

We have traveled to different places, where we connect with different cultures and their ways to maintain a balanced life, and it would be nice to explore this further and deepen our knowledge about traditional medicine while sharing this with the people who are interested. And so, here we are, on our own blog, and we are very excited to start!

We want to highlight the fact that our aim for this blog is to share the knowledge which we acquire on our journey around this planet and from our own experiences. We don’t know the ultimate truth and believe that each body is unique and different, and what will work for somebody, is not guaranteed to work for somebody else. We want to share our own personal stories and ideas, and advise everybody to do their own research. That being said, I hope we can inspire people to learn more about everything that Nature has gifted us and all the different forms of traditional medicine.