Who starts every day with a latte?
Like… most of us.
So why not optimize the nutritional benefits of that warm morning beverage to help energize you even more and promote healthy muscle, joints, skin, digestion and a strong gut lining!?
If you’re in, here’s how I do it!
1) Start with whatever warm beverage base works for you.
For most of us, it’s coffee. But I know for me, and for many of my clients, coffee has too much of an impact on adrenal health & digestion to be the best choice.
Matcha green tea - full of potent antioxidants that support the liver & reduce inflammation. Matcha contains plenty of caffeine but also has l-theanine, an amino acid that calms and focuses - this balances out it’s effects on your adrenals for a steady energy rather than a jittery one.
Turmeric powder - contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds.
Cacao or carob powder - if you’re looking for more of a hot chocolate taste, these two both contain plenty of antioxidants, magnesium and calcium. They also act as a prebiotic, helping to balance the gut bacteria.
Steeped green tea - same benefits as matcha, just not quite as strong.
Steeped black tea - black tea contains some anti-candida properties as well as a healthy dose of caffeine to keep you energized.
Steeped rooibos tea - rooibos contains powerful polyphenols that act as antioxidants and naturally energize, without caffeine.
Steeped dandelion tea - dandelion is a powerful liver support, promoting gentle detoxification.
Steeped chai tea - chai contains warming spices that promote healthy digestion and stimulate blood flow.
These are the ones that blend really nicely with a milk (or milk alternative) to give you that comforting latte taste.
2) Add a touch of nut or seed milk
Most people do best with non-dairy milks, especially if you are trying to heal the gut. Unfortunately dairy-containing milks (even lactose-free varieties!) contain the proteins casein and whey, which can act as gut irritants and even permeate the gut lining. This is definitely not helpful if we’re trying to reduce inflammation and heal the gut!
Many people do well with nut milks like almond and cashew, which can now be found in most grocery stores. Unfortunately, many of them contain fillers and gums that can be very irritating to the gut lining. Look for varieties that are at LEAST carageenan-free - that is the biggest culprit. And, of course, go for the unsweetened ones! Don’t worry - we’ll add our own sweetness later!
My favourite option, however, is coconut milk. I get the canned variety WITHOUT any gums or fillers (like Cha’s!) and add just 1-2 tbsp to each of my lattes. Because it is so creamy, a little goes a long way! It also adds a little natural sweetness of it’s own.
Using coconut milk means I am JUST adding coconut and none of the other funny stuff, it is hypoallergenic and doesn’t contain as much phytic acid as other nuts (a compound that can still irritate the gut lining).
3) Add even more flavour!
I recommend playing with the addition of natural flavours that have their own health benefits.
My top choices:
Cinnamon - contains a compound called cinnamonaldehyde that can help to balance blood sugar levels throughout the day! Cinnamon mixes great all of the bases mentioned above. Sprinkle more on the top if you love the scent!
Ginger - ginger is a good idea for those of you trying to regulate digestion and increase circulation/blood flow. Use a chunk of fresh ginger to really get that spicy flavour, or use the ground variety for a more subtle taste. It works great in most of the bases mentioned above as well!
Turmeric - as mentioned, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Even if you don’t want a full on turmeric latte, adding a chunk the fresh stuff or a sprinkle of the ground stuff can still provide benefit without totally overpowering the flavour. This one works great with most of the steeped teas.
Cloves - cloves have antiseptic and germicidal properties that help fight infections, relieve digestive issues and arthritic pain. They’re all an excellent source of antioxidants and flavonoids that can reduce inflammation. This will give any drink a bit of a chai flavour, which actually works great in coffee, hot chocolate, black tea, rooibos and dandelion tea.
4) Add Collagen
Collagen is a heat stable protein that mixes beautifully with any morning latte! It is odourless and tasteless and provides MANY health benefits.
Collagen is an integral part of our skin, muscles, bones and joints. Our body produces collagen itself! However, our body’s ability to create collagen diminishes as we age. This is one of the big reasons we start to see signs of aging such as wrinkles, muscle atrophy, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Another big thing to consider is that our gut lining is a single layer of skins cells! That means that collagen is a HUGE part of keeping it strong and effective. For those of us with autoimmune and inflammatory issues, this can be a huge part of healing leaky gut!
Studies are also showing reports of enhanced satiation after consuming collagen, suggesting it may be a healthy and effective tool for weight loss.
I use Further Food collagen powder because they are ethically sourced from grass-fed cows or wild-caught salmon (if you want a marine-sourced option!). They are also a female owned and operated company that focuses on empowering women, which is just a bonus and I want to support that!
Feel free to use my discount code REALISTICHOLISTC to get 10% off your order!
5) Sweeten it right!
Some days I go without the sweetness, especially if I am using coconut milk. However, I am definitely not against a little natural sweetness in the morning.
Raw honey - contains immune supportive & antibacterial properties. If you want to triple down on the benefits, I recommend BeePowered by Beekeepers Naturals - it provides not only raw honey but also royal jelly, propolis and bee pollen for a well rounded support of the immune system and an extra energy boost! It works beautifully in all of the suggested blends. Remember: to get the benefits it has to be raw & unpasteurized, otherwise you’re killing off the bioactive compounds!
Maple Syrup - maple syrup contains plenty of minerals and is a decent source of some b-vitamins for an extra natural energy boost. Remember: it’s gotta be pure & natural.
Dates - dates are naturally very sweet but can also add some fibre & minerals lie magnesium to your mix! Just pop 1 into your latte for the perfect kick of natural sweetness.
Figs - figs provide a light & earthy sweetness. They work beautifully in any blended latte and provide that extra fibre and minerals as well. They’re especially good at getting those bowels going so if you’re having any trouble moving, this might be your best option!
6) Load in the L-Glutamine
It is important to note first and foremost that this should be done AFTER you have heated and blended your latte and maybe let it cool a little before adding. If exposed to too much heat, the l-glutamine may become denatured and therefore, less effective.
I blend my latte, let it sit for 2 minutes then stir in my l-glutamine like you would a sugar packet… but this is a big upgrade on sugar!
L-glutamine acts as food for your intestinal barrier, reinforcing it! For those of you looking to build muscle, it is also an incredible fuel for muscle building.
To get the full gut-healing effects, I recommend up to 0.5g per kg of bodyweight, daily. Most supplements will only recommend 1-2g but studies show that you need much more than that to really reinforce the gut lining. Work your way up slowly to ensure that you can tolerate higher amounts. Everyone is different!
You’ll probably only want to add up to 5g to a single drink, for taste and drinkability.
Keep in mind, l-glutamine can also act as fuel for neuronal cells. This can be a great way to boost cognitive function. However, I would warn if you have any form of anxiety, it can sometimes enhance those symptoms.
Look for the powdered variety for optimal absorption and ability to dose the amount you need.
And there you have it! The formula for loading up your latte with energy, gut healing and deliciousness!
Check out some of my favourites!
Gut Healing PSL
1.5 cups rooibos tea (or coffee)
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp pureed pumpkin
2 tbsp collagen powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5g l-glutamine powder
1) Steep your rooibos tea for 2 minutes (or brew your coffee!)
2) Add your tea or coffee and all remaining ingredient, except for the l-glutmaine, to a blender. Let blend until smooth & frothy.
3) Pour your PSL into your mug of choice & let cool slightly.
4) Add your l-glutamine and stir well to combine.
5) Drink up and heal that gut!
Detox Chai Carob Latte
1.5 cups dandelion tea
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp collagen powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp carob (or cacao)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 pinch sea salt
1) Steep your dandelion tea for 1- 2 minutes.
2) Add your tea and all remaining ingredient, except for the l-glutmaine, to a blender. Let blend until smooth & frothy.
3) Pour your detox chai into your mug of choice & let cool slightly.
4) Add your l-glutamine and stir well to combine.
5) Drink up and detox!
Starting to get the hang of it!? Experiment with making your own loaded latte or try one of my favourites out & tag me @realistic.holistic and hashtag #realisticholistic - I’ll be sure to feature you!