Breakfast: Kickstarting my brain with grain

Hmmm, seems I'm talking about tasty stuff a lot these days, let's keep the trend going! I'm not doing a great job with the detox, but the beauty of this one is how forgiving it is. I feel like I can keep going and do the food aspect of it to create healthy habits and redirect my taste buds. Afterward, I can go back and integrate the yoga. In the meantime, I'm trying to remember to do all of it, just not beating myself up if I don't remember/can't find the time to do the morning routine of meditation and yoga.

Sorry for the pitiful picture...all I had on-hand was my cell phone.

This is pretty much what breakfast has looked like for the past week: baked apple quinoa (keen-wah) with a liver-cleansing beverage. Last week I started each day with a lemon drink that I grew pretty fond of: Juice from half a lemon, dash of cayenne, 2 ounces apple cider vinegar and a spoon of honey in 8 ounces of warm water. This week I'm supposed to replace the lemon drink with a detoxifying tea, but I had my lemon drink this morning anyway.  I don't know if it's that my tastes are changing, but I really enjoy starting my day with it!

I've used quinoa a handful of times in the past, but always as something of a rice substitution. Because it's protein-packed and full of fiber, it makes a perfect morning meal. I first tried this version which called for chopped apples, a few other ingredients, and dry grain all mixed together and baked.  It was good, but for texture's sake with the next batch I decided to partially cook the grains before mixing them up and baking them. I went with Gabby's Gluten Free Cinnamon Breakfast Bake, but instead of soy milk used apple sauce, didn't use quite as much maple syrup, and threw in a handful of chopped dates.

Warding off the sugar monster

Tired of my turmeric tea talk? When @ShaynaLaGrace  (aka La La Grace) asked twitters to join her in a 30 day detox, I jumped right on in. The detox, Optimal Health for a Vibrant Life by Tiffany Cruikshank,  reflects the changes I was already making, but having it written solidified my resolve. It also works well as my Wellness Prescription. For week 1 you scale back on caffeine, sugar and alcohol and add a series of yoga sun salutations. I've been doing a yoga work out lately that consists mainly of sun salutations, so that part seemed easy enough. I rarely drink so that's another easy one, but caffeine and sugar have my by the jowls. I'm not sure that's even a saying, but let's pretend it is.

One way to scale back on the sugar is to nix the Starbucks Chai which has 47 g of sugar (in a grande soy).  The only ingredients I found online were for the Chai Concentrate, which I'm not entirely convinced is the same concentrate they use to make the drink behind the bar. The concentrate ingredients are:
 I think the in-store version must have sugar and honey higher up on the ingredient list.Anyway, to cut back on sugar, I made my own concentrate to make and take with me to work. Basically I used 12 chai tea bags simmered in 4 cups of water for 6 minutes. The spices weren't apparent enough, so I added extra ginger, black pepper, turmeric, and a dash of pumpkin pie spices (mainly to enhance the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom). I then sweetened it with honey and a bit of agave syrup. Serve it up with coconut milk and it's pretty good, but still not spot on. When I get it just right I'll share the exact recipe.

Do you make your own chai concentrate? What's your recipe? Are you a slave to the sugar monster? How do you (or do you even) ward him off?