Golden mylk is a soothing drink spiced with turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper and flavoured with coconut and vanilla. It’s a natural remedy I use to promote restful sleep and mitigate stress; it’s also delicious!
FebYOUary (our self-love series) continues with this cozy and calming golden mylk latte. We talked about food for the soul with a recipe for these insanely divine chocolate rolls, and today is all about food for the mind. In particular, how to care for ourselves during stressful times. This golden mylk latte is one of the tactics I use to relax and promote restful sleep.
Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer – William S. Burroughs
I chose to share this quote because it embodies my self-care philosophy. Amidst the buzz and hum of our face-paced world, moments of tranquility are hard to find. But not impossible. Quiet time and ‘me time’ are incredibly valuable and worth making time for in your busy schedule. Notice how I said ‘making time’? The most common excuse I hear from people wishing they could exercise more, cook more, socialize more, sleep more is “I don’t have time!” Honey, we all have 24 hours a day. If you want it you’re going to need to make time.
By giving ‘me time’ the priority it deserves, you’ll have the opportunity to gain greater self-awareness. Create a time and space for yourself where you can learn about your abilities, tendencies, needs, likes, and dislikes. These must be the answers Burroughs talked about.
There are two parts to my stress management: prevention and mitigation.
My preventative techniques basically revolve around scheduling. First, I disperse my workload over several days. By breaking it apart into manageable chunks, I keep my brain from burning out and my mind from going insane. I’m the type of person who likes to physically check off to-do items in my planner, and not being able to have a completed list increases my cortisol levels. A little bit of planning ahead helps me avoid that. I work hard during the weekdays so that I have the entire weekend to rejuvenate and let my brain take a break from thinking about chemistry and global health policies.
Second, I schedule in regular me time. That may be in the form of a group fitness class, yoga session, baking for fun, or just a long hot bath. I’m quite introverted and find strength in solitude. This me time is where I put the worries of the past and the future aside and meet myself in the immediate present. Can I do one more rep? Hold this asana for one more breath? Control a very specific muscle in my body? I learn a lot about my physical and mental abilities during workouts. You push yourself to keep the pace, to stabilize in that posture, with your mind being your #1 cheerleader. I 100% believe that exercise strengthens your mentality so that it can continue to cheer itself through future turmoil.
Me time is also occupied by hobbies. For me, it’s baking for fun. It’s different than recipe development for Radiant Rachels because I don’t need to force myself to create something unique, be meticulous with measurements, or worry about the final outcome. I’ll choose a recipe that I’ve been eyeing from another blogger, bathe in the aroma of whatever batter or dough I’m mixing together, and sing along to my favourite songs. It’s the process of baking that’s relaxing. Typically, I take over the kitchen in the early mornings on my days off, before the rest of my family wakes up, and treat myself to a freshly baked goody for breakfast (or mid-morning snack). By freeing up my weekends, I regularly disengage from school and work and engage in my hobbies.
Despite the hours of yoga done or numbers of muffins baked, stress sometimes still gets its grip on me. The feeling of burnout is common for university students. I once burned out so bad I couldn’t get myself out of the house or do anything remotely productive for an entire week! Unlike other young adults who can sleep until mid-day, my circadian rhythm is easily thrown off balance by stress and I am confronted with insomnia more often than I’d like (lez be real, no one likes insomnia).
Someone please tell me where I can find sheep to count. I don’t usually see sheep fairies flying over my head when I’m lying awake at 3am. I understand that the concept of counting sheep is to focus on one thing so your mind doesn’t wander. My hyperactive mind is hard to control but I do have some rituals that help.
Instead of sheep, I focus my mind on a constant sound or scent. My best friend is a light sleeper and has always used a noise maker to help her sleep. The sound of rain, even if fake, is soothing and helps me fall asleep faster too (good thing I live in Vancouver). I also am a big big big fan of lavender. I spritz my pillow with a bit of lavender spray every night and recently got a diffuser so my entire room can smell of this lovely relaxing scent. Breathe deeply and enjoy the smell of your favourite essential oil. Aromatherapy works!
Another way I like to destress, specially on a cold winter day, is to lounge on the couch in a blanket burrito with my hands wrapped around a hot drink. My house is especially cold (all my friends can vouch for that; they come prepared with extra clothing to layer on) so I like drinking something hot before bed. This golden mylk latte has been my recent go-to as turmeric is supposed to aid with sleep.
Tips for making the best golden mylk latte
The word ‘best’ is subjective and I want to include some tips to help you concoct your perfect golden mylk latte mix. I’ve seen a spectrum of recipes, some with ginger, others with cardamom, even others with ashwagandha, but all with turmeric (the sole reason this latte is ‘golden’). It really comes down to personal preference; omit, add, and adjust to your heart’s desire. We’re not major fans of ginger, so we’ve left that out. Nor do we think cardamom and ashwagandha are particularly accessible for the average person.
What we do love is a golden mylk latte heavy on the coconut, cinnamon, and vanilla. Black pepper is supposed to increase the absoprtion of curcumin (the beneficial compound in turmeric) so we suggest you keep that in the mix. If you don’t have powdered vanilla or a vanilla bean on hand, the easiest way to add that flavour is to use vanilla milk or add a dash or vanilla extract when heating up. My current favourite is vanilla cashew milk so that is what I used. If you use coconut milk, you can leave the coconut milk powder out as it will be creamy and fragrant enough.
More ways to use this golden mylk mix
I hope this post was helpful towards developing and maintaining mindfulness. If you have any other self-care practices, please feel free to share them in the comments!
- ⅓ cup (50g) coconut milk powder*
- 2 tbsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp powdered stevia (or for those that like it sweeter; optional)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- Put all ingredients into an 8 ounce (1 cup) jar (or equivalent) and shake until evenly combined.
- To make one latte, heat up 1 cup of vanilla flavoured non-dairy milk and add 2 to 3 tsp of the drink mix. Stir until dissolved and enjoy warm.