COURTING CREATIVITY is a delicate process. While getting cracked out on coffee might give you a flood of new thoughts – and the endurance to chase them down – our best creative work comes from a place of calm. Whether it’s big a project at work, a side hustle or just a weekend DIY, make this functional smoothie recipe to keep those creative vibes flowing!
Our favorite series this summer comes from Sage Dammers, co-founder of Addictive Wellness and resident Smoothie Whisper. We’ve been asking him to solve every life issue we have from behind the blender, including energy issues and that that low-budget life. This creativity booster includes one of “the greatest adaptogens in the world” that you probably haven’t heard of yet…
Q: I’m looking for a smoothie to make when I need a creative boost. I want my brain to be firing away as I tackle work projects, but not overstimulated. I’d like something I can drink on the weekend too, when I have downtime to be creative! I want to feel open and inspired in my process, not too antsy or hyper-focused.
A: Naturally, most people would reach for coffee in this situation, but there are much more interesting ways we can go about this! We’re looking for an experience of peaceful invigoration facilitated by the greatest tonic herbs rather than the simple stimulation offered by coffee.
Gynostemma is not related to the tea plant and does not contain caffeine, so this is not technically a tea, but rather an herbal infusion. Coming from a small region in southern China where people regularly live to be over 80 and 100 years old, gynostemma is one of the greatest adaptogens in the world. It also holds the honor of being the highest saponin-containing plant known to man. (Saponins are the primary class of adaptogenic compounds.) This herb offers a myriad of benefits, but the reason we are using it here is for its ability to simultaneously promote feelings of invigoration and inner peace.
Next we’re going to use a packet of our Cacao Elixir Blend to make this into a hot chocolate. The theobromine contained in cacao is mildly stimulating but does not affect the central nervous system in the same way that caffeine does. The euphoria brought on by high-quality cacao as a result of the serotonin, anandamide and phenylethylamine really opens up one’s creative potential. This blend contains a very powerful cordyceps, which has been shown to improve oxygen utilization in the body. It also contains reishi mushroom, one of the greatest anti-stress herbs. Fear and anger are the natural enemies of creativity, so we’re doing everything we can to mediate stress and anxiety here!
Polygala root is traditionally said to aid in creative thinking and the ability to manifest our ideas. Modern science has also shown it to enhance memory and protect against neurodegenerative disease – so hopefully you won’t forget the great creative ideas you’ve just had!
We can blend up rhodiola in this drink as a great functional addition, but it will completely hijack the flavor, so only do this if you really enjoy the flavor of rhodiola. Otherwise, you can just pop a few capsules on the side. Rhodiola decreases both stress and fatigue. It stimulates EPO to increase production of red blood cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen around your body. Great quality rhodiola can really make you feel alive and present!
And if you feel your focus or creativity dipping during the day, just take a few dropperfuls of Dragon Herbs Goji & Schizandra Drops. This will really perk up your brain! These two berries are both great liver tonics. From the Taoist health perspective, a balanced liver allows for smooth flow of qi in such a way that facilitates self-expression and creativity. Creativity isn’t the only side-effect of a balanced liver… a healthy liver also manifests strong motivation and the will to evolve, grow and develop.