The days are long yet pass too quickly. I make impossible to-do lists. I will cook 3 magnificent meals, photograph all of them, go through the attic of boxes full of odd things from every apartment I have ever lived in, spend time with each and every treasured family member and friend who I haven’t seen in the past year, swim in the ocean, run in the woods, meet with clients, finish a stack of research, stay up to lie on my back in the wet grass to look at the stars but still somehow manage to get 8 hours of sleep before waking up at sunrise to be the first to the top of the tallest mountain on the island. All I want is to do it all. The result? Many things accomplished but often with an undercurrent of anxiety that somehow I should be doing more. Self-imposed stress. My pulse quickens, my jaw tightens, and my shoulders creep up around my ears as I buzz from place to place, fretting as the precious hours slip away.
Then I remember that all I need is 10 minutes. To breathe. To sit still. To meditate. To sit on my mother’s brick patio, lain by her own hand and admire the cheerful cascade of nasturtiums pouring over the planter boxes. Not to pick them or photograph them or talk about them. Just to be. Somehow, in those ten short minutes, time expands, and I come out breathing more deeply, more smoothly, my heart rate lowered and my mind–at least temporarily–clearer and more at ease. It’s like plugging your phone in for just a little more battery charge. And suddenly I don’t fret the passing hours because I am once again present in them.
The past few days my 10 minute reboots have been enhanced with this hemp milk. Hemp seed is a great source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, protein, and essential amino acids. Long chain fatty acids are important for cardiovascular health, brain health, and healthy immuno response. They also keep the membrane around the cells in your body fluid and pliable which allows them to have a more flexible and dynamic response during periods of high stress. So even if you aren’t feeling externally flexible to stressors in your life, eating anti-inflammatory foods with good unsaturated fats in them can help maintain internal flexibility in the face of stress.
Rose hips are full of vitamin C, carotene and B-Complex vitamins (read, immune health and mood boost) and chamomile is an age old remedy for anxiety and tension. I make a small amount of strong tea of the two herbs and add it to my hemp milk. The taste is nutty, rich, and lightly aromatic from the herbs. It feels like an elixir, a slight indulgence, and I never seem to be able to gulp it down in one fell swoop. It practically requires sitting down, putting my feet up, and just enjoying for a few minutes. In my moments of self-imposed stress, this has become my self-mandated chill pill.
Rose Hip-Chamomile Hemp Milk
makes 2 cups
1 T dried chamomile flowers
1 T fresh or dried rose hips
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup just boiled water
Place the chamomile and rose hips in a bowl or measuring cup. Bring 1/2 a cup of water just to a boil and pour over the herbs. Cover and let steep 10 minutes.
Place the hemp seeds in a high speed blender with the cold water and process until seeds are completely pulverized and the water has become milky. About 3 minutes depending on how strong your blender is. You shouldn’t need to strain the milk at all.
Strain the tea through a fine mesh sieve, let cool or just pour directly into two beautiful glasses or mugs. Choose your favorite ones. Top with hemp milk. You can add ice to your glass or heat the milk or just drink it at room temperature. However you choose it, take it somewhere beautiful or at least quiet, sip slowly, breathe, and feel time expand.