As a holistic lifestyle guide, Cassandra Bodzak believes that the way you begin your morning will set the tone for the rest of the day—and for Bodzak, getting a strong start means a fresh, healthy meal and a mindfulness exercise. "When you fuel yourself properly and give yourself a few minute to get centered with your breath you give yourself a competitive advantage on the day," she explained in an email. "Starting off from a calm, positive place and eating foods that genuinely nourish you help you think clearer, improve your mood, and allow you to tune into that inner guidance system we all have within us."
Bodzak's book Eat With Intention: Recipes and Meditations for a Life that Lights You Upis full of wholesome plant-based recipes that make for a healthy morning meal, like this pretty foolproof recipe for dairy-free, creamy cashew yogurt. "Just make sure to blend up those cashews well, and it will turn out nice and creamy," she notes. And though Bodzark pairs it with raspberries, she adds, "You can even have fun with different flavors if you want to mix in different kinds of fruits, nuts or even chocolate chips to make it your own special combo."
If you really want to make the most of your morning routine, try the meditative exercise that Bodzak has paired with each recipe. They're approachable for everyone, even those who might feel initially self-conscious about pairing their dairy-free cashew yogurt with a side of meditation.
This particular morning meditation is designed to help you let go of your expectations for the day and start to accept the unknown, which is pretty much how Bodzak came up with this yogurt recipe. "When I first started toying around with making an alternative 'yogurt,' I had no idea how it would turn out," she writes in Eat With Intention. "But I soon discovered that cashews make a perfect dairy-free Greek-esque yogurt." The yogurt will keep in your fridge, too, so feel free to make a big batch and eat it throughout the week.
There's really no reason not to start the day with this breathing exercise and homemade yogurt—and who knows what you'll be able to come up with, too!
Let It Go Meditation
Sit in a comfortable position, place your palms facing up on your knees, and start breathing in through your nose and out your mouth. Allow your attention to focus on your breath and add the mantra “let go,” breathing in “let” and exhal-ing “go.” When other thoughts come up, let them float by like clouds and keep coming back to your breathing and the “let go” mantra. Continue for 3 minutes, gradually building up to 20 minutes. To close the meditation, take a deep breath in, hold it, and exhale powerfully.
Creamy Cashew Yogurt
Recipe reprinted from Eat with Intention by Cassandra Bodzak, courtesy of Race Point Publishing, an imprint of The Quarto Group
1 ½ cups raw, unsalted cashew nuts
1 lemon, juiced
⅓ cup canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Raspberries, for serving
How to Make It
In a bowl, combine the cashew nuts and enough cold water to cover, and soak for 2 to 3 hours. Drain.
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and purée until the mixture has a yogurt-like consistency.