This Chef Doses Her Coffee With MCT Oil and Never Eats Bananas
All in the name of energy.
Published Mar 20, 2019 7:00 AM
Chef Alex Thomopoulos is the type of chef who wants to follow a healthy lifestyle but also believes in indulging and not feeling guilty. “My philosophy is to combine the two ideas,” says Thomopoulos. Like when she jokes about putting tequila in her green juice on a weekend morning. “It’s actually delicious. I think I’ve cracked it.” The chef, writer, and self-described comedian is also a big proponent of experimenting. “My philosophy to health and wellness is to ‘try anything once,’ and if it works for me, I’ll continue to do it,” she says. “But if it doesn’t, then I don’t.” Here is Thomopoulos’s morning routine, entirely based on feeling great and all-day energy.
But First, Meditate
“I get up and meditate, first thing. I never ever miss a morning,” says Thomopoulos. “It helps with the momentum of my day and it really kick-starts everything.” She allots 20 minutes for her transcendental meditation practice, no matter how early a start she has. According to Thomopoulos, it’s been a game changer, allowing her to get energized and motivated for the day.
Water, But Make It Alkaline
After meditation, she rehydrates with a big glass of room-temperature water containing either half a lemon or a shot of apple cider vinegar to alkalize her system. (Even though lemons are acidic, they become alkaline in your body, which brings down the acidity and flushes out your system.) If she’s feeling particularly sluggish or bloated, she adds one of those ingredients to hot water and sips throughout the day, but otherwise, plain water is her go-to.
Not Your Normal Green Juice
Like any wellness expert, Thomopoulos loves a smoothie. She makes a nutrient-dense version for breakfast and waits until the afternoon for a big meal to help with better digestion. “I find I’m more satiated in the morning and won’t crash as hard around 11:30 am or noon,” she says.
One key ingredient she doesn’t include: “Bananas—they’re really high in sugar.” Instead, Thomopoulos opts for vegan protein powder, frozen blueberries (“they’re the only fruit I’ll put in a smoothie”), superfoods like maca powder and chia seeds, as well as coconut oil and bee pollen. If you’re missing creaminess, she suggests adding avocado or frozen cauliflower to give a rich and delicious texture.
A Whole Lotta Coffee
“I drink a lot of coffee,” admits Thomopoulos. While she does have about four to five cups a day, she adds a wellness element: MCT oil. “It’s really creamy and a little bit sweet and it gives you that sumptuous taste you’d get from a creamer but without all the sugar and other crap,” she says. That tablespoon of MCT oil adds a bit of flavor, but more importantly, it sustains her energy. “I like the way it makes me feel and I don’t crash—it prolongs my caffeine stimulation,” she says. Another hack? She uses a $15 Mr. Coffee machine at home. “It’s very, very exclusive and expensive,” she jokes.
A quality probiotic is a necessity, and Thomopoulos swears by Seed. The prebiotic and probiotic blend was cocreated by women’s health expert Ara Katz and is being described as the future of probiotics by the brand, due to its advanced bacteria strains specifically created for women. She takes three right before bed or in the early morning. “Honestly, Seed has really changed my digestion and just the way I feel,” she says.
Blend yourself up a nutrient-dense, low-sugar shake, just like Thomopoulos does every morning.
Here’s her go-to recipe:
1/2 cup frozen blueberries 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk 1 handful spinach 1 tbsp. MCT oil 1 serving vegan vanilla protein powder (She uses CLEAN brand) 2 tsp. maca powder 2 tsp. chia seeds 1 tbsp. bee pollen A few ice cubes
Blend everything together until smooth and enjoy sustained energy all morning long.
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