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Since time immemorial, man has searched for the elixir of life. A potion so mysteriously potent, that anyone who consumed it would have eternal life. For thousands of years, alchemists the world over would drink concoctions of gold, jade, mercury, sulfur, and even arsenic, hoping to stay young for the rest of eternity…
A lot of them died immediately.
The search for an elixir of life is a foolish pursuit. But the foods that we eat have a huge impact on our health, energy, and state of mind.
After receiving many requests for my “Flow Shake” recipe, I have decided to share it. This drink has been a game changer. Whether I’m prepping for a long writing session, a concert, a soccer game, or I just want to start the day off in the zone, I drink this. And while it’s not the elixir of life, it sure puts me where I want to be.
If you haven’t read about flow states or routines that trigger them, I highly recommend that you do so now. While this recipe is healthy and beneficial any time you drink it, it will not put you in the zone just by touching your lips. If your goal is to enter the zone and perform at the peak of your abilities (flow state), you need a personalized routine that elevates your game. Get the steps to create your own routine here. My personal flow routine is:
- Drink A Flow Shake
- Meditate for 10 minutes
- Yoga/Tai Chi for 10 minutes
- Listen to “Ride On” by AC/DC
- Kick some ass.
This is a routine that I have followed for months now. My mind/body is conditioned to enter flow as I pass through each step of the routine. I highly recommend that you create and stick to a routine that works for you.
As I mentioned in Flow 101, a flow state is the only time that your brain produces these six neurotransmitters related to peak performance all at the same time. Dopamine, norepinephrine, anandamide, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins, must all be present. By choosing foods that naturally contain or produce these chemicals, we can better hack our way into the best feeling in the world.
2 Tablespoons Raw Cacao
This is our secret weapon. Cacao handles the production of dopamine, epinephrine, anandamide, and endorphins. It also gives the shake it’s delicious chocolate taste! I recommend the Navitas Organics brand since it is high quality, fair trade, and relatively inexpensive. I even have it auto-delivered by Amazon because I go through so much of the stuff each month (and I save money in the process).
Bananas are powerhouse fruits that supply dopamine and epinephrine. They are also a natural beta-blocker, which helps to reduce anxiety by reducing blood pressure and pulse. So if you’re nervous before a big event, bananas also have the added bonus of helping you stay calm.
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
Almond Butter is expensive, but helps to produce necessary serotonin and dopamine boosts. The cheapest jar that you’re likely to find is probably around $10, but if money is tight (as it often is for me), a high-quality peanut butter will suffice.
1 Handful of Spinach
Spinach is nutrient-dense, providing high levels of vitamins K and A as well as minerals like magnesium and iron. Spinach is also linked to the production of serotonin.
A Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Ever wonder why people seem to love torturing themselves with spicy foods? It’s because hot peppers are responsible for the production of endorphins which in turn make us happy! Just a pinch of this spice is enough! If you are sensitive to spice, you can do without this one.
Caffeine is one of the most studied substances, and is directly correlated with optimal performance and flow states. For this recipe, it helps produce epinephrine and oxytocin. I prefer to use Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane, because it takes coffee to the next level. Not only is it high quality instant coffee (so it’s easy to include in this recipe), the added lion’s mane mushroom boosts your cognitive abilities. Containing compounds that stimulate the growth of brain cells, this stuff if perfect when you need mental stamina, focus, and creativity.
1 Cup of Milk
This is what blends it all together and gives it the smooth rich feel that we all know and love. I prefer to use Coconut Milk (because I love the taste of coconut and chocolate), but you can substitute any type of milk that you may prefer.
Optional: Protein Powder
If you want to make this shake a meal replacement or are simply trying to get more of your daily fill of protein, go ahead and include your favorite protein powder! This will not affect the integrity of the recipe at all and I personally include protein whenever I make it. I find that the protein keeps me full so that I can stay completely focused on the task at hand. My favorite is Great Lakes Collagen Hydrosolate. Tim Ferris swears by it because of its ability to help support joints and tendons that undergo stress (perfect for hikers and martial artists). The high quality of the product ensures that it blends well with no undesirable flavors. I even include it in my morning tea. Good for hair, skin, and nails.
Putting the recipe together is pretty simple: Just combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour it into your favorite container and enjoy. I do not recommend saving it for later as the nutrients will begin to lose their benefits over time.
Please remember that if you’re expecting this shake to be a magical elixir that elevates your consciousness to a state of intense focus and peak performance, you will most likely be disappointed. Use it as a part of your flow routine however, and you may just be blown away. Let me know your experience by leaving a comment below, or tell me what foods you find helpful when you need to be at the top of your game. Bottoms up!
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