The One Ingredient That Improves Brain Function
Has your immunity been on the lower end of the health scale lately? Is your libido lacking? Does your skin look dull? If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, then we have the remedy. Or at least Amanda Chantal Bacon does. The founder of the hip Los Angeles–based juice and wellness bar Moon Juice is renowned for her tinctures, powders, and drinks that harness the powerful healing properties of adaptogenic herbs, raw foods, and alkalizing ingredients. These potent formulations boast a multitude of health benefits from improving brain function to increasing sex drive.
This isn't just another health and wellness trend either. Bacon's formulas draw on ancient herbs and roots known throughout time for their potent medicinal value, all of which she has experienced firsthand. "Food can be powerful medicine, and no one has experienced its effects more dramatically than I have," she told MyDomaine. "Before I began to cook and eat in a way that allowed me to thrive cosmically, my thyroid was slow, allergies were rampant, and I had the general feeling that I wasn’t optimizing this life and the body I was traveling in. There’s nothing I love more than talking to people about the ways that they can use food as medicine."
But if you can't get into her store, then Bacon shows you how to make them yourself at home with her new wellness tome, The Moon Juice Cookbook. Ahead, Bacon explains how to incorporate them into our daily lives, the one ingredient that improves brain health, and how to relieve stress naturally. Be sure to scroll to the end for her exclusive Deep Chocolate Moon Milk recipe.
MYDOMAINE: In your book you state that each time you create a juice or a cookie you want it to be delicious and "work synergistically to heal and enhance your beauty, brain, body and spirit at the deepest level." How did you do this?
AMANDA CHANTAL BACON: All savory and sweet cosmic provisions are made from 100% organic, raw, and activated ingredients. Stocking your fridge and pantry with nutrient-dense, enzymatically live, extraordinarily mineral-rich and easy-to-digest food will catapult you into a whole new system of eating and preparing live foods.
MD: You talk a lot about adaptogens in the cookbook, can you explain what they are?
ACB: An adaptogen is a nontoxic substance, a plant extract that is held to increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning.
MD: As we reduce sugar from our diets, we seek out healthier alternatives, but not all natural sugars were created equal. What are the natural sweeteners you recommend?
ACB: Coconut nectar is a low glycemic sweetener (GI 35, compared to sugar’s GI 68), so no crashing. I make most of my "sweets" with stevia and use it every day in my Moon Milks. Dates, honey and yacón are other low-glycemic, nutrient dense options.
MD: As a busy woman with a thriving business, what is your morning ritual that sets you up for a productive day?
MD: How often should we drink juices? How much fruit should we have in them?
ACB: I firmly believe we should be drinking unsweetened green juice, that is, those made without fruits like apples and pears or other high-glycemic ingredients, such as beets and carrots, all day long.
MD: You have a recipe for Hot Sex Milk in the book. What is this, and what inspired you to create it? How does it work in the body?
ACB: It's a lusty adaptogenic brew to ignite and excite sexy flow. This warming elixir sends power to all the right places while also supporting your primal life force. It’s an edible holistic addition to your sexual and creative play.
MD: What are some of the ingredients we can incorporate to improve brain function and focus?
ACB: Matcha is a great brain activator. I love to pair it with sesame, coconut, and cardamom. It packs a seriously nourishing energy and brain chemistry boost that lifts your mood. It’s very rich in chlorophyll, and it's alkalizing, cleansing, and supportive to holistic vision.
MD: What is a quick, nutritious weekday breakfast any busy woman can make?
ACB: Breakfast (for me) is a super nutrient-dense breakfast that comes out of a blender. What goes in really depends upon the season: superfoods, green juice, and whatever else I’m feeling that day. Every morning, I’ll also make a warm elixir using one of the 7 Moon Juice tonics that I’ve developed.
MD: What are some of the beautifying ingredients you regularly use to bring suppleness to the skin and shine to the hair?
ACB: Moon Juice Beauty Dust. It’s a blend of powdered tonic herbs based on an ancient empiric formula that expands beauty through calming the nerves; increasing collagen and silica production; toning and firming tissue; and both hydrating and fortifying skin, hair, nails, and cell membranes from the inside out. I have a serving in warm water every evening as my nightcap.
MD: Do you have a go-to recipe/ingredient/juice that you use for stress relief?
ACB: Ashwagandha is a potent root that calms. This mineral-dense adaptogen aids thyroid function, alleviates depression, improves sleep, and contributes to virility.
Also, mucuna pruriens is a bioavailable source of L-dopa, an amino acid that becomes the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. It is known as a stress reliever and for calming the nervous system.
MD: There are so many nut milks on the market now, what are your personal picks?
ACB: I’m a purist, so, for the most part, my Well Milks are the simplest expression of their primary ingredient. These include almond, walnut, brazil nut, pumpkin seed, hemp, coconut, sesame seed butter, and hazelnut milks. To experience each nut or seed's pure state and natural sweetness, try the milk unsweetened to begin with. If you love the flavors of vanilla, cardamom, and cinnamon, you can delicately accent your milks with a pinch of ground spice or vanilla beans.
MD: What is your favorite recipe in the book?
ACB: My favorite and possibly easiest recipe is the coconut yogurt. It’s tangy, creamy, and divine. It's a probiotic, nourishes the thyroid and gut, and is great for sustained energy and glowy skin. My favorite moon dust must be the Sex Dust. I use it as a buzzy feel-good energy formula in place of coffee and sometimes even in a coffee.
"Maca and cacao are right up there with caffeine and alcohol in their ability to alter mood and energy. Maca is an adaptogen, and cacao is my favorite high-functioning food—together they make a delicious malty chocolate shake that will have you feeling on top of the world. Add to this the brain-feeding powers of walnut milk, and you’ll be capable of anything.
"In fact, Deep Chocolate is the drink I get the most texts about from people reporting that it’s taken them out of depression, saved their marriage by reviving their intimacy, and, of course, given them so much energy they’re afraid something’s wrong.
"And unlike other substances that provide this kind of high, Deep Chocolate doesn’t deplete you. You’re only building a stronger and sexier endocrine system that can handle more and more efficiency, activity, and joy each day. A Deep Chocolate supercharged with whatever is calling to me from the pantry is a daily affair. I could go heavy on cordyceps if I’m feeling adrenally fatigued. I’ll include a hit of cistanche for a powerful aphrodisiac, or chaga for immunity, or ashwagandha for stress relief. For a zero-glycemic version, use two drops liquid stevia in place of the honey."
16 oz. walnut milk
1 1/2 tsp. raw honey or sweetener of choice
2 tbsp. cacao powder
2 tbsp. maca powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 ice cubes
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
For more recipes like this, shop The Moon Juice Cookbook below.