I can sense it now. I’ve seen it many times with my clients. That sudden flash of anxiety as you register those first few words: Rise and Shine…Reimagine your morning ritual. The hurried question that escapes your subconscious as you debate continuing to read, “She couldn’t possibly be referring to my beloved morning brew, could she?” Yes. I unabashedly confirm. We ARE in fact talking about it. Coffee.
Don’t run away just yet. It’s not to be demonized; after all coffee in its purest form isn’t all that bad. As anyone who’s ever been in the position to defend their dear java would know, coffee beans are chock-full of free-radical fighting antioxidants and the nervous system stimulating effects of caffeine go a long way in providing a mental uplift, energy shift and, for some, migraine relief.
So what’s the fuss?
Over time, many of us have developed a – dare we say – less than healthy relationship with our Joe. Beyond the restlessness, anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia which we’re willing to overlook for that zip of energy, we are in the long-run burning out our adrenals and thus sabotaging our body’s inherent ability to deal with stress overtime. Coffee is, unfortunately, also a major source of aflatoxin—that hepatotoxic substance secreted by a mold that we generally associate with peanuts. And, unless you’re drinking organic coffee, you’re also getting exposed to a frightening array of pesticides.
If you’ve taken a glance at our Seasonal Cleanse, you’ll have noticed that dairy, gluten, coffee, sugar and alcohol are all excluded from our plans. No, we’re not masochists. The idea is to simply stay away from foods that commonly cause digestive distress and inflammation, and to get your body off the stimulant/sedative cycle – coffee in the morning, simple carbs in the afternoon, and an evening alcohol dose to “come down.” Many of us started on this circuit so early in life, that we’ve lost touch with (and in some cases depleted) our body’s true energy cycle.
What to do now?
Rather than going cold-turkey (which you are more than welcome to try), I suggest a slow wean. This can be cutting down the number of cups per day and reducing your serving size or reimagining your brew – using this as your opportunity to enhance your ritual by adding in or replacing your traditional beans with even more health-supportive herbs and superfoods, and by upgrading the quality of the coffee you use in the first place. Bulletproof coffee tests for aflatoxins, while Sonoma County’s own Taylor Maid provides a beautiful array organic, fair trade roasts.
My favorite brewing boosters:
- Green Tea: Make the switch. You’ll receive a gentler dose of caffeine while exposing your cells to the anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of this little leaf.
- Nut Milks: Strip your cup down to a plain coffee – no syrups or creamers (especially those that suspiciously forgo refrigeration) – and stream in a nut milk of your choice until you find your desired ratio. Pure almond and coconut milks offer a decadent creaminess plus an added boost of protein and healthy fats to help sustain stable energy levels throughout the day. Learn how to make your own almond milk or check out our favorite local brand Beber.
- Reishi Roast: Reishi what? Reishi Roast is a brewable blend of antioxidant herbs, medicinal mushrooms and superfoods that allows you to upgrade or replace your coffee. This robust and roasty mocha-colored beverage is reminiscent of coffee but is completely caffeine free. Powerhouse herbs like reishi & chaga mushrooms, chicory, dandelion root, milk thistle and milky oats provide deeply penetrating support to your liver, adrenals and immune system. As a coffee replacement, brew 1 TBSP of this stuff with 8 ounces of boiling water. Enjoy straight or mixed with your favorite milk such as coconut, almond or hemp for a super-healthy latte. For a slow wean, brew up some Reishi Roast and add a small amount to your coffee to get acquainted with its flavor. Gradually increase the Reishi Roast to coffee ratio until the coffee seems irrelevant.
You’ve now been gifted a chance to pause and get back in touch with yourself. Let’s take a break from old routines, reflect upon our actions and see if then we can discover new ways to enhance our lives.