COFFEE: A love story.
I’ve been in love with coffee since high school days, being able to buy a coffee on my way to classes in the morning. I then landed a job working in a café while I was studying at university. With free flow coffee at my fingertips, and a student-lifestyle, needless to say my coffee intake was suddenly upto somewhere around four or five coffees a day. (My fingers are jittery over my keyboard just thinking about it.)
This love affair with coffee carried on into my working career, where a regular morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea routine cemented my coffee drinking habits.
When my health really plummeted, and alongside my Hypothyroidism my adrenal fatigue really took its toll on my wellbeing I was using coffee as my crutch to get through the day.
Imagine my absolute horror, when as part of my journey to healing my adrenal fatigue, there the words were staring me down off the page in black and white “No Coffee or Caffeine”
My soul was crying and wailing like some sort of cartoon toddler who has dropped their icecream on the footpath.
I steeled myself with the phrase “It’s not forever” as my mantra. So I embarked on my voyage into the world of removing caffeine from my diet. I’m not going to lie, it was tough, painful and I felt all sorts of cravings. Fortunately I had knocked back to 2 (and the odd third) coffees a day by this stage, so I wasn’t going cold turkey from complete coffee overload. If you are contemplating a caffeine detox, I would definitely start slow for a month or so of dropping to one or two cups a day first before trying to cut it out completely.
So what did I drink instead?
Rooibos or Red Bush Tea – a caffeine free “black” style tea (remember regular black tea is off limits because it contains caffeine!) I make mine with coconut cream. You can add your milk of choice to this and it has a coffee-style feel to it. Not an exact match, but close enough in my books.
Coffee Imitations – I use a product called Dandelion Root which imitates a coffee flavour. SPOILER – it tastes nothing like coffee. But has a similar style to it in look, smell and how you make it. So more of a switch and bait for your senses really. There are lots of brands of these coffee imitations at your local health food store, you’ll just have to try and few different types to see which one spins your wheels. There are some brands that I think taste better than the type I use, but I found my gut wasn’t happy drinking those so I stay away from them now. (Also I think some weren’t compliant with AIP so remember to read the ingredients)
Peppermint Tea – this has become my BFF. I love that the added bonus to this tea is that it aids with digestion, so I’ll happily drink cups of this tea all day long.
Herbal Teas – try and few different flavours and stock up on your favourites. Some types I make with double bags to boost the flavour up.
Ultimately I think the biggest hurdle for me was loosing the routine of making coffee. I had to find something to replace that, so using the Rooibos and Dandelion teas helped me enormously as I still felt like I was “making” my morning coffee.
I can hear some of you saying “but why don’t you just drink Decaff coffee?”. Honestly, aside from not being compliant with AIP (it still has a small amount of caffeine in it, mould risk etc), I just don’t trust the chemical filled decaff that most places serve. 80% of Decaff is processed with solvents: either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. “The health effects of these solvents as found in decaffeinated coffee are not well known, but studies suggest that methylene chloride (dichloromethane) is shown to be carcinogenic, and the National Cancer Institute’s list of chemicals labels it as a possible human carcinogen.” You can read more here https://teeccino.com/wp-conten...
I now have one cup of organic, fair trade coffee each morning that I treasure and really enjoy the whole process of brewing, making and drinking. I also have become incredibly fussy about my coffee. No average coffee is allowed past my lips thanks! Thirdly I do not have any other caffeine after that one cup in the morning. (True story - I slipped in a moment of weakness and had a second cup not long after finishing my detox and oh my god, I was physically such a mess the rest of the day, I felt so sick! NOT repeating that mistake.)
So now over to you my friend, where do you stand on coffee? How many do you have a day (if at all?)