Who here loves coffee? I am aggressively raising both hands because I absolutely adore it! I love everything about it -- the velvety luxuriousness, the alluring aroma that takes me back to when I was a little girl cozied up with my sister on my parent's bathroom floor watching our mom apply her lipstick, the way the morning just flows when the air smells like coffee, the exciting buzz of creation and go-getter-ness one feels when they are enjoying a piping hot cup'a'joe ...
Coffee for me is literally like holding a memory in my hands. I LOVE COFFEE OKAY.
That all being said, there was a time in my life where I was not consuming coffee in a way that was supportive of my health or my hormones.
Who here has ever had coffee on an empty stomach?
Who here has ever had their coffee before breakfast?
Who here has used coffee when she was exhausted in order to plow through her day when REALLY she should have taken a nap, had a snack, had an adrenal cocktail, or taken a walk outside?
(These are all examples of how NOT to use coffee.)
It wasn't until I realized I was suffering from severe adrenal dysfunction that I took a good hard look at my habits around coffee, and found that they were not serving my health. Like they were very very seriously contributing to the tragic state of affairs I found myself in. Over a decade of being a nurse and starting every day/night shift with a big giant coffee will do that, I suppose!
Everybody and every BODY is different, and for me, it was incredibly healing to take a break from my beloved favorite beverage of all time. Do with this what you will, but if you are suffering with adrenal dysfunction, hormone challenges, infertility/subfertility, hyper/hypothyroidism, then a break from coffee/caffeine in general is probably a smart move for you. This allows our body to come back to homeostasis WITHOUT the influence of caffeine and the artificial energy jolt you get from it. Not medical advice.
Lets all take a step back, get really honest with ourselves, and embrace the wonders and health benefits of tea!
I am a hot beverage kinda woman. Even on hot summer days, I usually always get my drinks hot instead of on ice. I’ve been known to only drink warm to hot water during my menstrual phase (better to keep things flowing!). So I had to find some ways to get my hot beverage fix in that didn’t involve coffee.
A couple uncomfortable truths you should know about coffee ...
Coffee is a commodity. It is grown in a way that maximizes the amount the crops can yield. Coffee is big business. Be mindful — when you consume regular old commercial coffee (like many of our favorite brands that have beautiful commercials around the holidays that ALWAYS make cry… ), you may also be consuming a buttload of unwanted and naughty things like pesticides, mold, mycotoxins, and more.
This has to do with maximizing yield and how the coffee is stored. And yes, coffee does contain antioxidants, however when it is roasted at high temperatures, many of those beneficial compounds are destroyed in the heating process, so you miss out anyway.
The best coffee to consume is lightly roasted, organic beans (no pesticides), and purchased from companies who implement fair trade practices and fair wages for their farmers. My favorite brands are Premier Research Labs Premier Coffee and Kion Coffee.
On to TEA!!
Teas are so wonderful!
They are warming.
They are calming.
They are hydrating.
They are mineralizing.
They are soothing.
Teas contain powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals and polyphenols that go well beyond your afternoon tea time. I sip on tea throughout my day and it always gives me that little something extra that I need to get me through a long day at the hospital, a long car ride, or a tough conversation.
Plus like doesn’t it just make any situation cozier and therefore more enjoyable? Why just read Harry Potter when you can have a warm cup of tea AND read Harry Potter?! Why traipse on through your work day when you can do your work AND enjoy a beautiful warm beverage teeming with benefits?!
For when you need a break from coffee, try swapping it for some beautiful teas!
Yes — I am aware that some green, black, and white teas do contain caffeine. But remember, teas also contain loads of antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonols, anthocynanins, and an amino acid called l-theanine which is promotes calm and elevates mood.
All in all, green and white teas contain less caffeine than coffee. Black teas often have as much caffeine if not more than coffee. Just know that when you are trying to lessen the amount of caffeine you are consuming, teas offer lots of variety to accomplish this goal.
Caffeine free, contains quercetin which is anti-cancer, anti-aging and a natural antihistamine
May contain caffeine. Spicy and luxurious, tastes like fall in a mug
Contains caffeine, also contains EGCG which is a powerful free radical fighting catechin
Contains some caffeine, and is teeming with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that prevent the breakdown of collagen (hello skin health!)
Caffeine free, one of the most relaxing herbal teas out there! Perfect for right before bed time, when you are feeling stressed/anxious, and great for reliving menstrual cramps
Caffeine free, extremely powerful liver detoxifier. It is also a gentle diuretic. The roasted dandelion tea even tastes a bit like coffee to me. I drink several cups of this a week
Caffeine free, deep purplish red, loads of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Helps with the body's collagen production! I like this one chilled during the summer time with a squeeze of lime and a sprig or two of mint. Throw in some bubbly water for a spritzer-esque feel!
Caffeine free, amazing for digestion and stomach discomfort. Ginger is very anti-inflammatory so its great for the body as a whole
(caffeine free, tulsi is an adaptogen, meaning it helps you to “adapt” during a stressful situations. It helps to balance hormones. If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, however, please note that tulsi may have anti-fertility effects
Caffeine free, amazing for bloating and digestive upset as fennel is a gentle diuretic and lovely for alleviating GI symptoms
STINGING NETTLE TEA
Caffeine free, high in potassium, reduces inflammation, great for the kidneys, may lower blood pressure, and may help reduce symptoms of UTIs or bladder infections
Unbelievable immune system support, earthy taste, adaptogenic meaning they help you adapt to stressors, amazing for the brain, and blood sugar balance
Two things I want you to do today::
1) If you like health hacks like the ones in this post, subscribe to my newsletter for tips directly into your inbox!
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Have fun experimenting with new, caffeine-free or caffeine-reduced beverages! Your hormones will thank you!