I hope you are enjoying the Spring and the beautiful sunshine that is finally here, not to tease us, but actually warm us up!
It’s been a while since we’ve chatted, and today I want to talk to you about a “not-so-easy-to-talk-about” topic that is related to the habit of drinking coffee first thing in the morning.
Are you a coffee addict?
Most mommies I work with are really attached to their coffee. They love the smell, the taste, the energy rush it gives them, but most of all I think coffee, first thing in the morning, is associated with the calmness of the morning, or in other words, mommy time.
This cup of coffee would most likely be brewed after you’ve dropped the kids off at school or daycare, after the madness of the morning.
I find that trying to wean mommies off of their coffee is worst than weaning a baby of the breast. Some women are so emotionally attached to their morning coffee, that that would be the first thing they’ll tell me when I see them for our initial nutritional consultation: “You can take any food away from me, but please don’t touch my coffee! I know its bad for me, but I just can’t live without it!”.
OK fine, I won’t touch your coffee.
Instead, let me educate you about coffee. I’ll tell you why it is so bad for you, what it does to your immune system and to your nervous system, and of course I will give you better options for your morning, which will actually nourish your body along with giving you the energy you so crave.
Coffee, is it good or bad for you?
There is so much contradicting information regarding coffee. Some say it is a great thing for your health, while some suggest you should stay away. How many cups should you drink in a day? Some say 3 cups should be your maximum, and some say that it doesn’t matter as long as you are drinking dark coffee (which is lower in caffeine).
Don’t worry, I’m here to the rescue 🙂
In today’s blog I’ll talk to you about:
- benefits of coffee
- disadvantages of coffee
- my final recommendation
- and as always, a delicious recipe just for you.
Here’s some general info about coffee
Coffee beans are the fruit of a green bush, the fruits of this bush (aka coffee beans) are actually red in colour. When my husband and I were in cuba we saw this bush and tasted the coffee bean which is extremely bitter to taste.
Coffee was discovered by shepherds and farmers who noticed that their herd is acting surprisingly alert after eating the fruit of this bush…
Here is how the coffee is made (in a super short version): the raw beans are collected, washed, soaked in water, dried, peeled, roasted and ground.
On average, in Canada, women drink 2.4 cups of coffee per day, relative to men who drink 3 cups of coffee per day.
What are the benefits of coffee?
- Coffee helps to keep us awake. However, it depends on the amount of coffee you consume. The more coffee you consume, the less alert you will feel, since your body has lost the sensitivity to the alert effect.
- Coffee helps to burn fat. There is a school of thought which encourages people to drink a cup of coffee prior to exercising in order to encourage the body to burn more fat.
- Some studies have shown that there is a correlation between drinking coffee and a better memory.
- A few reliable studies have shown that there is a clear correlation between drinking coffee and milder symptoms in people with the Parkinson disease. (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sounds good? Now let’s talk about the negatives
- It is important to distinguish between the feeling of alertness and stress. Coffee stimulates the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn stimulates adrenaline. So what you are really feeling after drinking coffee is a stress rush, and not alertness. Which means that by drinking coffee daily, puts you in a state of constant stress, which is the number one reason to the chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart problems.
- A regular consumption of coffee disrupts our sleep, since it suppresses the secretion of the sleep hormone, melatonin.
- Coffee is addictive and causes dependability.
- Coffee interferes with the absorption of important minerals such as iron, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
- Coffee stimulates the production of stomach acid (HCL) which might lead to ulcers.
- Studies have shown clearly that there is a clear connection between coffee and body’s inability to absorb glucose into cells. Which is a precursor to insulin resistance and therefore leads to diabetes.
- Coffee suppresses and prevents the production of the amino acid GABA, which is helpful for relaxation and concentration.
- Coffee causes muscle aches since it doesn’t allow the calcium ions to reach the muscles in time (coffee interferes with the absorption of calcium into the body!).
- Coffee is known to be among the leading causes of migraines.
- Other than caffeine, the coffee exposes the body to about 15 different toxins which hurt the liver (the liver is the body’s filtering organ).
So what do I recommend?
Based on the advantages and the disadvantages above my recommendation would be to not drink coffee at all. But I do understand that for some of us this is not realistic. Therefore I suggest you drink only one cup of coffee a day, but don’t drink it first thing in the morning. Start your day with warm water (with either lemon or one tsp of organic raw apple cider squeezed into it, which helps to stimulate your digestive fire for the day). If you must, drink your coffee around 11am or during lunch time. Other than coffee, try drinking herbal teas which have tons of health benefits. Avoid drinking coffee when its dark (darkness prepares our body to sleep), instead drink plain water or herbal teas if you must.
How about decaffeinated Coffee?
Caffeine-free coffee still contains caffeine in small amounts, but in order to make the coffee caffeine-free, it has to undergo a ton of chemical processes which make the coffee a very unhealthy drink. Avoid decaffeinated coffee at all cost!
It’s all about the habits
Many moms don’t see their lives without coffee. I hear a lot of expressions like “how will I be awake the whole day without coffee?” or “I need my coffee” or “its my time to relax from the kids”.
I know it is not easy to change, but I do advise you to decrease your coffee consumption as much as you can, in order to prevent serious health issues later in life. Imagine your health as a bank account, every time you are drinking coffee you are withdrawing funds from your health account!
Take this as a personal challenge! Slowly reduce your coffee consumption to drinking only one cup of coffee per day and drink herbal teas instead. I guarantee you will feel the difference – more alertness, a better quality sleep, better recovery after exercise, no dependability and much more.
In the beginning you might feel some withdrawal symptoms such as – fatigue, agitation, impatience, low energy, headaches, dizziness but all these will subside after three days!
Recipe for a Chocolate Mommy Pick Me Up
This drink contains the superfood Maca which is a highly effective energy booster that provides essential nutrients for physical and mental performance – something your cup of joy won’t do.
The secret to maca’s ability to increase energy lies in the fact that it supports our body’s over-worked adrenal glands. Like ginseng, maca is an adaptogen which means it supports an overworked stress response. After a short period of maca use, many people notice a noticeably improvement in their cognitive ability in addition to increased energy.
This super food contains significant amounts of Vitamin B2, B3, B6, and C as well as calcium, iodine, zinc and iron which all support a stressed out body. It naturally contains zinc and plant sterols, which are potent immune enhancers to help keep you healthy and energized during cold and flu season. Maca is also loaded with energy-producing, protein-building amino acids that fuel the body. With its incredible nutrient profile, supplement savvy athletes are even using maca to improve their energy level without over-stimulating their body.
There is no sufficient research to say whether maca is ok for children or breastfeeding moms, so proceed with caution there. But for busy moms, it’s a great thing to add to your smoothie in the morning or mid afternoon to keep you going.
- 1-2 medjool dates, pitted and soaked 10 minutes (if your blender isn’t powerful enough to pulverize the dates, try date sugar or honey instead. Or you might be able to omit altogether depending on how sweet you like your smoothie)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 frozen (or not) banana, cut in chunks
- 1 tablespoons raw cocoa powder (more or less depending on your taste)
- 1 teaspoon raw maca powder
- 1 handful raw greens (spinach works really well in this recipe)
- Blend it all together and enjoy! If you prefer this drink hot, you can also
Now, I would love to hear from you!
Are you a coffee drinker? How much coffee do you drink in a day? Did you quit drinking coffee? If you did quit, what helped you? Which is your favourite drink instead of coffee?