Ah yes, the modern cycle of late nights and early morning coffee.
It’s something that seems fine and sustainable. Or so I thought.. when working 80+ hours a week in finance and later at tech startups. It kept me going when I was running on little sleep, crappy food, no exercise, and brain fog. But was coffee really helping or was it a band-aid?
Believe it or not.. coffee is controversial in the health world. Some say it’s beneficial, some say it’s harmful. What’s it gonna be?
Turns out, coffee can be beneficial to the 10% of the world’s population who are able to properly metabolize it. But for the other 90% of us, coffee exacerbates stress, inflammation, and the ability of our body to heal itself.
For a more technical breakdown (because science):
- Coffee attacks our adrenal glands, responsible for stress, sleep, energy, and our fight-or-flight response.
- It depletes the body of micronutrients. Deficiencies or hormonal issues anyone?
- Reliance on coffee throws off our energy levels, sleep cycle, bowel function, and mood.
- Habituation to coffee inhibits our body’s response to blood sugar, raising our sugar levels and triggering inflammation.
- Women do not process coffee the same as men. Anyone suffering from fibroids, ovarian cysts, PCOS, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts are told to quit coffee for exactly this reason.
Thankfully there are wonderful alternatives. Ones that can still give that rich, earthy, AM pick-me-up, while supplementing our body with healing antioxidants and micronutrients.
Here’s my go-to morning brew — makes 1 cup, scale as needed:
- Teeccino French Roast – 1 tbsp (an earthy herbal blend of roasted organic chicory root, barley, carob, and ramón seeds)
- (optional caffeine) Yerba Mate – a pinch
- Unrefined coconut oil – 1 tsp (+/- to taste)
- Maca powder – 1/4 tsp
- Reishi mushroom extract powder – 1/4 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
To prepare: Use a Frech Press or similar gadget (glass jar + strainer works just as well!) to pour hot water over the Teeccino blend and (optional) Yerba Mat. Let the mixture brew for 3-5 minutes. Add in the coconut oil, maca, reishi, and turmeric. Top off with a milk alternative if that’s your thing. Stir and enjoy!
Adjust to taste. Add a little more of this, a little less of that. My morning “coffee” is always changing — with the seasons, with my mood.
Other great alternatives:
- Dandy Blend
- Reishi Roast
- Mountain Rose Herbs Herbal Coffee
- DIY Coffee Mix: 1 part roasted chicory, 1 part roasted dandelion root, 1 part barley (sold in bulk in many grocery stores), 1 part Yerba Mate (optional). Mix together and store in a glass jar in a dark place.
Here’s to nourishing morning wake-me-ups. Hold the jitters and the crash.
P.S. Some recommendations contain affiliate links. We only share products we love, trust, and use ourselves. When possible, shop locally and buy in bulk!
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