It's been almost a year that I decided to eliminate my daily cup of joe. Believe it or not, my original intention in getting rid of coffee was to elevate my vibration. (Ya know, because coffee affects your energy/mood?) But before you judge me for how "crunchy" that sounds, keep reading because I'm sharing why YOU might want to, too AND I've got a coffee-less fall inspired latte that I guarantee you'll already have all the ingredients for! So I'm dropping knowledge on ya and saving you from spending $6 at Starbucks. You're so welcome! (haha jk...sorta)
DISCLAIMER: I want to preface this post with stating that I know other beverages (soda or energy drinks) also contain large amounts of caffeine. The reason I focus on coffee instead of tea (40 mg caffeine vs 105 mg/cup) is because teas are typically comprised of herbs, flowers, and plants so the way they are being utilized in our body is a little bit different. They have a plethora of benefits and a small supply of caffeine compared to espresso or a black cup of coffee. And as for energy drinks and soda, that's a whole other "evil," basically no one should be drinking them (in my opinion).
So it was about this time last year my husband set out for a 7 month deployment. I went on this quest to deepen my relationship to myself, as well as my spirituality and wellness practices. As unfortunate as it was to pause the newlywed stage, I wanted to take advantage of the last time I would be able to be unapologetically selfish. One day, I know I'll be slinging baby bottles and waking up every 2 hours, and I didn't want to look back and think "Damn! If only I had capitalized on that 7 months of solo time!" Now that the deployment is over, I'd like to think I was very successful in this endeavor. I also share a deeper gratitude for my man, but let's get back to my coffee dilemma and how I believe eliminating it elevated my wellness routine.
Firstly, did you know that your genetic makeup determines if caffeine is beneficial to you? I know we've all read or heard about the conflicting evidence of consuming coffee, daily- "Coffee prevents cancer!" "Your daily cup of joe could be putting you at risk for a heart attack!"
So, which is it? Well, both...
It all comes down to the gene, CYP1A2. The CYP1A2 controls the enzyme, also called CYP1A2, in our bodies. How YOU metabolize caffeine comes down to which variant of the CYP1A2 gene your body possesses. In simpler terms, there are two types- slow or fast.
Slow metabolizers metabolize coffee 4x slower than fast metabolizers. This means caffeine seems to linger in the bodies of slow metabolizers, increasing risks of heart attack, disturbed sleep cycles, an increase in an acidic environment (cancers thrive on this!), to even your bowels becoming dependent on your coffee drinking habits. To be considered a slow metabolizer, you have at least one "slow" variant, there being two, which are inherited from none other than your parents.
Whereas fast metabolizers are able to bypass the above mentioned negative side effects with more ease, due to the caffeine exiting their system a lot more quickly. Believe it or not, coffee also contains a polyphenols and antioxidants, but you are still able to experience these benefits in smaller dosages (aka reducing your daily intake). And even if you are a fast metabolizer, you can still experience coffee's negative effects.
So how do you know which one you are? You could totally get your genes tested through a variety of companies...but do your research. I, however, don't think that's 100% necessary if you are just mindful of the effects it might cause on you, personally. Notice how you sleep, your mood, your overall energy state throughout the day. Do you experience that energy slump at 2pm? Because believe it or not, when I gave up coffee, I started to wake up at 6:30 am ON MY OWN. My sleep normalized. I stopped feeling tired all the damn time. Honestly, I don't need "the energy" it provides, I feel energized most of the time! If/when I consume coffee, it's for the taste!
Oh, and one last bonus to giving up your caffeine habit; if you experience anxiety, even if it's just on a small level, consuming copious amounts of caffeine could be a contributing factor! For me, my anxiety levels were horrible in traffic. I would get to the point of white knuckle gripping my steering wheel, literally about to pull my hair out. Now, I still find it annoying but no where near how I was previously.
So, maybe give it a whirl..eliminate your daily coffee drinking habit! Because caffeine is considered a drug, you might experience headaches or other side effects like constipation, but just wait it out and even try out this coffee-less latte recipe. It does contain a small supply of caffeine so it's perfect for weaning you off, but you also reap the overpowering benefits from the tea!
Set pot to the side for 2 minutes. This allows the ingredients to steep further.
Pour contents over tea strainer (you could also use a french press) into cup & ENJOY. This recipe tastes like fall in a cup and honestly you can do it with any of your favorite tea packets. Last week, I used Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Rooibos and it was just as great!