First it was the ‘paleo-fied’ desserts, then went the shaker bottle, next was ‘natural’ sweeteners followed closely by the artificial, and it didn’t stop there. Nope, I even rained on your summer BBQ fun by putting a cramp in your grilling style. Yep, that’s right! It’s your favorite fun-hater back to make you contemplate that cup of joe. Okay, DO NOT stop reading now – this isn’t as terrible as you may be thinking. I am NOT going to take away your sacred coffee*; even I am not that cruel (in most cases*). No, and as a matter fact the news on coffee has been downright ‘stimulating’. The research suggests that black brew may have health promoting powers – everything from colon and prostate cancers to Parkinson’s and Type 2 Diabetes .
Now, I’m also not going to say that everyone SHOULD drink coffee. In fact, there are a lot of us that are better off abstaining. This is where the * comes in. If you are under a great deal of stress, aren’t sleeping well, have adrenal , gut or other major health issues that contraindicate getting ‘leaded’, then you should definitely avoid hitting the java juice. Also, if you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant take note: there’s talk, (no peer reviewed research), that coffee may be cross reactive with gluten antibodies. Also, if you regularly use coffee as a substitute for sleep, or drink it all day long to ‘stay awake’ it might be a good idea to give it a rest – your adrenals and cortisol levels will thank you… Regardless of who you are I highly encourage you to take a ‘coffee vacation’ for at least 30 days – even the most hardcore caffeinaters do it from time to time. Give your body and mind a break from the ‘artificial’ kick start. I promise it won’t kill you!
Okay, now here comes the ‘tough-love’ (READ: buzz kill). There are two types of coffee drinkers (well probably more, but for our purposes today – two). There are those that truly enjoy coffee – its smell, its taste, and the entire experience. These are the people at the Starbucks counter that ‘take it black’. And then, there’s the other side. These folks only drink coffee with cream, coconut milk, sugar, coffee mate, raw milk, honey, coconut creamer, artificial sweeteners, whipped cream, squirts of flavored syrups, ice cream, sprinkles and/or it’s a ‘mochafrappalatte’ type thing and is served with a straw and a spoon. If you fall into this category I need you to sit down, you are not going to like this next part. NEWS FLASH: YOU DO NOT REALLY LIKE COFFEE!! You like cream, sugar, honey, whipped cream, etc. Calling your drink concoction ‘coffee’ is a very clever to justify the additives. “Yeah, let’s just call it ‘coffee’” – You guys are SNEAKY!! It’s kind of like calling French Fries, onion rings, pizza (thank you USDA), cheese covered broccoli, or ranch dressing soaked salad vegetables…
So many people say that they NEED and LOVE their morning coffee, until they hear that they need to drink it black (this is based on goals and individual situations). Let me just tell you, some people would fight to the death for coffee mate – the loyalty is INSANE! If you have to ask, “If I can’t have sugar, coffee mate, cream, etc. in my morning cup, what can I do to make it taste good?”, then you really need to question the reasons behind your habit. Is it replacing sleep, masking a sugar or cream fix, or do you just REALLY like that Starbucks cup?
If you truly ENJOY coffee for all of its warm, black deliciousness and you don’t have any compelling health or lifestyle reasons to avoid it, then I am not going to steal your ‘morning thunder’. Keep on keeping on (with an occasional detox to clean things out). But, if on the other hand your coffee needs a mate(s), or you’re using it as a means to function in the AM; take the time to conduct a CSI (Coffee Scene Investigation). Question if you truly enjoy coffee, or just what it does for you and/or allows you to ‘justify’. This might give you the ‘grounds’ you need to kick the ‘beans’ where it counts.
What’s in your cup?