We all know we’re all at where we’re at health-wise for a variety of reasons that go well beyond just food itself and it can take time for changes to be instituted. People use food for mental, emotional reasons and that taking a specific food away can be akin to a huge psychological shock.
Is there a food you are absolutely not willing to give up? Chocolate, sweets, and alcohol are just some of the obvious ones. But by far the most frequent item is…yeah, you guessed it…coffee.
Too much coffee in a diet can stress the adrenal glands, liver, kidneys, and stomach and can cause the excretion of vital vitamins and minerals as the body tries to rid itself of the caffeine. It can contribute to blood sugar irregularities as well.
Healthier Coffee Drinking Tip #1: Choose Organic
Healthier coffee drinking definitely starts here. Conventional coffee is heavily sprayed with pesticides. There are a plethora of organic choices out there. At the very least, do this. Better yet, support companies that promote fair trade practices. You can find these in our cafe.
Healthier Coffee Drinking Tip #2: Get the Sugar Out!
This is probably the most important tip for healthier coffee drinking. We realize this is a tough one for a lot of people.
Try adding just cream (preferably raw if you can get it) in place of sugar. The cream also has a natural sweetness that can help you wean off the refined white stuff.
Lastly, please do NOT use those flavored cream/creamer concoctions! They’re made with hydrogenated vegetable oils, corn syrup and a whole host of other chemicals. Now some of you might be saying, “Cream?! What about low-fat milk? Isn’t that healthier?” No. A famous comedian once said, “Show me the cow who makes skim milk and then I’ll drink it”. Low-fat milk and all manner of low-fat products are not health foods. But that’s another blog topic for another blog day.
Healthier Coffee Drinking Tip #3: Buy Whole Beans and Grind Them at Home
Coffee beans, like anything, will begin to break down and become rancid once the inner contents are exposed to oxygen and moisture. To see this process with the naked eye cut open an apple and see what happens. The white flesh starts turning brown pretty fast. This is due to its exposure to oxygen and moisture, the enemies of freshness.
They’re also the enemies of anti-oxidants, those things you hear about that create stability and health in living systems and ward off disease. After a few days, freshly ground coffee doesn’t taste so fresh anymore. And if you get the sugar out, you can start to taste this pretty easily (which is not good for healthier coffee drinking).
Healthier Coffee Drinking Tip #4: Keep it to ONE Cup Per Day.
For starters, one cup is not a Starbucks twenty plus ounce mega-grande french vanilla frappuccino with whip cream and chocolate syrup. Nor does it resemble a giant caramel coffee coolatta from Dunkin Donuts. It’s eight ounces. Your liver can handle that. More than a few people drink coffee all day long – five, ten, fifteen cups. If you’re one of those, don’t even think about cutting down to one cup right away. Reduce it slowly. If you’re drinking ten cups, get it down to eight in a week. Then get it down to five, and so on and so forth. Other strategies for reducing the caffeine content include a second brewing from the same beans and including half decaf (Swiss mater method only) in each cup.
Healthier Coffee Drinking Tip #5: Drink Coffee After a Meal.
For most people that would be breakfast, and it’s definitely better to wait until you have some food in your system before downing that cup of coffee. Caffeine causes your body to release sugar into your bloodstream which in turn causes the pancreas to release insulin (another good reason to get sugar out!). On an empty stomach, this can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar which can then set up more sugar cravings. Guess what will help spike that sugar besides sugar? Caffeine. Furthermore, the caffeine in coffee can suppress your appetite causing you to go longer without feeling hungry. This sets up further episodes of low blood sugar and further coffee and sugar cravings. Having food in your stomach will help modulate this blood sugar response and keep those cravings at bay.
Healthier Coffee Drinking Tip #6: Enjoy the Heck Out Of It!
Yeah, that’s right. We live in a world where we’re made to feel guilty about food: don’t eat this, don’t eat that, this food will kill you, that food will kill you. Of course, a lot of that is true, but you can take any food, create negative thoughts around it and actually make it unhealthier to consume with those stressful thoughts. After all, stress depletes nutrients from the body, too. So don’t feel guilty about your one-cup-per-day of organic, ground-at-home-with-cream coffee.