Hello Lover. Developing a respectful relationship with coffee.
January 7, 2016
The smell. The warmth. The routine. The communion. If you are a coffee lover, then you know what I am talking about. For so many coffee isn’t just a beverage but a part of how we live our lives. How we identify ourselves. The term coffee culture refers to its social application and is the model to which many coffee shops are built upon. There are many things in our diet that have a similar social implication but may not always support our personal health situations or goals. The question for me always comes down to quality and balance.
Coffee is a stimulant that has a direct impact on our adrenal function and our ability to stabilize blood sugars. Many use coffee’s pick me up potential to get them through the day but are they ultimately paying for it by overdrawing on their energy producing and healing potential.
Our adrenals are responsible for both our ability handle the stressors in our lives as well as our production of reproductive hormones. If you are going through a particular stressful event in your life or you feel like your reactions to stressors are exaggerated or if you are so burnt out you can’t muster up an appropriate response, you might need to give your adrenals a bit of love and not a cup of coffee. If you are experiencing low libido or the all too common and mistaken for normal menstrual or menopause symptoms, this may suggest a need for adrenal support as well.
If you find yourself on the blood sugar roller coaster that manifests as mood swings, pain, headaches, fatigue, acne, weight gain, gas, bloating, etc.. then coffee might not be your best mate either. I liken our ability to stabilize our blood sugar to a muscle that needs to be strengthened. If you over load it you will have injury. If you do not feed it well you will have wasting. A whole foods diet balanced in fibre, protein and healthy fats is the key to strengthening this response. Coffee will spike your blood sugar and especially if you add milk and sugar to the mix. You should be able to enjoy a cup without experiencing the maladies listed above.
Take a break. Take time to heal. As part of a food prescription, I may suggest that a client give up the java during the healing process. The mere thought of this may have some of you panicking. Total cessation can cause withdrawal effects in many (headaches, fatigue, irritability) but should pass within a few days or so. A break doesn’t necessarily mean forever. The great thing about a break is it allows you to assess if the relationship was a healthy one or not. The answer is not the same for everyone. A good lover loves you too.
Every spring, I do a food based cleanse focused on the liver. I focus on foods that support its detoxification process as well as remove any possible irritants especially those that put me at risk for spikes in my blood sugar. This includes coffee. I will admit this is probably the hardest part of this cleanse program for me. I love my coffee but I also love how I feel when I have purposely shown myself love with a good spring healing regime.
Making a coffee a good lover:
Choose organic always and especially if it is decaffeinated. No one likes a toxic relationship.
Fair Trade is best! Love includes the plant, the farmers, the producers and the drinkers.
Choose local because we can! There are three local roasters with excellent coffee in our province. Just US, Full Steam and Java Blend.
Keep it to a cup and keep coffee time between 10am and 3pm. Your adrenals will love you for it.
Cut back on the caffeine by mixing regular with decaffeinated. A great way to trick the brain into thinking it is not being denied love.
If you have to sweeten, choose local raw honey or maple syrup instead of sugar.
Keep your standards high and don’t fall for any old double trouble, plastic punch, romantic accent, or starry eyed lover. Invest in a good relationship.
Don’t drink alone. Enjoy your coffee time with friend, lover, nature or a good book. Drinking in a relaxed environment will affect how this stimulating partner will be metabolized.