Kick Your Caffeine Habit With These Healthy Substitutes
Coffee and I have a bit of an “on-again-off-again” relationship. Some mornings it is simply the most divine start to my day, and other times it leaves me bloated, cranky, and dissatisfied. It is a relationship, for me, that needs some boundaries.
As delightful as a cup of joe may be, if you consume too much (which frankly is quite simple to do, anything more then one cup per day could be considered “too much”) you may experience:
- Increased fatigue
- Adrenal fatigue
- Interrupted sleep patterns
- An increase in the release of the stress hormone cortisol
Additionally, if you suffer from IBS, acid reflux or other digestive issues, coffee is a digestive disturbance that your body can’t handle.
Although I am quite clear about my grievances with coffee I am certain there are many out there that are still in “coffee denial.”
Good news is on the horizon! There are wonderful coffee substitutes available that can successfully help you lessen your consumption or kick the habit all together.
In no time at all you will be sipping these 3 morning beauties with joy and gratitude.
1. Yerba Mate – Mate (pronounced mah-tey) is made from the leaves and stems of a South American rainforest tree called the Holly Tree. It is the traditional drink of many South American countries including Argentina and Uruguay.
Dubbed as having “The strength of coffee, the benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate all in one” Mate naturally contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and an abundant of antioxidants. It does contain caffeine, but less than coffee.
Mate is a great substitute if you are looking to reduce but not eliminate your caffeine intake.
As for flavor, Mate is a bit bitter and grassy (think green tea.) I enjoy it with a tiny pinch of stevia and steamed almond milk. I call it my Mate Latte.
I have clients that swear an afternoon cup of Mate dramatically decreases appetite and provides the perfect boost of energy to get through their afternoon slump.
2. Herbal Coffee – Did you know there are wonderful natural coffee substitutes on the market that taste quite similar to coffee? You can find herbal blends of chicory root and dandelion root that look and smell like coffee. Chicory and dandelion are bitter roots that are excellent liver tonics and support detoxification (take note: if you are embarking on a caffeine free detoxification program, herbal coffees are a great tool)
Most are of the “instant” variety. Simply stir 1-2 tsp into boiling water and voila! Herbal coffee!
If the routine of brewing coffee is a contributing factor to your love of Joe then I have a substitute for you! My favorite herbal coffee on the market is called Teeccino. A unique blend of carob pods, barley, chicory, ramon seeds, dates, figs, and almonds. It has a delicious rich and smooth flavor. It can be brewed in your drip coffee maker, percolator, or french press. Because of the rich supply of nutrients and minerals in Teeccino you can expect an energy boost, but it is stimulant free.
Herbal coffees are a great tool to ween off of caffeine. Simply brew coffee and herbal coffee together in equal ratios for a week, then begin to decrease the ratio of coffee to herbal coffee. Within 2 weeks you should be drinking full strength herbal coffee and you will have weaned off of caffeine without suffering from withdrawal symptoms.
3. Hot Chocolate Maca Malt – On a chilly winter morning this is my go-to-wake-me-up. In a pot simply whisk together: 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 tbsp high quality cocoa powder, and 1 tsp of maca until warm and blended. Add sweetener of your choice and sip and savor. Maca is a superfood from peru that is known for its natural ability to increase energy, stamina, and libido. You can find it at any natural food market.