It’s true – the love of my life is gone. (No, not Chris. He’s still here.) I’m referring to coffee – that darling golden-hued warmth that comforts me every morning and gives me magic powers.
Yes, a few weeks ago, coffee and I broke up. I said, “It’s not you, it’s me.” And it was true. I love the ritual of making slow coffee (we love our chemex and our fancy grinder and our organic, fair-trade coffee) and the comfort and the taste. Unfortunately, though, my body does not currently appreciate coffee in all its glory.
My adrenal fatigue and gut health issues have been getting progressively worse this year, despite my efforts otherwise. I knew it was time to step it up. Time to go all in. I’ve known for years that coffee wreaks havoc on adrenals and cortisol levels, moods, sleep quality, and more.
I tried to ditch it last year by ever-so-gradually reducing the amount, but had a killer migraine for a week straight, so that whole idea ended in a hurry. (Believe me – it freaked me out when I realized just how dependent on it my body had become. I wasn’t a huge fan of that idea.)
However, I knew that if I wanted my best chance at feeling strong and healthy again, I had to leave coffee behind.
So fast forward to now, and it’s Take Two. This time, however, I tried a different angle. Chris had come home with some matcha green tea powder one day after hearing about its health benefits and wanting to give it a try in our smoothies. It has some caffeine (roughly a third of the caffeine in a cup of coffee) but your body processes it differently, so you don’t get the spike and crash that coffee brings, and it doesn’t wreck your cortisol levels. Plus, there are a ton of antioxidants and incredible health properties in matcha.
Matcha Protein Smoothies to the Rescue
So we dove in! The first day we had a protein smoothie with matcha, I drank half my normal amount of coffee. (Last time I tried going down by like 1/5 at a time, and my brain still revolted!)
That day – I DIDN’T GET A HEADACHE. Not at all. It was the most jarring, bizarre feeling to look at the clock in mid-afternoon, and realize that I didn’t have a headache at all. Nada. Zilch. My head felt a bit tight, but I had also been using my computer all day, and recently got a glasses prescription for computer eye strain that I haven’t gotten filled yet. (Oops.)
So bottom line: there’s a good chance that the bit of tightness (not quite a headache, but not an awesome feeling either) wasn’t even related to the coffee in the first place. Either way – it was mild.
“Huh,” I thought, “there really is something to this matcha thing.”
So, I’ve had a matcha protein smoothie every day since then (minus one day when we were out of smoothie ingredients, and I had a small black tea instead) and it has been glorious. (I did have a migraine one day last week, but it was at the height of my nasty head cold, which was the obvious cause.)
I’ve had no withdrawal symptoms – in fact, my mornings are starting to feel slightly more awake than before. I don’t wake up in a fog and stay that way until I drink my coffee. I get up and actually wake up. I’m not dependent on coffee for that anymore. (I honestly thought I’d struggle majorly with this part, but it has been a non-issue.)
It’s been a few weeks now, and I think I can safely say that I’m in the clear, as far as detoxing from coffee goes. I’m officially not a coffee drinker anymore.
So what am I drinking?
Well, matcha is currently part of my daily routine. Beyond that, I’m taking this excellent opportunity to do a big upgrade on my beverages altogether. I don’t drink milk or pop, and I rarely drink alcohol. But lemon water and matcha smoothies will get boring after a while, I think.
I do brew my own kombucha, but I’ve struggled to get into a good rhythm with it, and haven’t found many flavours that my whole family loves. I also love herbal tea, but have been drinking the same types for years, and would love to branch out. I’d love to learn to make my own herbal teas with higher-quality herbs in order to reap the therapeutic and medicinal benefits.
(UPDATE: This post was *exactly* what I needed to make it happen! 10 Best Herbs for Tea with Incredible Health Benefits. Yum.)
I’ll keep experimenting with different variations of smoothie, and I think I’ll branch out to infused waters next.