and musings on coffee….
Full disclosure: I used to be totally addicted to coffee. At night, as I doze off to sleep, I still often think about that delicious cup of dark roast that I will savor the next morning. There are conflicting studies on the benefits or detriments of coffee. I’m rooting for the “coffee is good” camp, but since diving into hormone health work I’m moving farther away from coffee. Sadly, it can contribute to increased risk of insulin resistance and high cortisol levels, which is not something we want.
Additionally, coffee is one of the most heavily chemically treated crops out there. Yup, let that sink in. Only certified organic coffee is safe from the chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides used on conventional coffee beans. Not only does this wreak havoc on your body, if ingested, it’s also extremely harmful to the environment that the coffee is grown in. Surrounding communities and the farmers themselves are exposed to the chemicals via contamination in the air and water. I don’t want to support that, do you?
If you are still indulging in the occasional (or daily!) cup of coffee I urge you to support your local organic coffee roastes. In LA Groundwork coffee is my personal favorite, although I still miss my Pennycup coffee from my Asheville days. If you don’t have a clean, organic, local coffee roaster near you bulletproof coffee is available on amazon and well known to be clean, organic and mold free.
What does Ayurveda say about coffee drinking?
According to Ayurveda coffee is aggravating to both Vata and Pitta but can be balancing to Kapha (in small doses). I you are going to still indulge in that cup of coffee as a Vata or Pitta it is recommended to add fats, protein and spices to balance the potentially aggravating effects of the coffee. Many have their own bulletproof coffee magic formula, but here’s mine: 1 cup of coffee with 1/4 tsp vanilla bean ghee, small scoop of collagen protein (I use vital proteins vanilla collagen creamer), 1/4 tsp coconut palm sugar, a dash of cardamom and a dash of cinnamon. Throw it all in a blender for a few second and voila!, coffee heaven.
The fats from the ghee and protein from the collagen give my body healthy fuel to burn, rev up my metabolism for the day, and prevent that pitta-aggravating-acidic-coffee-on-an-empty-stomach feeling. The coconut sugar adds a hint of sweetness but is very low on the glycemic index so you avoid the sugar crash so common with many other sweeteners. Cardamom’s sedating qualities counter the jittery effect coffee has on the mind and the cinnamon helps balance blood sugar levels. Plus, it’s delicious.
Too much of a good thing can be bad. For coffee this is especially true. I keep my coffee habit in check by limiting coffee consumption to the morning only and take multiple breaks from coffee throughout the year. I practice seasonal cleanses twice a year (more on that here) and don’t drink caffeine at all during this time. Limiting how much caffeine I drink throughout the day and the year gives my adrenals a rest and keeps my hydration in check. During these coffee holidays, Dandy-blend latte’s come to the rescue. I drink these often in the mid-afternoon when I need a pick-me-up or as part of my morning ritual while cleansing. Dandy-blend not only tastes like a cup of coffee but it also supports liver health, reduces bloat and soothes the digestive system. The best of all? It’s SUPER easy to make. Here’s how to do it:Print