Did you know you can replace coffee and caffeine with many natural options?
Special to the Nevada Appeal
It seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without hearing all the latest buzzwords in the wellness field.
Mushroom this, Reishi that. Adaptogenic Tonics and Golden Milk, Dandelion and MCT — most of these ingredients center on research and recipes into replacements for that old favorite of ours, the delightful cup of coffee.
But how best can you awaken your senses, your eyes and your body in the morning without reaching for that first cup of Joe before the bacon has even hit the pan? Or drag yourself out of an afternoon slump without automatically switching the pot to brew?
WHY GIVE UP CAFFEINE?
Perhaps your nervous system is completely out of whack, or you’re just trying to kick the dependency. Perhaps you want better sleep, more regulated hormones, less anxiety, lower cortisol levels, or to be more in touch with your body’s natural rhythms.
Maybe you merely want to be putting something more nourishing and beneficial into your body on a daily — or hourly — basis.
Luckily, the wellness world is awash with hints, tips, ideas and information right now, with everything from understanding Chaga mushrooms to which nut-free creamer is going to do the best job.
LOOK FOR HELP
My personal favorite go-to site would have to be http://www.mindbodygreen.com, which is updated daily by a wide variety of doctors, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioners, Ayurveda teachers, wellness bloggers and other healthy lifestyle promoters.
Here, you can search keywords to come up with myriad interesting articles surrounding the subject you’re looking for, spanning content including movement, lifestyle, food, mindfulness and the planet.
So, how to lower the caffeine intake and up the nourishment ratio?
Mushrooms are having a moment right now. Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Maitake, Cordyceps and Turkey Tail mushrooms — to name but a few — are some of the main ingredients in one of the industry’s most well-known product lines, Lioness Organics (www.lionessorganics.com).
Some well-researched properties and benefits of these mushrooms include: anti-inflammatory; immunomodulatory; anti fatigue; neuroprotective; calmative; antiviral; liver protective; blood sugar regulator; and anti cancer, among others — the list goes on.
Another alternative is the use of adaptogens. Butter coffee, or bulletproof coffee, is another trend that has been having its moment over the last few years, with some people swearing by its ability to provide mental clarity, promote weight loss and suppress hunger. But what if you’re vegan, plant-based or have chosen to forgo coffee altogether?
That’s where our other favorite brand of adaptogenic powders comes in.
First, what exactly is an adaptogen? In herbal medicine, it can be defined as a natural substance to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes.
Southern California-based company Raw Revelations (www.rawrevelations.com) is perhaps best known for its Golden Milk — a deeply nourishing, warming and satisfying turmeric-based powder that stirs easily into hot water or milk for a powerful boost of adaptogenic and anti inflammatory benefits.
Among the company’s many other offerings, you will want to try the Coffee Fix, Bag of Tricks (my husband swears by this for mental focus and sustained energy) and Ashwaganda Powder options.
Unlike some adaptogens that can be stimulating, ashwaganda has calming properties. In India, they use this herb to support the body’s healing process in conditions such as rheumatism, asthma, infertility, menstrual cycle conditions, and fevers.
It’s a great herb for repairing adrenal function often brought on by stimulants such as caffeine and is a famous immune system tonic.
It’s also one of the ingredients found in the aforementioned Coffee Fix, a personal favorite for many. Coffee Fix acts as a fantastic alternative for a coffee drinker and can help transition to a caffeine-free life without any withdrawal symptoms.
It contains highly revered herbs to help support the body’s stress response, adrenal health, energy production and immunity.
Raw Revelations suggest combining Coffee Fix with Bag of Tricks or your favorite protein powder, and blending it into a latte with a nut milk creamer, coconut oil or ghee and adding a sweetener if desired.
STILL NOT SURE? TRY THIS RECIPE
Ready for something different? Try the below recipe for a plant-based, caffeine-free latte, and see if it’s a proper substitute for the coffee in your life. Ingredients are as follows:
½ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
½ cup Hot Water
2 tablespoon Nut Free Creamer, or 2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil (or Ghee if not vegan)
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of Coffee Fix
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of Bag of Tricks
½ teaspoon Vanilla
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Honey or Maple Syrup (optional)
Hopefully this gets you started on your path to going caffeine-free, or at least helps with making the transition easier. Set yourself up for success, make a list of all the delicious alternatives that you could consume, and stock up on some nourishing ingredients.
Tamsin Edwards is the office manager at Elevate Wellness Center in South Lake Tahoe. Visit http://www.elevate-wellness.com to learn more.