We’ve all been there (or are otherwise #blessed enough to have only heard stories from our less blessed friends): an intense relationship defined by a few weeks of holding hands, ‘hearts-for-eyes ‘ emojis, sipping wine while lounging on checkered picnic blankets…only to find ourselves—a mere month later—texting our presh lover a long list of grievances along the lines of, “I see you liking your ex’s photos on Instagram”, ultimately ending with a request to “talk”, which of course actually translates to, “let’s argue in person until we finally break up.”
Well today I’m opening up about the the ups and downs of one of my most intense and passionate love affairs, with who else but the John Mayer of all food products—Coffee.
Yeah, yeah, I know, you or someone you know is most def also waking up to Coffee’s sweet, sweet melodies each morning. Don’t worry, it’s cool. Coffee and I had a long “Friends, Lovers, or Nothing” conversation in May, finally deciding upon ‘friends’ …leaving us both free to explore other options (and thank goodness, because I’ve recently grown v fond of waking up to a steaming mug of matcha).
So, if you’re wondering what led to our dramatic DTR this spring, here’s the Cliffs Notes version of our tumultuous ten year love affair:
We met at the newly constructed Starbucks down the block from my high school, and it was love at first sip. Coffee really pulled out all the stops (in the form of whole milk and ultrasweet peppermint syrup) to impress me, and it worked. I was hooked. And, as young love will do, I found myself utterly unable to sleep after our dates, jittery from the caffeine and endorphins. It was incredible.
Upon making it midway through college (totally overwhelmed by my demanding schedule and the plethora of chronic conditions I lived with at the time), like a good lover, coffee was there. Starting with what seemed like a harmless morning habit of enjoying it’s support alongside my cafeteria breakfast, it wasn’t long before I found myself totally dependent (filling my 20 oz. water bottle with it’s liquid ‘encouragement’ multiple times a day).
As you can probably imagine, this caused our relationship to become quite unhealthy, quite fast.
One year later, you guessed it! We broke up.
After 12 months spent living co-dependently of Coffee’s support, it stopped serving me, and it wasn’t long before I realized I’d used my relationship with Coffee to hide from my own personal issues—issues I knew I had to confront on my own. Namely, learning to love and care for my body in a way which would allow for the deep physical healing I needed.
Realizing I needed to focus on myself for a bit—and finally having the courage to do so—I made the bold decision to cut Coffee out of my life, cold turkey. For real, not as much as a single sip was enjoyed for FOUR years as I focused upon my healing.
Thankfully, my commitment to healing worked! (all the juicy details on the journey I took to heal my body are available via Cultivate’s free Chronic Illness Relief Guide). Overall, 4 years have passed since I dove into my holistic living transition, and I’m proud to report today I’m healthy, happy, and successfully running my holistic nutrition company, Cultivate: Holistic Living. Additionally, Coffee and I are friends again (woo hoo!)
However, friends with ‘exes’ are always complicated, and this friendship is no exception. Understanding the risk of falling into old, adrenal-fatiguing habits, Coffee and I set boundaries immediately. Today our relationship is defined by a few short meetings a week (aka, a max of 3-5 cups), ALWAYS enjoyed before noon, and always within the company of our mutual friends—Almond Milk, Coconut Oil, and Cinnamon—who keep my blood sugar in check.
Ok, ok, so now that you understand the gist of my love affair with Coffee, let’s talk about YOURS!
Is it full of dramatic ups and downs like mine?
Are you currently struggling with an unchecked dependency?
Or have you cultivated your own healthy relationship with Coffee?
Do you even drink coffee?!
Wherever you may stand, I’m here to offer some advice.
Conventional coffee (aka, non-organic) is often covered in chemical pesticides…yuck! Additionally, if your body tolerates dairy, it’s still important to stay mindful of the kinds of dairy products you’re consuming. Choosing to steer clear of animal products from antibiotic and hormone treated animals is a great step forward to cultivating a lifetime of strong health. Unfortunately, Starbucks is not doing us any favors in the organic and/or hormone & antibiotic-free departments… They also quite literally ‘pump’ many of their products with refined sugars. #nothankyou.
If you’re a regular coffee drinker and also suffer from frequent headaches, sleepiness, irritability, lethargy, IBS, moodiness, muscle pains, poor concentration, insomnia, brain fog, dizziness, or anxiety, it may be time to take a break from your friend ‘Joe’. Caffeine abuse (and the abuse of other stimulants) can lead to troubling hormonal imbalances overtime.
Been there, done that, messed around…and now it’s time to get serious about your relationship with coffee (and other stimulants). So how can you re-invite coffee into your life after it’s “burned” you in the past? As La Roux sings, be bulletproof. That’s right, I’m suggesting you try blending MCT oil (or rather, coconut oil) into your morning java to support hormone balance, increase brain cognition, and fire up your body’s fat-burning mechanisms. This is a great way to reinvent your relationship with coffee and benefit further from this antioxidant-rich beverage.
So if quality coffee is OK (even healthy) in moderation, what can you do to get your fancy designer drink fix? Make it yo’self! Seriously, I know it sounds intimidating, but with the right tools (like a blender!) it’ll take all of about 5 minutes to whip up your own homemade frappe, and it will save you a pretty penny (and a heck of a lot of health) in the long run.
Not convinced? Take a quick look at over the ingredients Starbuck’s uses to make their popular Mocha Frappuccino (taken straight from their website), and then consider trying the recipe shared at the bottom of this page.
Case closed. (Pssst…if you’re not sure why this list is so troubling, you’re not alone! Consider enrolling in Cultivate’s 12 week Body Reset Program and read what other’s like you are saying about it).
Now, let’s say your current morning breakfast habit consists of consuming a Starbuck’s frappuccino and blueberry muffin on your commute to work… Below is the nutritional breakdown of your choice:
16 oz.; 410 calories; 15g fat; 61g sugar; 5g protein.
1 muffin; 350 calories; 12g fat; 29g sugar; 6g protein.
760 calories; 27g fat; 90g sugar; 11g protein (+$7.50/day)
All in all, I hope you’re beginning to see how/why it’s so important to cultivate a healthy relationship with, not just coffee, but all food.
To help get you started on your own holistic journey to better health, today I’m sharing the homemade frappiccihno recipe I came up with this spring, which both myself and my clients ADORE.
I’m telling you, this recipe is going to change your mornings—saving you time, money, calories, and the unfortunate experience of developing adrenal fatigue and/or insulin resistance (DRV for sugar is 25g/day…the Starbuck’s breakfast has 90g!!)
Below is a nutritional breakdown of the Cultivate approach to “coffee and a muffin”…
100 calories; 2g fat (more if going “bulletproof”); 3g sugar; 20g protein
130 calories; 7g fat; 7g sugar; 4g protein
230 calories; 9g fat; 10g sugar; 24g protein
So here we go. Let’s upgrade your breakfast!