Coffee: Friend or Foe

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Christy R. Underwood

Christy R. Underwood

Just a regular chick who figured out how to heal from many chronic illnesses who wants to inspire you to do the same.

Coffee: Friend or Foe

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Coffee: Friend or Foe?

I’m going to start by apologizing because you will probably want to strangle me in the beginning of this article…but I will end on a high note. Promise!

Without further adieu: I’m sorry!

LOL! 🤣🤣🤣

Since I apologized, very sincerely I might add, then you can deduce that I am not keen on coffee. Before you sign off and hate me forever…let’s talk about why coffee really tweaks my melon.

Grab your last cup of coffee and let’s dive into 7 reasons to ditch coffee.

I want to add a word of warning: if you were to Google this subject, you would get quite dizzy by all the conflicting reports. 

However, my reasons for foregoing coffee and caffeine are coming from my personal experience from my own health and my loved ones’ health.

Reason #1: It’s a Stimulant

Even though coffee is antioxidant-rich, we can get antioxidants that aren’t full of stimulants. I know, I know…those stimulants make your Mondays suck less and your mid-day “don’t want to’s” get up and GO!

They did that for me too. I get it.

When we rely on stimulants, pretty soon we grow immune to them and require…MORE. You’re looking at a girl who went from coffee to espresso to quadruple shot espressos. 

Do you ever stop to ask, “Why am I so tired or run-down and require this much coffee?”

Our bodies can actually make all the energy we need and then some, when we give it the right conditions to thrive.

Putting our bodies through the roller-coaster ride of drinking this stimulant then crashing and burning is not just hard on your day, it’s also hard on your body.

Coffee may be legal, but it mimics the same effects of other stimulants that aren’t…coke, meth, adderall (when taken recreational-y, it’s not legal), you get the gist here.

Then, there is the laundry-list of health effects that stimulants have. Which brings me to the next reason.

Reason #2: Heart Health

When you’re chronically ill, you have NO energy. So, I was relying on coffee to give me the energy to try to have some “normal” life experiences like going to work, cleaning house, and/or getting out of bed, period.

What I was noticing is my heart was beating out of my chest when I would drink my coffee. Even just plain, ole home-brewed coffee was making me grasp my chest and even gasp for air at times.

In this study, performed by Clinical Nutrition, they found that there is a higher risk of blood pressure elevation when consuming coffee.

This means that if you already have high blood pressure (hypertension), you can bet your bottom dollar that your BP will elevate with every sip you take.

The Mayo Clinic says:

Others think that caffeine causes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase.

Which brings me to my next point.

Reason #3: Adrenal Fatigue

Now, there are plenty of studies performed by western medicine that say that adrenal fatigue is a myth.

However, we all know by now that medical science isn’t exact and western medicine has plenty of incorrect and down-right FALSE data. 

Adrenal fatigue is very much real.

Furthermore, Dr. Mercola, a well-known functional medicine doctor (holistic doctor/naturopath), says that adrenal fatigue is real, also.

He suggests that if you are experiencing adrenal fatigue:

Avoid stimulants like coffee and sugar, as these can further exhaust your adrenal glands

So, how do you know if you have adrenal fatigue?

Here are some symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

  • fatigue and weakness
  • hormonal imbalance
  • abnormal blood sugar levels
  • cravings for foods that are high in salt, sugar, or fat
  • peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms
  • low libido
  • brain fog
  • trouble waking up after a full night’s rest
  • skin issues
  • mood issues/disorders: depression, anxiety, frustration, angst..

Imagine that you’re already tired, stressed, and still have half of the day to survive through. Yet, you know you don’t have the energy or stamina to weather 6-8 more hours of a demanding day.

What do you do to remedy the issue?

You reach for coffee or other caffeinated beverage. At least, I hope your not doing bumps of coke in the bathroom or borrowing your kid’s adderall. 😨

But if you have no energy well to draw on, you’re going to be in worse shape after consuming the coffee as soon as the energizing effects wear off.

That’s common sense, right there.😉

Reason #4: Coffee is Acidic 

If you’ve been with me for any amount of time, you know that I am all about keeping foods and bevvies as alkaline as possible, especially when it pertains to anyone with chronic illnesses.

It is not as common, in North America, for folks to have alkalosis (being too alkaline). This is largely due to our over-processed convenience foods and refined sugar-filled diets. However, there are ways to become too alkaline:

  • using laxatives
  • overuse of diuretics
  • severe mineral and electrolyte depletion
  • using too many antacids

But we’re talking about acidosis here! LOL🤣🤣🤣

And since coffee is acidic, you better believe there are digestive issues that will ensue.

We could talk for days about the logarithmic pH scale and where our foods and bevvies fall on that scale, but this is a blog post…not a novel (well, it’s getting rather lengthy here haha).

A good rule of thumb when trying to figure out what foods are high in acidity is to know that most foods that are already prepared and are in packages…those are the main culprits!

The food/drink items that are usually riddled with acidity are:

  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Juice 
  • TV dinners
  • Snack cakes & cookies
  • Chips
  • Pre-made dips
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Cereal
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Fish
  • Artificial sweeteners…

Coffee has about a 5 pH and that is a far cry from a neutral pH of 7-7.4. The pH scale is logarithmic and as a result, each whole pH value below 7 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value.

So, a pH 5 is 100 times (10 x 10) more acidic than neutral (7-7.4). Because 7-5=2. So, that’s 10, squared (10 x 10).

Side Note:  This graphic, below, is to help you understand what pH looks like on the logarithmic scale and what common items can be valued at each pH level.Please don’t consume battery acid, bleach, drain cleaners…

One last tip is that SOMETIMES a food may have a high pH when outside our bodies, like lemons. However, when we ingest it, it changes to a very alkalizing food item.

The Vegan CRU pH Scale

“Number 5 is alive!”

Reason #5: Coffee vs Medication

In this article by Dr. Mark Hyman, he says: 

Another issue to be aware of with coffee intake is how certain medications such as levothyroxine (thyroid) as well as tricyclic antidepressants are poorly absorbed, making symptoms curiously worse for patients.

By the way, Dr. Hyman’s (another well-known functional medicine doctor) article wholeheartedly agrees with my disdain for coffee. Give his article a read. It’s quite educational.

But it’s only common sense that a stimulant would interact with certain medications. 

Reason #6:  Addiction

If you’ve ever had those caffeine jitters or find yourself jonesing for a cup of java…you, my dear, may have an addiction to coffee.

Honestly, I have been the queen of addiction to many things in my lifespan. Alcohol, drugs, caffeine, food, people, TV, my phone, clean house, clean bed sheets…

Every human being on the planet (and I’d go as far as to say every being on the planet) has an addiction to something.

Please understand, there is no judgement here. If anything, this is me reassuring you that it is quite normal to form these bonds to certain things.

What’s not good is when the addiction is unhealthy for our bodies and minds or when we can’t adapt to it not being available all the time.

It’s also worth mentioning that when you need coffee to be able to produce a bowel movement, then your bowels are (in a sense) addicted to having the stimulant to help your BM’s along. 

Try having a BM without the coffee and see how you go. I bet it’s difficult to void. I know that happened to me and some of my loved ones.

Hopefully, you’re seeing that coffee isn’t so healthy. Of course, it isn’t heroine, but it’s still no super-food, either.

The withdrawal from our cup of joe is real!

Reason #7: Coffee Alters Our Moods

Since we’re more-than-likely addicted to our coffee, you better believe when coffee is scarce, we begin to get agitated.

Right around that afternoon slump (usually around 1-3pm), we’re chomping at the bit to get our fix. 

What about the morning grumpies? I know that my Grammy used to tell me in the mornings, “Christy, do not talk to me until I’ve had my coffee”.

What if we can’t get that java? How do we cope?

Are we Molly Sunshine, or are we a tad on the Tasmanian Devil end of the spectrum?

I remember when I was a teacher, by mid-afternoon I would be cashed. Toast. For some odd reason, kids are FULL of energy. Maybe we need to tap into that! 🤣 A kid kegger? Just kidding!

Sometimes, I would begin to lose my patience, become easily frustrated, or was just totally run down. No energy or zest for life, whatsoever.

Kids can sense this and will take that less-than-perfect mood and make you wish you were in another zip code. Which will only antagonize our coffee-less moods.

In this Forbes article, it talks about how caffeine can be the secret killer of success. That’s some powerful words right there!

What I love about the article is that it mentions raising our emotional intelligence (EQ) levels by foregoing caffeine.

Give the article a read. I mean if you want to improve your success, EQ, or performance. 😉

But~ I Love My Coffee Ritual

Well, I can totally relate.

It’s been over 10 years since I’ve been able to drink coffee. My body told me, “no more”. It began with heart flutters, sweats, jitters, and withdrawals.

Then came the heartburn, mood issues, and major energy decline.

We’ve all been there, this is not new news.

But I used to LOVE that smell of freshly brewing coffee, dressing it up with flavored creamers and adding in my artificial sweetener ~because I thought it would keep me thin. HA

Then, that sweet silence of a morning cup of java and the feel of a warm mug in my hands…see I get it!

What If…

I told you that you can have all the yumminess of coffee, the ritual, and none of the addictive stimulants, withdrawals, heart palpitations, or mood issues?

You may say, “But Christy, what about getting that caffeine jolt that I need to see me through the day?”

Well, my response is, it’s time to detox from caffeine and figure out the root cause to your lack of energy. Seeing a functional medicine doctor or holistic nutritionist are a great place to start. 

You can also use citrus essential oils or mint essential oils for a nice energy boost. 

CBD oil is also great for helping to tame our nervous system, give us focus, and reduce inflammation in our bodies.

If you would like to know more about the essential oils & CBD oil companies that I use and trust with my health & wellness, please fill out the form below.

 

Contact TVC About Getting Oily

However, I actually have a recipe for a latte that will make you forget you ever loved coffee. You can also drink this bevvie black, if you like. It’s up to YOU!

Let’s do this! Introducing my “Chicory Root Latte”

 

CRU's Chicory Root Latte

CRU's Chicory Root Latte

CRU's Chicory Root Latte is a delicious and healthier substitute for coffee. This organic, naturally caffeine-free bevvie is sure to please.
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Course: Drinks
Keyword: dairy-free, easy, quick, refined sugar free, soy free, vegan
Servings: 1 person
Author: Christy R. Underwood

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Boil some filtered water and also put your plant milk on the stove to cook on medium-high heat.
  • Get your French press out and add the chicory root to it.
  • Next, get your "coffee" mug prepped with sweetener, if you're using it.
  • Add the boiling water to the French press and allow it to steep for 3 minutes.
  • Take your plant milk off the stove. It should have boiled but not for long.
  • Pour the chicory root into the mug first and stir the sweetener up well.
  • Take a frother and froth the plant milk while still in the pan. Get it good and bubbly. This plant milk is great at frothing.
  • Gently pour the frothed milk on top of the chicory root and garnish with the spices.

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