Coffee, the new York love affair that never ends and keeps getting harder to break up with. We are all guilty of it either because we love the taste, need the energy boost or are just habitual creatures that fall into the everyday routine of visiting our favorite barista.
But have we ever stopped and thought that our bodies need a break from the sudden rush coffee brings us? Should we reconsider and change habits so its easier to be in touch with our bodies? Being tired is not a bad thing and using coffee and caffeine as an energy bandaid is just fooling our bodies of its real needs.
It is important to remember that coffee has some great benefits like having some essential nutrients and can prevent some types of cancer but also some not so good ones. The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heart burn, GERD and dysbiosis (imbalances in your gut flora), addiction which will make your body have difficulty in relying with its own natural energy this may cause different chronic conditions and weight gain, can cause inflammation, increase stress hormones and decreases insulin sensitivity.
If you are ready to make changes and want to wain off the coffee affair, there are three drinks that have proven to give you the same boost of energy with extra qualities such as improving overall health and boost your metabolism.
My first choice if you still want caffeine without the crash of coffee, plus lots of health benefits is matcha tea. Matcha is a Japanese ceremonial tradition. Made from the nutrient-rich young leaves picked from the tips of shade-grown Camellia sinensis plants, Matcha Green Tea is steamed, stemmed, and de-vined before being stone-ground into very fine powder.
It is an antioxidant power house that boosts your metabolism, increases energy and endurance levels, enhances memory and concentration, helps you relax and meditate while remaining alert, detoxifies effectively and naturally, provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium, chlorophyll and is a great source of fiber.
I enjoy it with homemade almond milk. As for how much I use in a cup, I usually start with one teaspoon and if I feel like having a stronger taste I tend to add more. Traditionally, you want to use a matcha kit to dissolve the powder, but when I have it iced I just place it in a blender with some almond milk or coconut milk and mix.
My Second choice alternative would be hot or cold raw cacao milkshake. I would really call it my first choice because I am a true cacao lover but matcha has so many great health benefits and the antioxidant levels are higher than those found in cacao so this makes raw cacao my second choice. I enjoy raw cacao milkshakes made with coconut milk because of the velvety taste and texture. by raw cacao, is is meant to be the pure form in powder or nibs with no additives and without processing (naturally fermented).
The benefits of cacao are truly fantastic: it can improve your memory, increase your bliss, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and create loads of energy. It is loaded with tons of antioxidants, works great as aphrodisiac, balances hormones, boosts serotonin levels, protects the heart from cardiovascular disease, prevents blood clots, aging, burns fat, gives you lots of energy, resets your metabolism and restores your internal balance, prevents tooth decay and its just pure bliss in a cup.
Incas considered cacao the drink of gods, an association that gave rise to the scientific name of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, from the Greek words theo (god) and broma (drink).
Lastly, for the people that do not want to have any caffeine in their bodies ginger turmeric elixer/milk is a great choice. You can definitely replace this for a cup coffee in the morning and get the non crashing natural energy your body needs . It is not only great to give you lots of energy, but the health benefits of ginger and turmeric are out of this world.
This anti-inflammatory concoction will make you feel like a million bucks. Ginger has shown to lower cholesterol levels, aid with pain, the flu, prevent cancer, aid brain function, fight infections and boost your energy making you have a steady pace throughout the day. Turmeric, the cousin of ginger has been called the miracle spice. From treating headaches, combatting dangerous inflammation, increases the antioxidant capacity of the body, boosts brain functioning and mental awareness, helps prevent cancer, treat arthritis, fighting depression, and helping to revers and slow aging; turmeric really does it all.
Trying this three high boosting energy drinks will definitely change the way you feel about your cup of joe in the morning. Here are my ultimate recipes for your Matcha, Raw Cacao and Ginger Turmeric Milk.
By Vanessa Upegui
Photography by Megan Martin