I can be pretty obsessed with my obsessions, and one of my most loyal ones has been that with coffee. I started drinking it regularly in college to combat my fatigue caused by late nights at concerts and early morning English classes. My addiction (sure, I’ll call it what it is) really escalated about five years ago with the demands of work, and I’ve since rarely gone a day without at least three cups of coffee — until recently. It’s been 10 days since I’ve had a sip of it, and so far, I feel pretty awesome.
There are many health benefits to drinking coffee, like increased focus and energy, disease-fighting antioxidants, defense against diabetes, weight loss assistance, and more. So why give it up? My reasons for taking a coffee break has less to do with health and more to do with habit. I often drink coffee throughout the day, because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before; it’s what I do first thing in the morning while I’m checking email; it helps with my workouts; it’s available; it’s after lunch and I always have one; I could use just a little more energy; I’m cold. The list goes on and on.
There are many health benefits
to coffee, so why give it up?
Most of the time, a cup or three will satisfy whatever that need is that I have from the list above. After all, we all have habits, and often they are non-issues. But I haven’t been able to help feeling more anxious than usual lately. Coffee has become like a drug to me – in order to get the same hit, I drink more. (Three weeks ago, I had two cups of coffee back to back, and I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest! Not cool!) And I have a suspicion that the increase in my caffeine intake is related to my bouts of exhaustion throughout the day and an eye twitch that I have had since December.
So for the last few months, I’ve thought about eliminating coffee to see if it would help me feel better. But thinking about something isn’t the same as doing something. It wasn’t until I stumbled across the Clean Program that I thought “maybe it’s time I give this a go.” I bought the book, prepared my mind and my kitchen, and started on the best day I could think of: a Monday (May 2, to be exact).
While I slowly decreased my caffeine intake to one cup a day before I started, the first couple days on the program itself were hard. I felt foggy, sleepy, and dull, but by day five I couldn’t believe it: I actually felt super energetic! I even clocked in 16,000 steps on my Apple Watch. Additionally, I’ve been going to bed earlier, not drinking any alcohol, and and replaced my three cups of coffee with three cups of green, white, or herbal tea a day.
I’ll share more of my progress and thoughts as the program continues for me, but in the meantime I wanted to share five of the teas that have been seriously helping me not just get through this cleanse, but conquer it.
Numi Organic Turmeric Tea Amber Sun: I recently had the pleasure of meeting and hearing Numi’s co-founder, Reem Rahim Hassani, speak at work, and she stressed the importance of making sure you buy your tea organic. (The first time your tea bag meets any water is in your tea cup, yikes!) I got to sample a few Numi teas and this was my favorite, which combines turmeric, rooibos, vanilla, and cinnamon. Just enough spice!
Whole Foods’ 365 Yerba Mate with Green Tea & Peppermint: This has been my go-to tea while abstaining from coffee. It’s really light and flavorful, and with a hit of almond milk and a couple of drops of Stevia, it really tastes like a treat! And at less than 10 cents a sachet for a great organic green, it’s a steal. I love adding a few mint leaves to it, too.
Harney & Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine White Tea: Harney & Sons can do no wrong with any of their offerings. This Dragon Pearl Jason might be one of their aromatic and delicious ones I’ve tried. These comes from Fuan, China and are made up of tiny tea buds and infused with jasmine flowers. It’s magical, but I don’t think it’s organic, sadly.
Organic Fennel Seed Tea: There are countless benefits to consuming fennel seeds, like its aiding in indigestion, calming inflammation in your skin, and even helping with bad breath thanks to that hit of peppermint. If you ask me, I think seeping the seeds instead of buying sachets are far better. I place two teaspoons in this Paladone Noki Pug in a Mug Tea Infuser for a delicious and adorable cup.
Jade Leaf Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder: I haven’t tried hot matcha yet but cold is a different story! Made of finely ground tea leaves, this powder is rich in antioxidants and provides energy without jitters like a cup of coffee. I love it in smoothies, and you can also use it in baking. (I’ll be trying this out soon!)
If you’re going through your own coffee cleanse, or just interested in expanding your taste for tea, I hope this helps! Have any tea suggestions to share? Please let me know – I’m pretty much open to anything!