A few years ago, I started a journey into a healthier lifestyle. A lifestyle that was very foreign to me and left me scouring websites and books trying to educate myself. What I quickly found was that opinions varied as much as the clouds do – and most of them touted their own scientific evidence to support their opinions leaving me to question which way was truly best. What I decided very early on, was that it was my responsibility to research and educate myself on what is best for my health, but also recognize that sometimes, it really is a matter of opinion and sometimes there is more than one right answer.
Coffee consumption was one of those opinions. Early on in my journey, it was taught to me that caffeine had a negative impact on weight loss goals. I was instructed to get the best results, I would need to eliminate all caffeine from my diet. So I did. Keep in mind this was the girl living on a pot of coffee a day (at least) simply to function. I had no idea how I could possibly survive without my coffee and my first week without I was certain I wouldn’t. My headaches from the withdrawal process were brutal and I was exhausted. The second week, the headaches started to subside and I started to feel human again. I wasn’t bouncing off the walls with energy, but shockingly, I was functioning. As I continued on my journey, not only was I functioning but I had more energy than when I had started and the better I ate, the better I felt. I was happy with my decision to leave coffee behind.
During my abstinence of coffee, I continued to educate myself on the pros and cons of coffee. Coffee, actually had LOTS of benefits – not only for weight loss and workouts, but overall mental clarity and brain support. The biggest downside to coffee, was not the caffeine, but rather the way it was typically processed – heavily doused in chemicals, stripped of nutrients leaving you with a highly acidic beverage that wreaked havoc on your metabolism and overall ph balance. The answer? Purchasing organic, low-acidity coffee. After a year without caffeine, my husband and I decided to try a healthier version for it’s benefits with no intention of using it excessively and certainly not because I needed the energy.
Here’s the part a lot of people don’t think about. The coffee is only part of the equation. What you add to it, also needs to be considered. For us, we had converted to organic dairy creamer. This was “better” for us than the alternatives we used to drink, but I still found myself feeling bloated every time I had a cup. It took some time to realize it was the dairy. So, we switched to an organic almond creamer. Without the dairy, the bloat seemed to subside, but there was yet another problem. Over time, I had started getting used to my morning coffee again. It became my fix when I first woke up. During the cold months, I found myself making a 2nd or 3rd cup. It was yummy, comforting and… filled with sugar. While it was a cleaner version of the coffee and creamer I was once addicted to, it was still sugar and extra calories. And it was filling. Before I realized it, I was skipping breakfast because I wasn’t hungry. I would skip breakfast and then find myself craving more carbs throughout the day. And then it happened. I started feeling the afternoon slump I had once suffered from. And I was craving coffee at 3pm. And it was just like the old days.
I like my coffee, I do. But unfortunately, I like my creamer more than the coffee which leads me to excessive calories and a poor morning routine that is sabotaging my food choices and performance throughout the day.
I knew I had to make a decision. Continue down this path, or breakup with my temptation. So, morning coffee is once again a thing of the past.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your coffee. Not at all.
However, I would advise that you:
1)Find a clean, organic and low acidic coffee. I would highly recommend the Isagenix Coffee that not only meets those requirements but also offers additional health benefits with added ingredients.*
2)If you can drink your coffee black, this is ideal. However, if you must enjoy creamer – use organic almond creamer vs dairy for less inflammatory issues, and use sparingly.
3)Eat your breakfast. If you decide to drink your coffee first, make sure you aren’t tempted to skip breakfast until almost lunchtime. This is horrible for your metabolism and why they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Above all else, do what works best for you. Not everyone will struggle with morning coffee issues like myself, but the key to living a successful healthy lifestyle is identifying those things that set you up for failure and avoiding them. For me, it’s starting my day off with coffee and creamer. Will I ever drink another cup of coffee? Yes! Will I continue to sabotage my diet on a daily basis for it? Nope.