April 25, 2012

Confessions Of A Coffee Addict

I have a confession to make. I have craved coffee lately something fierce. And let me say, I am not a coffee drinker. Oh I used to be, big time. I loved my large cup in the morning inevitably followed by a medium cup in the afternoon (followed by what I assumed was insomnia, never realizing it was related to how much coffee I was drinking). When I overcame the habit years ago I never looked back.

Except recently, I’ve done little else but dream about coffee – desperately wanting a little cup to-go to warm me through my afternoon of work. I’ve had a cup or two here and there and learned that since leaving it behind so long ago it no longer agrees with my body. It makes me jittery and unfocused, the opposite effect I am hoping for. Yet, even though I know the side effects are less than stellar, I still found myself craving the stuff!

So I confess. I called my good friend and colleague Loni and told her all about my coffee obsession. And with one brilliant statement (thanks Loni!) she lifted the veil on my recent obsession – “Maybe it isn’t coffee you’re craving but energy and focus”.

And that was exactly it.

After a whirlwind of occasions,  slowly getting back into the day-to-day life of running my business and cooking club, I haven’t felt super focused. I haven’t felt super energized. That was exactly what I was looking for in a cup of Joe. It was the signal of a good, solid workday. My trusted sidekick in the world of self-employment.

Armed with my new realization, I went all health coach on my own a$$ and came up with a plan that would help me find that energy and focus:

Reward system: Each day that I achieve my goals I put $10 into a play account. That’s $200 per month. I’m already dreaming of all the ways I’ll get to spend my new found fortune. But first I just have to focus ☺

Breathe: I allow myself to breathe through thoughts and feelings. Take my time. Take really good care of me and the rest will follow.

Diet: I pay super close attention to the foods I’m eating. Am I eating enough of those long distance energy foods? Enough whole grains and super foods? I increased my quinoa and reached for the spirulina.

Of course, there is a whole world of awesome coffee alternatives. The featured “foods” include:

Teeccino – Sometimes you just gotta give into the urge and flavor so why not reach for a “placebo”? Teeccino is a delicious coffee alternative that you can brew right in your own coffee maker. Teeccino is made from herbs, grains, fruits and nuts and will allow coffee drinkers to keep their sacred coffee rituals.

Teas – Teas offer a great boost with the added bonus of anti-oxidants in addition to being much less acidic than traditional coffee. Yerba mate has been around for centuries and provides a great pick me up. Another tea that I’ve recently discovered and LOVE is Guayusa offered by Runa teas. It’s made from a leaf cultivated in the Amazon and is a great source of energy, vitamins and amino acids.

I also encourage you to go local on your way to work. There are tons of local healthy restaurants and coffee shops that now offer alternative coffee options. For those in NYC Angelica Kitchen makes a great “grain” coffee that satisfies the urge (I compare it to liking carob chips instead of chocolate chips), as well as many local macrobiotic restaurants.

What awesome alternatives are you eager to try? It’s a beautiful new season; let’s try together to kick that coffee habit to the curb, for good.

This article was originally written for and published by the on-line Magazine Bella Life.

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