Besides water, what do you put into your body every single day? For many of us, the only other thing we eat/drink religiously is coffee. And often it is the very first thing that goes into the body after a night of fasting.
Many health & wellness gurus would recommend skipping the coffee and starting your day off with warm or room temperature water with a squeeze of fresh lemon in it. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? It does, but for many people whose jobs require more from them than their bodies can do naturally first thing in the morning, skipping the cup o’ joe isn’t always realistic.
Coffee isn’t necessarily bad on its own; it in fact can provide many health benefits. The problem usually arises when we add too much sugar, dairy and artificial ingredients to our coffee... or when we overdo it.
Here are some suggestions to keep your coffee habit healthy and to turn it into a positive ritual:
1. Start your morning with water.
Whether or not you choose to eliminate coffee, you want to start your day with water. Have water before your coffee. I leave a mason jar of water by my bed at night along with my probiotics and enzymes so that I can get it out of the way before I even get out of bed.
2. Skip the chemical additives.
Adding artificial creamers like CoffeeMate, or artificial sweeteners like Equal or Sweet 'N Low are quick ways to turn your coffee toxic. Opt for all-natural options. I always recommend milk alternatives like almond milk or rice milk (or soy milk in moderation). If your office or local coffee shop doesn’t offer these options, buy a carton for yourself and leave it in the fridge at work (be sure to label it, people love to try it for themselves!).
If you need a little sweetness, try adding a touch of agave nectar, honey or xylitol. And if that’s not an option, go for the natural sugar in the brown packet. Moderation here is key, you don’t want to spike your blood sugar levels first thing in the morning.
3. Add anti-oxidizing & healing spices.
A French press is a great way to do this. Just toss in your favorite dry spices or fresh herbs with the ground coffee. Some of my favorites are: cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and carob. The combo increases antioxidant intake and boosts metabolism. As for herbs, chocolate mint is a fun option (that’s actually the name of the plant!) and I’m excited to try tarragon, too.
4. Add coconut oil.
It may sound crazy, but it’s a quick and easy way to add lots of health benefits to your morning brew. Coconut oil is a great source of fatty acids, immune-boosting lauric acid (which is also found in breast milk), and has been shown to help stimulate your metabolism. In the Sakara office we keep a ￼jar of coconut oil on our desk to use for multiple purposes. (It's also a nice moisturizer.) Coconut oil tastes great in coffee! See recipe below.
5. Turn your coffee into a ritual.
Morning is a great time to give gratitude for the things you have in your life, send people some loving energy, and set intentions for the day. And since your morning coffee is something you are doing daily (or almost daily), it’s a great thing to use as a reminder. With your first sip, take a moment to take a breath, close your eyes, and think of 3 things for which you are thankful, send some love to the people in your life, and set intentions for the day ahead of you. Take advantage of this time to set the tone for the rest of the day. One of my favorite mantras is I am totally adequate for any and all situations that may come my way.
Coconut Coffee Late
- 1 cup fresh brewed coffee (preferably organic)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- ground cinnamon or nutmeg
Combine coffee, coconut oil and vanilla in a blender or food processor and mix on a high speed until frothy (about 20 seconds). Pour into a big mug and top with a dash of ground cinnamon or nutmeg and enjoy!
Don’t have time for a blender? Just go ahead and stir the ingredients into the coffee. Not quite as tasty as blended, but still delicious!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com