Beverages for your health!
People are attached to beverages – glass of wine, the wake-up cups of coffee, the mid-afternoon pick-me-up soda … here are some solid suggestions for paving the way for an easier transition away from these entrenched habits:
For some, a polyphenol-rich ritual. For others, a “crutch” beverage. People use coffee for comfort, for energy, as part of an ingrained habit (daily Starbucks run, anyone?), to perk up, and – yes – as a daily laxative. Some studies have shown benefits from moderate coffee intake, especially for those who are fast caffeine metabolizers. But for many, the daily multi-cup coffee habit is disturbing sleep, dysregulating cortisol, and promoting a hypervigilant nervous system. Explore why you drink coffee, and
consider one of the modifications below.
“But first, lemon water.” (Instead of the all popular “but first, coffee”). I recommend you start the day with 20oz (or whatever you can do) of warm or room temperature lemon water before anything else. We are most dehydrated first thing in the morning! They can set it out the night before on the kitchen counter – or even keep it on their nightstand. This habit provides much-needed hydration after an overnight fast and helps flush the system from metabolic waste. A simple, easy-to-remember addition to the daily routine. Without taking anything away.
Organic Matcha or green tea. Still caffeinated (although less so) but full of phytonutrient antioxidants and cancer-fighting phenols. You may love a matcha latte with non-dairy milk (find recipes online; some favorite add-ins include flavored stevia, date syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt). A green tea with honey can be a great afternoon pick-me-up – a small amount of caffeine along with l-theanine (which increases GABA) in tea can increase focus while calming the nervous system.
Dandyblend – an organic herbal concoction featuring dandelion root – great for the hepatic biliary system. Resembles coffee in look and still has a rich, bitter taste. Great for those who drink coffee all day long – start with replacing all but the first 1-2 cups of coffee with Dandyblend and go from there. Dandelion root tea is a less expensive version with a lighter flavor.
Elixirs – tasty, convenient beverages featuring mushrooms, medicinal herbs and superfoods. Come in many flavors and provide a variety of therapeutic benefits. https://harmonicarts.ca/collections/elixirs is a great example of what’s available.
Better coffee – if you just need to upgrade your coffee, three better options are Bulletproof, Lifeboost and Purity. Coffee is a high-pesticide crop and is often moldy. FourSigmatic or Mud Water are a good option for a healthy coffee infused with medicinal mushroom extracts.
Creamer replacement – for those with dairy elimination who still want to have cream in their coffee or tea, choose from a variety of non-dairy options including coconut, oat or macadamia based varieties which are (to many!) surprisingly creamy and rich. MCT oil or full fat coconut milk can be used for quick-absorbing and filling fats that add richness and creaminess.
Often one of the first things that is promoting dis-ease, soda can be a hard habit to break! We look for alternatives that keep the fizzy refreshment but drop the chemicals and sugar load. Offer these “good, better, best” replacements to break this bad habit progressively. It typically takes ~2 months for our taste buds to withdraw from highly sweetened beverages and appreciate rich, natural flavors. Be patient.
Zevia – a canned stevia sweetened beverage that can be a great first step to wean off commercial soda. Comes in a variety of flavors, including a cola. Over time, begin to dilute this with plain or sparkling mineral water to “reprogram” the taste buds to need less sweetness.
Flavored or unflavored stevia with mineral water – use something like Pellegrino or Gerolsteiner as a base. Add some stevia drops and you get a fizzy soda-like drink!
“Hollywood” spritzer – drop the stevia and flavor the sparkling mineral water with a splash (1-2 Tbsp) of fruit juice (especially citrus) or a couple chunks of real fruit (common favorites: pineapple or watermelon) that you lightly macerate with a spoon in the bottom of the glass. Stir and enjoy.
Switchel or Kombucha – probiotic-rich beverages which can be mixed with plain or sparkling water for a great soda replacement. Great for the microbiome too. Be careful if you have histamine-related symptoms.