Hostess with the Mostess: Caffeine, Should You Ditch It?

In Health and Beauty, Jarrett Warren, Jessica Comegys by Lola Magazine

Regain your natural energy levels!

Energy: the elusive resource we all crave. It’s the motivation to conquer the to-do list, fuels creativity, and provides a sense of presence that prevents stagnation. But the question is: how do you recharge this internal battery, or find new ways to create energy stores and live more vibrantly, more awake?

Coffee has long been the default solution, and now we have lots of more tasty caffeine sources. But is that popular fruity energy boasting tea, canned energy drink or afternoon triple espresso – extra foam causing you more harm than good? Not to mention the crazy amounts of sugar, but that’s another article. Leaving you jittery, unfocused and anxious in its aftermath? Let’s explore a chapter out of the Luminous Lifestyle on caffeine, your adrenal glands, and some healthy alternatives to keep your energy levels high without the crash.

Adrenal Fatigue

Overuse of caffeine can over task your adrenal glands and can send your body’s stress hormones sky high. When your adrenal levels are always high, that signals your body to produce cortisol, which is your long-term stress hormone, and when your adrenal and cortisol levels are high, your body can’t function properly.

Enter – Adrenal Fatigue.

That’s when our elimination stops, our digestion system gets stopped up, we feel foggy, irritable, all of those responses in our body kind of shut off. It’s also the reason people hold on to excess weight, because if you think about back in historic times of famine, there would be high levels of stress hormones because the body was in stress, so it would signal the body to hold on to weight because there was no food. Lucky for you, there are tools nature provides to combat the push/pull of wanting a 3 p.m. coffee craving without the side effects of anxiety-provoking mental fatigue.

To Coffee Or Not To Coffee

So what’s the deal with coffee… here is what I’ve found. Coffee is actually the highest source of antioxidants in the western diet, probably because it’s consumed so much, coffee is a plant and does contain a ton of antioxidants, HOWEVER, coffee is very acidic and it contains caffeine which, like we said, can be detrimental to your adrenal glands. But also while it’s the highest source of antioxidants in the western diet, it’s also the most heavily sprayed crop in the world with pesticides. If you choose to indulge in a little bit of coffee… it needs to be organic. So choose it well. Make it with purified water. Otherwise it’s like a little cup of poison.

Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee too. The intoxicating aroma, the morning practice of pouring a cup and lazily sipping as you map out the day. Deciding whether or not coffee fits into your healthy lifestyle is something only you can do for yourself, by listening to your body.

The Nootropic You NEED

L-theanine is an amino acid, naturally present in green tea. It’s touted to help boost cognition and fight the stress and anxiety that seem to follow us all in a ubiquitous haze. It also happens to be a smart thing to pair with a stimulating cup of coffee. L-theanine helps to induce calm alongside the hit of caffeine, a stimulant known to raise levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. The yin/yang of these two compounds, instead of canceling each other out, foster a hyper-focused, enhanced clarity.

The bioactive compound not only combats stress mentally; it’s also a physical destresser. Studies have suggested its ability to fight against neurodegenerative toxins like aluminum, and alleviate ailments ranging from PMS, hypertension, and chronic pain.

Depleted Energy – How To Fix It

How do you re-spark creativity and focus once the lull of the afternoon hits? A nourishing snack may be the answer, but the slew of processed, preservative-laden options are less than inspiring. The spike in insulin, followed by an inevitable refined sugar crash can result in feeling more depleted than ever. Instead, focus on functional ingredients that nourish the fatty brain tissue and improve cognitive function.

Great options include the previously mentioned L-theanine, an amino acid that heightens focus while lowering cortisol (ideal headspace for fostering great ideas!); vitamin B12, a critical nutrient for brain health, mood, and making DNA (note: digestive enzymes can be a great aid better absorbing B12); enough plant fiber to support your gut microbes, the control center of your body systems.

I have a green smoothie for breakfast every morning in order to get my body started with all the nutrients it needs for a productive day. Midday, I reach for a Cosmic Matcha Latte, iced or hot. Here are some recipes and tips on making your healthy switch.

Awakened Elixir:

• 1 cup of Wild Dandelion Cococ or high-quality organic coffee

• ½ teaspoon Maca powder

• ½ teaspoon Reishi powder

• 1 spoonful coconut oil or octane oil

• A generous splash of plant milk

Why this works: Begin with a cup of organic coffee, or Wild Dandelion Cocoa, if you choose to wean yourself off coffee but lust after the flavor, try as a nice alternative (its ground-up dandelion, raw cacao, and moringa leaf give off a similar coffee flavor). Then, uplevel the morning brew with libido-boosting maca root and reishi mushroom powder. Reishi is medicinal mycelium, and once an important piece of the Egyptian pharaohs’ diet for immortality. More recently, it’s been heavily researched for its anti-cancer properties and its support for the spleen, kidney, and liver (critical detox organs that could use some focused care if you’ve been a buzz hound). This recipe is further supercharged with a scoop of coconut oil, offering essential fatty acids that will help soothe the adrenals, cortisol, and insulin. Blend it for optimum frothiness.

Adaptogenic Matcha Latte:

8 oz hot water or warm nut milk

• 2 tbsp Cosmic Matcha

• Sweeten to taste. Blend on high. Leave hot, or pour over ice. Sip in bliss.

Why this works: Energizing Matcha with Tocos and Silver Ear Mushroom to nourish skin, edible Hyaluronic Acid draws in moisture for plant-based collagen support, and adaptogens like Schisandra, Ashwagandha, and Amla target the effects of stress in the body and elevate mood while promoting a deeper sleep at night. Plus remember that super amino acid we talked about? Matcha contains up to five times the amount of Ltheanine as regular green tea!

Energizing Green Smoothie:

• 1/4 cup pineapple, frozen

• 1 cup fresh spinach

• 1/2 banana, frozen

• 1 tbsp coconut oil, or octane oil

• 1 cup coconut water or plant milk

• Optional: 1 tsp matcha powder

• Optional: 1/2 avocado to replace banana

• Optional: 2 scoops Skinny Greem Plant Protein

Blend on high, drink with a straw. Or try turning it into a smoothie bowl by adding a little ice to thicken it and topping it with granola, berries, and crunchy seeds and nuts.

Why this works: Enter healthy fats and fiber. This green smoothie contains naturally energy boosting ingredients like leafy greens that provide an excellent source of iron – which helps fight fatigue. Healthy fats, which help maintain energy levels. Coconut oil or octane oil contain medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which provide a quick energy source for the body in addition to nourishing the brain.

Products available for enjoyment in cafe or retail purchase at Glow Alchemy Kitchen or online at CaspianaCatering.com