Stability Through Food 2

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Specifically: C U T T I N G  C O F F E E

I LIVE off coffee. And wine. Red wine has resveratrol, so #healthy… but still… I’ve had this overwhelming nagging feeling, telling me I needed to up my veggies and cut down on my caffeine intake.

But cutting coffee when it’s not only a pleasantly delicious beverage, but your lifeline, is intense. It’s beyond intimidating and completely implausible. Plus, how could I be a coherent human, a productive employee, or a good friend without coffee?

And then Daniela Kende told me all about the adrenal gland and how coffee affects it.

Q U I C K O V E R V I E W: The adrenal gland, according to John Hopkins & Daniela is responsible for hormones and energy.

Coffee stimulates the adrenal gland which is why it can get you all inspired after your first cup in the morning.

The problem is that in this crazy, competitive, creative world, we ladies have a tendency to over-stimulate the adrenal gland and wear it out. Resulting in adrenal-fatigue.

And women metabolize caffeine slower than men do (similarly to alcohol). Not to mention the fact that the adrenal gland produces hormones, and Lord knows He designed us with a fluctuating hormone system to begin with. So adding obscene amounts of coffee on top of that isn’t great.

We all joke about how much damage we caused our livers in college, and now that we’re functioning adults who pay bills we assume we’re healthy. But it’s just as important to be cognizant of our adrenal gland health as we are our brain, heart, and liver health.

And I figured that with Daniela in my corner, now was the only time I was going to be able to to do this. Without imminent death (to my career or social circle).

T H E  G A M E  P L A N:

Morning: 

  • I learned that coffee first thing in the AM is a no-go. After sleeping for 6 – 8 hours at night most of us wake up dehydrated. So dumping coffee, a diuretic, into my bod as soon as I wake up explains why I live in this constant state of dehydration.  Instead Daniela encouraged me to DRINK WATER first thing. Hot water, lemon water, luke warm water.
  • I’m realizing how crucial it is to look to real nutrition for my energy supply, instead of pseudo energy. Ideally, I would be one of those women who wakes up and blends a plethora of fresh veggies and nuts into a deliciously nutritious smoothie; alas, I have 6 alarms and a tendency to snooze them all. So each morning I take 4 minutes to make a shake with Arbonne’s vegan, gluten free, plant protein shakes. I add a scoop of fiber, a scoop of maca, and I down it on my way to work. And am full until 12noon.
    • P.S. I get all my Arbonne through Heather who’s AWESOME.
  • At work I get my ONE cup of black coffee. (Holyyyy HOOOOLY)

Afternoon:

  • At lunch I strive (and sometimes fail) to get in veggies, a complex carb with fiber, and a bit of animal protein. Enough to keep me in gear, but not so much that I end up sleepy with digestion.
  • And when all I want is dessert, I grab a glass of water and chug. (40% of the time.)
  • Since lunch is a fairly large meal I can stomach a multi vitamin, an iron, and a B vitamin around 2 PM when I hit my slump. Immediately skyrocketing my energy levels.
  • And because I’m skipping my afternoon coffee, I need something delicious to keep me motivated & focused, so I take my vitamins with either green or herbal yogi tea, or an energy fizz stick. Matcha has been great as well.

Evening: 

  • I’m still working out after work, despite my lack of evening caffeine/pre workout. MIND OVER MATTER.
  • Then I make dinner.  My biggest struggle is opting for real food and not the pseudo energy of sugary dessert. Which can be tricky because sweets are so readily available, while dinner takes time & energy. MIND OVER MATTER.
  • At night before bed I take magnesium & calcium (along with biotin because I’m vain and want my hair to grow). But magnesium is essential for cutting coffee because it’ll help you… well… poop. Plus it’s a muscle relaxer of sorts so I sleep hard through the night without feeling groggy in the morning. Per Daniela, though, magnesium needs calcium to digest so I take a supplement that combines both.

G O O D  B A D  U G L Y: I’m on Week 3 and it’s bananas. Day One was hell and I slept until 4 PM, but after that it got pretty easy. All my initial fears have been quelled.

My long distance runs are better than ever because I don’t crash halfway through. I don’t need caffeine to get me going. In fact, I’m actually more hydrated now so my stamina and speed are up.  (Turns out water = energy. who knew?).

Work is just as crazy as ever, but I’m thriving. Last week I had to head into the office after only 3 hours of sleep, and surprisingly the entire day wasn’t a struggle. I also didn’t spend the 12 hour shift pinging between caffeinated highs and lows. (I never realized how much of my day I plan around coffee until I broke my dependency. And it’s really nice to be meeting with a client and not be thinking “Gosh if only I’d had more coffee I’d be much better spoken.” )

I will say there’s still a bit of brain fog. But it’s fading. And nutrition helps.

And in the beginning I had to work extra hard not to swap caffeine energy for sugary energy. But without the mask of a coffee-buzz, I”m realizing how crappy sugar makes me feel. It’s not energy at all, but straight poison. (Poison I’m totes addicted to. Ugh.)

Even with all this, I’ve been able to crank out articles and creative. I can still hold conversations. I even babysat and managed to keep up with the kiddos.

I do have to focus a bit harder in the afternoon, but I don’t think that’s new. I just don’t have my coffee crutch; my faux-buzz.

It turns out, coffee doesn’t do nearly as much as I thought. SHOCKING. Like SHOCKED.

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Categories: Color Me Complete, FOOD

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