It’s no secret that your morning routine sets the stage for your entire day. Everyone wants to wake up fueling optimally and with a positive attitude. But let’s get real. Life doesn’t always come served on a platinum platter. Sometimes we just want to pull the covers back over our heads. We want to fall back into the soft, cozy comforts of dream land while forgetting about our long to do list. But most mornings, we don’t have this luxury. So it’s essential to take matters into your own hands and start your day as best you can. After the usual wake up bathroom routine, what’s the first thing you do to start your day? Most people tell me…COFFEE!!
This beverage, in moderation, can be good for overall health. But many people in North America have taken this drinking game way too far. They cannot function without their beloved coffee. So much so that we are currently living in a “Caffeination Nation,” whereby energy is bought and not naturally produced.
Some Heart Pounding Facts!
Did you know that the number one drug in the world consumed by more than 100 million Americans each day is in the form of coffee (caffeine)? According to the report by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2008, the energy-drink market alone exploded by more than 240% from 2004-2009 and is predicted to someday reach an astounding $19.7 billion. (Eating for Energy, 5)! WHAT? That’s just crazy! We’re over caffeinated, but we’re still struggling to get out of bed in the morning to take care of our to do list. WHY?
These short-lived, pick-me-up experiences are artificially produced by stimulants, wreaking havoc on our delicately balanced hormones, adrenal glands, digestive and mental health, libido and much more. With constant over-consumption of caffeine, your body’s natural energy producing systems begin to get sluggish, while hormone imbalances begin to manifest. Bringing me to the meat and bones of this blog post!
Let me introduce one of the most delicious tasting, energy producing, non-caffeinated, health promoting beverage!
With a daily 5am wake up regimen, my latest morning go-to drink is one of nature’s most powerful stress modulators: Chaga tea. Chaga is a hard mushroom that grows on birch trees in cold regions of the northern climates. Its ability to survive the harsh winter months while preserving it’s extremely nutrient dense properties display its powerful effects. This ancient superfood is so special that it is known as “The Diamond of the Forest,” by the Japanese, and “King of Plants,” by the Chinese. Chaga mushrooms contain numerous B vitamins, flavonoids, phenols, minerals, and enzymes. They are one of the world’s densest sources of pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), which your adrenal glands need to modulate our body’s response to stress.
Since our bodies wake up in a completely fasted and dehydrated state, starting your day with a hydrating drink such as chaga will ONLY do the body good. Although its caffeine free, its powerful health benefits will leave you with immediate and sustained energy to keep you from crashing throughout the day.
Are you concerned with the terrible withdrawal symptoms of weaning off coffee?
Not to worry, I’ve got a great strategy to help mitigate the harsh withdrawal symptoms. Try weaning off coffee by following my tips below. Please note that consumption amount will vary from person to person. It all depends on how much coffee you are currently consuming (these are general guidelines).
Strategy for Weaning off Coffee!
- Start by reducing your coffee by ½ cup
- After 2 days, reduce another ½ cup and continue to drink this amount for another 2 days
- Once you are down to 1 cup of coffee, switch to espresso for 1 day (espresso has 75mg caffeine, drip coffee has a whopping 250mg)
- Then switch to green tea. Green tea contains 35mg of caffeine per cup. It also contains l-theanine, an amino acid that increases serotonin output and relaxes our brain. It is pretty much caffeine without the jitters.
- Once you’ve adapted your body to the gentle pick me up from green tea, you’re ready to start introducing chaga tea.
So I challenge you! Start weaning down your coffee and try to eventually replace it with Chaga tea. The options are endless! You can consume this delicious tasting beverage ‘black’ or mixed with your favorite sweeteners and flavours. And you can make these options as a hot or chilled refreshing beverage, such as my Chaga Latte.
What other delicious morning beverages help you wake up in the morning? I would love to hear about them! Send me your thoughts in the comments below.