I love tea, coffee, and hot chocolate!
I used to drink a cup of coffee (or 6!) every morning when I was in college and in my early 20’s. Black tea with milk was an afternoon ritual. I would also add in a cup of hot chocolate (from a package, of course) at night time for a sweet treat.
I had no idea how dependent I was upon caffeine until I tried to cut it out when I became pregnant. I had to gradually wean myself off because I had headaches if I missed just one day of drinking something containing caffeine
Still, I would purchase decaf coffee and decaf tea (which still contain minimal amounts of caffeine). I didn’t realize that the chemicals used to reduce or remove the caffeine content from these beverages were just as harmful to me as the caffeine!
In the past few years I have stored away my coffee pot unless I have guests over who “need their coffee”. I still enjoy a cup every few months, but coffee is no longer a staple in my day.
I have shifted away from needing that cup of black tea in the afternoon as well. I still enjoy a cup on occasion. Hot chocolate packets are loaded with sugar, sodium, and chemicals, so if I drink hot chocolate/hot cocoa, I make it myself. (Hot Cocoa is one treat that “Mrs. Claus” makes for my family every year and leaves steaming in our crockpot on Christmas Morning!)
Caffeine can affect our health in ways we may not realize!
As I have studied natural means of regulating hormones to help some of my clients recently, I have realized just how much of an impact caffeine has upon our hormonal health!
- Caffeine can dramatically increase estrogen levels during some stages of the female monthly cycle.
- Caffeine can increase our cortisol (stress hormone levels) which drains our adrenal gland over time. A high stress lifestyle coupled with caffeine dependence for energy can lead to adrenal fatigue. Increased cortisol levels also bring increased blood sugar levels and a tendency to gain weight (particularly in the abdominal region.) Would you like a muffin top with that cup of joe?
- Caffeine is also an irritant to the sensitive GI tract lining. If you notice the need to “eliminate” after your morning cup of coffee, it could be due to the effect of caffeine. Some people who have weaker digestive tracts (or leaky gut) may even develop a food sensitivity to coffee, tea, or caffeine. This leads to inflammation and all of its negative health consequences.
Here are four naturally caffeine-free hot drinks that you can enjoy:
This is an instant herbal coffee that is naturally caffeine free. I have given this as a gift to family and friends countless times. When I am teaching nutrition classes or am doing taste testing with clients I like to serve this drink. So many people are surprised by how good it tastes! (It is made from the root of the dandelion — not from the greens — so no grassy taste!)
I prepare my morning cup with 2 rounded teaspoons of Dandy Blend® stirred into 10 oz hot water. I add a generous splash of whole milk (which makes it almost as blonde as a prom queen 🙂
I have found Amazon to be the cheapest source. You can purchase this in a smaller package, or even “to go” pouches. The 2 lb. bag is the most economical and lasts forever! Just make sure that you seal the bag well. (I actually pour some Dandy Blend out into a mason jar for easy access.)
The is one of our Little Farmers’ favorite hot drinks. I created this recipe for my family a few years ago when we were trying to increase our iron intake. Blackstrap molasses happens to contain about 20% of your Daily Value for iron in just one tablespoon! My farmer, who doesn’t really care for coffee, will request this steamer in the fall and winter months. I won’t go as far to say that this steamer is a coffee replacement, but it does have a robust flavor. (Also, it contains much less sugar than hot chocolate but still provides that satisfactory sweet taste.)
Roboois tea is a naturally caffeine-free tea that tastes great made into a latte or just sweetened with some whole milk and raw honey. I just purchased this bombilla strainer straw from Azure Standard to make short work of brewing and sipping loose leaf tea. (Because sometimes I just don’t want to have to go through the trouble of brewing in a separate pot and straining it out.)
Warm Lemon Water (+ honey)
If I am cold in the afternoon and just want something to warm my heart and hands, I just heat some water in my trusty Krups kettle and add a splash of organic lemon juice. Sometimes I drizzle a little raw clover honey in there, but usually the lemon gives enough flavor to satisfy.
What are your favorite naturally caffeine free drinks? Leave a comment below to share with our Ingrained Community!
Here’s to Wholesome!