I love coffee. As a New Yorker trying to keep up with it all, it always felt like a necessary ally. There aren’t that many memes dedicated to it for nothing. However...
At the beginning of 2018 I set out to once and for all get to the bottom of my lifelong abdominal pain and menstruation woes. I, like almost every woman I’ve talked to about this, have ovarian cysts and fibroids. I think it’s important to share about this intimate detail of my physical body because so many of us suffer in silence thinking that the doctor’s lack of answers or advice is the be all end all. I’m here to tell you that it’s the opposite. If you care to go deeper, that feeling of hopelessness at the doctor’s office can actually be the beginning of understanding so much more about yourself and the universe than you thought possible (lots more on this in later posts). I’m thankful that I grew up with parents who were open minded and thus I didn’t feel any ideological resistance on my journey into “alternative” medicine, foods, and ways of being. My first step in trying to heal myself was to cut out coffee. Coffee and caffeine are metabolized differently by men and women and can adversely affect hormone levels in women. Coffee use is scientifically linked to breast and ovarian cysts and fibroids. This enlightening article from FloLiving is a must-read if you have any of these issues. It’s shocking to me that I had to stop and dedicate my life to working out this health puzzle to find this simple and important piece of information. I’m not saying this is 100% what caused my, or anybody else’s, issues. It’s impossible to know in each specific case. But if there’s something that can help, why not give it a try?
I soon discovered that I couldn’t just replace coffee with other caffeine like matcha or black tea to get that morning jolt. Caffeine in general just doesn’t seem to make me feel great, and as mentioned in the above article, caffeine can contribute to the hormone imbalances that cause cysts and fibroids. Cacao, on the other hand, is my best friend. That is the base for my main morning drink. Most people think there is caffeine in chocolate but it’s actually something called theobromine, a sort of alkaloid cousin to caffeine.
Here is one version of what I drink instead of coffee:
-1 TBSP organic cacao (delicious, slight buzz)
-1 tsp Anima Mundi maca or 1/2 tsp mucuna (pizazz! Like caffeine but sustained energy and no crash. Both of these have so many other health properties I’ll go into in another post)
-A couple shakes of cinnamon (yum and also good for blood pressure)
-1 1/2 TBSP Anima Mundi Coconut Cream Powder OR 1/2 cup fresh almond milk (I like these two as cream options because they are #plantparadox friendly and they don’t contain any guar, xanthan or other gums like packaged nut/seed/oat milks)
-1/2 tsp Luce Farms CBD Honey (honey for sweetness and cbd for evening out my fast-paced brain which can sometimes veer over into anxiety territory)
-Sprinkle of salt to round out flavors
Boil water in kettle, add everything together in blender and mix for a couple seconds. Done!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my health journey it is that every single person is so different. I’ve found through almost a year of trial and error that this is what works for me right now. If you’re curious—give it a try and see how it makes you feel! If it seems daunting/expensive you can just try part of it and see what you like. I find that Anima Mundi and Luce Farms are a good price point for such high quality for most of the above ingredients. They are small businesses doing good and making great products.