A few months ago, I gave up coffee. I craved it daily and was starting to become (emotionally) dependent on it. I would drink a few mugs a day, looking for ways to add it in whenever possible. I was gaining weight, felt fatigued and stressed, and noticed I had irritated (heartburn) digestion. I decided my body needed me to cut back for a bit and find an alternative.
Despite being a staple in most diets, coffee can easily be over used. Yes, coffee does have some good things: antioxidants, caffeine to wake you, can “wake up” your digestive tract, but it’s there is some not so good stuff to consider:
- Many coffee brews and brands are made with pesticides, in conditions that are not sustainable for the land or the workers.
- It can also cause adrenal problems in some people and lead to weight gain, acidity, and inflammation.
- Caffeine headaches suck when you go a day without your brew, and this is when you know you’ve become dependent.
While I wasn’t getting headaches, I knew I was overdoing it. I would feel drained and have a mega crash, but still really wanted more. I was also going through some personal things (loss, procrastination, book writing) that made that little extra “treat” seem so worth it. After a few months, I decided to switch to tea. While I am back to coffee in moderation (I also changed my diet and exercise, which have helped me balance it out a bit, and as I said, it also has a lot of good stuff), I was always a tea drinker growing up and always will be.
Even though I have lived in the Southeast most of my life, I was actually born in the Northeast. Tea there is much different. It is hot, not cold. And it is brewed fresh, without any sweeteners. Black tea is the most common and is often consumed with milk and sugar or honey. This was my favorite way to drink it, but I have branched out since college and am a fan of more mellow teas, such as green tea, white tea, and Yerba Mate.
Yerba mate (pronounced year-ba ma-tay), or mate, is a tea-like brew made from the holly plant in the rainforest. Mate is super high in anti-oxidants, much like coffee, but doesn’t have the adverse effects. When brewed, it looks like a tea and much like tea, it often comes in loose leaf form, but there are a few brews that also come in bags. Mate contains a caffeine-like substance that is much more mellow, softer, and leads to less of a crash that even green tea can sometimes cause. It is also slightly smoky in flavor, which makes it one of my favorite brews once the temperatures dip a bit.
I usually drink mate with a little bit of honey, but sometimes it’s fun to spice it up a bit. Mate Lattes are super simple to make at home, are delicious, and are fun to say. What better way to get your morning buzz?
Makes -2 servings
1 cup strong brewed mate (2 bags or double loose leaf)
1/2 cup unsweetened, non-dairy milk, or creamer for extra creaminess
1 tbsp honey (local is best)
Brew tea for 4 minutes. Use 2 tea bags or double your recommended recipe for loose leaf. I used a 1 serving french press with 3-4 tbsp. (Double up on brewing ingredients, rather than brewing for longer. Tea, coffee, and mate all contain tannins, which make it taste bitter and can cause stomach irritation. Luckily, mate is the lowest in tannins, but it is still better to just brew it stronger than longer.)
Add brewed tea, creamer or milk, and honey to a blender. Blend until frothy. The blender should warm your milk and keep the tea hot. If not, you can warm the milk beforehand.
Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy! If you have extra, you get to share or have another cup – your choice.
What is your favorite brew in the morning – coffee or tea? Leave a comment below and let me know about your experiences with coffee and tea.
PS If you loved this recipe and want more like it, along with exclusive workouts and suggested meal plans, the 21 Day Modern Detox is back in October. Sign up is now open. You can check out all the information here. I can’t wait to “detox” with you before the holidays kick in!