Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ditching Thoughtless Joe

I am selfish about what goes into my body. I tend to think about how the liquids and solids I ingest help ME. Will this give me energy? Will that benefit my skin? Will it upset my stomach? I am also on a path to rid myself of all thoughtless consumption (a work in progress as I still eat dinner in front of the TV). While I never had more than one cup of coffee as part of my morning routine, one day last month I realized it no longer tasted good.  When I gave it more thought, I got grossed out. Drowning a bitter coffee flavor with cream and sugar was giving me no more benefit than eating a sugary donut in the morning. Why did I feel it was necessary to continue to drink it if it did not taste good to me and had little to no nutritional value? I discovered two reasons were compelling me to get to work, immediately make that cup of Joe, fill it with sugar and dairy, than immediately consume it prior to putting any other liquid in my body:
1. COMFORT-While I am lucky to have a good job and see my family everyday, I still do not look forward to my current "daily grind." It used to be that when my eyes first opened in the morning all I could think to get me out of bed and moving toward the dresser, was I had a cup of coffee waiting for me at that place I do not want to go yet. Sad to think that an acidic beverage motivated me to start my day.
2. CAFFEINE-This, I believe, is why most people consume copious amounts of coffee on a daily basis (that and an "assumed" bowel motivator). It is no secret that we disrupt our natural sleep process everyday by staying up late than setting our alarms to get up before our body is fully ready to face the day.  In turn we get burning eyes, constipation, crankiness and lethargy.  This makes caffeine our saviour in getting to work on time and finishing our day as productive beings, right? 
While caffeine in small doses can be beneficial; the source, time of day, and accompanying sugar/dairy tend to override any benefit it may bring. Most coffee is consumed early in the morning and for a great deal of people it is the first liquid that enters their system to "wake the body up". But while mentally we may be asleep during the night, our body systems are still working very hard, detoxing from the days activities, making sure we are able to do it all over again the next day.  They are processing the waste and allocating the nutrients as well. Think about your workout.  After a couple miles on the treadmill, do you want a big cup of acid OR a tall glass of refreshing water? I hope its the latter. So doesn't it make sense that our body deserves a big glass over water in the morning to refresh and flush itself?
I should clarify that I do like coffee. In fact, I was the kid that when asked to pick her choice of ice cream, would pick coffee favor. That said, there is a huge difference in enjoying a fresh brewed cup of quality coffee while sharing breakfast at a cafe with your girlfriends or mindlessly moseying to that pot in the office which has been sitting for hours just to get your caffeine fix.  And so after I became grossed out by my mindless office Joe, I gave it up completely and have never looked back. 
You might be wondering how I make it through the morning now and I have to admit, I did find a replacement morning routine to start the day off with a bang. Now, my day, starts with at least one glass of water.  When I get to the office I make myself a nice glass of...GREENS.  Yes, greens.  I chose to rev up my engine with a nutritional power punch full of vitamins and minerals and I highly recommend it.  You can do this with a green smoothie or take advantage of dehydrated greens (my choice). I have found a brand that I love and am religious about drinking them every day. I also chose a brand that has natural sources of plant-based caffeine.  I don't ever crave coffee now and believe me there is no trouble with the "plumbing." Amazing Grass puts out several options for your greens, from berry flavor to chocolate flavor and they even have a kids version.  This is my product of choice, but I would suggest you do a little taste test to pick yours.  Most health food stores offer dehydrated greens in sample/travel packets. 
This is my routine, it works for me and it does not mean you should ditch yours.  I believe in the world of health, it's about "adding to" before you eliminate things. So if you are not ready to ditch your Joe, do yourself a favor and add a glass of water to your morning routine upon rising, then add some greens to your day to see how you feel.  I think you will be surprised at how much your body will thank you.

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