Three Reasons to Limit Caffeine

For many people,  coffee is their Achilles' Heel. The aroma, the dark taste, the way it makes you feel. I get it. It can be great. What I don't love is the inevitable crash. About an hour later your energy plummets and you feel drained. And so you go searching for another coffee or sweet, chocolate, anything that will give you a boost to get through your day. The high you get from coffee comes with a price. 

Top 3 Reasons to Limit Caffeine

  1. SPIKE AND CRASH ROLLERCOASTER. As caffeine is an artificial stimulant, it can give you a wonderfully high energy boost (sometimes too high... I'm looking at you twitchy). Inevitably the crash follows and nobody wants to feel that low. Most people just accept it as normal because they've been drinking coffee for so many years, they just accept the 3pm slump as a normal part to your day. But it doesn't have to be!

  2. STRESS BOMB. As caffeine artificially stimulates your energy, it also releases higher amounts of cortisol than your body would do naturally. If you're not living on a beach somewhere, you likely have enough things causing stress in your day. Contributing to the overall stimulation of cortisol isn't exactly what your body needs.

  3. LEADS TO POOR FOOD CHOICES. I'm talking about when your energy tanks, your blood sugar tanks and you look for anything to give you a boost. When you're in this state, self control usually goes out the window, as your brain is searching for quick energy. And what's the brains preferred form of energy? GLUCOSE. Quick sugar.

For all these reasons, I have developed a drink recipe that allows me to engage in the social and warming aspect of a cup of coffee, without the caffeine. You may be asking at this point ' But Nicole, what about DECAF?". Decaf still has remnants of caffeine and is further processed to remove the caffeine from it. Anything that goes through such processing isn't ideal for our body to break down. So here is my super foods, mood and energy regulating recipe for a gentle lift of energy. Use this drink to replace your morning coffee or as a pre-work out. 

MACA

I've utilized Maca in this recipe because it is a superfood like no other. It comes from Peru as a root vegetable, but carries infamous medicinal properties. 

MACACCINO RECIPE

For this recipe you need a blender. Make sure you don't use a magic bullet or a blender that doesn't have a place to release steam, as it might explode (trust me!). 

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 2 tsp chicory coffee substitute powder (i like Bambu)

  • 1 tsp maca powder

  • 1/2 tsp raw cocoa powder

  • 2 cups warm milk or alternative

  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Method

  1. Heat milk on a stove top until warm.

  2. Place all ingredients in a blender including milk and blitz until frothy (about 20 seconds).

Belly Love

Here is some food for thought: I have made some connections lately with my self worth as a direct reflection of thought patterns. I’ve learned how destructive ‘self talk’ can be and have tried to stop being mean to myself in my own head.

I have also been thinking (as a Nutritionist does) about ways to improve digestion as I believe it to be the most valuable aspect to our health when it is performing optimally.

But then I look in the mirror every morning after a shower or when I try on an outfit and think “I hate my belly fat”. Every single day, and often many times in a day, I send a little message of hate to my core. I’ve learned that, not only will this thought pattern diminish my digestion, but my belly is the site of so much more.

Belly Love : 5 Reasons to Stop Throwing Shade on your Core

1)   Solar Plexus: Your belly is the site of the third chakra called the Solar Plexus. It is located in your upper stomach and above the navel. This Chakra is the core of your identity as it governs personality, identity and ego. It is the center of your self-esteem, confidence, self-worth and personal power. If you look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself you hate your ‘belly fat’, you are diminishing the power of your Solar Plexus and effectually breaking down your self worth on a daily basis. Please stop doing this.  More on this.

2)   Your Core: Muscularly speaking, it is common to refer to the centre place of strength and energy as your ‘core’. We see this in fitness instruction and exercises that remind you to ‘Strengthen your Core’ or ‘Pull in your Core’ when doing exercises.  I believe they are on the right path anatomically, noting how central the core is for overall strength, but something is missing.  There is an obsession to have ‘six-pack abs’ and the media presents this as the only way to be proud of your core. What is the result of this mentality? If you DON'T have ‘six-pack abs’ then you are inferior. Further propagating core hatred. So I say love your rolls. The effect of sending love to your core will go far beyond muscle strength…

 

3)   Digestion: Your ability to break down and assimilate food is reliant on a properly functioning digestion. Assimilated food literally turns into ‘YOU’. It is the building blocks of every bodily process from hormones to blood cells and skin. If your digestion is sluggish, so is your metabolism. Weight gain can be the result of impaired digestion as we need the building blocks of vitamins and minerals to burn fat and remove it from the body.  So send your belly some love, if not for an improved metabolism, then for your overall health…

4)   “All disease starts in the gut”. It was the ancient philosopher Hippocrates who said nearly 2000 years ago that  we can trace all elements of disease to the gut, which is the small and large intestines located in the lower part of your abdomen. The same place as your ‘Solar Plexus’ and your ‘Core’. This may seem obvious in conditions such as Type II Diabetes and Liver Disease, but can be linked to so many others such as Auto-Immune Disease, Heart Disease, Cancer and more. Digestion is the key to preventing these illnesses, so eat something today that is good for your gut.

5) The Gut-Brain Connection: The gut is the source of our microbiome: billions of beneficial bacteria working together to influence immunity and defence, digestion, mental health and so much more. As this topic extends the scope of this article I will just say this: digestion can influence mental health. Think of it this way: your happy hormones, called Serotonin, are made up of amino-acids. One of the most important amino-acids is Tryptophan, which cannot be made by the body so it needs to come from our diet. Tryptophan comes from broken down protein such as turkey meat, spinach etc. If your gut is not breaking down protein efficiently, then there won’t be enough Tryptophan to create the happy hormone Serontonin. The result can lead to depression, anxiety, emotional instability, inability to manage stress and so on.  So love your gut, it’s the only one you have. 

The Power of Cultivation

I believe that the most interesting part of a human being is their soul. The "soul" can go by many other names, but essentially what I'm talking about is the thing that exists once you remove the body along with all of it's senses. Our souls have the ability to navigate the world through our bodies, which is already a spectacular thing in itself. But the question that I've always had is do we actually understand the full potential of our souls? Do we know what we can create for ourselves, for others or for the world? The potential is infinite, if you want it to be. 

Let's get down to the basics. Close your eyes and say the words "I am amazing" without making a sound. Did you hear that? Keep your eyes closed and picture yourself swimming in the ocean, feel the warmth of the water around you and the lightness of your body floating. How good did that feel? Close your eyes once again and rub your hands together really fast for 20 seconds, then gently place your hands over your eyes. Feel the warmth of the energy that you are giving to yourself. 

Everything that you just experienced was real and will have an effect on your life.

Everything that has happened to you when you were young is now the past. Understand that you have the power to change the patterns of your life. Every time you react out of fear or anger, question your reactions. Ask yourself where is this reaction coming from and why. You cannot blame someone else for your reaction because your anger or fear is coming from a place that you have not healed yet. Your reactions and attitudes come from no one other than yourself. Take responsibility for who you are and who you want to be. This is a life long journey, so be patient with yourself. You are already an incredible person for taking that first step towards healing. 

Did you know that you can manifest and cultivate anything that you want in this world? The secret is that it has to be done with good intentions and pure love. You have the ability to create the world that you want to live in. Spend time every day closing your eyes and envisioning the life that you want and really believe that it already exists for you. The more you practice this, the stronger your energy field becomes. The stronger your energy field becomes, the more control you have over the destiny of your life. 

Ultimately, what I want for you is to wake up with passion and excitement for your life. There is no better person to count on than yourself. I hope you continue to focus on yourself so that others can continue to be inspired and loved by you. 

I'd like to share one of my favourite passages with you from the book "The Master" by Chao-Hsiu Chen, 

"Each person carries a great wisdom in himself, but nobody finds this ancient treasure because it is buried under mountains of grief. Once you learn to remove the rubble of sorrow and pain, you can see the treasure gleam in the light of the eternal Sun."