I was a Flight Attendant on a strict diet when I fell in love with coffee.
Juice fast all day, eat one meal when the flight was over, and whittle myself down to those size zero uniform dresses.
I never quite got there because, as you can imagine, when I couldn’t force my body to survive on juice alone – there was bag, after bag, after bag of trail mix.
I picked out the chocolate pieces and raisins, of course, because they weren’t on my list of “diet approved” foods.
It wasn’t until I left the airline job that I began to see my relationship with food as disordered and in the meantime, I did everything I could to maintain my regime.
Enter: coffee.Tea was my gateway drug.
Sitting in the tail of a freezing, delayed plane one day – I poured myself a mug of something I believed to be herbal.
And as someone who grew up in a “no caffeine” religion I was quite…sensitive.
Needless to say, I FLEW through that shift (no pun intended).
I realized quickly that this whole caffeine thing might be the magic fix I needed to stick to my (insane) diet.
So my cup of tea turned into double-shot almond milk lattes and for a brief time, I felt invincible.
I felt like I could do ANYTHING.
I felt happy.
And NOT HUNGRY.
When the high inevitably wore off and I required more and more coffee to maintain the magic I’d found – the binge eating came back along with a sense of “not-okay-ness” unless I had my fix.
The honeymoon had faded and now, not only was I battling food – I was battling coffee.
Now, it probably doesn’t seem like such a big deal to you.
MOST people have a cup or many every morning and compared to some vices, it’s pretty damn tame.
But I saw my standards as higher and I had romantic notions about being caffeine-free.
I believed that my body’s own energy should be enough.
I believed I was weak if I needed this crutch.
But I also believed that that size zero dress would make me feel like a goddess.
So back and forth and up and down I’d go for YEARS, feeling triumphant every time I’d quit and guilty but buzzed enough to not mind every time I caved.
At some point, I just quit fighting.
I embraced the fact that I adored straight shots of espresso and strongly brewed black tea.
And in the embracing, something funny happened: it loosened it’s grip.
When I quit fighting coffee, coffee quit fighting ME and it’s made it’s way in and out of my morning routine without a lot of fuss.
Recently though, it’s been on the low-to-none end for some time and I attribute it to several things:
- Listening to my body. This has meant giving up the diets and actually eating what and how much my body needs. I no longer use coffee as a “diet hack” or “substitute food” and I’m far more balanced and in touch with my body’s signals because of it.
- Including nourishing adaptogens and delicious replacements. I’m skeptical of supplements and I hate the word “replacements”. Nothing replaces the richness of coffee and I find most supplements to be pretty unimpressive. With that said, I was completely surprised when I came across Raw Revelations Coffee Fix. I never intended to use it as a substitute but it was tasty-as-heck and the added herbs were so grounding that it became a regular part of my day. I think that each of our bodies will respond to things differently but the adrenal-supporting mix of Holy Basil, Black Shilajit, Dandelion and Ashwagandha really scratch an itch my body apparently needed! I will absolutely not tell you that it tastes “just like coffee” but it’s delicious in it’s own right and I’m including a recipe that’s become a staple.
- Strengthening my nervous system. I fell in love with kundalini yoga at the beginning of this year and it’s had a tremendous effect on my nervous system. When our nervous systems are strong, we can manage stress and be less nervous is tense situations. I had such a small capacity to handle the enormity of life for so long that my way of coping was to tightly control or binge on food. Coffee made me feel normal and life feel bearable for the brief period that it worked. I think about my nervous system as a container. For most of my life, my “container” was like a tiny shot glass. I couldn’t hold much so there was a limit to the amount of stress or pain I could handle. I couldn’t meditate or focus well without being quickly distracted. As I began to strengthen my nervous system through kundalini yoga, I started to feel more like a large, hearty glass with the capacity to hold anything that came my way. I could process pain and stress far more quickly and easily without the need to distract or numb. My focus and general well-being have also improved – things I was using coffee to facilitate prior to this.
- Living a life I actually want to show up for. I remember days when, for all intents and purposes, I felt “fine”…but I just didn’t want to be where I was. My job and lack of a creative outlet felt so stifling that I needed the pick-me-up just to feel sane. Had I strengthened my nervous system, supported myself with adaptogens, and listened to my body’s needs for nourishment, would things have been better. Perhaps, but I couldn’t be more grateful to be living a life that feels inspiring – at least on most days!
- Not seeing caffeine as “bad”. I still adore the idea of being caffeine-free for life. I still want my body to be strong and resilient enough to not need the extra help. But I also know that shunning it or making myself wrong for it will make it all the more appealing. And I know that having the odd shot of espresso will feel far more indulgent and effective when it’s totally “okay” but not something I need.
Ultimately, what I want you to know is this: you’re not a bad or good person if you love a strong cup of coffee or tea in the morning.
For me, this was less about caffeine and more about self-love and honesty.
I learned to love myself and my little (and sometimes not-so-little) coffee ritual thoroughly – and from there I could explore it rather than letting it run my life.
As promised, here’s what I’ve been drinking lately:
Roasted Vanilla Herba-Latte
1 cup homemade macadamia milk
1 Tbsp Raw Revelations Coffee Fix
1/2 tsp Raw Revelations Cordyceps (optional)
1/2 tsp Raw Revelations Mucuna (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
stevia, to taste
To make the macadamia milk, blend one part macadamia nuts with three parts water and strain through a cheese cloth or nut milk bag. Whisk together ingredients and warm over low heat.