Monday, July 9, 2012

No coffee! Help! I Need a Morning Pick Me Up!

caffeine crystal

I love the taste of a good cup of coffee. And when I don't get to drink it or if I smell it, I crave coffee.
But I am resigned to the fact that I can't drink coffee without suffering some serious effect : inflammation, rebound exhaustion, stimulation of the gluten cross reactivity and possibly making new autoimmune diseases or at least making any existing autoimmune disorder worse.
A recent report showed cross reactivity of coffee and gluten in those persons who are sensitive to gluten (people with celiac or non- celiac gluten sensitivity). I recommend trying to eliminate coffee and coffee products if one has any symptoms or signs of inflammation, no matter how small.
And then there is the problem of caffeine....This is a picture of caffeine. Caffeine is made by plants to protect themselves from predators. Hmmmm? It's a natural pesticide.  Find out more at A Visual View of Caffeine.

What is one to do without coffee? Here are some pointers from The Healthy Home Economist:

Help! I Need a Morning Pick Me UP!

What if you really need a morning or afternoon pick me up and are truly concerned about the effect of coffee or tea on your adrenal and overall hormone health?
You can go the decaf route, but decaf coffee and tea still have caffeine in them and so will not eliminate the stress on the adrenals completely.
16oz of Starbucks Decaf, for example, contains about 25 mg of caffeine which is about the same amount as 8 oz of regular green tea.
Even decaf black tea has up to 12 mg of caffeine per 8 oz.
One option for a completely caffeine free morning brew is Dandy Blend, made of dandelion root.   I know plenty of folks who just love Dandy Blend and swear it tastes just like coffee, but if you choose to give it a try – go slow and build up gradually.   I’ve had some people report that the detoxifying effect of the dandelion can result in a close relationship with the bathroom until your digestive tract adjusts!

Another option is to make a coffee substitute yourself: The following recipe is suggested by Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation who recommends it as a good pick me up:

Coffee Substitute
1 Tbl Molasses
1 Tbl Coconut oil
Place ingredients in a mug and pour in boiling water and stir. Let coook until still hot but drinkable and enjoy!

I have survived not drinking coffee, and I have even thrived. I have some wonderful, stimulating non-caffeinated teas like Rooibos, cherry and raspberry tea.
 And water Kefir!!!
Enjoy exploring the world of teas.


  1. I too have a strong cross reaction with my Celiac's and coffee. I didn't know about it until I had an ELISA IgG food panel done. I knew gluten and yeast were issues but I suspected something else. Coffee was the culprit, showing up at .894 (severe is .400 and over). I can have a serving about 2-3 times a year, but one time I had it three weekends in a row while studying for a college entrance exam. My whole body hurt for an entire month after.

  2. Not sure if I have the same problems with fatigue and body aches. I am using Swiss Dandelion Blend which seems to be the same as Dandy Blend
    We sell at the Westgate Kardish Health and Bulk Food Store.

  3. Thank-you both Mrs. Ed and Suzanne for your comments.

    Some people don't have access to ELISA IgG testing so in that case I recommend a food elimination protocol. Eliminate the suspects for a few weeks and re-introduce in a controlled way and see what symptoms occur. The body gets un"fooled" when not exposed and will tell you if you have antibodies to the proteins in the food.

    I'll have to pick up some Swiss Dandelion Blend and try it.
    Dr. Barbara