09 Jan SIBO & Coffee Reduction
As a naturopathic doctor my clinical experience and recommendation has been thumbs up to coffee if you like your coffee.
People have had enough rules and / or things being taking away when they come to see me that I want to keep the rituals they cherish.
We utilize intuitive eating and drinking while adjustments in the gut take place.
Since I always learn from my patients I have found myself checking in on my own intuition!
MY HISTORY WITH CAFFEINE
I grew up waking up to the smell of strong coffee. My mother has had a cup of coffee in the morning as long as I can remember.
After high school I was an exchange student in Switzerland for a year and had access to a machine that was top of the culinary line at the time. I had no idea how spoiled I was! When my Swiss host mother, who had been horrified by the reality of American weak coffee, came to visit my family in Alaska, she approved of my mother’s taste in coffee. Phew!
Later in life, having coffee with my mother I used to joke with her about how I knew how to make her “rocket fuel” strength coffee.
Then I became the person trying all kinds of coffee and brought coffee back as gifts whenever I would travel.
During medical school I tuned out all the “drop coffee” talk and continued to have my Trader Joe’s Organic French Roast, French pressed daily.
In the midst of building my practice, about 2 years in, reality hit me like a ton of bricks and I dropped coffee. I spent the holiday with my parents coffee free to their bewilderment and a separation of our previously shared coffee ritual.
While I was visiting my parents I found my favorite green tea ever from the big island of Hawaii (pictured below).
I’m a Virgo you see and when I get into something I’m ALL in…
Later I would learn from my multiple green tea lattes a day that I was not only disrupting my Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) by having calories throughout the day, I was feeding the bacteria a buffet of polyphenols, etc… When the Ah ha! moment came I reached for mi amore…coffee!
I tried Bulletproof at the time and it was nowhere near strong enough for me. Plus the added fat just made my constipation WORSE! 🙁 *SIDE NOTE: FAT delays stomach emptying!
I went back to my favorite Trader Joe’s Organic French Roast until I was introduced to Nespresso at The Resort at Pelican Hill for my birthday last year.
When I got home I searched for one on eBay and scored a brand new one for half the price! I was in love, love, love with my Nespresso machine. By the time the pods included in my purchase ran out, I had already found organic fair-trade pods. Needless to say, over the holidays that year, I brought the Nespresso machine! 🙂
REASONS FOR ME TO REDUCE MY COFFEE INTAKE
- pH: I tend toward high stomach acid and since coffee is acidic, this slows down my stomach emptying. In the past I could go without breakfast, just coffee in the morning until 12-2pm. More on this in another post!
- Adrenal repair: I was blind to the toll stress was playing on my adrenal glands and it got to a place where I was hyper-sensitive to any amount of stress. I recently had some high stress events take place and once again it hit me like a freight train. I’m so glad I know how to properly support my adrenal glands and that I did that for 6 weeks before reducing my coffee intake.
- Breast Density: I found out this year that I have dense breast tissue which makes it harder to see potential lesions on a mammogram. I remember in naturopathic training that caffeine was being looked at in relation to this and breast cancer. It looks like the word is still out on this as they have noted variables. Variables that I notice may be partially related to enzymes I consider on the StrateGene report such as COMT (Biopterin pathway) and NAT2 (Histidine pathway).
MY CURRENT CAFFEINE STATUS
Now I must confess and say for those of you who appreciate black coffee for all it’s tannins and bitterness, I love mine with 4TBS / 2 oz (I measured!) of half & half (at the time, now I use a non-dairy creamer) and with plain or hazelnut stevia. I know those of you who hate stevia just winced. Ha! I have recently been inspired to do Whole30. I’ve started with reducing the amount I use. One step at a time!
To add another layer to this story, I am also weaning myself from dairy products. First, I was switching from Clover Sonoma Organic Half & Half to Cailfia Farms and I decided to compare the Unsweetened Better Half (PREFERRED) to the Unsweetened Creamer. What I found was that the ingredients are the same just in a different ratio based on the listing.
Since eliminating dairy, I have noticed more balance and calm in my thoughts and demeanor. I attribute some of this to my current supplements, but I also believe dairy may effect my brain more than I realized (similar to gluten, but again, that’s a whole other blog post!).
Now, back to coffee talk! As I was lowering my coffee intake, I made sure to support my body as best I could. With that said, I could definitely feel the detox and have to say that Seeking Health’s Optimal Electrolytes definitely got me through! And admittedly with better energy and concentration than with coffee.
I also started with thyroid, adrenal, and detox support by Restorative Formulations for 6 weeks prior to reducing coffee.
Supplements pictured above: Restorative Formulations ThyroCare, Adrenal L-BP (for low blood pressure), DHEA-Px, and Ubiquinol (specific to my StrateGene report NQO1 (+/-, AG). Supplement pictured below: Quicksilver Ultra Toxin Binder™.
Currently I am French pressing the “French Kick” Dark Roast by Bulletproof and I’m enjoying this WAY more than when it first came out. My plan is to buy some stainless steel refillable Nespresso pods and create my own blend using the Bulletproof coffee. Once I get the hang of that I thought I’d try and add an adaptogenic blend such as the Original Rasa or a single mushroom (I would pick Cordyceps by Sun Potion).
To be honest I’m apprehensive of introducing a fungi since I’ve had a history of living in a rain forest having been raised in SE Alaska so I’m hyper sensitive to yeast, fungi and mold, but I just may have to test it out!
MY COFFEE ALTERNATIVES
When I am traveling and Starbuck’s is the only option, I may order a Sugar-Free Vanilla London Fog instead of a grande Americano. I went back to Republic of Tea for their Earl Greyer Vanilla Black Tea Bags. The Ginger Peach is one of their best sellers and I found it at my local Lassen’s recently when I realized I was down to 4 bags, Ah!
My amazing assistant/office manager introduced me to the following coffee alternatives some which she has tried. These are Karylin approved and as a fellow Virgo herself I know they are well researched 😉
- Emperor’s Pur-eh (mild tasting black tea)
- Breakfast Blend (bold tasting black tea)
- Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee with chaga and lion’s mane *feedback later included noted bloating. Note to self: Consider rotation!
- She sent me 2 packets of the Golden Latte with Shiitake & Turmeric (pictured below) that I enjoyed and it helped me begin to recognize my coffee thoughts shift.
- I really like that for $15 and free shipping using code [TRIALSHIP] I can try their products!
- She noticed Medidate was available at the Erewhon Market in my neighborhood for me to try before I buy a bag. And I’m also considering taking a trip to downtown LA to check out the cafe.
You know your body best and what is right for you. If you want that cup of coffee each morning, then please enjoy! If you have been thinking about reducing your coffee intake for one reason or another, then go for it!
Just remember to take it slow. Set your body up for a successful detox period by supporting your thyroid and adrenals beforehand and during the reduction, and think about incorporating a detox support supplement for additional help.
There are many coffee alternatives out there to try. Have fun with it! And please remember to be kind to yourself. Don’t get down on yourself if you need that cup of coffee here and there. None of us are perfect. We are all just working on being our best selves!