Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Thoughts on Coffee as a Vegan

Coffee used to be a sensitive topic for me. I was so "addicted" to it in college. Actually, I didn't realize or even think that I was addicted. I even quit one job to go to work at a coffee shop so that my coffee could be free. 2 free drinks per shift, 1 lb free per week. And I had some co workers who didn't like coffee and they gave me theirs!!!

My thoughts on coffee now.... For a while I refused to drink it. I think maybe it was a purity thing. Then I did some research and it told me not to drink it because it compromised my Central Nervous System etc. I decided to do what I always do and I put myself on a little test.

I drank coffee on Sundays only as a treat with my homemade brunch (normally Belgian waffles, tofu scramble, fruit). I noticed an alertness and a sharpness, but not real high energy spike. No crash. No afternoon desire to have more. I thought that maybe coffee doesn't do to me what it does to others....hmmm

The end result is that all the research I've done has led me to understand and believe that you can find research to support any thought you have. If you drink wine there is plenty of research to show how good for you it is. There is plenty to show how bad for you it is. Same for coffee. Same for tofu. Same for all kinds of stuff.

As a vegan I work to be conscientious of any product I consume and any company I support Equal Exchange as a company. The store near me only has one brand of it, but I could buy it online if need be. There is a new Women of the Congo project they are supporting. It feels sooo good to vote with my dollars. As a vegan, I feel good when I know that my money not only buying a great product, but also supporting community initiatives around the globe. Wow. Equal Exchange is a powerful company. 

Starbucks?? I think not. Everything they stand for annoys my soul. Yes there have been times when I meet friends there and grab a cup of tea (with my own mug of course) but I really don't support their practices. I am still searching for chains that offer organic choices. Know of any? Until then I will support locally owned and operated coffee shops where they cups don't match the saucers and the owners kids run around.

My advice is do an experiment on yourself and also do your research about what you consume. I have decided that so long as something is vegan, gluten free, I will consume it perhaps in moderation. I have eaten ice cream everyday for the past 7 days. I lost 2 lbs this week. I'm saying all of that to say if I had restricted myself from eating it, I would have eaten two pints by now! It is the mental block as much as the physical restriction of the food item.

I know this to be true:
  • If you MUST have coffee to get going in the morning...that is a problem...detox off of it and add green juice to your mornings :)
  • Only only only drink organic coffee! This  Dr. Mercola Article sums up all the info on coffee that you need
  • It rarely ever the first thing I drink in the morning
  •  I don't need it to get up in the morning or to keep going with my day. If I did, I would stop drinking it again.
  • I can go for days or weeks without thinking of drinking it
  • Tea is an amazing substitute for that "warm, frothy" feeling that I am seeking that coffee provides
As I type this sipping a steamy mug of Equal Exchange Coffee, I reflect on my memories of coffee. I starting drinking it in 3rd grade... rich, thick with chicory sitting outside in New Orleans while eating peanut butter bread. The memories are as warm as this mug I am holding and I feel good knowing the benefits and the consequences of consuming coffee. Organic, fair-trade.... it works for me.

Do you drink coffee?


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