Health blogger and future Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Lexi Borr looks like the picture of health. She’s young, beautiful and vibrant, and her Instagram feed is full of the gorgeous, brightly colored foods that she eats herself and makes for her private meal prep customers in the Nashville area.
So why in the world would she ever feel the need to give up something like coffee?
Lexi’s story is a true testament that we don’t always know what’s going on with a person’s health, just by looking at them on the outside. Just because a person looks healthy on the outside, doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t experiencing things like low energy or poor sleep.
Lexi’s story is also a wonderful lesson of the importance of learning how to tune in to your body, and to follow any guidance your body gives you, when something just doesn’t feel right. We loved reading Lexi’s story about how she tuned in and listened to her own body, and realized that it was time to take a break from her daily coffee habit. We asked her a few questions about her process…
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE IT WAS TIME TO GIVE UP COFFEE?
There are a couple of reasons I decided to take a break from it. First, I wasn’t sleeping as restfully as I’d like. I’d fall asleep relatively quickly, but then around 2 or 3 a.m. I’d wake up feeling wide awake, stressed and ready to wake up (a sign of high cortisol).
Second, I noticed that my energy levels throughout the day were so up and down. I felt great after my coffee, but then an hour or two later I would crash and feel fatigued and moody, and crave something to give me energy (a snack, another cup of coffee or even having to lie down). Coffee stresses the adrenals and can cause blood sugar issues, which is why many people complain of anxiety, jitters, irritability and fatigue. Caffeine also dehydrates the body, which leads to aches, pains and sluggishness long term. I also hated the idea of relying on coffee everyday in order to feel capable.
Lastly, I wondered what a coffee-free life would be like. Would I feel different? More clear headed? Less anxious? I wanted to find out. If it was horrible, I could always go back to drinking coffee. There was no harm in doing a little experiment. Plus, I still planned to drink some caffeine in the form of matcha.
TELL US MORE ABOUT MATCHA AND WHY YOU CHOSE TO KEEP IT IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE.
Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves with some amazing health benefits. A serving of matcha offers between 30-70 mg of caffeine while coffee offers anywhere between 95-144 mg depending on how it is prepared. Unlike coffee, matcha supplies a healthy amount of caffeine without causing you to crash a couple hours later. Amino acid L-Theanine in matcha promotes both natural relaxation while simultaneously heightening mental clarity. It is also known to reduce anxiety levels and enhance your mood! In addition, matcha is also packed with antioxidants and immune boosting properties.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS YOU CAN SHARE FOR ANYONE WHO THINKS IT MIGHT BE TIME TO TAKE A BREAK FROM COFFEE THEMSELVES?
Absolutely. For the longest time, I was in denial that coffee actually made me feel super anxious and irritable. I thought that without coffee, I would be unproductive, exhausted and cranky, but I’ve actually been anything but and I believe many people will find that, too.
Here are my tips for making the transition:
1. Drink A Hot Morning Alternative. For me, this is matcha. I love my morning matcha because I can add in all of the same things I used to love adding to my coffee: collagen peptides, ghee, coconut butter, MCT Oil, cinnamon, etc. My bulletproof style matcha gives me a steady burst of energy without the jitters of coffee. Also, the ritual of making my matcha reminds me of coffee. I wake up and immediately start boiling water over the stove, add everything to my Vitamix, blend, and the result is a warm, soothing and frothy matcha! I love the taste and the way it makes me feel, which is steady energy, focused without the jitters and I don’t experience a come down. Lately, I’ve been using Organic Ceremonial Matcha by Mizuba Tea Co.
2. Drink Plenty Of Water. I always start my day with a glass of warm water with lemon, and a dash of apple cider vinegar. Water is the cure for everything, just drink it all day everyday. I’ve really stepped up my hydration through making big mason jars full of infused water. I’ll add things like mint leaves, basil, lemon, lime and other fruit to add some subtle flavor. When I know I’m going to be out of the house, I fill up a reusable water bottle and always bring it with me so I don’t go too long without water. This helps me feel more awake, decreases headaches and just feel better all around.
3. Herbal Tea. I discovered a spot called High Garden Tea in Nashville, where they use organic, wildcrafted herbs that are hand blended and bagged into herbal tea infusions. I found so many amazing blends including my current favorite called “Immortal Monk.” I make a big batch over the stove with two tea bags in the afternoon, and sip on it all afternoon through the evening. It keeps me calm and occupied while I’m studying, working and cooking. It’s another daily ritual that I look forward to!
4. Fresh Air. When quitting coffee it’s important to find sources of energy elsewhere. For me, a morning walk with my dogs really wakes me up and puts me in a better mood. The fresh air combined with some activity feels amazing. When I’m in a better mood, I’m less likely to reach for something that doesn’t make me feel good. Outdoor activity also boosts our oxygen intake and vitamin D levels as well.
5. Sleep. I feel my best on 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Easier said than done, especially if you have a hectic work or family life, but it’s so important. By getting adequate sleep, we’re reducing our likelihood of relying on crutches like coffee to keep us going. However, you will notice that sleep will be much more enjoyable when you aren’t drinking coffee. Quitting coffee has changed my relationship with sleep, because I’m not stressed out about how I’m going to sleep. Without coffee, I fall asleep quicker, stay asleep throughout the night, and wake up rested. It’s beautiful.
6. Nutrition. Make sure you’re eating real food. Find the foods that work best for you. For me, a diet higher in fat gives me long lasting, sustained energy. If you’re skipping meals and snacking on processed food it will probably leave you feeling fatigued, moody, and stressed. This will increase the likelihood of needing coffee to make it through the day. Eat balanced meals made of real food, and be sure to check out some of my recipes on my website for healthy meal ideas.
7. Exercise. I don’t know about you, but after a nice workout session I feel energized and ready to tackle the day. Walking, yoga, barre and tennis have been my favorite forms of movement lately. I’ve noticed that I feel so much more calm and present during these activities without coffee. Exercise will also keep your mind clear, and you are more likely to make healthy decisions for the rest of the day.
8. Support. This will be difficult, so challenge a friend to take on quitting coffee with you. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message on Instagram.
I’m sure I will have coffee again in the future, but for now I am perfectly content without it. I feel happier and more energized, and I’m sleeping like a baby. Change can be good and so is experimenting with different things when it comes to our bodies.