The question “Is [fill-in-the-blank] Paleo?” is often asked in the health world. Does this food fit the criteria of what is truly “Paleo”? Will I be “cheating” if I eat this food or drink this beverage? Oh no, I’m breaking the rules of Paleo!!!
However, freaking out about rules is not how we should approach any style of eating. Sure, you need your basic groundwork, and at the beginning you may need stricter rules to enforce your new habits. But once you have a handle on this thing called Paleo, it’s totally fine to test out “gray area” foods. Coffee is one of those things. I personally have struggled in my relationship with coffee. Since I first started drinking it in college, I could not handle the caffeine. Even half a cup would make me jittery and tear up my stomach. So decaf was my choice when it came to Starbucks. (Interestingly, I could handle caffeine in other forms, like in tea or *gasp* soda.)
I continued to abstain from regular coffee until recently. Last year, one of the most stressful years of my life, I decided to try regular coffee yet again….and somehow I was able to tolerate it! I didn’t get shaky and my stomach wasn’t affected. Subconsciously, I think I had always held this belief that people who were successful professionals drank coffee every morning. That probably doesn’t make much sense, but that was my perception. When Mark left for deployment last June, I brought his Keurig machine to the office and made myself a cup every morning. It became a comfort thing….
….but then I realized that I was addicted. I remember one incident very clearly that made me realize this: it was a Sunday morning and I didn’t have time to make coffee before church. Afterwards, I went to the grocery store with my family and was compelled to buy a coffee from the coffee bar because I had a withdrawal headache. Drinking that medium-sized drink brought me back to normalcy. The headache went away.
September 2013 is when I began using essential oils, and I was immediately able to kick my addiction to caffeine. I can’t point to any one thing for breaking my addiction, but I can say that taking an amazing nutritional supplement (that you should email me about! malori.mayor(at)gmail.com( boosted my energy and cleared my brain fog naturally. I had no more need for caffeine!
Every now and then I would have a cup of regular coffee, and sometimes I would be fine. Other times, that jittery/sick feeling would occur. Even recently, after doing the 30-day reset and getting my health more in order, I have experienced those side effects. However, I decided to perform an experiment since I really missed the taste and comfort of coffee. I had heard of the Bulletproof Coffee method and I really liked the concept. So I bought a high-quality, locally-roasted bag of whole coffee beans, collagen protein powder, and goat milk butter. I ground the coffee beans right before making the coffee and brewed just one cup in my French press. After pouring into my mug, I added a spoonful of butter, one tablespoon of collagen powder, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
It was the best-tasting coffee I had ever made! But more importantly, my body did not react in a negative way. The second day of doing this, I felt a little jittery – but I have chalked that up to drinking too much. (I had two cups instead of just one.) Since then, I have made just a little over a cup of coffee using the Bulletproof method: with added fat and protein. I am convinced that high quality, freshly-ground coffee + fat + protein = a good boost of energy that my body is able to process well. I have also noticed that after drinking lower-quality coffee, my urine smells like coffee. That is an indication that the liver is not processing it correctly. However, when I drink this high-quality, Bulletproof-style coffee, my urine usually does not smell. (And if it does, it’s very slight.)
So with all that said, what is the answer to the question “Is coffee Paleo?” I believe the answer lies in your own body. How does your body metabolize it? How does it make you feel? Does it make you unable to sleep at night? (Note: do not drink coffee past noon or so, depending on your bedtime.) What quality of coffee are you drinking? What are you putting in your coffee? Also, what is the state of your health? These types of questions can be used with any gray-area foods, such as dairy and non-gluten grains. Let me know your thoughts!
P.S. What do the experts say about this subject? Check out the links below:
Dave Asprey demonstrates how to make Bulletproof coffee with collagen protein powder