There’s a lot of coffee jargon out there nowadays. Or maybe a lot of coffee opinion pieces and coffee opinions. Or maybe just more research on coffee and information on coffee. And more coffee. Always coffee.
I’ve never been incredibly vocal or opinionated on coffee – either here, in my profession, or in my real life. Because in my real life I drink coffee. Sometimes. I like really good coffee for the flavor and quality of good coffee. I don’t need it to start my day, I don’t need it to wake me up, and if I just want something hot, I’ll have tea. So on days when I can’t get the quality or don’t feel like the taste and flavor, I’ll just skip the coffee option. But most of the time, given that I buy the quality of coffee that I like, I have the option to have coffee. And I love the option.
I love the option when I know I am gearing up for a long run, or to teach a late class and I need the little pick me up. I love the option when I come back from a long run, hands cold and want something comforting to curl my hands around and sit with for a little bit.
And in the same regard, I love the option that some days I don’t have, don’t want, don’t need coffee. In fact there will be periods where I will go several days without coffee.
But that’s where coffee lies on the spectrum for me. In my nutrition practice, I may encourage people to drink less coffee, or eliminate it with certain conditions, or help them recognize that they are mis-using coffee. But I’m not one for restrictions, or forcing people into a mindset of “this is good, that is bad; have this, not that,” and so for the most part, as an individual, you need to find where coffee lies in your life. And then be okay with that.
Be okay with what you are choosing to do, and not preface the fact that you drink coffee with “I know it’s bad,” or “I know I shouldn’t,” or not finish the sentence with saying, “but I’m trying to cut out coffee.” If you are, that’s totally cool. But if you aren’t don’t just say that, and more than that, get really clear on why you are doing it, and who you are doing it for.
I think at the root of all of this, is that I am really frustrated lately by people getting caught up in what one should and shouldn’t eat, drink, do, be, have etc. What we are and aren’t allowed to do or consume within these margins and boundaries that society, and sometimes we ourselves, have set. When people find out I follow a plantbased diet, their response is, “oh, so you can’t eat cake/bacon/dessert/whatever else pops into their head in the moment.” No, I can. I choose not to. We have the privilege to make choices about our food and our lifestyle and choices are individual.
One of those choices , is that sometimes I don’t feel like coffee. Other times I have 2 cups a day. And other times still, I have an alternative: matcha sometimes, turmeric sometimes, and other times, it’s this dandelion root blend.
I use the term latte lightly because it has hardly any milk in it, and I often make it completely without. But again: you can make the choice to do whatever you like and add as much or as little milk as you prefer. You can also make the choice, to say, “I actually think that drinking dandelion root is completely absurd and disgusting, and I’m going to drink coffee.” Great. Now go get your drink of choice and enjoy!