1. Choose Coffee That Is Organic
Conventional coffee is heavily sprayed with pesticides. There’s a plethora of organic choices out there. At the very least, do this. Better yet, support companies that promote fair trade practices. And stay away from the flavored coffees which are usually full of artificial flavorings.
2. Reduce Sugar In Your Coffee
OK, this I realize is a tough one for a lot of people. It was for me. Until I did this I never realized that what I was really craving in my coffee was the sugar more than the caffeine. And once I ditched the sugar, my palette became more attuned to the various types of roasts and regional variations. I actually started enjoying the taste of coffee instead of the taste of sugar. Try adding just cream (preferably raw if you can get it) in place of sugar. That helped me get the sugar out once and for all. The fat in cream will cut the bitterness of coffee. Cream also has a natural sweetness that can help you wean off the refined white stuff. Lastly, please do NOT use those flavored cream/creamer concoctions! They’re made with hydrogenated vegetable oils, corn syrup and a whole host of other chemicals. Now some of you might be saying, “Cream?! What about low fat milk? Isn’t that healthier?” No. As Bill Cosby once said, “Show me the cow who makes skim milk and then I’ll drink it”. Low fat milk and all manner of low fat products are not health foods. But that’s another blog topic for another blog day.
3. Buy Whole Beans and Grind Them at Home.
Coffee beans, like anything, will begin to breakdown and become rancid once the inner contents are exposed to oxygen and moisture. To see this process with the naked eye cut open an apple and see what happens. The white flesh starts turning brown pretty fast. This is due to its exposure to oxygen and moisture, the enemies of freshness. They’re also the enemies of anti-oxidants, those things you hear about that create stability and health in living systems and ward off disease. I’m skeptical about the anti-oxidant health benefits you hear about in coffee. But if it’s true, those anti-oxidants will start to oxidize immediately after grinding, which is OK if you drink the coffee soon after. After a few days however freshly ground coffee doesn’t taste so fresh anymore. And if you get the sugar out, you can start to taste this pretty easily.
4. Drink Only One Cup A Day
For starters, one cup is not a Starbucks twenty plus ounce mega -grande french vanilla frappuccino with whip cream and chocolate syrup. Nor does it resemble a giant caramel coffee coolatta from Dunkin Donuts. It’s eight ounces. Your liver can handle that. I know more than a few people who drink coffee all day long – five, ten, fifteen cups. If you’re one of those, don’t even think about cutting down to one cup right away. Reduce it slowly. If you’re drinking ten cups, get it down to eight in a week. Then get it down to five, and so on and so forth. Other strategies for reducing the caffeine content include a second brewing from the same beans and including half decaf (Swiss mater method only) in each cup.
5. Drink Coffee After A Meal
For most people that would be breakfast, and it’s definitely better to wait until you have some food in your system before downing that cup of coffee. Caffeine causes your body to release sugar into your bloodstream which in turn causes the pancreas to release insulin (another good reason to get sugar out!). On an empty stomach this can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar which can then set up more sugar cravings. Guess what will help spike that sugar besides sugar? Caffeine. Furthermore, the caffeine in coffee can suppress your appetite causing you to go longer without feeling hungry. This sets up further episodes of low blood sugar and further coffee and sugar cravings. Having food in your stomach will help modulate this blood sugar response and keep those cravings at bay.