Time to Give it Up

Coffee that is.  I think it is keeping me from healing my body.

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Coffee photo by my talented daughter Anna Clair

 

For the past month or so I’ve cut down to one glorious cup a day. The morning cup has become a ritual I will sorely miss. Over the past year my daughter, who works in a local upscale coffee shop, has been collecting coffee paraphernalia.  We have a burr coffee grinder, a chemex coffee carafe to brew the coffee, and a kitchen scale to weigh the water and the coffee. I’ve learned to make the perfect cup. And, since I know it will be my only cup of the day, I’ve savored each silky sip. I’ll read or just sit watching the sun rise out the bay window and with each sip pay attention to the slightly bitter slightly fruity taste, and then the feel of it slipping down my throat. By the time I’m done with my cup of coffee I’ll feel awake, alert and ready to start my day.

The problem comes when I start to want more. I’ll think oh maybe just an early afternoon cup too. Occasionally I’ll cave for that second cup of the day. Then there are times, even with just one cup, when I may feel a little jittery or queasy, or have a little intestinal discomfort. While I’ve been able to live with out eggs, and night shades, dairy, nuts, legumes and grains on the Auto Immune Protocol Paleo Diet, coffee has be my final hold out.

To reap the full benefits of this elimination phase it’s just gotta go.

Now I’ve quit coffee before and once I’m off it I usually experience less stomach upset, better sleep and less cravings for an afternoon jolt. The physical cravings leave rather quickly, it’s that lovely ritual of the morning, or the afternoon that eventually sings like the sirens to come back. So this time I’ll stock up on a variety of tea and may even try an herbal coffee so I can enjoy the ritual without the caffeine and other detrimental effects.

Why not just drink decaffeinated coffee?  The decaffeination process is just that a process which strips coffee of any of it’s beneficial properties, which include antioxidants and poly-phenols, and may potentially leave behind harmful chemicals.

In brief there are a number of detrimental effects of caffeine in coffee:

1. It raises cortisol levels which in turn cause more inflammation in the body. (that’s what we are trying to reduce on the AIP)

2. It can cross react with gliadin, the protein in gluten. This means your body thinks your consuming gluten and launches it’s attack.

3. Lastly, as mentioned above, it can cause gastro-intestinal irritation. This happens because it stimulates digestive hormones. Eating with your coffee would probably help this.

For a full explanation of the possible problems with drinking coffee on the Paleo or AIP diet please see the Paleo Mom’s thorough article on The Pros and Cons of Coffee.

I hope to be able to again enjoy a morning cup of joe in the future but for now I want to do everything to finally reverse my arthritis and this seems like it could be a key to reaping the full benefits of the process.

Do you have one hold out that is keeping you from reaping the full benefits of the elimination phase?

 

 

 

 

 

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