|Coffee is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart; I began my love of the hot, aromatic brew when I was in high school. The caffeine buzz helped me study, and eventually that uplifted feeling that coffee lends to its drinkers became part of my daily routine.|
I will admit it, though; there have been times in my life when I have been completely addicted to caffeine with coffee specifically as the delivery method. Part of the issue is that I genuinely love the taste of black coffee. I rarely, in fact almost never, add any cream or sweetener, unless it is a particularly bad cup.
I know that I'm certainly not alone when it comes to my love off a good cup of joe, and many people that go on Phase 1 can't help but ask, "Do I really have to give up coffee?" And the answer is a little more nuanced than a simple yes or no.
Coffee is brewed from a bean, or a legume. Legumes are technically not allowed on Phase 1, but they are on Phase 2. This rule exists for two reasons; legumes occasionally have a risk of mycotoxin contamination, and they are often moderately high in carbohydrates. A cup of coffee has virtually no carbs, fat, or even calories; any energy or boost you get from coffee comes exclusively from caffeine, so carbs or sugar really aren't a concern. But what about contamination?
Coffee definitely isn't a big contender for the mycotoxin contamination award; that will usually always go to grains and specifically corn, which is why those foods aren't allowed on Phase 1. But coffee poses another type of risk; coffee is often heavily contaminated with pesticides. On Phase 1, you are trying to restore balance in your body. You are replacing the unhealthy foods in your diet with foods that healthy, nutritive, and healing. You are trying to give your body what it needs to work on its own, as it was intended. Therefore, getting rid of foods heavily contaminated with pesticides may be a good idea. Pesticides may weaken your body's immune system, leaving it not quite as capable to fight off fungi.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Phase 1 diet seeks eliminate addictions that you may have accumulated through the years. This is definitely something I struggle with, as far as caffeine is concerned. Somewhat ironically, if you feel like you simply can't get through the day without coffee,
that may be a sign that you should cut it out for a while. You may find (after those miserable first few days ) that you ultimately have more energy; this is exactly what I experienced. Furthermore, I found that when I cut coffee out completely (and all caffeine for that matter) for an entire day, my sleep was more restful – another thing I've struggled with in the past. Were all my sleepless nights in high school the result of being over caffeinated? Maybe.
So, should you cut out coffee on Phase 1? It would probably be a good idea, at least initially. If you have one thing that you feel like you can't deny yourself though, a good cup of joe is a much better cheat than piece of cake or something loaded with sugar, corn or alcohol. If you feel like you absolutely must have it, try to buy organic and avoid all of the weird chemical creamers and sweeteners. If you must doctor it (which, I truly believe is a sin!), stick to heavy organic cream and stevia or xylitol. And when you make the transition to Phase 2, organic coffee in moderation is probably ok.