by Dr. Lana Kontos
Oh the stress of a break up. You’re so used to the comfort, the energy and that spark you get every morning. You get a little excited thinking about it. You love the way you feel. It’s addicting.
You think… I can’t break up now!
You’re smart. You know what you need to do. You know it’s not healthy. Each morning you get up ready to say… Joe, it’s over! I’m done … I’m leaving you for that hot cup of green tea.
But you can’t break it off. It’s been years, you have a history together. What can you do?
Other people get through these break ups and go on to have healthy relationships, right? They hook up with herbal teas and gosh, even decaf. They even get to know some hot lemon water with a bit of honey.
They find out that when they get up in the morning if they’ll just down a couple of 16 ounce glasses of (not too cold) filtered water; they’ll hydrate the trillions of cells in their beautiful body and they’ll wake up their brain!
I get it, you need a plan but you’re busy and don’t want this to be too hard.
You know how break ups go…you’ve got to occupy your time and you need a rebound, stat!
Wait a minute who the heck is writing this?
Allow me to formally introduce myself. I’m Dr. Lana Kontos, a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor and science- based Diet and Lifestyle Intervention Practitioner. (And, I’m very excited to have joined the Spafinder Wellness 365 team of experts!)
What’s all that mean for you? I work with people around the world to teach them to obtain optimal health through diet and lifestyle choices. I teach busy, savvy people (like you) exactly how to keep their energy up and their weight down without the stress of dieting…or even giving up chocolate and treats now and again!
I also want you to know (and this piece is really important for you) that my entire practice is based on gold standard research, (stellar science) not the latest fad. It works. So relax. I’ve got you covered.
The truth, I love coffee too but too much can lead to health issues and optimally, you shouldn’t drink it at all. That said, you’re here to live a long life and we need to be realistic. You need a serious plan to kick your habit and it has to be quick and easy.
So, let me teach you how to do this right.
I know you want to keep that sharp mind and don’t want to lose the energetic feeling from your caffeine habit. (And, you’re right it is a habit- more on that in a bit.) So, here’s your break-up plan so you can start fresh and enjoy your independence. Yes, you’ll be able to sustain that energy even without Joe in your life. Here’s how…
We’re going to do this in 3 easy steps but before we begin I want you think about this:
- Leaches minerals from your bones and teeth.
- Can cause gastrointestinal (digestive) problems.
- Displaces calories from nutritious food (you are full on that latte so you don’t want to eat low fat, high fiber foods like fresh fruit and oatmeal.)
And the really scary fact: caffeine actually damages the lining of your blood vessels.
(That bit of extremely important information comes from my work with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD, at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.)
Step #1: Hydrate…the right way.
First, I know you hear it all the time but we are going to have a serious talk here…about water. Plain filtered water with no lemons, limes or fancy drops or flavors. Consume plain, filtered water (half your body weight in ounces daily.) Now as with all my tips from now on you must check with your physician if you have any health issues. This is not medical advice or a substitution for your care with your primary care physician or your specialist.
“Hey Dr. Lana,” you ask. “Why just plain water?” If you have fruit or anything else in your water you body begins the digestion process instead of absorbing it directly. Your cells run on pure water. Think about it this way, each of your cells is a magical chemical factory and the machines can’t run without water. You wake each day at about an 8 to 10 cup deficit. If you are not instructed differently by your physician due to a medical condition you need to consume half your body weight in ounces of pure, filtered water. It doesn’t have to be a fancy filter, just get a carbon filter from a home store and at least you’ll be filtering out most of the bad stuff and leaving the good minerals. Plus, you’ll be saving the planet from all those plastic bottles that are polluting our oceans. Your body needs minerals from water do don’t consume reverse osmosis either. Drink half your body weight in ounces of good, plain filtered water. It will boost your energy and help you kick your caffeine habit.
Step #2: Get out your blender.
You have to provide your body with nutrients especially when you wake in the morning (hence the word breakfast- break the fast.) Obviously you’re not going to fill up with caffeine. Your pressed for time so grab your blender (it doesn’t have to be a fancy one,) throw some greens (baby spinach for beginners) and some kale and other greens if you’re already on a healthy path. Next add some water to get a desired consistency, add frozen fruit of choice (frozen blueberries are great) and add a frozen banana – peel and slice them and put them in your freezer in individual zip-loc bags. Lastly, and here’s the trick, put a tablespoon of fresh ground flax seed in your shake. It has to be fresh ground flax seed not flax meal as it oxidizes in about 30 minutes. This fresh ground flax seed is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Your entire system is going to appreciate this morning smoothie move! It will give you energy, keep you thinking more clearly and help you sail through your break up with Joe. (Don’t knock this step and yes you have the time, it takes a couple minutes.)
Step #3: Proper substitutions
You need to begin to start filling in that need for your hot habit in the morning. You can do this cold turkey and stop drinking coffee all together but to be honest you may experience some nasty headaches. So some warriors do this over the weekend and they feel better by Monday morning. If that’s not you (the cold turkey type) slowly make the switch from coffee to hot lemon water with a bit of honey, a cup of green tea plain or with a bit of honey or agave nectar – not that sweeteners are necessary but you are better off using a teaspoon or two of raw sugar at the coffee house instead of any of those artificial sweeteners. Please, if you do nothing else stop using those artificial packets of chemicals! Switch over to real sugar, honey, agave nectar or pure 100% Stevia packets or drops. No, none of that is optimal, but much better than those artificial sweeteners. You are just in the habit of that hot cup in the morning so make some substitutions. Your day may look like this:
- (2) 16 ounces glasses of filtered water when you wake (you’ll drink more later in the day,)
- 20 minutes later (allow that water to absorb) make your smoothie
- Then get a hot beverage ready to walk out the door with you in the morning or stop and get one if that’s your routine.
That first cup may be coffee with plant milk or just plain coffee. That’s ok, but don’t get the grande get a tall or a small. Let that be your only cup of real coffee that day. Then the rest of your hot beverages are hot herbal tea. Maybe you drink some hot lemon water with honey, or a cup of decaf. This way you still have your hot habit but it doesn’t have to be Joe! Remember your taste buds change in about 3 weeks. Keep that in mind.
And like most healthy break ups you’ll find that after a bit of time you can become friends again… nothing serious like before… but a cup of organic Joe with your plant-based milk a few times a week is fine if you don’t have any serious conditions and your physician says it’s ok.
(I maybe have one or two cups a week, usually on the weekends. Daily, I drink hot lemon water with a tiny bit of good maple syrup or honey. I also love that Dandy Blend brand dandelion coffee substitute with vanilla almond milk. I prefer Silk Brand almond milk. I drink just plain hot water at night about 30 minutes after dinner. It helps digestion but wait a good 30 minutes after you eat so you don’t dilute your hydrochloric acid, that’s important for proper digestion.)
And there you have it, breaks ups made easy!