How I Exorcised My Caffeine Demons...with Chicory!
I LOVE coffee…I mean I really, really love it. The smell, the taste, the mild buzz...but most of all; the ritual. I didn’t realise how important the ritual was until I gave up coffee for a whole month.
Firstly, let me explain why I gave up something I love so much:
It’s not that good for me.
Look, it may be good for you, if so, you crack on, enjoy yourself. For me though, this thing I love can cause me anxiety and brain fog if I drink too much. But of course, when you love something, you just want more!
So, I wanted to break the cycle and go cold turkey for a month. The idea was to come back to a more moderate way of consuming coffee. I can happily report that I've managed this – yay me! *back pat* – but it was a pretty tough month. I decided to go all in and didn't consume any caffeine, this included green tea and chocolate. Life was a little miserable to say the least. Then I started thinking, “What would I suggest to one of my clients in this situation?” Well, I’d suggest chicory coffee. The thing is – and I’m totally ashamed to admit this – I hadn’t actually drunk chicory coffee before. I know, I know, it’s terrible. I have no excuse except to say that for me, I either drank coffee, or I didn’t drink coffee. All or nothing. I wouldn’t touch decaffeinated (no buzz), I wouldn’t touch coffee alternatives like chicory (no point). The thing is, there is actually a point:
Ah... ‘The Ritual’. I’d never really appreciated this aspect of making my morning coffee. So when I grudgingly boiled the kettle and poured water on the chicory powder I noticed it had a sort of coffee-ish smell and it produced a caffé crema on the top, much like an espresso from my coffee machine! This made me happy; hello dopamine hit! This was evidence of the psychology of why we eat and drink the things we do.
I then got some oat milk and frothed it up using my coffee machine. I put the two things together and BOOM! A perfect cappuccino!
But what about the taste? I tentatively sipped it…it tasted good! Very good! Of course it’s not quite the same as coffee but it made me happy and it tasted good (very good). So that’s a win/win for me :)
It’s been a couple of months since my month off caffeine and I can report that I now have a coffee no more than once a day, and sometimes not at all, and I drink far more chicory than coffee overall. I even discovered that the wonderful company I buy my organic coffee pods from, Espressopedia, also does chicory pods! These fit my machine and they have pods for most other standard coffee machines.
Now let me tell you some of the other cool stuff you need to know about this wonderful thing called chicory:
Chicory is a plant and the leaves can be used in salads and stews but it’s the root that’s used to make coffee substitute.
Chicory root is a prebiotic fibre which means that it provides food for all your lovely gut microbes so they can stay healthy and happy.
Chicory root may help with constipation due to its fibrous inulin content.
Best of all, chicory may be beneficial for people with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). A study of 47 adults suggested that chicory root extract could delay or prevent the early onset of diabetes mellitus and improve bowel movements. And another study found improvement in glucose and calcium homeostasis, liver function tests, blood pressure and also a reduction in hematologic risk factors of diabetes in 46 female patients with T2D.
Whatever caffeinated or non-caffeinated drink you choose, try to make sure it's made from quality ingredients and tastes fantastic. Consume mindfully for the fullest enjoyment :)
We hope this inspires some of you to try this delicious and healthy drink. If you have any questions, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org