Hi. My name is Rachel
AND I AM NOT A CAFFEINE ADDICT.
7 YEARS AGO, I STARTED NOTICING A TREND.
Drinking coffee seemed to awaken the deepest dreams that were locked up inside me. I loved the high it gave me—how ready it made me feel; how alive and unstoppable I felt.
I would feel
ELATED, ENERGETIC & OPTIMISTIC.
Only to crash + fall, feeling
RESTLESS, ANXIOUS & DEPRESSED.
The crashes started getting worse—they got stronger, the depression grew darker and the headaches lasted longer. I’d lay down at night, unable to go to sleep—my mind was like a roller-coaster, soaring through racing thoughts and lofty visions.
SAVE THE WORLD.
FEED THE CHILDREN.
GET THAT JOB.
FIND A MAN.
10 at night turning into 11 at night turning into 12 midnight turning into 3 in the morning and there I’d lay, frustrated, obsessed and broken over the fact that I had so many ideas and dreams and not enough time to accomplish any of them.
THIS IS WHEN I KNEW.
HANDS DOWN, WITHOUT A DOUBT, I KNEW IT WAS THE COFFEE; I KNEW IT WAS THE CAFFEINE.
I used to be a Dunkin Donuts girl—you know, the whole “Iced Caramel Latte with a croissant” kind of girl. And, when I had a homemade cake or pastry, I’d also take my coffee black—no cream, no sugar. Just black. Just to wash down all the goodness of dessert. And to be cool. I secretly think people (like my husband) who drink black coffee are cool.
But, once I knew the caffeine was affecting me, I quit it—cold turkey. Stopped buying the lattes, stop brewing the beans. I talked it through with my mother who, so wise & inspiring, encouraged and led me onto tea.
AND I’VE YET TO LOOK BACK.
My junior year of college was when it all changed for me. I started work at a tea store and began to learn a lot about different teas. White teas, green teas, black teas, oolong teas, puer teas and herbal teas. I fell in love with tea because of its deep & wide variety of origins, flavors and health benefits.
It was at this time when I decided to fully step away from coffee and to drink, and enjoy, teas in its stead.
I’m thankful for the passion I have for tea and how it has helped me throughout the past two years of me struggling with various health issues—from gastrointestinal, to menstrual, to musculoskeletal, to mental and everything in between.
When I got sick in 2015 (and water was the only thing I could eat or drink), even tea was unbearable to me—any and every potent & gentle smell or taste. Though teas can be healing and soothing, my body was just not ready—even with something gentle like peppermint or chamomile, I would get nausea, tremors, abdominal pain, tingling sensations on my head and migraines that lasted for days.
But, as the months passed on, slowly, I was able to bring teas back into my diet—both the old ones that I’d loved and been so accustomed to and new ones that I had learned about and wanted to try.
Lavender Buds – If I really need a good night of sleep, I’ll sprinkle a few buds in my night time cup of tea. The aroma helps to relax me and the lavender itself, being a sedative, puts me into the deepest sleep.
Also, this post is not meant to bash coffee, and here’s the proof:
my husband is a barista.
I love coffee—love how it creates community. I love how it grows and how it smells and how it brews and even how it tastes. But, for me, it’s about what you put into your coffee, how much coffee you are drinking and being honest about the reality that you might be making your body sick by drinking coffee.
Not eliminating coffee (or any other caffeinated drink or snack, for that matter) from your diet when you are aware or are inclined to believe that it may be adversely affecting your health in any way, big or small, would be like licking a spoon of peanut butter even though you know that you’re severely allergic.
WHY MAKE YOURSELF SICK?
WHY MAKE YOURSELF SUFFER?
Why continue to spoon-feed yourself the restlessness, the anxiety, the roller-coaster, the headaches?
My closest friends know that, I only have coffee (or caffeinated teas) about five times a year, tops. And, when I do CHOOSE to have that coffee (or tea), I am fully preprared to deal with whatever consequences that might follow.
Not in a guilt-trip or self-shaming way. And not in a blaming way, either.
I cannot blame the barista for my bloated stomach and weeklong headache. I do not get to rant and rage at my husband because I’m overly anxious and restless, two cups deep and straight up drunk with frappuccino breath.
We must take responsibility for the things that we put into our bodies and we must take baby steps towards improving the things we put into our bodies.
Always for the better.
Always for the healthier.
There’s so much more I could say; so much more I’d LOVE to say. But if all this post ever does is teach you one thing, let it be this: drinking teas and infusions (an infusion, simply put, is a steep/brew of tea leaves and/or other natural ingredients, such as: nuts, seeds, fruits, herbs and plants) have been around for centuries and have been told & known to help ease AND relieve ailments such as:
HEADACHES, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, INFERTILITY, MENSTRUAL CRAMPS + PAIN, MOOD SWINGS, UPSET TUMMY & INDIGESTION, NERVOUSNESS, METABOLISM, DETOXIFCATION, CHOLESTEROL, INFLAMMATION, INSOMNIA, ARTHIRITIS + RHEUMATISM, COLDS + COUGHS + CONGESTION, ALLERGIES + SINUSES, MENUPAUSE, MENTAL CALRITY, ETC.
Below, is a list of other teas & infusions that I frequently use to detox & deliver from day to day and week to week.
Chamomile » I use this as a mild relaxant + sleep aid, usually before bed or if I’m stressed.
Solomon’s Seal (Korean) » I use this to relax my muscles + to soothe my stomach.
Oregano » I use dried oregano leaves, infused with teas, for coughs + colds.
Holy Basil or Tulsi » This is my go to tea for stress relief (body & mind) + pre & post menstrual symptoms.
Sea Salt + Warm Water » *Not For Drink* I use this as a gargle for symptoms of a sore throat + phlegm.
Honey + Warm Water » I use this to soothe symptoms of a sore throat + allergies.
Lemon + Warm Water » This infusion was a lifeline for me back in 2015; I use it daily & also for symptoms of upset stomach, indigestion, to aid in metablism and detoxification.
And of course, always remember that water is a great place to start
as it is the best thing that you can drink.