Wow, it’s been a minute since I’ve been here. Just in case we need to be reacquainted, my name is Diana, I geek out over nutrition, I love dogs (particularly my dog), and I’m not one to share dessert. When I started this blog, two things that were really important to me were honesty, and presenting an accurate representation of my life. I am very guilty of logging onto social media and instantly comparing my life with everyone else’s “picture perfect” unreality. It’s hard to be vulnerable and share the not-so-glamorous moments of life. But here we go… I have and probably always will have anxiety. Sometimes it’s as simple as a little flutter in my stomach (lets not call it “butterflies,” because it’s more like murderous moths) for no discernible reason; sometimes it’s as crippling as crying on the bed not being able to breathe, feeling like my whole world is imploding. It’s something I’ve really worked through over the years and it’s also one of the reasons I was drawn to yoga and meditation. I have in no way “cured” myself of anxiety, but I know how to handle it and I know what aggravates it. Not getting enough sleep, not practicing yoga and not exercising are huge triggers. Unfortunately, another is coffee. Now I love coffee. I drink it most mornings… usually topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. But if I’m having a hard morning or a hard week, it’s something I have to forgo. Which is REALLY hard for me. As I write this, I know how silly it sounds. It’s just a cup of coffee. Why is that worth the panic attack that could follow later, right? But my morning cup is a lot more than just a cup of coffee. It’s the ritual of waking up, drinking something warm out of a pretty mug, and knowing that I can sit for ten minutes, cuddling my dog before starting my day. Coffee to me has become synonymous with comfort and warm memories. One of my favorite things to do is drink a cup of coffee with someone I love, extra points if it’s outside while sitting in the morning sun. But I also think its really healthy to take coffee breaks now and then- and not the kind where you leave work to go drink some. So often I hear from clients that are having sleeping problems. When I ask about their caffeine consumption, they tell me coffee doesn’t really affect them and they have their last cup around 4:00 pm (insert face palm emoji). There are lots of reasons to take a break from coffee: maybe it makes you jittery, or your consumption started as 1 cup a day and is now at 6 cups. But it’s hard and I get it. Expect headaches, expect irritability, and please try to be nice to your loved ones while doing this. One thing that helps me when I take a coffee break, or I’m cutting it out due to anxiety, is to drink matcha instead. I still get the ritual of a making myself a hot drink in a pretty cup with a little bump of caffeine, but without the side effects. Matcha has become kind of a buzzword lately. Matcha lattes have popped up everywhere, as well as matcha ice cream, cookies, cakes. You name it, it’s probably out there. If you disagree, go search matcha on Pinterest of Instagram. It’s everywhere. But how many of you have actually tried high quality matcha the authentic way? Sans 4 cups of sugar. Matcha has been around a looooong time. Zen monks drank it to stay alert during long periods of meditation and samurai warriors would drink matcha before battle. Seeing as how I usually have to channel my inner zen monk and my inner samurai warrior in the same week, matcha has become my new best friend. Quick Facts:
- Each cup of matcha contains about 40 mg of caffeine (a cup of coffee has about 100 mg).
- Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to be a mood enhancer. L-theanine has been shown to create a relaxed state without the side effect of drowsiness. L-theanine has been proven to improve concentration and decrease anxiety and stress. It provides calm alertness. Umm yes, please.
- One cup of matcha is equivalent to 10 cups of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.
- Matcha is packed with beneficial compounds, such as EGCG– an antioxidant known to promote cardiovascular and metabolic health, as well as to protect against cancer.
- Matcha is rich in fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins.
- Mathca helps promote weight loss by boosting metabolism.
- Matcha may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.