Simply Nahala

Writer. Photographer. Soul Traveler.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Coffee Alternative

Growing up, I woke up to the comforting aroma of coffee but never became a coffee drinker until one day a mishap occurred. Several years ago, I pulled up to a drive thru coffee shop and ordered a chai latte but was given a coffee latte. I drove away not realizing that I had the wrong drink. After taking a sip, I was hooked!

Ever since that day, I have enjoyed a cuppa joe or more every day. After some time, however, I started to realize that coffee played havoc on my nervous system. After drinking my morning cuppa joe, I would sweat profusely for most of the day, my heart rate would increase, and I would feel anxious. The more I drank, the more panicky and anxious I would feel. After finding out that I had hypothyroidism, I knew I needed to stop drinking coffee if I wanted to heal my body. 

Several years ago, I was introduced to yerba mate at a sustainable conference in Seattle, Washington but wasn't ready to ditch the black brew. While I was searching for a new warm drink to replace my daily habit, yerba mate popped into my mind. So the next chance I had, I went to my favorite coffee house and ordered a mate. It was love at first sip! It tasted robust and earthy. 

Yerba mate is naturally caffeinated and comes from a holly tree in South America where drinking mate with friends from a shared gourd and a metal straw called a bombila is a common tradition. In terms of nutritional value, yerba mate contains "practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life" (Guayaki). Even though it is caffeinated, it does not affect my nervous system and adrenals like coffee does. And if I don't have it every day, I don't get a caffeine detox headache.

Yerba mate is versatile and can be prepared a variety of ways. It can be consumed hot or cold, with milk, honey, stevia (make sure it is 100% pure without added ingredients) or iced with lemon and mint. My favorite way is in a french press with approximately 5 drops of stevia per 8 oz, hot or cold. 

If you are looking for a healthy coffee alternative, I suggest you try some mate. It definitely warms my soul :)


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