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Initially in the AIP elimination phase, I missed coffee.
Like… a lot. I loved having warm drinks in the cooler months, and my mushroom coffee with a tablespoon of chocolate ghee stirred in was perfection tbh.
But the elimination phase of the AIP forbids coffee, chocolate, and ghee. :’)
So I started doing hot herbal teas instead. Ginger turmeric is a good one because both those roots are inflammation fighters. And they taste decent even without sweeteners. Read ingredients, though! A lot of ginger turmeric teas have black pepper in the mix because it’s believed to help the other two work better at fighting inflammation. And black pepper is verboten.
I’ve also seen blends with ashwagandha, which is a nightshade and thus verboten. Sometimes if my regular blend is out of stock, I buy ginger tea and turmeric, and steep the teabag and the powder together in a 16oz cup.
Then I saw an article that said 5 cups of green tea a day was Very Good for gut health, so I switched to green tea. I over-brewed (and drank anyhow) perhaps 8 cups of very bitter tea before I figured I needed to try another approach. So, I tried cold brewing, which seemed like a great idea because I could brew a quart overnight and not have to make so many individual cups of green tea. Well, dear reader, it was not a great idea. My cold brews were also noxiously bitter.
THEN I stumbled upon this recipe. After getting over the fact that the picture in the article is NOT the actual finished drink, I kept with this recipe, subbing equal measure of cinnamon and ginger for the cardamom (because cardamom is a seed spice, and thus verboten). I figured this drink got me A Lot more green tea per tea because matcha is more greener than just leaf green tea. Also, because it is a concentrate, I can mix it with whatever I want. Most days that was plain seltzer. And I’d only have one cup that felt similar to the four I was drinking previous.
And after a few rounds of this brew, I remembered (OK, acknowledged) that my caffeine tolerance is not what it used to be. And tea, green or herbal, really did not truly replace coffee because it did not do for me what coffee does.
WARNING: TMI incoming
One of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis is constipation. Coffee ensured that I have one (1) decent poop per day. Herbal teas, green teas? They could not promise me that. However, coffee and herbal coffee did.
So I asked the smartest people I know what it was about coffee that causes people to poop. And boy did I get info! So naturally now I’m the expert. Melananoids are produced in the roasting process, and those melananoids stimulate perastalsis, which is how both coffee and “coffee” managed to help with pooping. Bonus! I am able to have “coffee” late into the day without it completely wrecking my (very precarious) sleep schedule because chicory and dandelion root are caffeine free.
Sip Herbals is Black MaGe owned, and they have multiple flavors. My favorite way to do it is a scoop of mocha and a scoop of salted caramel, add two scoops of powdered coconut milk, a healthy squirt of date syrup, and sometimes a little more cinnamon and alcohol-free vanilla. They are the only ready made blend I have tried, and the only brand I’d recommend you give a go if you’re looking for a caffeine free, AIP compliant coffee substitute.
If you find that “coffee” suits you, you can buy the ingredients to make your own. See how I DIY my morning brew here.