Giving up the Sacred Bean, and Drink Yourself Green…and Pretty

Literally, green. Green like matcha!

In grade 12, I managed to skip out on my last semester of exams because I had mono. I felt like it wrecked my life. After I recovered, I spent the next 5 years feeling lethargic, depressed, irritable, and sleeping 10-12 hours on average per day (including naps). I needed at least 2 cups of coffee a day to function normally. Not outrageous, but it wasn’t helping me. I also put on 20 lbs, which is, in my humble opinion, a lot for someone who is 5’3. And it took forever to work it off. I felt yucky.

At 22, I moved to Israel. The place where I worked brought in a nathuropathic doctor, and a friend encouraged me to make an appointment with him. He and I chatted for a few hours about my mono, an emotionally taxing relationship that exacerbated my lethargy and all of the fun things that followed after. Yup, a few hours. He concluded that I have adrenal fatigue syndrome and that I should lay off the coffee, caffeinated and decaf.

Let’s face it, the sacred bean is hard to give up. I told my husband yesterday that I want to knock back my coffee consumption to about 2 cups per week maximum. Bring on the coffee alternatives: matcha and all the teas.

I noticed a couple weeks after drinking less coffee that the circles around my eyes were fading, and I had significantly shorter afternoon slump, fewer highs and lows in my energy levels, fewer headaches, and a better night’s rest.

Disclaimer: I know that many doctors don’t think that adrenal fatigue syndrome is a real problem or a real ailment. I’m not a doctor or health practitioner of any kind; anything I write here is anecdotal.

But back to the matcha! I like drinking it pre and post-workout; it gives me a little lift, and the Internet (at least what I’ve read), says it boosts the effect of your workout. According to the Internet, it’s a “slower release” caffeine, and has calming properties. Pair it with bee pollen, and you’re good to go!

To boil down the thesis of this whole post: looking tired = not fun. Less coffee, more tea. Says the MBA who has to look good for a living.

This article I’m linking is partially to play devil’s advocate; people are seeing matcha appearing in everything, which leads me to suspect it’s the “health train” coming through town. Michael Pollan often suggests in his writing that when something boasts it has health properties, it probably doesn’t do anything useful. I agree with his perspective on the importance of eating food, and not its nutrients, so I don’t want to tout matcha as a “health beverage”. In my case, it’s merely a coffee substitute, and I’m looking to observe the positive (if any) side effects of drinking it for a prolonged period of time.

I expect that my skin will look better, I’ll have fewer mood swings, and that I’ll have more prolonged energy. I don’t know if I’ll sleep better at night, but we’ll see.

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