Milk got you all bogged down, doubled over, bloated, and experiencing all sorts of symptoms of inflammation? Yes, me too. I was never good with milk. To be honest, I was never really all that good with the substitute milks either. The coconut milk binge everyone is one these days (cause it’s dairy free) often times has me in worse condition than the dairy based products would have affected me. But still, I’ve mostly lived my life being dairy free for over 20 years with the occasional dessert here and there or greek yogurt phase.
These days I have pretty much given up all dairy including their healthierversions like coconut, almond, rice, and even, contrary to the title of this blog, hemp milks. I used to use these as bases for smoothies and all sorts of recipes to eliminate the potential side effects of dairy. However, truly they were no better for me. And since I was never a huge consumer of it anyway, it wasn’t that much of a change. Except for the fact that I absolutely love lattes. I gotta have them. They are somewhat of a soul food for me and I don’t even know why. Perhaps it’s the creaminess. Perhaps it’s the sweetness. Perhaps I have just created this habit over the years and it’s just something I do as part of my morning routine. Whatever it is, it’s not something that I want to give up anytime soon. But you cannot really make a latte without milk. But much like every other hack and tweak out there, you can create a version to suite what best digests for you.
I gave up drinking coffee back in 2014. Literally I was in Las Vegas, poured a cup of coffee, and dumped it down the drain after one sip. I had been experiencing some skin rashes and felt after years of being sometimes a 3 cup of coffee a day kinda person, that it was time to perhaps heal from the Inside Out. Coffee has so many known benefits, but can be extremely stimulating to the nervous system. Someone who has a lot of stress, as I did at that time, should not be stimulating their nervous system with tons of coffee. Thankfully as it turned out it wasn’t caffeine that caused the rashes but the actual oils in the coffee bean itself that ‘contributed’—not caused—the reaction. After pretty much trying every single tea on the market to mimic coffee, I settled on Yerba Mate and haven’t looked back or had one single cup of joe since April of 2014. I know I make it sound like I kicked a major drug habit, but if you ever wonder why you do something, try not doing it for a while and the actual reason why you need to stop and/or shift. Coffee, the warmth and energy it offered, was comfort for me.
I still have my big-ole-pot of caffeine in the morning. Just a milder version. And I still make my lattes. Just don’t use milk nor it’s vegan substitutes. I’m pretty much of a get-all-your-food-from-wholefood frame of mind. All those vegan milks have so many fillers and thickeners in them that sometimes they can be just as problematic than if you were to just leave them out. So when I want a frothy latte, I just use whole hemp seeds. It gives it the foamy frothy top that you would get from steaming your milk and makes your “coffee” drink thick and warming. For me, that’s my go-to first thing in the morning. Sits well in my stomach and gets me through my morning workout until I can get an appetite going for breakfast.
It’s simple and contrary to most coffee drinks out at the coffee shops, it’s low in calories and packed with healthy fats to satiate you and feed your brain, and energize your morning routine. Compared to a 16 ounce Starbucks Caffe Latte, you are getting more bang for your buck in nutrients and less fat and calories for your waste line. Something about healthy treats speaks volumes to me.
So as we venture into the cooler months ahead of us, you’re going to see the coffee shops loaded with heavy coffee drinks and pastries in the name of welcoming the festive holidays. It doesn’t mean we need to wear it on our bodies or deplete our wallets. Some of these drinks cost the upwards of $5-6 dollars….. A DAY!!!! I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous.
For my Yerba Mate/Coffee latte this year, I’m leaning heavy on the ginger department. It’s calming to the digestive system and offers that spice I like so much.
So all you need/to do is:
- brew your coffee/tea but add a full teaspoon of ginger to the grounds
- blend 1 tablespoon of whole hemp seed with your coffee/tea
- add 1 tbsp of collagen powder or protein powder (totally optional)
- pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
- few drops of stevia (optional)
Use a heat appropriate blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec. Start slow and then build up to a high speed for a good 30 seconds to make sure hemp seeds dissolve. And just drink. Honestly this is officially my favorite way to start my morning. But don’t limit yourself.
- Feel free to use nutmeg AND ginger or just nutmeg.
- Add some canned pumpkin if you want to have a pumpkin spiced latte
- Add a couple tablets of raw cacao to give it a chocolaty flavor (sometimes I do this on days that I am going out for a longer run)
- skip the nutmeg and ginger all together and add a drop of peppermint essential oil with the raw cacao for a peppermint latte.
The options are open and the tummy issues are over. There are some things that most people are simply not willing to give up and as the coffee business is booming out there, java is clearly one of those. If you can simply tweak your brew a bit, you may see that you can have your treats and skip the horror of the dairy induced side effects.