Today on the blog I’m sharing my journey into the world of tea! Tea is a beautiful, albeit acquired, beverage. I’m just starting to venture into this wonderland of tea because sometimes too much coffee wreaks a little havoc on my stomach.
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Why Tea Instead of Coffee?
One thing you should know about me is that I cherish my morning coffee – the first thing I reach for in the morning. There’s something so satisfying and safe about holding a beautiful mug of warm liquid. Not only that, but it also wakes you up and gives you energy! However, not everyone feels this way about coffee or caffeine and I think my stomach is starting to agree.
Lately coffee has been leaving me feeling sluggish, shaky, and anxious. These are normal reactions to coffee and caffeine. However, it has also been making me feel sort of sick to my stomach, nauseated, and generally unsettled. I finally conceded to what my mother has been telling me for some time now: coffee is one of the most common triggers for stomach issues.
Before Starting with Tea
I’ve been aware of this, believe me. But I’ve given up so much. I was determined not to let coffee become a thing of the past. I always dealt with the stomach pain or negative reactions because it was my morning comfort, and a way to connect with friends and even my dad (a now caffeine-free individual). Lattes are delicious, but I rarely have them because the steamed milk is usually too much for me, even if it’s almond or dairy-free. I prefer regular coffee (or cold press for less acidity) with a splash of dairy-free milk.
Flavored creamer has a lot of sugar and additives that usually stir up some issues. I don’t know if it’s the combination of coffee and creamer, the acidity of coffee itself, or the regularity with which I consume this beverage but something isn’t right. So, I decided to go coffee-free.
This is a big step for me, but I’m taking it in strides. I decided that moderation is key here (and in a lot of other things in life, honestly). Tea is replacing my daily morning cup of coffee Monday-Friday, and on the weekends I’ll use my best judgment and listen to my body. This system allows me to experiment with new kinds of tea while giving my body a break. With this system, coffee won’t turn into something unreachable or unacceptable.
A Little Side Note
Restriction is a difficult thing. Sometimes it gives you the tough love you need to accomplish a goal, and sometimes it creates a whole new desire for something we know is bad for us. This sounds contradictory, given my many dietary restrictions. However, in moderation, why not have a little of everything if you can? That’s the healthiest mindset of all. I listen to my body. If there’s a day where I need to have some gluten or give in to having that dessert I really want to try, that’s okay!
Back to the tea. I do like tea. It’s just never the first thing that comes to my mind when someone says “let’s go to a cute coffee shop.” Over the summer I had a brief fling with English Breakfast tea and I loved it! But coffee had my heart and I couldn’t stay away. So here I go, returning to tea.
My Favorite Teas
I like English Breakfast tea because it’s black tea and has a full flavor. Black tea does have some caffeine, but not nearly as much as coffee. I never experience the shaky anxious jitters that accompany a full cup of caffeine. It also mimics coffee in the sense that you can dress it up how you please. You can have it black, sweeten with some sugar, or add some milk. Moreover, black tea is my absolute favorite. Earl grey with a little splash of milk is my go-to cup of tea. There are so many options! I’ve been doing this for a while now, and I’ve been feeling so good!
If you want to try Earl grey tea, click here for one of my most used brands. However, English Breakfast and Herbal teas (this one is Chamomile, my favorite herbal tea) are great options as well!
This past week led me to an interesting discovery. It isn’t necessarily the coffee that I’m attached to. My warm cup of liquid in the morning has become a staple of my morning routine and process.
What Does Tea Mean to Me?
I wasn’t attached to the coffee. I was attached to what the coffee symbolized to me: something warm in the morning helps me mentally prepare myself for the day and energizes me. That “something warm” doesn’t have to be coffee. This past week of tea (and over the summer), I’ve been feeling so good! The tea relaxes and soothes me, which gives me energy in a whole new way. And I still feel the comfort of holding something warm. It’s important to lean in to comfort and know when it helps and hurts us. In this case, this piece of comfort, if you will, is helpful because it’s something kind I’m doing for myself and my body.
There are many kinds of tea and I’m excited to play around with different recipes or stick to plain old Earl Grey tea! I won’t bore you with a laundry list of all the teas that ever were, especially because I am no expert. But maybe I’ll become one, you never know!
Are you enjoying any fun teas? Let me know in the comments below!