There is a very blurred line when it comes to whether or not coffee falls in the realms of the paleo lifestyle. Some sources say absolutely not, while other sources say sure why not.
What is coffee actually? Coffee comes from brewing the roasted seed or bean of one of the many many species of Coffee trees. Interesting, huh? Coffee’s main stimulant is caffeine which provides a burst of energy when feeling drowsy and sleepy. Many people that say coffee is not paleo, says that because of the addiction to the caffeine and that we should be obtaining our energy through nutrient dense foods that sustain energy levels. Right on, makes sense.
BUT, why might it be considered okay to consume on a paleo diet? Well my friend, that is because coffee actually has a lot of health benefits! Yes! However, these benefits are only feasible when consuming coffee on a moderate level. Instead of having a pot of coffee a day, slowly work on having only one or two cups a day. It might take some time, but it is doable! Some of the benefits include protection against cardiovascular disease, liver cancer and it also has beneficial antioxidants.
I used to drink a lot of coffee, probably 1/2 – 1 pot a day. I workout in the mornings before work so I would use coffee as my pre-workout to get my energy level up. Then, before work I would fill up my gigantic mug again and head to work. I used to get extremely tired in the mid-afternoon and had no idea why. One day, I just decided not to have my pre-workout coffee (probably because I forgot to set the coffeepot before I went to bed). I noticed that day that I did not crash! So, I continued to only have coffee once a day and only one cup. It has helped my afternoon energy level immensely! Moderation is key 🙂
In my biased opinion, coffee (black coffee that is) is okay to consume moderately on a paleo diet. I say black coffee, because what you add into your coffee can make your paleo coffee not paleo in a matter of seconds. All of the sugars, creamers and dairy people put in their coffee are the killers. No worries though, I have some suggestions of how to sweeten and flavor up your coffee a bit if you are not a black coffee drinker!
Here are some of my favorites…
- Coconut oil – just dunk in a dollop and there you have it, a good tasting cup of joe and some healthy fat to start your day!
- Canned coconut milk – this stuff is my absolute favorite. If you like half & half or any other cream in your coffee, try this!
- Unsalted grass-fed butter – yep, you read that right. Ever hear of bulletproof coffee? This is another great way to get in a healthy dose of fats!
- Protein powder – for the sugar people out there, try mixing in a bit of protein powder. I have chocolate flavored protein powder and I absolutely love it in my coffee.
- Almond milk – this is another good one for the cream people
I have also heard of people adding honey to their coffee. I haven’t personally tried that but I am sure it sweetens it up nicely! A couple weeks ago, I post a picture on instagram of a date sweetener that I made. I tried it, the fiance tried it and we both weren’t huge fans. That doesn’t mean you might not like it though!
Here is what you will need:
- 10 pitted dates
- 1 1/2 cups very hot water
- 1 tbls lemon juice (I’d probably only add 1/2 tablespoon)
Soak the dates in the hot water and lemon juice for 10 minutes. Puree in a blender for about a minute and done! It should come out more syrupy than liquidy (that is totally not a word). Mine was very runny so I either didn’t have large enough dates or I added too much water. I haven’t tried this again to play around with the quantities, but I probably will sometime in the future. To get more simple recipes like this, make sure to follow flametofork on instagram!
Coffee can be jazzed up anyway you want, as long as you are keeping what you put in your coffee healthy. Again, remember that moderation and keeping it simple is the key to a healthy and lasting paleo lifestyle.
For more details about whether or not coffee should be considered paleo, check out these websites: