I love coffee, especially when I make it with healthy fats and collagen, but there are times that I choose not to consume coffee (like during my 30-Day Autoimmune Reset).
Why No Coffee?
I’m not anti-coffee at all and there are many health benefits attributed to coffee. However, at times I find it is better not to consume coffee and a small percentage of people won’t tolerate it at all.
I avoid coffee on the autoimmune reset because coffee is technically a seed, not a bean. As Sarah Ballantyne explains:
Coffee is made from a seed (not a legume, but the pit of the coffee fruit). Right away this should put us on the alert since seeds tend to contain protective compounds to prevent digestion and thereby ensure the survival of the plant species. In the case of wheat, those compounds cause increased intestinal permeability (i.e., leaky gut) and prime the immune system to exaggerate inflammation and potentially cause autoantibody formation, which is clearly detrimental to our health. In the case of the itty bitty seeds in blueberries, those compounds have such a low toxicity level as to have a negligible effect on our health (and the beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols in blueberries more than compensate!).
Most people do just fine with coffee, but I’ve found it is helpful to stop drinking it for a month or so once in a while just to make sure my body is doing ok with it and to mix things up a little.
Another possible concern with coffee is the caffeine content. Again, many people do just fine with this, but I found that my cortisol patterns were the opposite of what they were supposed to be (low in morning and high an night) and found that temporarily removing coffee and caffeine helped a lot.
Additionally, individuals with celiac disease should consider removing coffee because of the potential cross reactivity. From Mickey Trescott:
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you should definitely explore the possibility that coffee may be harmful to you. Coffee is one of the most common cross-reactive foods to gluten, meaning some people’s bodies may recognize them as the same or very similar.
In other words, coffee is great for some people, but others have trouble with it. The easiest way to know is to remove it for a month (or longer) and then gauge reaction when it is added back in.
I still love drinking something warm and nourishing in the morning, so when coffee isn’t an option, I make an herbal tea substitute. It isn’t exactly the same, but it is an easy way to sneak in some collagen protein and healthy fats.
I’ve also consumed a mug of warm bone broth at times, though it doesn’t have quite the same appeal. For my Autoimmuni-Tea Herbal Coffee Substitute, I’ve found a variety of teas and herbs will work. My favorites are:
- Dandelion root tea – My favorite. It is said to be great for the liver and for digestion and I love the earthy taste.
- Rooibos tea – Another great option. Slightly sweeter than dandelion naturally and great flavor.
- Pu-ehr tea – A rich, earthy tea that is said to help cholesterol levels (not a problem for me) and other things. I’ve not ever taken this one while pregnant/nursing and would definitely check with a doc first if you are.
I also add:
- Grass fed butter: a great source of vitamin K2 which helps decalcify arteries and is important for proper blood clotting. There is also research that it can lower the risk of heart disease. (source) (NOTE: I don’t add this when I am on the autoimmune protocol until I’ve been on it for at least a month, though I do find that I tolerate butter well.) Ghee is another good choice.
- Coconut oil: (or MCT oil) a great source of lauric acid and medium chain fatty acids, which are an excellent easy fuel source for the body and brain.
- Collagen hydrolysate: an easily digestible form of gelatin that supports skin, hair, nails, and digestion and is a good source of protein.
Autoimmuni-Tea Coffee Substitute Recipe
- 1 cup brewed tea of choice
- 1 TBSP coconut oil or grass fed butter if tolerated
- 1-2 TBSP collagen hydrolysate
- ½ tsp vanilla bean or vanilla extract extract optional
- Brew a strong tea with the tea bag of choice.
- Add other ingredients and blend for 15-20 seconds until emulsified.
What do you drink in the morning? Coffee? Tea? Water? Share below!
Discussion (44 Comments)
I am trying to help my husband heal esophageal ulcers so I made up a bulletproof herbal tea for him instead of his usual BP coffee:
1 T. Dandy Blend
8 oz. hot water
2 oz. canned coconut milk
1 T. Red Palm Oil (for Vit. E)
1/8 t. Cinnamon
1/8 t. Ginger ( for inflammation)
1/4 t. Turmeric ( for infamation)
Couple of grinds of black pepper (supposed to make turmeric more effective)
Katie, I’d love to hear if you have any thoughts on wether this might be helpful for him. He says it tastes pretty good 🙂
Thank you for a lot of helpful information!
I’m following an autoimmune protocol too and I discovered that both coffee and tea make me feel horrible, so I am looking for a good subsititute. Wanted to ask what are your thoughts on chicory?
Katie - Wellness Mama
It depends on the individual, but most people do OK with it.
What about chicory coffee?
I just started on dandelion tea. The Teecino brand is rather fabulous. I don’t even miss coffe with it, plus it’s cleansing my liver too. https://teeccino.com/product/dandelion-flavors-sampler-certified-gluten-free/
I also drink Teeccino herbal coffee when I’m taking a break from my toddy coffee. Even though I don’t get the high acid content with the toddy coffee, I like to take a break once in a while from coffee. I just ordered the Teeccino dandelion flavor along with a few other flavors and can’t wait to try them. I drink dandelion root tea and really like the flavor so I’m really excited about Teeccino’s version.
Beware the label “Grass fed beef.” According to Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) much of it is raised in the usual feedlot factory farm, where it is fed GMO corn, then turned out to pasture for the last 2 weeks of its life.
The pasture, too, is artificially fertilized and probably fed pesticides, in other words, not healthy grass.
I am lucky in that I live in a wild area where cows range for the summer months on wild weeds. Most steers are finished on home-grown hay (also pretty weedy!)
Bulletproof cacao tea fixed like this is really good too.
Love this site so much!! I’ve been in need of a Wellness factor in my life and this site rocks! Question about the collagen hydrolysate…..in this recipe you mention to ‘work up slowly’. Can you clarify what you mean by that? I bought the brand you recommend, but have not yet tried it. Thanks!!
Katie - Wellness Mama
I started with a tsp a day and then added a little each day to get to a tablespoon, etc. The reason is that if your body isn’t used to getting those amino acids, it can cause loose stool for a while during the adjustment
Thanks so much!
And this is why I LOVE your blog 🙂 such great topics AND informative/knowledgable 🙂 way to go girl! xoxoxo
I JUST LOVE ORGANIC BLACK TEA OR ORANIC COFFEE BUT THE CAFFEINE MAKES ME NERVOUS. INSTEAD I DRINK TULSI TEA OR CAMOMILE TEA – IT’S A POOR SUBSTITUTE. WHEN CAFFEINE IS REMOVED FROM TEA OR COFFEE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH FLAVOR LEFT FOR ME TO DIDDLE WITH THEM.
Is the dandelion safe while nursing?
Katie - Wellness Mama
I’ve taken it while nursing, but you should always check with your midwife/OB first.