I’ve never been able to handle stimulants very well. Caffeine, sugar, tobacco, even too much cacao can send me over the moon!
How I managed to get through adolescence addicted to espresso, coke zero, cigarettes, and jujube’s is beyond me. I was in a constant state of energy highs and lows. I found it hard to concentrate, lacked motivation, and became useless, even with the most mundane of tasks.
Me on my 20th birthday, cigarette in hand. Just ignore the $5 bottle of sparkling wine in front of me ;)
To make matters worse, I got hooked on drinking 2 pots of coffee a day during my first year of work.
My Mom often referred to me as the jittery squirrel during this period of my life, like this guy:
The camera? haha too perfect.
One of the first things I did when I started learning about clean eating was work on cutting down my stimulant consumption. I understood that it wasn’t something I could accomplish overnight so I started small and stayed positive no matter how insurmountable it all felt.
- To ditch coffee, I began drinking black tea instead. I later switched to green, then white, and then herbal only.
- After that, I tackled my soda obsession by switching out coke for a 1 to 1 mixture of mineral water to fruit juice. Overtime, the mixture had less and less juice, until all I was drinking was mineral water. After that, I moved on to drink plain ‘ol water.
- Candy was replaced with sugar-sweetened dried fruit, to juice-sweetened, to plain, then to just regular fruit.
- As for the cigarettes, I just stopped. I had tried to quit smoking in the past but failed because I didn’t want it bad enough. On December 28, 2008 I embraced my desire to be healthy and knew that in order for this to happen, I had to quick smoking. And that was that!
So what does a girl do when she wants to indulge in a masala chai to remind her of the time she spent in India but doesn’t want to feel all jacked up on caffeine?
She makes a rooibos masala chai, of course!
Rooibos Masala Chai
Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Switch out the black tea with naturally caffeine-free rooibos tea so you can enjoy a masala chai at any time of the day. Not only is rooibos naturally caffeine-free, but it’s excellent for your digestion, and has a high amount of antioxidants.
Yield: 1.5 cups
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 rooibos tea bag
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk – I used this gluten-free soy milk
- 1 tablespoon demerara, palm or date sugar
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon homemade chai spice + more for sprinkling
- Place the water and tea bag in a small saucepan, cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer and leave for 2-3 minutes.
- Add non-dairy milk, sugar and spices. Bring back to a simmer, just until it’s heated. This will ensure that you don’t get the milk film over top of your chai.
- Allow to sit for a couple of minutes before removing the bag, pouring into a large mug and sprinkling with extra chai spice if desired.
If you want to use homemade flax milk, try this process instead as the fiber likes to separate from the milk when heated and will create a cloudy, uneven chai:
- Use 1 cup of water instead of 1/2 cup.
- Only use 1/2 cup of flax milk instead of 1 cup.
- Place flax milk on the counter until it’s brought to room temperature.
- Follow directions above, but add flax milk at step 4.
Have you ever struggled with an addiction? What steps or strategies did you use to help you overcome it?
Well, now that all the heavy talk is out of the way… have a happy Friday and a joyous weekend!