Joe. Java. Jamoke. Cuppa’ love in a mug. All of these affectionate names come with the territory when you’re a coffee connoisseur. I have so much love for that rich, dark brew of goodness, I go to bed anticipating how good it’s going to taste when it hits my lips in the morning. The aroma wakes me from my deep slumber and promises a world of brilliant creativity and high consciousness after every sip. In all honestly, it was my alarm clock. Even my kids know not to ask me to find things or do anything that requires too much thought before at I’ve made my way through at least a quarter of the cup.
Not too long ago, something started to happen. After a routine visit to the doctor, he determined that my blood pressure was a little high, especially for my age and fitness level. We discussed my lifestyle habits and determined that I could probably benefit from dialing back the caffeine – considering I was up to three cups a day to keep me energized through my crazy, hectic, entrepreneurial, balancing-two-kids-sports’-life of a schedule.
Wait a second. You mean to tell me I have to give up one of the great pleasures of my life?
When I was asked to attempt the Ziploc® Fresh 180 challenge about giving up caffeine I immediately thought, now here’s an opportunity to see if this caffeine addict could actually kick the coffee habit, despite how painful it all sounded. I had to find some natural energy boosters that wouldn’t wire me up, and during my research, I found that properly hydrating actually makes you more energetic. Who knew? So here’s a list of how I was able to dial it back and not lose my sanity.
Drink More Water
Drinking half your weight in ounces (clear liquids only) every day is paramount for keeping everything running smoothly. In fact, every cell function requires hydration but most people wait until they’re thirsty before they drink. I carry a lightweight, reusable water bottle everywhere. It’s BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free
Ditch the Energy Drinks
Most of the energy drink options out there are filled with stimulants, artificial colors and flavors that actually zap your body’s ability to recharge. Options like coconut water give you a real pick-me-up while helping to regulate blood pressure and heart function.
Try Rainforest Super Fruits Instead of Coffee
Acai blends offer a natural kick along with an army of antioxidants to help raise immunity and fight disease. Smoothie packs make a refreshingly cool pick-me-up.
Make Time for Tea
Getting caffeine-free green tea and flavored water into your daily routine is a good way to keep things fresh. I add fresh lemon, cucumber and/or mint, which takes my water to a whole new dimension.
Get Your Nourishment from Mother Nature
Fruit and veggies naturally contain high water content and help keep you energized. I add watermelon, spinach, cucumber and celery to my blender for a daily supply of produce in a snap. Cucumber is also high in potassium so it’s a good electrolyte replacement with an added boost.
Snack Sensibly and Protein Up
I found that when I don’t eat regularly, my energy does a nose-dive. By packing a week’s worth of raw nuts and dried cranberries in Ziploc® Brand Snack Bags, I get a good balance of protein and fat for sustained energy, and I can portion them out so I don’t overindulge. These go in my purse, car and gym bag. And as an extra bonus, they travel well and don’t spoil. Smoothies made with protein powder and coconut water are also a great way to energize and hydrate.
I’m proud to say, I’ve weaned the caffeine. And, here are two of my favorite energizing drink recipes.
Cool Cuke and Honeydew Fizz
Cucumber is a good source of folic acid, potassium, vitamins A and C, and is a natural anti-inflammatory, which helps your body to maintain its overall health and wellness. Honeydew melons are also chock full of vitamin C and are naturally low in calories. Combined with sparkling water to give it a fun fizz, ‘Cukes and ‘Dews are the perfect mates. Makes approximately two servings.
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups cubed honeydew melon
1 cup sparkling water
1 fresh lime, squeezed
In a blender, pulse cucumber and honeydew until smooth. Add sparkling water and blend thoroughly. Pour over ice or chill and finish with a squeeze of lime.
This power packed drink can also be a meal replacement before or after exercise. Makes approximately two servings.
1 Acai Smoothie Pack
8 ounce coconut water
1/2 scoop protein powder
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup crushed Ice
Process all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Sip and enjoy!
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.