Caffeine Confession

I have a confession to make. I’ve been sipping into the caffeine lately. There, I said it!

My body can’t tolerate coffee, but I can fall deeply for the green tea and chocolate. These past couple of weeks I’ve been mixing the two, for a decadent matcha green tea, coconut milk mocha. It’s my matcha mocha. Sometimes I even add a little maca, because it’s not only fun to say, but delicious to drink.

And my matcha maca mocha has been just about everything I’ve needed to fuel the big push to put the finishing touches on the Sweet Tooth, Bitter Truth class releasing this weekend, and to deliver a course that meets my own exacting standards. But don’t get any big ideas. I’m making this public confession because I’ve been thinking about the effects of caffeine on my liver.

You may be caffeine sensitive, like me, experiencing a head rush and heart palpitations at the thought of an Americano or too much dark chocolate mousse. The matcha in the morning has impaired my sleep at night. Or you may be one of those rare individuals who can enjoy a post-dinner espresso and slumber like a baby an hour later. The difference lies in our livers.

Right now, the books stacked beside my bed are all about the liver. This is in preparation for the Rejuvenate Spring Cleanse on May 7th. Andrea Livingston and I have been kicking ideas back-and-forth for a new and improved Rejuvenation. The recipes are amazing and our goal is to bring you a deeper and more supportive liver detox. Spring detoxification is all about the liver.

Detoxification is the opportunity to amplify the body’s ability to break down and eliminate waste. That waste can be drugs, alcohol, nicotine, prescription medication, toxins in our food or air, and especially the excessive radiation we are now exposed to. Oh, did I forget to mention caffeine? Caffeine is a substance that requires the liver for processing. About 30 to 60 minutes after consumption caffeine has reached the height of its potential. Yet it takes another few hours (at least) for the liver to deconstruct the caffeine. The liver has a big and improtant job! There are several pathways in which different substances are broken down and then made possible for excretion. That’s IF your liver is working optimally. Caffeine is distracting your liver from the work it needs to do elsewhere.

In addition, all detoxification is highly dependent on hydration. Besides confounding the liver with breakdown, the caffeine is acting as a diuretic, serving to dehydrate me despite my best efforts to consume more water. Distracting, dehydrating yet delicious? Perhaps not the best recipe for optimal health.

In looking at the impact of my matcha mocha on my liver, I’m not saying that all caffeine is all bad all the time. Both green tea and raw chocolate have some amazing health benefits. What I am realizing, is that it’s important to alleviate the stress on my powerful gatekeeper on occasion, and bolster its efficiency. Spring is the perfect time of year to do give our livers this extra loving.

Today was my first day sans caffeine. No matcha maca mocha for me. So far so good. If you’re already planning on joining me and Andrea Livingston for the Rejuvenate Cleanse, start decreasing (or eliminating) your caffeine now. It will serve you well later! If you aren’t signed up yet, consider the upcoming cleanse as a much-needed spring break for your liver.

What else is on my plate this month?


Roasted Garlic & Pumpkinseed Pesto We’re still gobbling up the pesto around here ~ especially on gluten-free pizza crust with lots of veggies, mushrooms and raw olives.

Baked White Beans with Garlic, Lemon & Herbs
Dishes like this are perfect for the fickle spring days in Portland.

Easy Ceasar Dressing
I keep this dressing in my fridge so I can make quick salads to eat for lunch on busy client days!
note: This is one of Andrea Livingston’s yummy creations and gives you a taste of what you get to experience on the Rejuvenate Cleanse!

Raw Cake Pops
Um. . . start popping!



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Your comments and feedback are always welcome. Is there an ingredient you'd like to learn more about? Is there a nutrition class you always wish existed? Let me know!