A Matcha Made in Heaven

IMG_0701Honestly? I thought it would be the sugar. Sure, I knew caffeine would be tricky but I didn’t expect it to be soul sucking torture. But there you go. It’s Day Five of our reset – the twenty-one day mindful eating practice upon which my NCLP and I have embarked.

Several of his family members began the – ahem – “cleanse” (see why I loathe that word here) a few days prior to our own leap of faith into the land of vegan and elimination diets. For the rest of this month and for a good chunk of May we’re letting go of all animal products including dairy and eggs plus alcohol, sugar, gluten and caffeine.

Here’s the cool thing – my NCLP’s family live continents apart and so we formed a What’s App support group. We check in with one another, commiserate, offer advice when requested and ask important questions like this: “If we’re avoiding animal products, is eating hummus with your finger cheating?”

Finger licking is fine, but green tea, even with its low caffeine content, is not. And yet that’s what I resorted to in order to soothe my caffeine withdrawals. I’ve quit coffee before. It’s not impossible. And until the last few years I was happy with my steaming mug of morning joe courtesy of Mr. Coffee.

But these small joys can be a slippery slope. I was introduced to the gentle nuances of a fine bean and the next thing I knew I had not one but two cafetierres and a Hario grinder. Morning coffee from a can of pre-ground dust from who knows where was no longer enough. The warm, earthy aroma…the sound of the beans being crushed in the mill…the music of the water being poured….it was something I not only wanted but needed morning, noon and sometimes night.

Yep. I had a monkey on my back and it smelled like a pound of organic, fair trade, Peru dark.

Yesterday, my first day without even green tea to burnish the edges, was rough. I survived but I learned that not only was one cup of green tea healthier for my body than four cups of the black stuff, it’s healthier for me (and my yoga students) than no green tea at all. This morning for breakfast I had an iced matcha with my oatmeal. Am I letting myself down? I don’t think so. My intention is to be mindful, not perfect. My intention is to pay attention. To choose wisely. I want to release reflexive bad habits and replace them with considered reflection. One morning matcha to greet the sunrise. Not a bad way to begin another beautiful day.

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