I never used to be a matcha-kinda-gal. I thought it was just for people who were depriving themselves of another cozy drink they actually wanted, like coffee. I’m not even a *huge* coffee person either, but given the choice, I was all about that java (more so for the taste, than for the caffeine boost).
The thing is though, coffee and I don’t always agree. Sometimes it sends me into the perfect groove of productiveness, but other times, it turns me into a shaky, anxious, nervous wreck! Anyone else? The plus side of having experienced both effects from coffee numerous times is that I now know when it’s okay to incorporate coffee or when I should opt for something a little less jitter-inducing like a Dandy Blend Latte, Turmeric Latte or an Iced Coconut Milk Matcha Latte. For example, having a coffee before doing a workshop or corporate talk would not be ideal!
I’m not exactly saying coffee is “bad”. There’s already a lot of labeling foods as “good” or “bad” in the health industry. Sure, there are certainly foods that are “better” or “worse” for you, but I’m not a huge fan of inducing guilt upon someone if they happen to enjoy a specific food that isn’t the best for us. I’d rather them enjoy it and embrace the moment, and be able to move on from it, guilt-free. Not to mention, I could find as many studies that say coffee is good for us as the amount of studies that say coffee is bad for us. So, what do we do? How do we win?
I would encourage you to listen to your body. Plain and simple!
Let’s take coffee again for instance: does it give you the jitters, make you run to the washroom, induce stress or anxiety or cause digestive upset? If so, it sounds like you and coffee might need to take a little break. Now let’s look at someone who may enjoy a daily bagel and cream cheese breakfast; they might be so used to eating this day-in and day-out that they don’t realize what effect it has on them. But once we start paying attention to these things – how food makes us feel – we can start fueling ourselves the way our body is asking us to. Maybe you’re experiencing energy crashes every morning or suffering from bloating whenever you eat a bagel. If that’s the case, again, it may be a good idea to take a break for a bit and try something new (Sweet Potato Egg Trio? A smoothie? There are tons of options!)
Regardless, there’s no doubt that it’s beneficial to switch it up every now and then, not only to ensure we’re getting a wide array of nutrients in our diet but to prevent things like food sensitivities from occurring. I also encourage people to eat intuitively as much as possible, which means, tuning into your body’s innate needs and desires and meeting that halfway with your nutrition knowledge to give your body exactly what it wants in that given moment. For me, somedays that looks like a smoothie for breakfast. Other days, I can’t stand the thought of a smoothie and eggs sound much better. Our body is kind of really-freaking-smart. We just need to start listening to it!
Now back to matcha … (because that’s what you came here for, right? I’ve recently fallen in love with this superfood again and all of the amazing ways to use it. Like coffee, it still does contain caffeine (about 1/4 of the amount of coffee), but it doesn’t give you any anxiety-inducing jolt like coffee has the ability to. It actually helps to promote a relaxed state of alertness as it increases L-Theanine levels and alpha waves. Since L-Theanine has been shown to increase dopamine and GABA levels in the brain, these happy neurotransmitters help to prevent anxiety. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
Before it’s processed into an antioxidant-packed fine powder, it grows in a more shaded environment where it’s chlorophyll content increases immensely, creating a vibrant green colour. It is typically more potent than drinking green tea because the green tea powder isn’t strained before consuming it so you are getting all of that goodness!
I’m not super fancy with my matcha-making (as in, I don’t have the cute little whisk), but that hasn’t stopped me from sipping on this quenching green deliciousness! I’m all about the iced version of this drink, but I’m sure, come Winter, I’ll be frothing up some warm fluffy coconut milk to enjoy this hot.
Iced Coconut Milk Matcha Latte
- 1 tsp matcha powder (I used Matcha Ninja)
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 5 ice cubes
- 1/2 tsp raw honey (optional)
- Place matcha powder in a small bowl or mug
- Pour hot water over matcha and whisk using a small metal whisk very fast for 30 seconds (try to get some bubbles!). If you want to sweeten your drink with raw honey, now is the time to add the honey so it melts.
- Fill a medium sized mason jar with ice and pour hot matcha tea over ice
- Top with coconut milk and stir so it all combines and gets cold
- Sip and enjoy!
Are you team matcha or team coffee? What’s your favourite drink to wake up to?