Coffee? Alcohol? Paleo?

There are two things that most clients tell me are deal makers when they’re deciding whether or not to implement a True Paleo regime: drinking coffee and having an alcoholic drink.

As if by including these two beverages that are part of many a modern day situation, the decision to move forward, or not, becomes an immediate no brainer.

I totally get it.

Anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while knows that I, too, love the perfectly poured espresso, just as much as a good glass of my favorite, California Cab.

Were these drinks around in Paleo times? Nope.  However, similar to other food / beverage items that may fall into a grey area, such as plain kombucha, for one, there’s a distinction between whether or not something was around 2.5 million years ago, whether or not it has health benefits and whether or not it can be a small part of one’s regime.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m certainly not pretending we should all begin drinking heavily on a regular basis, any more than I’d suggest drinking tons of fermented tea or apple cider vinegar.

Simply put- if your overall eating plan is Paleo and you have a glass of red wine now and then as well as a black coffee in the morning, I don’t feel it’s stepping out of bounds.  

Red wine does have health benefits (Really, it’s just like taking a vitamin.  OK, kidding here…) and if you plan accordingly, eating a balanced meal with plenty of fresh veggies, good fat and protein, as well as making sure you’re hydrated, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a non issue.

(On the topic of alcohol, if you cannot drink wine, you might opt for a gluten-free spirit, served neat, such as a potato vodka or juniper gin.  Make sure you ask, as there are more spirits made from grain, including vodka and gin, than any other source!  Steer clear of any fluffy, fruity, syrupy concoction or beer.)

Coffee also has health benefits and positive effects on athletic performance and it, too, can be a part of one’s Paleo regime.

The key is balance.   Please don’t drink coffee all day long or substitute caffeine for eating.   Or have a drink every night or start drinking at noon, thinking ‘it’s 6 pm and time for a drink somewhere’.

Ultimately, if you can adopt the principles of True Paleo to your personal regime, you will likely find yourself in a position where you no longer feel you ‘need the morning coffee’ because you’ll have slept well after eating properly all day long, nor ‘need a drink’ after work as hopefully, you’re also addressing the other components of a healthy lifestyle including becoming resilient to stress and including relaxation.

Then, don’t be surprised when the lure of caffeine or alcohol seems to be a great deal weaker than it used to be, in the days of your old routine, and you actually prefer to have an herbal tea or a sparkling water instead of either!