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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Confessions of a New Vegan Coffee Drinker

I've told you that I've started drinking coffee.

It began in Israel in July, where I was competing in the Maccabiah Games.  Our first event was the Bike Time Trial.  This involved a commute from Tel Aviv up to a kibbutz in the Golan Heights, in the north of the country.  For a race start at 7:30 am, this required us to meet up in the lobby of the hotel at 2:30 am to drop off our bikes.  I had miraculously gotten to bed at 8 pm, so I had some rest.  But I was tired.  We discovered that the hotel was kind enough to open up the coffee cart to provide complimentary drinks.

On a whim, I tried a soy latte.  And I was surprised, it tasted quite good.  And there I was, wide awake, probably the only one awake for the entire two hour bus trip up north!  Shortly thereafter, I got on my bike and had an incredible race, or at least good for me, averaging over twenty miles per hour on a hilly time trial course.

So I figured, if I had a good bike time trial on some coffee, why not try it before other workouts?  And so, I had my daily latte for the rest of the trip.  I noticed that my morning runs were faster on coffee.

Then I got home.  Starbucks around the corner from me got to know that "Doctor Heather is on her way to go swimming."  Yes, my soy lattes fueled my morning swims far better than any green smoothie.

So then it made sense -- why give all my money to Starbucks when I can make my own soy lattes at home?  My parents were kind enough to give me a Breville Automatic Espresso Machine as a birthday present.  And now, in five minutes, I can make my own latte, and it's as good as anything I get at Starbucks, but it's not $3.55 (because Starbucks charges extra for soy milk... grrrr!)

A few things I've discovered as a new coffee drinker --
--Non-dairy creamer isn't soy creamer.  It has palm oil and other artificial crap in it... including casein, which is a dairy product.
--Soy milk seems to work just as well as soy creamer in black coffee.  At least for me.
--Why don't more places offer soy creamer or soy milk instead of that "non-dairy creamer" crap?

Oh and one last thing... I'm addicted.  I need my morning coffee.  At least it's a relatively healthy addiction.


John Ross Campbell said...

Great post--I feel you on the coffee front as a recent convert. I've enjoyed your blog for the past couple years and hope you will check mine out some time!

John Ross Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PGYx said...

I like soymilk, too. Never needed creamer of any kind in coffee. I wonder if you might maintain/maximize performance benefits if you take coffee holidays to prevent tolerance that afflicts most daily coffee drinkers. I love coffee, but it wakes me up so much more effectively when I limit it to a few days a week.

Paul Spring said...

Can you recommend any vegan-friendly cardiologists in the Washington DC area?
After 40 years I dropped my black coffee habit - never felt better or more energetic.
Go figure!

Paul Spring said...

I've been a black coffee drinker for 40 years - 2-3 cups/day. Dean Ornish recommends getting off caffeine - so I did. Incredible difference in mood and energy level - much calmer and wake up energized now. Why get hooked on another substance? The initial coffee rush will, in time, wear off and you will eventually just "need" that cup to feel whole.