Addicted to coffee? A healthier brew

By Jane Barthelemy.
85% of Americans use caffeine on a daily basis, and our passionate obsession with coffee is a roaring $30 billion industry. We drink an estimated 400 million cups of Joe per day. If you’re one of those daring souls that truly want to be both healthy AND Paleo, here’s a delicious brew you’ll love! The recipe is below.

Are you addicted to coffee?
Do you drink more than 4 cups of coffee, soft drinks, or caffeinated tea per day? When you don’t have your usual dose, do you feel tired, irritable, depressed, disoriented, irritable or headaches? If you answered YES to any of the above, chances are you are addicted.

Coffee is a tough habit to kick, and many people can’t get through the day without their daily jolt. But that morning cup of coffee sets the body up for a roller-coaster of highs and lows all day. When it bottoms out a few hours later and the artificial high is gone, what do you do? Do you reach for a lift with another cup of coffee or something sweet?

Coffee is not a true Paleo food.
Coffee consumption began in the Arab world in the 9th century, and arrived in Europe around the 15th century. That’s hardly Paleolithic. I can’t imagine our ancestors drank coffee 2 million years ago. What are your thoughts?

Coffee does have its benefits.
It temporarily boosts our energy level, giving us the ability to focus and drive through short-term challenging activities. To do this, it harnesses the power of the kidneys, like adrenalin. When I’m on caffeine, I feel stronger, sexier, more vital. Woo hoo! However the short-term benefit can’t last forever. The bitter truth is, that burst of energy you feel is not real. It’s a lie. Chinese medicine says that coffee drains kidney qi, or the elemental energy stores of your life called Jing. This is your personal life force and it can easily be squandered by stress, overwork, or not enough rest. Like sugar, caffeine gathers the kidney qi and disperses it throughout the body. Chinese medicine says that kidney qi or Jing is the complete store of your energy resources. It is a combination of the original qi from your parents at the moment of conception, plus the energy or qi that you cultivate in your lifetime. A balanced life builds Jing. An unbalanced life squanders it. Jing is your emergency resource, your secret power, like a savings account in the bank. If you use it all today, you might be left with nothing tomorrow. Drinking caffeine every day is like spending ALL your money every day down to the last drop without thinking of tomorrow, let alone retirement. Kidney qi should stay in the bank for a long, healthy life.

But it gets worse. Coffee is a top cross-reactor with gluten.
Even decaf coffee! If you’re off gluten and still feel funny digestion, try eliminating coffee. See my article: Top 10 Gluten Cross-Reactive Foods to Avoid.

Oh dear, there’s more, and it’s worse!
Kidney qi controls sexual energy and libido. A steady diet of caffeine slowly drains your original energy, depleting your sexual desire and power. Hey! Does this mean that all that power and stamina I feel from coffee is slowly making me less sexual, and less vital? YESSSS! Perhaps it’s no wonder we’ve got a society of weak kidneys and low sexual vitality. Fortunately there’s an easy solution!

Here’s a Healthy “Coffee” Recipe!
This Paleo Brew is gentle on the kidneys and protects your vital energy. It tastes so delicious you won’t miss that expensive Starbuck’s Caramel Macchiato with whipped cream. The recipe uses any roasted chicory and dandelion root granules, available in most whole food stores or online at Frontier Coop or Mountain Rose Herbs. Look for roasted dandelion root granules or roasted chicory root granules, organic if possible. You can also buy the unroasted granules and roast them yourself in the oven.

You can brew this just like coffee!
Add the flavorings of your choice. Yield: Two 16-ounce cups of Joe. Equipment Needed: A French press coffeemaker, or a fine-mesh tea strainer will do.

Paleo Coffee? A Delicious Alternative



  • 1 tablespoon roasted chicory root granules
  • 1 tablespoon roasted dandelion root granules
  • (Buy them online from or buy Frontier brand at
  • 4 cups boiling filtered water


  1. Place the granules in a French press (or saucepan) and fill it with the boiling water.
  2. Let steep for 2-5 minutes.
  3. Then press the plunger (or strain with a sieve).
  4. Pour into two large coffee mugs, and enjoy!
Now for your Paleolithic Coffee Flavorings! Here are some optional additions per cup:
Creamer:  Add unsweetened coconut milk, or any alternative milk.
Sweetener: Add a few teaspoons of Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, 1/4 teaspoon PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 1 teaspoon raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
Chocolate:  Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of pure cacao powder.
Cinnamon:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Nutmeg:  Add 1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg.
Vanilla:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
Salted Caramel:  Add 1 tablespoon of raw yacón syrup plus 2 pinches of unprocessed salt.
Maple:  Add 1/8 teaspoon maple flavoring to your cup.


85% of Americans are addicted to caffeine. Are you?