Tag: coffee

Chef V Warns: Don’t Drink Coffee First Thing In The AM On An Empty Stomach!

coffee t-shirts

Are you a first-thing-in-the-morning coffee drinker? After reading the advice of certified nutritional therapist and ChefV.com founder, Veronica Wheat, you may want to wait a little bit before having your first cup. 

“But first…COFFEE!”

“A day without coffee is like … just kidding I have no idea.”

“Coffee spelled backwards is EEFFOC. Just know that I don’t give EEFFOC until I’ve had my coffee.”

“Eat. Sleep. Coffee. Repeat.” 

Even though I don’t drink coffee, I can’t help but laugh at ironic coffee t-shirts. 

But let’s take a closer look at the “Eat. Sleep. Coffee. Repeat” slogan. 

A more accurate ironic slogan for many people would be, “Wake up. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.” That’s because most people race out the door on their way to work with a cup or two or three of coffee well before they eat anything. 

And I’m not talking about functional coffee drinks that contain coconut oil and mushroom powder. 

Nope, I’m referring to the straight black stuff some people wish they could inject directly into their veins in order to feel alive in the morning. 

If nothing can resurrect you in the morning except for coffee, I’m not going to try and convince you to give it up. (Unless you’re about to do a CLEANSE, which requires a coffee-free pre-cleanse phase.)

I am, however, going to ask you to reconsider drinking coffee on an empty stomach. 

woman with coffee in bed

But First…Cortisol!

You’re probably familiar with the term “cortisol.” But just in case you need a refresher, in plain English, cortisol is known as the body’s major stress hormone. 

Cortisol helps our body physically deal with stress, sending us into fight or flight or freeze mode. It’s a good thing that we have cortisol because it regulates our body’s stress response.

So when a distracted A-hole driver swerves into your lane and is heading right towards you, you can thank cortisol for giving you the superpower to be alert and steer your way to safety. 

But just like 10 cups of coffee or glasses of wine a day, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. And when we’re constantly stressed out, we can have too much cortisol coursing through our system. 

Having excess cortisol is no bueno! It can cause elevated blood sugar levels, even contributing to type 2 diabetes. It can also wreak havoc on your immune system. And ladies: too much cortisol can screw up your cycle and may cause an imbalance of other hormones. 

And if that’s not bad enough, having too much cortisol may lead to an increase of the most dangerous kind of fat: visceral fat. Visceral fat is the deep belly fat that surrounds the organs in your abdomen. 

Now, normally, levels of cortisol are naturally high in the morning. Why then do we need coffee if our body should be more alert? Why do we feel dead to the world without coffee if cortisol is supposed to be our natural alarm clock? 

—-> 3 Ways To Feel Unstoppable In The Morning Without Coffee 

It could be because you’re not getting enough sleep. Or maybe you’re drinking too much coffee, which can screw up normal cortisol fluctuations during the day. 

coffee mug in bed

How Drinking Coffee First Thing In The AM Affects Cortisol 

The important thing to understand is that drinking coffee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach might be harmful to your health for a couple reasons. 

First, drinking lots of coffee can itself cause excess cortisol, which can lead to having high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. 

And secondly, if you have GI problems like acid reflux, drinking coffee first thing in the morning can increase acid production, making your GI issues worse. 

Drinking Coffee & Brain Function

There’s actually plenty of research that supports moderate coffee consumption. To reiterate: my point of emphasis here is not that drinking coffee is bad … it’s that drinking it on an empty stomach may be for some people. 

People drink coffee to fire up their neurons so they can function at work. But what are the effects of having early-morning excess cortisol and brain function? Well, a  study published in Neurology that was summarized in Scientific American looked at the effects of early-morning high cortisol on brain performance in more than 2,000 people. 

Most of the participants were in their 40s. The study found that those with the highest levels of cortisol performed worse on tests of memory, organization, visual perception and attention.

To make matters worse, the brains of people with the highest levels of cortisol showed precursors to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. 

I’m not trying to scare the bejeezus out of you. I’m not suggesting that if you drink coffee first thing in the morning, your brain will deteriorate. Just think twice about drinking it on an empty stomach—especially black coffee. (Sorry, a splash of cream and a packet of sugar won’t help prevent a cortisol spike.)

Fonio grain

Here’s What To Do In The Morning Before Drinking Coffee

If you can’t wait to have coffee until noon or early afternoon, when cortisol levels are naturally lower, then I have a simple solution for you. It’s something I’ve been preaching for years but it works. 

Step 1: After you wake up, drink a tall glass of water with lemon juice. This will help you naturally detox your body before introducing any stimulants into your system. 

Step 2: Wait 20 minutes after drinking water and then have 8 ounces of Organic Green Drink

No, this is not just some promotional plug for my nationwide Green Drink delivery plan. My recommendation, I’ll have you know, is science-based. Minerals such as magnesium in green leafy veggies help regulate and lower cortisol, research (like this) shows. 

Step 3: About half an hour after having CHEF V GREEN DRINK, if you must, have your coffee. I also recommend doing some parasympathetic (relaxing) exercise like yoga in the morning to regulate your cortisol levels. 

Step 4 (optional): wear your ironic coffee t-shirt.

3 Ways To Feel Unstoppable In the Morning—Without Coffee

Do you feel like a slug in the morning? Is guzzling three cups of coffee the only thing that wakes you up from the dead? Chef V offers up 3 caffeine-free ways to help you conquer the day…

So … you’re addicted to coffee? Well, I’m not here to tell you to quit. But what I will say about caffeine is that because it’s a drug, you’re going to need more and more of it over time. Remember the good old days when one cup of coffee would make you feel invincible? But these days, there’s a good chance that if you’ve been a coffee drinker for years, just one cup is no longer going to do the trick.

The danger of drinking a lot of coffee is that it can mess with your cardiovascular system. Research shows that drinking coffee raises your blood pressure, heart rate and stimulates your sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is your body’s fight or flight response. If you’re trying to be more chill and less stressed-out, then activating your sympathetic nervous system is the last thing you want to do.

OK, so I’m done with my spiel about the evils of caffeine. Again, I’m not saying that you should quit. But what I am saying is that if you feel like that without it, you’d be a worthless lump of coal, then maybe it’s time to reconsider your morning routine. For instance, try doing one of these 3 things to wake your butt up.

#1: Cold Showers

I admit that on a frigid February day, taking a cold shower at 6 in the morning is the last thing on Earth I’d want to do. But if it’s energy you desire, taking a cold shower will jolt you awake more than a Jolt cola.

There’s even research to back this up. According to Healthline, cold water sends electrical impulses to your brain that … and here’s that word again … “jolt” your system to increase alertness, clarity, and energy levels. The so-called happy hormones known as endorphins are also released. So not only can taking a cold shower wake your butt up in the morning, it could also make you feel happier and more optimistic—at least after the shower is over and you’ve dried off.

Another possible benefit of taking a cold shower is that it may increase your metabolism. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how cold water plunges may help with weight loss. But hey, a replacement for coffee that may help you lose weight? I think it’s worth a try.

veronica and coco green drink

#2: Replace Breakfast With Green Drink 

If you’re somebody who eats a typical American breakfast of toast, cereal, orange juice and coffee before heading out the door to work, listen up. OK, so the first problem with this breakfast is that it’s pretty much all carbs.

Even if the coffee gives you an energy boost, here’s probably what’s going to happen within an hour of your breakfast. Your blood sugar levels are going to rise from the cereal, milk sugars, toast and orange juice. Later, your blood sugar levels will drop to a level that’s lower than what it was before you ate breakfast. So what’s going to happen is you’re going to feel tired and need a second or third cup of coffee.

To prevent this blood sugar spike and dip, ditch the regular breakfast and replace it with Organic Green Drink. The 7 dark leafy greens are sweetened with a tiny bit of apple. And with only three grams of sugar per serving, you won’t have an energy crash.

But will Organic Green Drink give you that pick-me-up that coffee does? Well, not in the same jittery way. However, the 7 dark leafy greens are so nutrient-dense that they will flood your cells with energy in a very short amount of time. And if you must have your coffee, drink it at least one hour after having a Green Drink.

#3: Exercise

If you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, just repeat this mantra: Get up, get up, get busy, do it. Get up and move that body. Anybody remember that song (from the one-hit wonder Techtronic way back in 1989.)

So I guarantee you that if you take a cold shower in the morning—even if it’s just for 30 seconds—and have a serving of Organic Green Drink, you’ll feel ready to conquer the world. And, if you can find time to do 10 minutes of exercise before you start your work day, you will feel absolutely bulletproof. Go for a walk, do a mini-yoga routine. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do, just do it.

Hopefully, having Green Drink in the morning plus taking a cold shower and/or exercising will wean you off caffeine.

Digestive Bitters: Don’t Be Sad If You’re Bloated, Get Bitter

older woman hiking

If your belly feels like you’re in the first trimester of pregnancy after a meal, don’t get down, just get bitter, digestive bitters that is. Chef V highlights a handful of her favorite bitters. 

I’ve been bitter these days. No, it’s not because of the new scary variant (“scariant”?) or anything like that. I’ve hopped on the bitter bandwagon because lots of my lady customers are of a certain age that let’s just say brings changes. 

And when the changes come, one of the first symptoms to manifest is compromised digestion. When your hormones are out of whack, it gets more difficult for the body to detox. It also becomes more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. 

That’s why I recommend digestive bitters for any age really, but especially for mature ladies. 

image above is of Gentian, an edible bitter herb

bitter face

What Are Bitters? 

Out of the roughly 10,000 taste buds tickling your tongue, you’re probably only getting a steady dose of sweet and salty. Unfortunately, that’s the American Standard Diet for you. 

Maybe if you eat a little yogurt, your sour taste buds will spring into action. But out of the five tastes our tongues can detect—savory is fourth—if it’s a slimmer belly and weight loss you want, seek out the fifth taste: bitter. 

There’s a good reason why the back of your tongue is reserved for bitter taste. If your bitter buds were in the front of your tongue, you’d have a perpetual bitter beer face. (Remember that funny commercial?) In fact, the four other tastes are peppered throughout the tongue. But it’s only bitters that are relegated to the back of the tongue, which, fun fact, is technically considered a digestive organ. 

We have an innate recoil response towards bitter food. Would you stuff your face with a head of the radicchio or an endive? No. But that doesn’t mean we should avoid bitters. Digestive bitters are bitter-tasting herbs that people have been using for thousands of years for bloated bellies and other digestive upsets.

red beet hummus

Chef V’s Favorite Bitters

Kale and dandelion are a couple of my favorite bitters. That’s just one of many reasons they are staple ingredients in CHEF V ORGANIC GREEN DRINK. 

Now, my next favorite bitters aren’t necessarily meant for weight loss, but they do have a part in a balanced diet: dark chocolate/raw cacao and red wine. Isn’t it nice to know that if a little square of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine is your only indulgence, it’s actually a very healthy one? 

If you want to experiment with digestive bitters, the best ones for bile production and metabolism that I recommend are:

● Citrus peel

● Ginger root

● Milk thistle (You can buy this as a supplement; take it if you drink alcohol because it’s great for liver detox!)

● Gentian root

● Chicory root

● Wormwood

Oh, and how can I forget the most widely-used plant-based bitter on the planet: coffee? Personally, I don’t drink coffee, but I’m certainly not going to judge you if you do. I don’t think coffee is good to drink when you’re trying to cleanse. But if you have a cup or two every day, it may even do your body some good. But I recommend cold-brew coffee instead of hot as it’s 60% less acidic and is much easier on your esophagus and digestive system.
In fact, women who drink coffee have lower rates of cardiovascular disease than women who don’t drink it. 


If you’re having trouble with weight management and no matter what you’ve tried, nothing seems to work, try adding more digestive bitters to your diet. There are several others, from broccoli to grapefruit, arugula and lots more. 

So don’t worry and don’t get mad if your digestion is off. Just get bitter.


© 2021 Chef V, LLC.