Stop and Smell the Chamomile

I quit drinking caffeine, I think it’s been about 10 months now. A lot of people have asked me how I survive without it. My body became so sensitive to caffeine, it felt like it was killing me (pardon the extremity). I’m surviving better without it. Although I really miss jumping up in the morning, getting excited, grabbing the yerba mate from the fridge, and expelling a ton of energy in a few hours, getting wildly creative ideas, sewing, business dealing, writing, and cooking at the same time, and then falling hard asleep for two hours, then waking up very hazy and sick, and often times crying by the end of the night. I don’t miss all of that, just the good parts.

When I quit caffeine, I used the method of cutting it out slowly, and doing different teas, then coffee, then decaf coffee, then chocolate drinks. After that, I had no chocolate and really worked at cleaning myself out, no sugar, bread, meat, or dairy, except when I snuck a tiny bite of butter. Hehe….. maybe a little pasture raised bacon fat too…and ok, just a couple little bites of bread form Ceor Bread at the farmers market. Tiny bites!

So about a month ago I thought I would give chocolate a try again. I just love chocolate so much, so I made chocolate drinks every morning. I was sort of ok with it, until recently, when I became more aware of what I was doing to myself. “It’s just a little tablespoon of chocolate, this has to be ok” I thought to myself every morning.

Then recently, I visited a friend. I knew it was going to come up… he asked me why my hand was shaking.

“It’s the chocolate. I can’t drink it anymore.”

Sadly, it’s just not working. I’m quick to be nervous and jumpy, which takes away from being centered, wise, and considerate. So being sensitive to my sensitivity after having a soup I made, he suggested some kava kava, valerian, or St. Johns Wort. He was right, except that I had to figure out some other calming herbs, for a few reasons. For kava kava, because I think that I need to strengthen my liver first before I start taking that. Valerian, when I tried it as a kid, used to give me an interesting type of headache. To test that out, I recently held a bottle of it at the store to see if I could feel the energy of it. Just in case it would be a good idea. I felt that strange knock out headache, plus relaxing feeling. Which is what it’s good for. It wasn’t bad, but I needed to think of something else to use. I never felt called to use St. Johns wort, but I might be willing to give it a try, that’s another story.

At the farmers market, I picked up two big fresh bunches of chamomile. I realized, that was my synchronistic, temporary answer, for a fresh and calming herb, that I could add to my morning smoothies. I also had some idea that I was going to make a purple potato salad with chamomile, thai basil, and amaranth. Instead I made this soup for Mimosa Cafe, so others can share in this chamomile experience while it’s in season. A centered, calm, mineral rich, full of nutrients, and nice flavor, experience.

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Recipe

2 cups chopped cucumbers (I peeled the skin, but if I had Japanese or Armenian cucumbers I wouldn’t peel them.)

2 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup laver seaweed (from Main Coast Sea Vegetables)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp spirulina

10-20 chamomile flowers.

salt and white pepper to taste

Blend it!

(I opt for white pepper because it’s healthier then black pepper, but you can use black pepper)

The seaweed is there for health reasons, but I also did a batch without the seaweed, and the taste was really nice, so it’s all an inspiration and a choice anyway.

Some day maybe I’ll get to have some fun all night adventure, road trip, and I’ll take some caffeine then, but when I drank it every day, I fell apart. I love being busy and handling a lot of things at once, but at this time in my life, within reason to what is healthful.

Recently, I’ve been making a banana smoothie in the morning with chamomile, pumpkin seeds, vanilla, and spirulina.

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