Who has ever actually woken up in the middle of the night with a headache? Well that was me at 3am this morning and it was one of those proper thumping ones that I never get! However 3 hours later I felt fine, although initially I wasn’t very trusting and was expecting the headache to return at any moment.

I was still feeling a bit tired and feeling like the start of my day was really missing something even after my lemon water and third pot of peppermint and liquorice tea. I lingered rather too long by the tea cupboard and noticed I still had some Yerba Mate.

When I lived in Chile I got used to drinking this as a perfectly valid alternative to coffee but even though it is often marketed as a healthy alternative it is still high in caffeine and other stimulants and can be very addictive (as I already know!) So I slammed that cupboard shut and instead I blended a teaspoon of carob powder into a smooth paste with a little coconut cream and then poured over some frothed hot almond milk – it was delicious, not coffee but a nice soothing drink for a cold drizzly day.

Throughout the day I’ve gradually started to feel better and better but just in case my experience isn’t enough here are a few more reasons why easing back on your coffee consumption might be a good idea:

Coffee crops are typically heavily sprayed in pesticides and the beans contain substances that have been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer. Drinking coffee places an additional burden on the liver and kidneys and its diuretic effects can also mean that it helps to deplete the body of essential minerals and vitamins, particularly B vitamins and because coffee is acidic it can also deplete levels of calcium and magnesium. So I guess it is not surprising that high coffee consumption has been linked with numerous health concerns including raised blood pressure, blood sugar disorders, strokes, allergies and autoimmune conditions.

This evening I am still feeling good and so much happier (yesterday was a dark day!) – I made an Ayurvedic autumn stew of Puy lentils with warming spices and served with a few grilled king prawns and plenty of steamed vegetables. A great combination of protein and complex carbohydrates to keep blood sugar levels stable.But the body needs sleep to detoxify and rejuvenate so I’m going to put in a full stop, post this and turn in, after I’ve cleaned my teeth (of course) and done a bit of oil pulling – more on this tomorrow!