In the beginning there was darkness, black and unending. Bitter beyond bitter.
When I started the Whole 30, I didn’t know what to do. No dairy, no sugar, no soy, even. What does that leave for coffee? Nothing. That’s what. Ok, so maybe not nothing. I mean I could have researched better since clearly there are coffee drinkers who have survived the Whole 30 and lived to blog, pin, or at least tweet about it. But I was so busy worrying about what a quesadilla with no tortilla and no cheese looks like, I didn’t have time to worry about coffee until it was too late.
For something I HAVE TO HAVE every day, you’d think it would’ve been my first concern. But the truth is, I’m not really capable of thinking about
coffee anything until I’ve had some. So on in the beginning, on the first day, there was nothing but dark, black, unending coffee. Bitter beyond bitter.
On the second day there was almond milk: the first hint of light.
I labored in the leche aisle of Whole Foods for nearly half an hour. Two-thirds of it was already out since it was either dairy or soy. Two-thirds of the remaining third was out on account of added sugar. Feeling certain that the Whole 30 was too hardcore for Whole Foods (laughable!), I turned from the innumerable milk choices unavailable to me, dejected and sure it’d be bottomless black bitterness for another 28 days. But then. But then there was almond milk. An entire quart of unsweetened, Whole 30-compliant, almond milk. And shortly later, there was bottomless, slightly less black, slightly less bitter bitterness.
Dawn came on the third day: cashew milk.
Creamier than almond milk, and easily twice as expensive. But it had cinnamon and nutmeg which are just like sugar, except that they’re spices. Turns out “spicy” is just Whole 30 for “sweet.” Twenty seven more moderately creamy spicy (is so not sweet) still basically black, still definitely bitter, bitterness. The days wore on: four, then five, then six. Until at last, by happy accident, full daybreak.
The fullest brightest midday light: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf makes unsweetened almond milk lattes.
I had heard a rumor that CBTL had almond milk available, so I sheepishly inquired with the barrista Sunday afternoon while meeting a friend. Listlessly, she “yep”-ed and began keying in the order. Wait, what? Really? And can you foam it? I mean, science lets non-milk turn into latte foam? Can that be right? Oh, it is right. SO right. And that’s not all. I paid for my drink (and tried awkwardly to explain my excitement — why did I even bother?) and turned to find a seat. When what to my wondering eyes did appear? Agave nectar nestled among the sugar, splenda, stevia, and spices. Just sitting there, waiting patiently to make my Whole 31 dreams come true. Everything is looking up now that there’s creamy coffee that’s actually sweet (and foamy to boot) to get me through this thing.
Only twenty-three days to go.