{Hot Topic} Black Coffee. Will It Be the End of Me and My Whole30 Journey?


*(of a period of time or situation) characterized by tragic or disastrous events; causing despair or pessimism.

*(of a person’s state of mind) full of gloom or misery; very depressed.

*full of anger or hatred.

*very evil or wicked.

These are definitions of black, straight from Mr. Google himself. AND they match my drinking-black-coffee-emotions perfectly. Or, they did 🙂

I’m not lying when I tell you that this whole, “black coffee,” thing talked about in the Whole30 was the dark cloud looming overhead and the sole reason I didn’t start sooner. No CoffeeMate creamer, no honey, no truvia? No can do.

Every night, Lance prepares our coffee and works magic, so that when we wake up in the morning, the anticipation of being greeted in the kitchen by the blue light of Mr. Coffee Pot, saying, “I’m ready, come drink and bask in my wonderful goodness,” is as good as waking up and finding a pot of gold at the end of our rainbow bed.

For me, coffee + hazelnut creamer go together like movie + popcorn, or white + rice. You simply can’t have one without the other. Or can you?

Mr. and Mrs. Hartwig, authors of The Whole30, say that you can.

Is coffee allowed on The Whole30? Yes.

Yes, you can drink coffee. You’re welcome. You can drink it black, add compliant coconut milk or almond milk, or add cinnamon or ground vanilla beans to the brew. But remember, Whole30 guidelines exclude milk, cream, non-compliant milk substitutes, and any form of added sugar or sweeteners. And (tough love aged), if you “just don’t like”  black coffee, you are either not buying good coffee or you actually don’t like coffee-you just like the sweet, creamy stuff you typically add to coffee.

Flavored Coffee. Read your labels.

Some flavored coffees use natural ingredients like cinnamon and vanilla beans to lend some excitement to their beans, and those are fine on the Whole30. However, avoid coffees flavored with extracts (usually alcohol based), artificial flavors, added sweeteners, or chemicals. Ingredients lists aren’t always printed on your bag of beans, so you may have to contact your favorite coffee company for more details on their process.

Almond Milk. Read your labels or make your own.

Though it does exist, compliant commercially produced almond milk is hard to find. Ingredients like added sugar (in any form) or carrageenan will render most store-bought almond milks off-limits for your Whole30. The alternative is to make your own-but remember, no added sweetener!

(FYI: Carrageenan is used to thicken processed foods, and is found in everything from deli meat to yogurt to chocolate. Carrageenan is inflammatory if it gets through the gut lining into the body. It’s actually used in laboratory studies to create inflammation in animals.)

Did you feel your stomach turn a little bit when you practically audibly heard them say, if you “just don’t like” black coffee, you just like the sweet, creamy stuff you add to your coffee? I basically saw them looking at me with tough-love eyes. Ugh, Fine. 

Can it be done? Yes.

I’m very happy to report that I’m alive and well. I do now indeed drink my coffee and drink it black. At first, I added in a couple spoonfuls of coconut milk (prior to starting Whole30 in preparation), but realized because it has, “potassium metabislufite,” listed as an ingredient, It is not Whole30 compliant. Since I can’t find a compliant version at Publix or Aldi, I looked online and found this compliant option:

1403640452790 DSC_2280-1024x680

Found at Whole Foods.

*Well, driving down 280 for Whole30 approved coconut milk did not sound appealing, so I drank it black. And I lived. And I actually enjoyed it! (I immediately looked out the window to make sure pigs weren’t flying.)


Several people add ghee, coconut oil, vanilla beans (vanilla extract is a Whole30 no-no as they all contain alcohol or sugar alcohol), and/or cinnamon and enjoy that as well.

What if (gasp) you just don’t enjoy coffee anymore? Thats OK! Swap to hot tea in the morning if you’re still wanting the hot beverage routine we’ve all come to love, OR, (bigger gasp) get off caffeine.

Lance and I have done this before for a Daniel Fast and wowza! It was intense. I’ve never detoxed from drugs, but I felt like I was for 3 days. Don’t they have a special rehab for coffee quitters? No? They should. Now, we used the cold turkey method, and I wouldn’t do that again, but I would use this method if I decided to quit caffeine completely.

Personally, after all of this, I feel slightly silly for dreading the black coffee change. It’s not a big deal. I did like the sweet & creamy concoction that was the highlight of my morning routine and the thought of not having it really did make me anxious. So, I asked myself if the creamer was hurting and/or helping my body? Is it making me healthier? Helping me reach my goals?


 I’m not doing the Whole30 and putting all this time and effort into succeeding, bettering myself and my body, to let a plastic filled jar of liquid take me down. Nope.


RIP Hazelnut Creamer! You really weren’t that good to me and now I’m not even sad to see you go!

*I will be making a drive for approved coconut milk because it’s a necessity for the Whole30 in recipes such as Mashed Cauliflower. Worth it. 


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