how to stop drinking coffee

My Relationship With Coffee Is Over!

My Relationship With Coffee Is Over!

Coffee and I have a very interesting relationship. I love it! I love the smell of it and I enjoy drinking it. Give me “un doppio cafe  per favore!” double shot espresso please! That was about as much italian I learnt in the four years of living between NZ and Italy. Not really, but you get the idea.

I cut coffee out Nov 2011 and didn’t touch it again until a year later. Over that time my point was clear I was doing everything I could to restore my digestive health. So when I felt like I was on top of it again and I was feeling pretty good, I thought I could handle 1-2 coffees again. So away the coffee addiction went. It started with 1 cup, then back up to 2-3. Now this may seem like child’s play to many avid coffee drinkers but for me this was heaps as these are real coffees by the way. I don’t do things by halves. Double shot short black with some water.

Anyway, I started to notice a weird things happen in the 3 months that it slipped in again. I felt a sense of worry all the time. I felt like my to do list was unmanageable, and I felt anxious and stressed. My things to do in a day where huge, yet I was so unproductive.  I also started to gain weight and felt really puffy.  Then I also noticed my wreck less behavior slip back. These were all symptoms of adrenal fatigue and stress on my body. Nothing else changed!!! Exercise and nutrition were exactly the same. It took a few months for these things to build up and for me realize it was the coffee. I just stopped the next day and BOOM!!

Coffee detox is nasty!

I am not going to lie. The first time I cut it out cold turkey it took a good 7 days to get out of my system, and this time around was just the same. The first day you are just super sleepy in the afternoon, with foggy brain,  then day 2 is the worst you feel like you have been hit by a truck, you feel depressed, moody and headaches. Then day three slightly better. Day 4-6 pretty slow, and then by day 7 you are feeling fantastic. Here’s the thing though, the day I cut the coffee out, I felt so content! That whole week, it was as if I had just taken the weight off my shoulders of all the things I had to do in the day seem so much simpler, as the days went on in the week, my stress seemed to float away day by day. My puffiness went down each and every day along with my weight.

So here is my message. Coffee can be great for some people, but you have to find what works for your body. You have to learn to understand your body. I came off coffee that week by replacing that ritual with a freshly squeezed green juice. This gave me a sense of really nourishing my body and caring for it. I drunk loads of water that week and only walked and did yoga. You can’t expect your body to exercise intense while it is clearing out and detoxing. Think of caring for it, but keep it moving. Gently.

Sugar cravings and wreck less behavior!

Coffee for me just made me crave sugar, it would give me highs and lows and cause me to stress. When I am not normally a stressed person. My natural appetite and metabolism was all messed up and so were my adrenals.  When I was drinking it I would feel really anxious, dehydrated. It messed with my hormones, made me hold water and store body fat. With my adrenal issues of the past, the coffee just triggered them and bought them all back to the surface again. It stuffed up my hormones and caused me to hold and store body fat while everything else remained the same. I felt really anxious throughout my day and worried about not enough time to get all these things done, yet I was so unproductive. In the evening I slept, but never woke up recovered.

Since I have cut coffee out for the second time, I feel amazing. My energy is great. I am completely in tune with my body and its natural rhythms and I am sleeping amazing.  I am able to work harder and my body is feeling amazing. I don’t have the crashes that I used to have every few weeks and I have a sense of just loving life.

Life for me is about finding out what makes you work, and what makes you feel great. This is my experience with coffee, and for those who know me, know I love coffee and always will. I feel like this is a sad goodbye to one of my best friends. One day maybe we will met again, however in the mean time I am enjoying the way I feel far to much and I aren’t willing to change that. So ill just enjoy the smell of you from a distance.

You have to consume foods that are good on your gut health. The health of your gut effects everything about the way you feel and the way you look.

Coffee and Gluten

For those that have a gluten intolerance like myself its important to understand that coffee is seen very similar to gluten by the body. This is the same for lactose. Often all three of these things go hand in hand. So that “cafe latte” may not be the best option for those who react to gluten. Let alone anyone suffering from any digestive issues or adrenal problems.

Coffee and adrenal fatigue

Another reason I get such a reaction to coffee is its affects on your adrenal glands. We need to take such good care of these, and coffee can over stimulate them and leads to all sorts of issues related with adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue can happen not only from the reaction from the coffee, but also because of the stress response within the digestive system. If you are consuming foods that create stress in your digestive system, you body reacts. Its sees stress as stress. So if you consume foods that aren’t right for your body your bodies adrenal system will be working overtime. Some symptoms of adrenal fatigue are.

  • Tired yet wired
  • Difficulty getting energy in the morning
  • Foggy brain
  • Excessive tiredness in the morning
  • Fatigue not relieved by sleep
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Decreased ability to recover from exercise
  • Decreased ability to recovery from illness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Clumsy
  • Energy fluctuations
Learning to understand your body and the foods that work for you is crucial, if you are after real health.

Coffee and Sleep

If  you are having any problems with your sleep, then you know as well as I do that you need to cut the caffeine out. If you have trouble waking in the morning, feel fatigued and flat. Then its time to face facts. The problem with caffeine is that is blocks your sleep  neurotransmitters, which are the calming chemicals that make your body sleepy.  The effects of the caffeine can last up to 7 hours in the body, and those that are on any contraceptives or medication the effects can be even longer! Those that use caffeine chronically can completely interfere with the bodies natural balance. Balance is one of the crucial things required for good quality restorative sleep.

What to drink now??

Lets look at teas first. Often the best thing to switch from coffee is over to tea, but it is important to understand the tea contains caffeine. So depending on your body it is important to know why you are changing and what to. For me I needed to cut all caffeine out. So that means no tea. I then was able to introduce green tea and have no weird side affects. Whether this is due to the cross reactivity of the caffeine in coffee being similar to gluten and in green tea it isn’t. I seem to do so much better on green and white tea. I am full aware though of the caffeine in these and only have these before lunch.

Caffeine content in coffee and tea

  • Caffeine in black coffee – 120-160 mg
  • Caffeine in black tea – 40-60 mg
  • Caffeine in green tea – 15 – 30 mg
  • Caffeine in white tea-  6-20 mg

One of the things I am into a real habit of doing is having a hot drink with my meals, its a great way to finish a meal and it stops me from wanting to eat more. So here are my favorites.

Bone Broth

Every morning I have cup of broth with kimchee in it. This is amazing for my digestive system and is a great way to finish of the meal. I also have a second cup of this before dinner.  Its the most nourishing thing to sip on when you are hungry and helps you prepare your digestive system for a delicious meal ahead. Helps eliminate any cravings to. Its basically a spicy yummy soup.

White tea 

I have this mid morning. I place a teaspoon of loose leaves in a large plunger and I sip on this throughout the morning while I work at my computer. If i want more I just refill the plunger and reuse the leaves. This means no more caffeine, as you use up the caffeine content in the leaves in the first soak. This is a great trick if you want to remove caffeine out of green and white tea. You cover with water, soak for 2 minutes, drain and then re soak. The majority of the caffeine has been removed with the first soak. Some still remains, but most has gone.

Peppermint tea

I do the same as the white tea and put a teaspoon into plunger and have this after dinner religiously. Its fantastic for helping with digestion of your food. Soothes the stomach and helps you wind down from the day. If I am feeling stressed I will throw in some loose chamomile into the plunger also.

Licorice Tea

This is a fantastic tea for me mid morning also, I sometimes mix it up and will have this. It gives me a little boost in energy and almost a clarity in my thoughts. Great for digestive system also.

Blended herbal teas

I often try out some herbal blends I get from my local organic store. One I have been adding in is a a liver and kidney detox blend. Then a women’s energy blend. Both caffeine free and just contain yummy mixes of different herbs and spices.

Always go looseleaf where possible.

Decaf Coffee

Can’t say I am having this at all at the moment, but if I do ever have the urge for a really nice long black then this will be my go to option. Try and go with organic and water pressed, as a lot of decaf coffees contain all sorts of nasty pesticides and  the process of decaffeination can add more chemicals to the coffee that you don’t want in your body.


So how to you wean off caffeine?

Like I mentioned above the withdrawal process from caffeine can be quite rough, so there are ways you can cut the caffeine addiction without the nasty side effects. I personally just went cold turkey, when I make a decision I just do it. So this is a slightly longer process but it can make it a little easier.

Here is a nice simple process you can try to wean yourself of the caffeine.

Day 1 – Have you normal amount of coffee

Day 2 -5 – Blend your regular coffee with 50% decaf

Day 6 – Blend your regular coffee with 75% decaf

Day 7  – 100% decaf.

Making the decision to kick the caffeine addiction can be hard. However once you do, you will really notice the changes. Your sleep with will deeper and more restorative, your overall energy will improve and your body will seem to run so much more efficient. The less work  your liver has to do the better, and taking caffeine out means there are less toxins and your body can naturally detox and cleanse without stress.



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