Why I Quit Coffee and How You Can Too!

Why quit coffee?

There is quite a debate going around about coffee. Depending on who you read, there are theories that suggest drinking coffee is actually good for you. It does have antioxidant value associated with it, so that can definitely be a good thing.

But for me, it’s how you’re drinking your coffee that matters. Personally, I don’t like the taste of coffee, so it was necessary for me to “doctor it up” to make it tolerable!  I think in and of itself, coffee probably does have some slight nutritional value, as long as you’re drinking it black! But since we live in a nation of Starbucks and seemingly with a coffee shop on every corner, how many of us are actually drinking BLACK coffee? It’s so easy to get Lattes, Frappucinos, Cappucinos, etc. – most of which are laden with milk, sugar and flavorings, and in some cases, even espresso!

I am not perfect, and I did get into the habit of drinking my coffee with cream, flavorings and sugar.  It was the only way I could get it down and make it taste good. Then I got addicted. I tried once to stop and couldn’t. I loved the flavor and the extra “kick” it gave me in the mornings. This has lasted for the last year and a half.

Finally, I reached a point where I recognized that it was having a detrimental effect on my health. Of course I know this intellectually; sugar and milk are definitely not good for the body! But my body didn’t seem to mind too much… Except for lately. I could tell that my energy level was not as good as I would like. That’s what happens with a drug like caffeine: you end up needing more and more of it to get you to feel as good as you used to. So, one cup of java soon can turn into 3-4 cups! Then watch out!

The adrenal glands are not made to function with the constant attack from caffeine. It forces the adrenals to produce more and more adrenaline, pushing your body into the “flight or fight” response.  Then later, when that response wanes, you need another cup (or even two!) or the afternoon candy bar to boost you up again to make it through the rest of the day.

For many people, this is a pattern that has been developed over many years. Many clients I talk to have the addiction that has resulted in many different health ailments; digestion issues, sleep problems, dehydration, headaches, weight gain (from blood sugar imbalances) and fatigue and general malaise. Over time, this roller coaster ride with caffeine and sugar eventually results in adrenal fatigue. For women, this is especially problematic because we already seem to have a lot of hormonal imbalances going around! Add to that problems with adrenal function and it’s a recipe for fatigue and lethargy.

So that’s where I was. I recognized that this was definitely not helping me and in fact, was starting to creep up to an extra 1/2 cup or even another full cup of coffee in the morning. Just to get that extra little “hit” that I needed to get going.

So I decided I wanted to quit. It took me two weeks of preparation. The first week, I started making the coffee weaker and weaker; adding a little more water and less coffee each day. Then the 2nd week, I started drinking less and less. I’ve heard about the headaches and how awful you feel when quitting caffeine. So I thought that I would stop on Thursday and purposely scheduled myself an easy day on Friday, followed by Saturday and Sunday being off and at home to rest and take it easy.

Turns out, this was a very good plan. My Friday was fine and in fact, didn’t really feel like I missed my coffee, although I missed the sweetness. Saturday, however, was another matter. The monster headache started about 8:30 am; by 11:00 am it was downright AWFUL! I resisted the urge to pop an aspirin; instead, I reached for my essential oils.

Peppermint Essential Oil, applied to the top of my head, my forehead and temples, definitely helped. It took the edge off and probably brought it from a 10 down to an 8, which sure was more tolerable. Then I got a tip from a friend about Frankincense Essential Oil. I put a drop on my tongue and held it to the roof of my mouth. Literally within 5 minutes, the headache was completely gone. It never returned, and by the end of the day, the malaise I had felt was gone too! I continued to drink extra water, relax, and generally took it easy for the first few days.

Now, it’s been over a week since I have stopped coffee altogether. Some friends have been around me at work with it, and I still LOVE the smell of it, but I don’t miss drinking it at all. I now have more energy that the coffee ever gave me and I just feel so much better. My blood sugar has stabililized, and overall, I am so glad to be 100% rid of all caffeine. 

If you’re wanting to get off coffee or anther caffeinated drink, I’m here to tell you that it can be done – and it can be done with as little discomfort as possible. Follow the suggestions above and watch your energy soar and your health improve!