Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My 'drop the coffee project'

One of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to completely cut off caffeine.I am an official coffee addict.
In the past,I quit coffee two times.I had super energy after the initial blah feeling.But then I would drink a cup of coffee at a friend's house or give company to hubby on a lazy Saturday afternoon by making tea and snacks,and then I would fall all over again to the caffeine addiction world.

On day one,I would need only 1 cup,but then on day 2,I feel like I need them stronger and so on,until I am drinking super strong coffee and/or tea several times a day.

In case you are wondering why I am bothering with giving up coffee,here are just a few of my reasons:

1.My teeth is staining really bad.
2.I have restless sleepless nights.
3.Sometimes I wake up from sleep midnight and can't go back to sleep again.Then I am so tired in the morning,I drink even more extra coffee.That starts a vicious cycle.
4.Coffee gives you false energy only to crash again later.
5.In her book,The Diet Cure,Julia Ross says that any addiction(smoking,alcohol,drugs,caffeine-yes coffee) are all results of a depleted brain chemical.Supplementing with the right amino acids for the brain can effectively stop the addiction.
6.I have also read in Dr Atkins DANDR book, about how some people have trouble losing weight because they are so sensitive to caffeine,their insulin levels rise and they stall.
7.I drank about two cups of Starbucks coffee  the other day and it gave me serious palpitations all night,it was so scary.
8.I always end up drinking very strong coffee  and it has no effect on me,so I drink more cups and I am still tired and groggy all day.
9.If I don't get my coffee fix,I get jittery and foggy,and the withdrawal symptoms really scare me.

I am sure there are more reasons to quit coffee.

Here is my 10 step process

In Dr Hymans book,he talks about a gradual cutting of caffeine over a few days,which minimizes the withdrawal symptoms.Dr Hyman is a Functional medicine doctor who specializes in detoxing the body and eating whole natural foods.

Step 1:Cut caffeine into half.Drink them earlier in the day.
So for example,if you drink 4 cups,you cut them to two,and drink those two earlier in the day.
Step 2.Keep cutting caffeine,until you are down to 1 cup,only in the morning.
3.Gradually reduce the strength of coffee-I use instant coffee,so I started at 2 teaspoons and reduced them to 1/2 teaspoon in a few days.
4.Replace coffee with strong tea.I started out with 3 bags of tea.
5.Cut tea bags until down to 1.
6.Replace 1 tea bag with green tea or yerba mate
7.Replace that with decaf herbal tea.
8.At this point,to be sure,cut out all cocoa powder,chocolates and any other caffeine source to be sure you are completely free off coffee.You can add cocoa and chocolate in moderation later on if needed.
9.Drink lots of herbal tea without sweeteners.
10.Do not casually drink coffee/tea because it just starts another chain of addiction.

Be prepared to drink lots of water to flush out toxins and get lots of extra sleep.Take Advil if you get splitting headaches.

I found that I had no headaches this time.Everything was smooth except a little foggy for the last few days.
I know that will pass and I will have more energy next week.But I did have uncontrollable cravings for sweets and chocolate in the afternoon ,probably due to blood sugar drops without the caffeine.That will stabilize too in the next few days.

I am looking for that fresh energetic feeling I will have when i am not a slave to caffeine anymore.

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