Drinking coffee in the morning, for me, is not just about consuming the caffeine. It is the ritual of it and it is the sweetness of it. It’s a decadent way to give myself some love and tenderness. So when I decided to quit drinking coffee, I needed something to replace my morning cup. Switching to decaf wasn’t gonna cut it. Plus, the process to denature caffeine is not good for you either. If you are gluten intolerant, you may have issues with digesting the proteins in coffee regardless of caffeination.
When I decided to quit coffee, I had several tools in my arsenal to help me avoid cravings or detox symptoms.
One tool was a product called Dandy Blend, which gave me something very similar to coffee in taste and texture, but it is an all natural herb. Dandelion also helps with the detox symptoms.
I took an amino acid supplement called L-Tyrosine, it greatly helped to avoid headaches and other detox symptoms, and my cravings for caffeine were nonexistent. You can read more about L-Tyrosine in the book I am always raving about, The Diet Cure. The author says that some people do better quiting with another amino acid called DLPA.
I slowly weaned myself off of coffee. Going cold turkey is really hard. If you drink two cups of coffee in the morning and a coke in the afternoon, knock out the coke first, then cut back to 1 and half cups of coffee in the morning. Then down to 1 cup. Then a half cup before finally cutting it out. Between slowly weaning yourself off and the supplements, giving up coffee is so much easier!
By the time I decided to quit caffeine all together, Penelope was about 6 months old. I had slowed down when I got pregnant, but I maintained one cup of coffee per day through my entire pregnancy and early postpartum. After lots of research, I realized that even one cup was doing lots of damage to my body, not to mention being pregnant and nursing.
Now, there are probably some people who can be healthy on one small cup a day. But if you are exhausted and your adrenals are overworked in any way, any amount of caffeine will be really hard on your endocrine system, which pretty much governs everything in your body.
It’s really best to keep caffeine consumption to a bare minimum. Caffeine is a natural toxin and makes your liver excrete sugar into your bloodstream, meaning part of the caffeine high is from a sugar rush! This affects your body’s ability to stabilize your blood sugar levels for the rest of the day.
I have had several friends ask my how I got my belly to go down. Honestly, cutting out my morning coffee was one of the biggest factors, because in the past, after I lost the intital weight, if I have a period where I have drink a cup of coffee (half caffeine and half dandy blend) my little belly has pooched out more. It’s still way better than it was in the past when I was eating gluten and diary, but it is less flat than it has been. Again, it was super flat last summer before I got pregnant and then I had to go back to square one. It’s never just one problem or one solution, but the caffeine contributes to fat specifically around your waist because of what it does to your blood sugar levels, which for a lot of people, me included, is the last problem area when you have been on a health and wellness journey.
Post miscarriage, I started craving caffeine again (and sugar for that matter). I am not sure why. Maybe it’s it more to do with needing LOTS of things to take care of myself in a decadent, loving way. And I am sure my hormones are still making their way back to normal as well. For now, on the days I want coffee, I am going for it, because I know how to reign it. I will do one small cup of half Dandy Blend and half regular organic caffeinated coffee and will go back to just Dandy Blend when I am ready. With Penelope sleeping through the night till at least 8a, I feel pretty good in the sleep department and I am not worried about my adrenals right now. It is a slippery slope and I have to be very vigilant and not let my twice a week half/half cup turn into an everyday thing or turn into a full cup of caffeinated coffee.
If you are not interested in Dandy Blend, try drinking a cup of hot filtered water with the juice of a whole lemon and even a tad of honey. This still gives me that little bit of warm sweetness that I want first thing in the morning as I say my morning prayers and really wake up.
If I do fall off the wagon, at least I know what to do to get back on again. Dandy Blend and L- Tyrosine, my friends, that is all you need! Best of luck on your journey! Let me know if you have any questions, I am happy to help.