Green Living

How To Quit Coffee


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.

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  • Natalie
    July 12, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    I mean ABSOLUTELY no disrespect when I say this, but you know what this post made me want to do? Have a cup of coffee!

    I am not a big coffee drinker. I certainly don’t have it every day. But about once a week I like to have an iced coffee. I also like a nice hot cup of coffee after a holiday meal- Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. The smell reminds me of my grandparents. All of them are deceased now, but all of them were big coffee drinkers. My parents did not drink coffee so it is not a smell that I remember from my own home. Definitely from my grandparents homes though.

    • Stephanie
      July 12, 2012 at 11:37 PM

      LOL. What was it that made you want a cup of coffee? The picture? It does look pretty enticing. I hear ya on the emotional ties. I started drinking coffee when I was 20 when I lived in Spain. Some of the best months of my life there, and oh how wonderful the coffee is in Europe. 🙂

      • Natalie
        July 13, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Yes! I think it was the picture. My in-laws have the same mugs and I could just picture my mother-in-law offering me a cup with a slice of pie. We have an almost 7 month old who has had many health problems as a result of prematurity (sepsis at 2 weeks and then a liver disorder most likely caused by a combo of prematurity and the sepsis). He is totally fine now and is completely recovered, but while he was sick we were basically not leaving the house at all. We are slowly getting back to our lives but all the talk about coffee made me want normalcy to return sooner. Coffee is a real social thing for me. So I associate it with seeing friends and family which I have not been doing lately. Sorry for my response being so long winded!

        • Stephanie
          July 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

          i love a long winded response! thank you! so many bloggers are talking about the lost art of commenting with social media and the option to simply just “like” a post. Comments are very important to bloggers, so you never have to apologize for leaving a long, thoughtful one! I am all for real food and eating as clean as possible, but I do think emotional health is just as important as physical health and while caffeine consumption can throw off your hormones and hurt your mood and chemical emotional balance in the long run, I do say do what you gotta do to survive and get through tough times. 😉

  • Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas
    July 13, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Coffee is such a mood lifter for me. Like a cup of comfort and smiles and hugs. Even decaf gives me a boost. I don’t drink more than one cup a day now but I definitely destroyed my body with coffee overload in college (we’re talkin’ 4-5 cups a day, sister) and couldn’t drink a drop for years because of my body’s reaction. I’m grateful that my body seems to be fine with one cup in the morning for now. Do I get any points for not putting sugar or honey in it anymore? 🙂 I will definitely refer to this post if I ever have a negative reaction from coffee again and need to cut out my morning cup or if I’m convicted to give it up for Lent (please, no!).

  • Sarah
    July 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    You know, I’ve never researched it, but I’ve felt for a while that the coffee I drink has a negative effect on my body–I’ve never heard how caffeine effects blood sugar levels, but that hits the nail on the head for me! It definately is having an impact on how my body processes food during the day. I don’t have to have a cup in the morning, but I just so enjoy coffee, you know?! I think it is part ritual. I’m trying to move myself to hot tea…but I’m afraid I won’t be completely giving up coffee just yet 😀

  • Nicole
    July 15, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Hi Stephanie! It’s been awhile since I have commented 🙂 I’m very interested in quitting coffee, I have a large belly compared to the rest of my body and I really feel my large cup of coffee EVERY SINGLE DAY has something to do with it. I’m interested in the Dandy Blend, do you brew it like you do coffee in a coffee pot? Also I really feel like I need more energy during the day, do you have any recommendations on vitamins or any natural remedies you take to help you stay so energized. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and I am a SAHM and I feel like I have no energy every. Also my daugther (1 year old) does not sleep through the night ever so I don’t nearly get the sleep I should to stay healthy 🙁

    • Stephanie
      July 15, 2012 at 2:55 AM

      Well, honestly quitting the caffeine will give you more energy. It may not feel like that at first, but I do notice if I have a little bit of caffeine in the morning after being off it for so long, those are the days that I am dragging ass in the afternoon. If you take caffenine out of the equation your body has less work to do, and more energy to spend on other areas of functioning and will just plain function better. I would suggest Protandim to give you some energy, among other things it helps reduce inflammation in the body, which can take up a lot of your body’s resources and energy as well. As for your question, I just heat water on the stove and mix in the Dandy Blend. It comes in a powder form, similar to instant coffee. Good luck!

      • Nicole
        July 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        Im typing this as I am literally trying to do anything but go in to the kitchen and make coffee. I’m already missing the ritual and the taste and it’s been an hour haha. Thanks for the tip on the Protandim and I’m going to the natural market today to see if they have the Dandy Blend!!

  • Holly
    July 16, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    I worked as a barista on and off for years and weaning myself off daily cubanos is a serious accomplishment in my mind haha. I dont know if I will ever give up coffee. I gave up all (numerous) bad habits before getting pregnant and coffee is my one last habitual moment I have all to myself everyday. It’s very sentimental to me 🙂

    • Stephanie
      July 16, 2012 at 2:06 AM

      That is an accomplishment! Well, if it’s the only thing unhealthy that you do, and you feel good, then like I said, I think that some people can totally handle one cup a day and be fine. But if you start feeling really run down and tired, maybe look at it again. The Dandy Blend tastes really good to me, so I still get to sit down with a cup of something coffee like and have my little ritual of a moment.

      • Holly
        July 16, 2012 at 2:10 AM

        I should definitely try that. My energy is up and down lately with the new baby. I keep buying a larger mug for my one cup a day haha, not good!

        • Stephanie
          July 16, 2012 at 3:47 AM

          Yeah, with a new baby it’s hard to tell whether your adrenals are exhausted or if the you are just damn tired from having a new baby. 🙂

  • Tiffiney
    July 16, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    I quit coffee cold turkey and switched to decaf tea last year around Thanksgiving. I had a 3-4 cups of coffee a day habit (plus tons of cream and sugar). I started drinking 2 cups of hot tea sweetened with a teaspoon of honey daily and instantly felt a difference. Not to say the withdrawal headache for days wasn’t fun, but in one week I had dropped 2 pounds and an inch off my waist. I never realized how bloated all the coffee made me. One month later I was down 4 pounds. I never changed my eating or exercise habits, just the daily drink of choice. Now I’m down to one cup of hot tea most days of the week and will occasionally have 1/2 a cup of coffee at work if I just really feel drained around 3 am. I still crave coffee occasionally but not like I used to. I used to wake up in the middle of the day (work nights, sleep days) thinking about the cup of coffee I could have when the alarm went off.

  • Nae
    September 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Wow, I never thought that those last couple of inches around my waist could be due to my coffee habit. I also didn’t realize that decaf wasn’t good for me. Like you, the coffee ritual is what entices me more than the coffee itself. I don’t ever reach for a cup of coffee to stay awake, its always because it feels nice to drink it with my morning paper or after a nice dinner. I don’t like dandelion so I may have to try the other product you mentioned. Does the decaf thing go for tea as well? I love a cup of decaf English Breakfast tea.

    • Stephanie
      September 14, 2012 at 12:41 AM

      You know that is a good question, I don’t know!

  • anita
    December 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    It’s remembrance of good times as a kid. First time I had coffee was on relatives houseboat, fishing late at night; instant coffee (ick) with cream and sugar, but it was a bonding family time. Later I tried brewed. Loved it ever since.
    I just can’t quit you, coffee! (caffeine)
    ; )

    • Stephanie
      December 16, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      I know! I can’t tell you how many people healhty people I know, that just not give up coffee! So reduce the consumption of it as much as you can and call it a day!

  • Nancy
    January 7, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    I have a bad coffee habit. Half a pot everyday. It is bad and I feel terrible. My parents put it in my bottle as a baby and I’ve been drinking it for as long as I can remember. So yeah, it is BAD! But I have been wanting to it out apart from special occasions.Reading the post was like the angels singing to me from heaven! So I am wondering if you use any creamer in your dandy blend. Also, when do you take your l-tryptophan? What time of day?

    • Stephanie
      January 7, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Shut the front door. Why on earth would they put coffee in your bottle?! That is just insane. I am so sorry! Sounds like you are starting an health/healing journey, so good for you! I do use creamer with the Dandy Blend. I usually use raw milk and add no extra sugar, because to me it tastes sweet enough, but you could certainly add sugar if you needed it to get used to not drinking coffee. Right now I am using a coconut milk coffee creamer because I am trying the GAPS diet for a month to try and heal my digestion even more, so no dairy right now. When I was quitting I would take the L-tryptophan in the morning when I get up and then another mid-morning, and another in the afternoon if I was feeling tired and craving some caffenine. After I quit, I still took it for a couple of months to build up my nutrtional stores, and now I just take it here and there, like when I went on vacation and had coffee every morning, and needed it to get back to my routine.

      • Nancy
        January 8, 2013 at 1:54 AM

        Why? Who knows! My parents were young and did as their parents did. My grandmother suggested my mom put coffee in, and so I probably had 1/2 cup mixed with my milk each day from age two or so. I have NOT done this to my children!

        I am going to give this a try. I have always thought I would need to wean myself to avoid withdrawal symptoms. I am hoping this will work well for me! Thanks for the suggestion.

        • Stephanie
          January 8, 2013 at 2:10 AM

          Wowza, I am still in such shock, I have never heard of such a thing! Great job on not continuing the cycle. Weaning yourself will still help out. I went from one cup to no cups. So quitting from a pot to nothing might be harder.

  • Guin
    January 12, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Thanks for your Quitting Coffee post, Stephanie (I have a cousin Stephanie who’s very pretty like you!). Since high school I’ve been a big coffee drinker, plus my husband and I ran a coffee house for about five years, and I learned to dearly love espresso too. Recently I discovered I’ve inherited my mother’s (and grandmother’s) high blood pressure and urgent bladder, both of which are exacerbated by caffeine. Therefore, as sad as I am about giving it up, I think it might be wise to give up my favorite drink *gulp*. As a first step I purchased some Dandy Blend over the holidays after reading many reviews which were overwhelmingly positive. And now, with your post, I figure I have nothing to lose but a bad habit. Regarding the DB, I have to say I really like the stuff and hope it helps in my ultimate goal of cutting out the coffee habit. PS – I shared your post with my sister, another coffee addict who like me is blessed with high blood pressure.

    • Stephanie
      January 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      So glad to hear that you are making changes in your life towards better health! I know you are going to feel so much better and you can always indulge on rare occasions!

  • Sara
    October 3, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I really love it. I’ve never commented but I wanted to stop by today and thank you for recommending Dandy Blend! I want to cut out caffeine completely – I’m down to only a cup of a green/white tea in the morning – but I was missing something warm in the afternoon. Dandy Blend to the rescue! It really does taste great. Thanks so much!

    • Stephanie
      October 4, 2013 at 1:01 AM

      Awesome! Good for you Sara!