How I Quit Coffee
With the schedules most of us have today, it makes sense why we seem to LOVE our coffee now more than ever. Lattes, bullet proof, black - any way you prefer it, coffee seems to have become a staple in our highly stressed, on-the-go lives. But do we need it? After feeling chronically exhausted despite my 2 cups a day, I decided to quit coffee all together to see if maybe, just maybe, it was causing me more harm than good?
Now, Im not saying coffee is unhealthy! It actually has a lot of antioxidants, and when mixed with coconut oil or butter is a wonderful way to sustain your fat-burning energy in the AM. My issue with coffee wasn't the coffee itself, but my dependency on it to get me through the day and the negative effects the sudden caffeine crashes would have on my body and energy levels. My history with coffee only started in the last year or so of college when late nights and early mornings were the norm. But it wasn't until this year (5 years later) that I started to realize that the coffee I was drinking was making me feel depleted, was increasing my anxiety, messing up my digestive system & waking me up in the middle of the night (3AM on the dot, every night).
& so with that, I decided to quit. Week 1, I replaced my afternoon cup with a cup of tea instead and/or 2 16oz bottles of water. Week 2, I tried (key word here) to only drink half my cup of coffee in the AM and would make sure I was also drinking 2 full cups of water & having a nutrient dense breakfast (i.e a green smoothie) Week 3 I cut out coffee completely. I replaced my morning cup with a cup of tea with lemon and made sure to eat breakfast to prevent me from feeling an energy slump around noon. (I have a history of rushing in the AM, drinking coffee and not taking time to eat breakfast!) Was I a little tired? Yes. A little moody? Maybe. But now, 3 months later, do I miss coffee or feel that I need it? Not at all. I believe the key to successfully getting off coffee is replacing it with items that will give you clean, sustained energy. Below are some of my favorites:
1. A Green Smoothie + Maca - This is my favorite when Im in a rush. My current go-to recipe is: banana, peach, 1/2 avocado, water, cordyceps, maca & a tsp of manuka honey. Maca is a root that has long been used for its endurance enhancing properties, fighting fatigue and is high in Vitamin B, C and E. This smoothie is filling, fast energy that keeps me going until lunch!
2. Superfood Matcha - (available at JS) Matcha is loaded with antioxidants & a bit of caffeine that gives you a longer, sustained energy rather than that quick up and down you typically get from coffee. I blend this with tocos, he sho wu, ashitaba, a little bit of maple, and warmed almond milk for a quick, frothy AM cup.
3. Mushrooms - & no, not the kind you find in the grocery aisle. Im talking about Reishi, Cordyceps & Lions Mane (there are more but these 3 are my favorite). These superfood mushrooms are adaptogens - meaning they help your body adapt to stressors, strengthen your immune system, boost energy, & enhance brain function. When Im not reaching for matcha, I make a mushroom "latte" that has the following: Almond or coconut milk, cordyceps, reishi, lions mane, maple, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and rhodiola (another brain function enhancing superherb!) Blend on high and enjoy iced or hot!
4. Water- Yep, good ole water. Once I quit coffee I realized how insanely dehydrated I was! Adding 2-3 extra cups of water on top of what you're already drinking is always a great way to put a little pep in your step.
Its been about 3 months without any coffee and I feel great! I sleep throughout the night, my anxiety levels dropped, I feel more clear headed, my skin is less dehydrated & I have true, sustainable energy throughout the day. I don't crave or feel as though I need coffee anymore and actually enjoy finding creative alternatives for my AM beverage. As with everything in wellness though, I am flexible and wont prevent myself from having something if I want it. While this might not be for everyone, even going coffee free for a week is a great way to reset your body and create space for you to energize in new ways! Would you try it?