Wednesday, September 21, 2011

giving up coffee without the headaches


I've been doing quite a lot of internal spring cleaning lately: attending yoga classes; having acupuncture done to get my qi flowing and I recently just finished a juice cleanse that rocked my world.

But the most important change I made was cutting coffee out of my daily rhythm. I try to avoid coffee, indulging once a week without getting hooked but over the winter those steamy soy lattes were such a quick, warming and sweet pick me up, I just couldn't resist. And so, my once weekly habit turned into an almost daily habit. It takes me only 4 days of coffee in a row to be physically 'addicted' to caffeine. If  I go a day without it by midday I have a headache and I feel grey and my brain is cloudy. I also believe coffee suppresses my immune system and I know that it inhibits the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

And so I did what I always do when I feel the need to cut coffee out: I replace it with green, white and herbal teas. Green and white teas are high in antioxidants, eliminate free radicals, decrease cholesterol, help to fight bacteria and viruses and actually strengthen the immune system. Dandelion root and marshmallow root teas are caffeine-free but very nutty, full-bodied, dark tasting and have the smooth texture of coffee. You can enjoy them with a bit of honey and milk of your choice and you've got a healthy version of your daily fix.


Here is my basic four day regime to cut the caffeine out.

Day One: 
Cup of white tea in the morning
Cup of green tea in the afternoon
Cup of chamomile or peppermint after dinner

Day Two: 
Cup of white tea in the morning
Cup of herbal caffeine-free tea in the afternoon
Cup of chamomile or peppermint after dinner

Day Three:
Cup of green tea in the morning
Cup of herbal caffeine-free tea in the afternoon
Cup of chamomile or peppermint after dinner

Day Four: 
Cup of herbal caffeine-free tea in the morning
Cup of herbal caffeine in the afternoon
Cup of chamomile or peppermint after dinner

Day Five: 

Cup of green tea in the morning
Cup of herbal caffeine-free tea in the afternoon
Cup of chamomile or peppermint after dinner

Day Six: 
Cup of herbal caffeine-free tea in the morning
Cup of herbal caffeine in the afternoon
Cup of chamomile or peppermint after dinner

And so on... green tea or white tea in the morning every other day, and one caffeine-free day in between.

Once I feel confident I am not addicted to the caffeine I will treat myself to the occasional weekend coffee.

I do think many things are good in moderation, but I just don't enjoy being 'addicted' to something, when it has more control over me than I do over it. 

If you enjoy your daily coffee then good on you, but if you're looking for an escape route give this a try- it works wonders!


7 comments:

ohangelina said...

hey meg i'll add rooibos tea ( african bush tea) . its high in iron potassium a great antioxidant and with milk it tastes just like 'black tea'. its great for pregnancy and breastfeeding bc of the iron increase it adds.
what is white tea?

Stephanie G. said...

Think this will work with soda? I just have to have the three o 'clock pick me up Coke. I hate it but I get raging headaches if I skip it. I'm desperate to stop. I think I'll give this a shot!

dailydialect said...

In the spring especially, try Dandelion coffee. Steep roasted dandelion root in water as you heat it. Strain into your cup for a cup of dandelion coffee. I love it with hemp milk but any milk would be really good! If you are determined to not have coffee this is a really great rich drink that is actually GOOD for you!

Nicole said...

Interesting! I still love my one daily cup (more for the flavor than the caffeine) I notice I don't get a headache if I skip it. The only time I get headaches is if I forget to drink water. Going to pour myself a glass right now!

ruby and levi said...

Hi Megan - I love your blog and really enjoy reading all your posts.
You ought to try Rooibos tea - it is delicious (particularly with soy milk), no caffeine or tannins, and very very high in antioxidants. It's also great for lactation. (In South Africa they give it black and cooled to infants in the hot weather as it's great to stave of dehydration and is so good for you!)

jodi said...

interesting m! I haven't had a coffee since I decided that it was time for Poet to be conceived. But the last few weeks I have been really enjoying the smell of coffee (I sniff at Daniel's mocha and have been taking the odd sip!)
I know that it really isn't good for me while breastfeeding but oh how I would love to indulge in a once a week (and weak) coffee. Do you notice the difference in Indigo when you have coffee? xxx

motherwho said...

Was about to start trying this today... then my sister popped over and wanted a coffee.... sooo... it would have been antisocial not to join her! Monday sounds like a nice fresh day!!! Thanks though, I love my coffee but also hate that I can't just have it when I (underlined) want to enjoy it, not when my addiction demands it. xo

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