Am I there yet?? Is this it? The moment I’ve been waiting for? That glorious over the hill where I have surfaced out of the deep sea of withdrawal symptoms?? Halle-freakin-lujah.
America. We are in some kind of a caffe-nation situation.
How many of us have mindless compulsions that stumble us as we walk out the door and demand that they remain a pillar in our daily routine?
“Oh I can quit whenever I want…”
Yeah, but why don’t you want to?
When we know something is likely not adding a net benefit to our well being yet we continue to partake in that activity over and over, we are settling for less.
I think there can be a place and time for everything, and so I am not shaming anyone for not having become perfect yet. Transitions are the reeeaally important seasons in between seasons that we often forget to honor and give attention and grace.
Like with coffee. Or maybe just caffeine in general. Most people are not just going to snap their fingers and *POOF!* …no more desire for coffee! No, no, no. They snap their fingers and *WHAM*… The dam of headaches and fatigue and irritability (and sometimes even hunger) is cracked and breached. Not a pleasant or convenient season in the general consensus. Some people’s withdrawal symptoms last for only a few days, but I have heard of them also lasting for weeks! I also have a hunch that these people with severe detox experiences have not engaged a transition plan. Just think- you are taking away something that has been directly altering the function of your nervous system and indirectly altering the naturally flow of other systems in your body for how long? And we arrogantly want to just skip the whole part where we pay back a debt to our fantastic body organisms? Think again.
Instead of encountering your detox with frustration or fear (a.k.a. “resistance”), enter into your transition with a whole lotta love. Think of the symptoms and cravings you experience as messages from your body saying, “Please give me all the TLC that you can spare! I’m working hard here and trying to keep up with the tasks you give me!”
So to aid in YOUR transition, I have put together a sweet list of ways to support your body in conquering your own coffee, caffeine, or maybe even chocolate or sugar habit. Speaking as someone who used to “quit” Starbucks about 4 times a year (yes, I was a chronic relapser and am a recovering latte-holic), I love to say now that these are the things that finally brought about permanent shfits my lifestyle and habits. Perhaps this is a healthier mindset for us… Instead of thinking, “I should quit _______,” let’s say, “I am going to modify my lifestyle by ___________ instead of _________ because it will enhance my experience of life by ___________.”
On to the list!
1. Drink more water. Coffee is dehydrating. Start rehydrating! Chronic low level dehydration is normal but that doesn’t mean it is good. We should raise our standards for how good we should feel! If you begin every day with a solid liter of filtered H2O before you eat any food, even if it’s fruit. This will help your overall food cravings, your digestion and elimination, your stamina when you workout, everything. It’s the medium for all the working parts and pathways of your body to function. If your blood were chalky and dehydrated, how well do you think it could flow to delivery vital nutrients to all of your cells all day and night?
2. “Cold Turkey” is not everyone’s Cup of Tea. You can always start by only decreasing how much coffee you drink, or cutting the caffeine content. Mix in some green or black tea during the day until you are having more tea than coffee during the week. This is what I did because I’m a wuss… or because I’m tactful.
3. Make your beverages at home. This way you can always control the caffeination. There were countless times that I got derailed from my good path of righteousness when I accidentally forgot to order decaf… and then they hand this iced venti triple shot time bomb to me… and it’s the wrong order because it’s my fault… and I’m too sheepish to ask them to change it… and all it takes is one, and I am back in the vicious cycle of visionlessness.
4. EAT SOME CARBS. LOTS OF ‘EM. Frontload your day with carbs after you drink your water. A lot of people like that coffee curbs suppresses their appetite, and I am here to say that your body is giving you cues for a reason and just suppressing those cues doesn’t mean the reason doesn’t still exist. I mean that your body has a valid reason for prompting you toward whatever it prompts you toward; the problem is that most of us have been giving our bodies so many unnatural foods and ignored its cues for so long, that signaling system has gone a little haywire and we misinterpret those biological messages or just straight up don’t trust them.
Our cells need glucose to function most efficiently and caffeine interferes with our glucose metabolism in a few dramatic ways. If you have sugar metabolism problems, it might not so much be the sugars or carbohydrates you’re ingesting as it is the caffeine that offsets your natural rate and means of metabolism them! You’ll have to try this to see if it work for you along with a few other diet pointers that I will include in another blog post soon to come!! 🙂
5. On the note of Carbs (which are awesome), Eat More Fruits and Leafy Greens!! Coffee, despite its famed miniscule amount antioxants (which may often be counteracted by coffee’s potential carcinogenic content… do some homework about your groceries, folks!), ultimately strips precious essential nutrients (like IRON) from the body or inhibits your bodies ability to absorb them. Fortifying your new coffee-free life with fresh, ripe, whole, organic, tasty produce will not only help replenish your body’s reserves to keep you balanced and level-headed, but it will help stave off cravings, as just simply eating carbs will do in general.
Fruit is also full of water and fiber and in some cases promotes the mildest of laxative effects, unlike coffee’s highly stimulative nature on the bowels. Many of us secretly rely on the stuff to help us pass a stool every once in a while or don’t even realize that it is doing 90% of the work our bowels are supposed to be doing. Like with the case of laxative dependence, it can take time you restrengthen your bowels if you haven’t been fully exercising them in awhile. Eating a fresh fruity breakfast will really help move things along so you feel light and clean, like you should. Watermelon, and melons in general, are a particular favorite of mine. If you’ve never heard of banana island though, and you are up to a fruit fast, shoot me a PM and I would be glad to coach you through the best fruit fast ever.
6. Reinforcements! I used a few doses of Herbalife’s “Total Control” tablets in the beginning to ward off headaches when I stopped going to Starbucks. I kept waiting for the intense withdrawal headaches to set in. I was all too familiar with them. But these tablets somehow let me skip that whole chapter. I was astonished. They still have about as much caffeine as a small cup of regular coffee, but it comes from tea extracts, and for some reason that makes a massive difference for me, as well as the majority of people I’ve consulted on their diets. If you are interested in ordering a small pack of these tablets, you can click HERE.
7. Last but not least: Exercise! This just expedites the detox process and will help you feel instantly better in general. Feeling groggy? Probably because you’ve been stagnant in front of your computer screen for too long. Go for a walk and get you some delicious air and Vitamin D. Your brain fog will now begin dissipating in 10, 9, 8, 7… 🙂
8. Oh and I almost forgot! REST. We always forget the importance of sleep! Sleep is as much of a nutrient as Vitamin C. This is the ultimately recovery period where your body is doing vital detox work, which by the way, when you are in withdrawal, your body needs to be paid overtime so it can kick out the crappy employees it used to have and make room for new shiny efficient employees, that don’t keep you dependent on nutrient-stealing liquid black tar.
Speaking of which, it’s been a rather long, uber productive day without a sugar crash or energy slump for me. I think I will pour myself a big mug of Zzzz’s so I can wake up refreshed and do it all again tomorrow.