I HAVE DONE SOMETHING I SWORE I’D NEVER DO…
I gave up coffee.
WHAT!! I know, right?! If I read this post a month ago, I probably would have mentally rolled my eyes, closed the page, and classified this chick as a crazy, unhealthy human depriving herself of life's goodness.
THIS WAS A HUGGGEE STEP FOR ME.
Coffee was my one true vice. I distinctly remember when I realized I was totally addicted to coffee about a year ago (I then called it my 'mid-semester crisis'--I know I was dramatic out of this world, whatever). I tried quitting right then and there. That phase lasted for about 1/2 a morning. I quickly gave in and just decided I’d be coffee reliant forever.
Besides, I felt kinda sophisticated with my iced cold brew in hand (and with a Starbucks on campus, how could I resist?).
WHY I QUIT COFFEE
I started realizing that my coffee addiction was no bueno for my health (and bank account) last semester. I was drinking upwards of 3 cups/day and definitely experiencing questionable physical symptoms (racing heart, shaky hands, upset tummy etc.) but those didn’t stop me.
The biggest red flag was that I was addicted to the feeling of coffee—that jolt of adrenaline that pulsed through my body when with the first sip.
I reached for my coffee-fueled adrenaline rush to ‘turn on’ my personality and make me that happy, bubbly person everyone knew me to be, or to give me that next great idea, or before working out, studying, going out, etc. Soon enough, I was abusing coffee and running completely on adrenaline, ignoring my body's natural signals telling me to ‘calm the f down and rest.'
Plus, I was a grumpy biotch if I didn’t have my hit first thing in the a.m. And I really didn’t like the idea of relying on a drink (or drug) to get me going.
***Disclaimer: Also, I'm not saying I'm going to be coffee-free forever, nor am I saying that everyone should quit coffee--that's not the point. I just know that for me, I was abusing coffee and needed a reset. I still drink caffeine in the form of matcha + green tea because they affect me a whole lot differently than coffee (think: a little more sustained energy, a lot less jacked cortisol). Carry on.
COFFEE AND STRESS
The thing is, I’m already super sensitive as it is, and I knew my nervous system didn’t really like coffee in the first place. Sure, it gave me a few moment of productive inspiration, but I always felt ‘jacked’ and stressed out.
You see, coffee makes your body go into a state of stress. It amps up your fight-or-flight response, which tells the adrenals to start pumping cortisol + adrenaline, increases your heart rate, dilates your pupils, and increases sensitivity to external sensors.
That’s just something I don’t need at the moment. Sayonara, my love.
HOW I DID IT: COFFEE-FREE SURVIVAL 101
This summer I decided to ease into the coffee-free lifestyle just to see how I felt. And despite my preconceived notions that this would be impossible, I’ve never looked back. Here's how I made it through:
1. Don't quit cold turkey. I tried, and failed miserable. Instead, I eased into the detox by limiting to 1 cup of coffee in the morning, then switching to Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee (sounds crazy, but more on that later), then matcha, and now I sometimes do matcha and sometimes not depending on my energy levels.
2. Persevere. If I'm being real, those first few days I was completely unproductive and had zero energy. The first week is tough with the mood swings, constipation (don't act like you haven't been there without your coffee), headaches, etc. but keep. going. It gets better, I promise.
3. It's ok to break the rules. Ok, I might sound like I’m contradicting myself, but sometimes I slipped up and drank coffee if I really wanted it (although I soon realized why I gave it up). I didn't make it this strict do-or-die thing, which allowed me to truly listen to my body rather than feeling like I was depriving myself.
3. Energize in the morning with a walk, yoga, or dance party. Get your blood pumping and your vibes flowing to get that coffee-free zip in your step.
4. Replace the ritual. A lot of the time, we aren't just addicted to the coffee, but also the ritual of drinking it. I get it -- one of the main parts of my high-vibe morning routine was sipping my fancy bulletproof coffee. One of the things that's saved me on this coffee-free kick is replacing my coffee ritual with something else warm (or iced). I swear by matcha, but try green tea, herbal coffee, green juice, or whatever floats your boat.
the matcha I use:
BENEFITS OF QUITTING COFFEE (FOR ME PERSONALLY)
All around, I’m a much calmer, more grounded human being. Without the extra cortisol, my anxiety has lowered and I don’t feel like my nervous system is always jacked and in fight-or-flight mode. I can finally chill for once.
Specifically, some benefits I experienced include:
- Decreased anxiety.
- Deeper meditation practice.
- Zero crash during the day.
- More restful sleep.
- More regular.
- I can get through a workout with pure willpower + my own energy.
- I'm just a much calmer, more grounded human being.
Again, I used to think a chick like me made up all these benefits and just imagined them in her head. Nope, folks! I really do feel 100% better than before. To be honest, I barely even think about coffee anymore--is that crazy? Now all I'm buzzed on is life and kombucha (I just had to say it).
Of course, I couldn't have made it through on my own. I'd like to thank my matcha, chaga, and green juice (and my mom) for making this whole thing possible. Rock on, you non-coffee lifesavers, you.
Until next time.
Peace & luv.