Last year as part of a challenge I was asked if I would try going coffee free for two weeks. My initial response was a big fat ‘hell no’. I had a three month old and quite frankly coffee was LIFE however in a moment of sheer craziness I said yes. Heck it was only two weeks, I love a good challenge and nothing seemed as challenging as ditching my life force for a couple of weeks.
The two weeks without coffee started somewhat as a version of hell. I withdrew HARD. I got the shakes, migraines, dizzy and tired like I wouldn’t believe. I couldn’t believe I’d done this voluntarily. Why, why did I do this?! I had a baby, a toddler and a four year old, I had legit lost my marbles. I had always said the day I gave up coffee hell would freeze over and I was suddenly making hell a very cold place.
At the end of the two weeks of detoxing something crazy happened, something highly unexpected however much appreciated. I started to feel GOOD! Better than good actually. Not only was I surviving, for the first time I was anxiety medication free without having major anxiety. It was like (very slowly) flicking a switch, a very, very important switch.
Coffee was making me jittery and anxious. I thought it was just anxiety but since cutting the coffee the anxiety has dropped off an exponential amount. Without (or with a reduced amount) of anxiety I feel better equipped to deal with the challenges of parenthood and life and I feel much calmer. This is probably my number one win.
I’m five months coffee free now and the coffee free benefits are plentiful.
My daughters reflux has improved so much since ditching the coffee that I’ve been able to slowly cut her reflux medication. She is also having proper day sleeps for the first time which as other mums will know is a major win.
I have a different kind of energy than before. It’s natural and doesn’t spike and drop off like it did with drinking coffee. I do have to maintain it with healthy foods and exercise and steering clear of junk food but that’s a win all round.
Coffee dehydrates. Being off it meant the water I was drinking was actually doing its job not counteracting the chemical dehydration caused by coffee. Because I’m not dehydrated my skin is clearer and naturally dewy and fresh. I can get away with wearing B.B. cream now because I’m not needing to cover so much pigmentation.
Speaking of maintaining with a healthy lifestyle… I found myself making healthier choices while off the coffee. More exercise, more water, no sneaky sips of Coke. I have started fine tuning my body and my body is responding.
My gut health is better. I’m not going to go into this except to say things are good in the gut.
Since ditching the coffee I’m much like a reformed smoker, preaching the anti caffeine word to anyone who will listen but I do have some advice before embarking on such a path.
The first couple of days is hard. Really hard. Start on a weekend, lock yourself in a dark room away from all humans if possible. Expect it, embrace it. It will get better.
Stock up on headache meds. For me on day three my headaches started to ease off but I had dull ones for about a week.
Find a hot, caffeine free alternative. I got stuck into rooibos tea. By finding a hot alternative you still get the relaxing, time out perks to having a coffee but with better health benefits. I now drink Rooibos tea like a junkie because I love the stuff so much!
Stick at it. It takes a bit of time for all the good stuff to kick in. Set yourself a goal and don’t stop until you’ve reached that goal. You need to allow time for the benefits to outweigh the bad and your body needs a chance to detox from the caffeine.
Ditching caffeine isn’t for everyone and for some people isn’t even an option they want to entertain but if you do mark my words, you’ll be thanking me later.