Monday, February 9, 2009

Goodbye, Coffee

Friday I had my last cup of coffee. I didn't know it at the time, actually. Saturday I began fighting a cold virus that my husband tried sharing with me. In the fighting it, I thought that since I was already feeling miserable, I might as well give up caffeine. It's something I've tried to do in the past, but have only been successful for a week or so before I give in to the need for speed.

This time, I know that I will be off of it for a long time. It was actually easy. It only took me two days to fight the withdrawals. Today, I am sipping green tea and will probably have one or two more cups. Then throughout this week I will progressively cut that out and just drink herbal tea.

It feels weird to give up the last of my vices, but I have been wanting to give up coffee permanently for a long time. I LOVE how it immediately makes me feel, but then I feel manic and I can feel the acid betraying my otherwise healthy stomach. Sometimes I even get shaky. I hate that. There is so much contradictory research about coffee. I am not quitting because of any reason to quit except my own. I want to feel alive and energetic without coffee. I want to wake up and jump out of bed, not slump out of bed saggy-eyed and foggy until my coffee fix. I've been coffee-free for three days now and I can't believe how wonderful I feel. The time before when I quit coffee for a week I was miserable the entire time.

Here is how I quit coffee this time:
  • The day that I quit, I took two Exederin to stave off the inevitable withdrawal headache.
  • I drank a lot of water.
  • On day two, I drank four or five cups of strong green tea. By strong, I mean I got a good green tea. You don't brew it longer than three minutes max or it's over-brewed and will taste bitter and acidic.
  • Today, I am still drinking green tea but will only have three cups.
  • By the end of the week, I will stick to herbal teas. No more caffeine.


Lesley Blackburn said...

Hi Nicole,
I drink a few herbal teas and my current favourites are by Typhoo, their lemon tea and the orange and ginseng. Not sure if you can get it where you are, but they're really good.
Well done on giving something else up that you know makes you feel funny!

My Year Without said...

Thanks, Lesley. I am currently exploring the vast world of teas, including the jars of loose leaf teas that I have had stashed in the pantry. My favorite right now is Yogi brand Green Tea. I accidentally brewed it longer than 3 minutes and it didn't get bitter. It was delightfully smooth and fragrant.

The next step will be to tour a local tea facility...

I have not heard of Typhoo, but I will look them up.

Ginger said...

I gave up my caffeine delivery system (diet soda) in November, not for health reasons, but because we've had to cut down on luxuries. Since then I have easily been able to cut sugar almost completely out of my life. You asked in another recent post if anyone had been able to use sugar in moderation. I have, but only since I cut out the caffeine and artificial sweeteners first. I simply don’t feel the desire to eat things like cake and cookies now. They seem indigestible to me. I do eat some cereals that have sugar in them, and this Jell-O and fruit concoction my mother-in-law makes. But I walk past the muffins and such at the grocery store and really don’t want them. My clothes are starting to loosen up a bit, too.

I’m glad I found your blog through Stumble-Upon. I’ve learned a lot about life without sugar from you and really appreciate all the information.

Amy said...

I quit coffee about 10 years ago. Even green tea gives me the caffeine jitters. What I usually do is self-decaffeinate black or green tea. You brew it in an inch of water for 60 seconds, throw out that water, and brew it again. That's supposed to eliminate about 75% of the caffeine. This way I have a wide variety of teas to choose from, instead of just decaf ones.

beckiwithani said...

I've been making my way down your posts, and wanted to respond to this one, too. I stopped a big (and expensive - I rarely made my own) coffee habit on New Year's, in conjunction with my new diet. I do still drink black tea (with nothing added), but don't find that I get the crash from it that I get from coffee.

The biggest reason I wanted to quit was that I read that coffee inhibits absorption of calcium. Tea is not so bad in that way. Since I was already going vegan and was a little concerned about calcium intake, I felt it would be irresponsible to continue drinking coffee.

The good thing about quitting coffee? I had one small cup the other day - the first since December - when my toddler and I were both ill and I hadn't had a good night's sleep in over a week. And that one cup worked SO much better than even 3 cups would've worked before. So now I think of coffee as "for-emergencies-only."

pixiepine said...

I feel better and better as I cut down on coffee. I probably have maybe 2 cups a week at this point. Same for soda. I feel so great now that I sip on herbal or green tea all day at work :)

My Year Without said...

Ginger-Good for you! It sounds like you found a balance that is working for you. In my opinion, that is the best anyone can hope for, especially when we are pleased with our own choices.

Amy-Nice! I have also used that system to decaffeinate tea. Lately I have been incorporating small amounts of coffee in the morning, but it's been less than half a cup. I just enjoy the taste so much. On weekends, I have been enjoying a full cup of coffee. I think I have found a perfect balance. I enjoy a lot of tea during my week, too, which I love. It makes a nice, warm, comforting snack.

Becki-I have to admit that since I've cut way back, even a little bit of coffee seems to amp me up. I like knowing that if I ever get into a pickle, I can drink a cup or two of coffee and it will do the trick!

Pixipine-Good for you, too! It's amazing how refreshing tea can be. Lately, I've really been into peppermint tea and Tazo's "Passion" fruity tea.