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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

How to Give Up Coffee

As I've mentioned here and here, I've given up coffee before.

Why am I giving up such delicious nectar from the gods?

Well, my thirty day hormone test results came in and I have severe adrenal fatigue. Which is good because in August of 2017 I had Adrenal Failure. My cortisol was at zero, meaning my adrenal glands were completely depleted.

Adrenal Failure if not given proper medical attention can lead to organ death...in other words, it can kill you.

So most of 2017 and 2018 has been to get out of Adrenal Failure, which I have achieved, but I still have a long way to go because I'm now in severe adrenal fatigue.

Like all things in my life I immediately started researching.

This led me to two different paths.

I already did yoga and meditation which are key in dealing with adrenal fatigue. I knew I was going to treat this with diet changes because my mantra is food is medicine, but which diet?

The so-called adrenal fatigue diet, which has a lot of criticism based on some of the food recommendations or the anti-inflammatory diet which doesn't address key issues of adrenal fatigue?

Either way, both diets suggest giving up coffee because elevated cortisol is indicative of inflammation and adrenal fatigue.

How to Give Up Coffee


I don't want to give up coffee. Talking with my #breadwinnerbff this morning we discussed that the ritual of coffee, the smell, and the richness. You just don't get that richness from tea. You just don't.

Therefore after my adrenals heal, I will probably go back to coffee. Maybe.
When I gave up coffee in my 20's it was easy, I just switched to green tea and that was it. Easy peasy.

In my late 30's (I'm a year and a half away from 40) it's damn near impossible. I'm treating giving up coffee like a Whole30. I'm planning it out and stepping myself down slowly.

1. Pick a Good Date to Start

Just like a Whole30, where they advise you to pick a time when you are not traveling or have a special event - like a birthday or wedding where you would want to eat cake - I started my journey on August 15. I don't have anything special planned for the next month. I'm not going on any trips. I don't have any commitments beyond physical therapy and yoga.

2. Step Down Slowly

There have to be thousand of caffeine charts out there that show you the caffeine content of each drink, I know because I spent a good hour looking at them.

In summation of my research, if you drink a Starbucks Tall Coffee, you may have a problem. It has the most caffeine out of any coffee product on the market weighing in at an average of 260-300 mg per 12 oz cup. Comparatively, Dunkin Donuts (in store) has an average of 150-200 mg per 12 oz cup.

Home brewed espresso at 1.5 oz has 50-80.

Decaf coffee actually has 4-8 mg per cup.

Why ranges? Well, it really depends on how much coffee you use. I like weak coffee, according to #leohusband, so I do 1 Tablespoon for 16oz. This is because I drink it black. Most people who add cream to their coffee like it much stronger so they still have the coffee taste. #leohusband's family would do 2 Tablespoons to my 1 Tablespoon, or 1 Tablespoon for every 8 oz.

via GIPHY

So obviously it would have more caffeine...

Step down the amount of coffee you are brewing, and if you are using a K-Cup, stop.

A. Heating up plastic alters your body chemistry and hormones.
B. Heating up plastic has shown to create or accelerate abnormal cell growth which leads to cancer.
C. Molds and fungus have been found in the holding water tanks.
D. K-Cups are extremely bad for the environment.
E. It's expensive.
F. K-Cups taste like s---

Need I go on.
3. Make the Switch to Tea

After stepping down the amount you are brewing, start mixing in a little decaf.

This was my first step. My scoop is 1 tsp or 5 ml of coffee grounds. So for my '4' cups of coffee that is three scoops. 2 of those scoops are regular and 1 is decaf for this week. Next week 2 scoops of decaf to 1 regular will be next week. My step down day is Saturday because I don't have die-hard commitments on the weekend so it's easier on me.

The half-life of caffeine is about 4.9 hours so at about 10 hours it's technically out of your system.

Once you are down to 2 decaf scoops and 1 regular scoop for about a week, make the switch to black tea.
4. Step down your caffeine intake to Green, White, or Herbal Teas.

You need to decide where you want your caffeine intake to be. Green tea has less caffeine than black tea, white teas have even less, and herbal teas have none. This is where I recommend you treat yo self. If you love a tea - for instance, I love, love, love Numi's Organic White Rose Tea, it feels indulgent with the rose smell and the taste is delicious.

Side note - I love the smell of coffee so I need to replace it with something equally as aromatic.

It's a little expensive but I see it as worth it to stay track on my goals. It won't be forever and if it helps me from falling off the wagon back to my coffee, I can spend a few extra dollars.

5. Make a New Ritual

I'm so happy to be receiving a teapot in my fall Fab Fit Fun Box. This is going to make the transition so much easier. I do love the ritual of making coffee, and I'm going to replace that with using a beautiful teapot. I suggest getting something that gives you joy to use or maybe you have a family heirloom that needs to be dusted off and appreciated. Marie Kondo would be proud.

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