I’m fully aware this may be the most unpopular blog on the internet, but here it goes…. My love affair with coffee started in my early uni days. I loved everything about it – the smell, the taste, the way it made me feel. An elixir of the Gods! Drinking it invoked a sense of belonging with my friends, it supported me during my “me times” and a styrofoam cup matched pretty much everything in my wardrobe. A match made in heaven.
The relationship intensified when I moved to London and worked in office jobs where the coffee machine was given its own altar. My 2-3 cup a day habit turned into an hourly fix. I was an addict. In fact, I was so addicted that I started thinking about my morning cup of coffee the night before.
The first time I faced my demons was when I returned to Australia 10 years ago. My anxiety had reached epic proportions and my insomnia was so bad I would actually dread going to bed. Throw a few panic attacks into the mix and I knew something had to change. I knew in my heart that coffee might be contributing to some of these issues, so it was the first thing I had to let go. After an incredibly intense withdrawal period, my body felt calmer and I felt more mentally balanced than I had ever felt before.
I’m certainly not saying that coffee is bad for everyone – in fact, there’s plenty of research to support the use of coffee reducing the risk of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and stroke. However, it can also stimulate the adrenal glands and the fight or flight response, so if you have a sensitive nervous system and suffer from adrenal fatigue, then it might be time to rethink the relationship.
Since dropping coffee, I’ve also noticed other unexpected benefits including the reduction of PMS symptoms (goodbye painful breasts) and my energy levels are much more stable than they were before. When I was drinking coffee, my days were filled with energy highs and lows. But since our breakup I have a lot more energy in the morning and I’ve stopped having the afternoon crash.
I replaced my fix with roasted dandelion tea – a wonderfully bitter tea, which also has the benefits of liver detoxification. I’ve also started throwing in turmeric coconut milk lattes when I need a decadent change of pace.
If you want to make the change, but the idea of going 100% caffeine free terrifies you, then make the switch to green tea. Although green tea does contain caffeine, it’s at a much lower amount and it also contains L-theanine which has a relaxing effect on the body. However, do listen to your body as it will certainly tell you what it does and doesn’t like.
Like every great love affair, I’ve revisited the coffee train time and time again. I wanted to see if things would be different, if we’d be more compatible and could happily reignite the flame. But without fail I would start to feel completely off kilter and I’d remember why we broke up in the first place. Sorry coffee it’s not you, it’s me….goodbye and good luck!