5 Ways to Kick Your Coffee Habit with Ease
Whether it’s your alarm clock or your children (anyone else have a 6 year old that thinks 6am is sleeping in?!), getting jarred awake is never a good feeling. If you’re like most people, the first thing on your mind is how fast you can stumble to the coffee machine to get your caffeine fix so you can actually focus on the day unfolding.
You drink your coffee, feel ready to take on the world….and you actually do for a few hours….until the caffeine begins to wear off and you find yourself slumped over your desk at work, or perhaps at home, staring at your 2 year old wondering where in the world they get all that energy.
So what do you do? You pour yourself another cup, and the cycle continues throughout your day.
If this is you, you know that coffee addiction is not pretty. And like any addiction, coffee is not easy to break free from.
Now if you’re a 1-2 cup a day drinker, always finishing before noon, then there is most likely no room for concern. In fact, science tells us that moderate coffee drinking actual comes with health benefits due to the disease-fighting antioxidants found in coffee.
Yes, the good news is, that when respected, coffee is a superfood!
But once you cross over to excessive consumption, the health benefits and focused productivity quickly turn to jitters, anxiety, and stress. Excess caffeine dehydrates your body, stresses the adrenals, creates inflammation, taxes the immune system and disrupts sleep.
If you think your coffee habit might be on the excessive side, I wanted to share some new habits that you can use to replace the coffee and free yourself from the rollercoaster ride of coffee addiction.
I personally don’t recommend going cold turkey. I know some choose that route, and the result is 4-5 days of throbbing headaches, mood swings, fatigue and brain fog. If there’s another way, why put yourself through all that?
I always suggest taking a week or two to wean yourself, depending on how many cups you’re drinking. If you’re drinking 5 cups, start by pouring ¾ the amount for a few days, then ½, then slowly start dropping a cup until you’ve broken free from the powerful grip of caffeine.
So here are my top 5 tips for kicking your coffee habit with ease:
1. Dandy Blend
I was in heaven when I dscovered Dandy Blend. Made of water-soluble extracts of roasted roots of dandelion, chicory and beets, and the grains of barley and rye, Dandy Blend is caffeine free and has no acidity or bitterness.
Dandelion root is often used to treat digestive issues, and is a great source of Vitamin C, D and beta-carotene. Chicory root has a great laxative effect, it supports the liver and also is a great source of beta-carotene. By switching to an herbal tea that has a similar rich-bodied flavor to coffee, you’re cutting out the negative health effects of excess coffee while adding a whole lot of goodness from these herbs.
Important for me, and I know many others, Dandy Blend is also gluten-free. Gluten, which is comprised of proteins that are not water-soluble, is left behind in the grounds to be composted during the extracting process, leaving Dandy Blend gluten-free. Yay!
I recommend adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your tea, which contains medium chain fatty acids that supply long-lasting, immediate energy, along with a host of other health-promoting benefits.
2. Hot Lemon-Honey Water
Another alternative to your morning coffee is hot water with lemon and honey. If you’re longing for the taste of coffee, you might want to stick with Dandy Blend. But if it’s just the ritual and the warmth you’re craving, this is an amazing switch. This was not a natural transition for me, but is something I have grown to LOVE.
Hot water with lemon and honey will help improve your digestion, reduce belly bloat, fight constipation, elevate your mood, support detoxification, increase mineral absorption, improve your skin and create a more alkaline environment which is essential for health and lonevity. Add a dash of cinnamon for extra metabolism boosting effects. Yum!
3. Green Smoothies
When you make the transition away from coffee, your digestion can get temporarily out of whack. Now is the perfect time to add some extra nutrients to support your digestion, enhance detoxification and provide yourself with some natural and nourishing forms of energy.
This is a great time to get extra fiber from fruits and vegetables. If you often rush out the door with your coffee in hand, skipping breakfast until mid-day when cravings turn your brain to mush and have you reaching for more caffeine or the nearest sugar hit, then I highly recommend you give green smoothies a try. They are quick and easy to make (you could even make it the night before and store it in a tightly sealed container like a mason jar to preserve the nutrients). Variations are endless. If you’re looking for a good starting point, you can read my post, A Guide to Green Smoothies.
Maca is a Peruvian superfood that I absolutely love. Navitas Naturals is my favorite brand, and according to their website, Maca has “adaptogenic-like qualities that enable it to nourish and balance the body’s delicate endocrine system, and to help cope with stress. It also energizes naturally, without the jitters and crashes of caffeine, and it can aid in reproductive function, helping to balance hormones and increase fertility.”
You can add this directly to your smoothie and you’re good to go! You will find yourself with natural energy, without the adrenal-draining side effects of caffeine.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
My husband loves the taste, but I’ll be honest, it is the most vile tasting stuff to my taste buds! So while he can shoot it straight, I mix my 2-3 tsp of raw, unflitered Apple Cider Vinegar (with ‘the mother’ – I recommend Bragg’s Organic) with a tall glass of water and a tsp. of honey to make it palatable. And I only do it because I know the health benefits outweigh my seconds of disgust daily. 😉 In fact, my mother-in-law has been touting the miracle of ACV as long as I’ve known her. She grew up with 10 brothers and sisters, and they definitely know a thing our two about real, natural remedies for staying healthy and vital.
I do want to give a quick mention to soda drinkers. I could write a whole post on the reasons you REALLY need to kick this habit, but for now I’ll just offer an alternative for you to try. Use the same process of slowly cutting back over a couple weeks, and in it’s place, give Kombucha a try. It’s a naturally carbonated, fermented tea full of healthy bacteria. So you’ll be nourishing your gut, which probably needs some extra TLC at this point, and if you’re like me, you might even find a new favorite drink!
And of course, along with the above nutritional tips, I highly recommend yoga, saunas and steams, acupuncture, exercise, drinking lots of water and sleep!
I’m not saying you’ll need to do all of this, but my hope is you will find the right combination of tools for you to successfully kick your habit with ease. I’m also not saying it will be easy, but isn’t that usually the case? To get to the smooth seas, we sometimes have to navigate some pretty stormy waters.
“As we sail thru life, don’t avoid rough waters, sail on because calm waters won’t make a skillful sailor.” ~Unknown
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, your cost will remain the same, but I will receive a small commission. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” I appreciate your support of my blog and business