This is a repost from my own site.
Omelette + Long Black! Auckland, New Zealand, August 2014
First off, I’m not telling you to stop drinking coffee. There are benefits to drinking coffee – antioxidants, lowering your risk to certain types of cancer, increased productivity, and boosting your metabolic rate. I’m not here to argue. I LOVE coffee. I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the taste of good espresso, my morning routine where I either make myself a nice cup of coffee, or head to the local café for an amazing latte and a chat with the barista…
There is NOTHING I don’t like about coffee. So why did I stop drinking it?
To kick a habit, beat the 3pm coffee crash, caffeine headaches, and insomnia.
I also didn’t like constantly having to look for coffee first thing in the morning, especially if I’m travelling. And I hated how much I needed, NEEDED, it, just to function in my day to day life. At that time, I was also trying to consume less sugar. So I started having my coffee black. Once I got used to the full-bodied taste of that black gold, I never looked back.
Anyway, I was never a huge coffee drinker (2-3 cups per day). As I started to wean myself off it, I limited my intake to a single cup of coffee a day, and I would nurse that mug of coffee ALL DAY. I’ll make myself some at 8am, and sip it throughout the day. Getting my caffeine in drips instead of a power kick helped with my midday slump.
Next, I cut my coffee consumption down to 3 times a week. Not counting weekends. Come on, give me a break! Weekend brunches go hand in hand with a heavenly cup of liquid gold! And I didn’t want to go full cold turkey on myself.
Coffee and cakes, best combo ever!
When I kinda got used to the 3 times a week thing, I lowered it to twice a week. This was HARD. When it was 3 times a week, I could pace it out. Twice a week?
How do I plan my coffee intake??? I know I had to have a Monday coffee, so that stayed. Anything else in the days after was a free for all. If I had coffee on Tuesday, I was doomed for the rest of the week… Little did I know, HELL wasn’t even near yet.
Soon it became once a week (including weekends), and eventually none for the week.
The process from 2-3 cups of coffee a day to 0 cups forever took a couple of months. I had to deal with withdrawal symptoms like headaches, lethargy, brain fog, and reduced productivity.
This was what it felt like to be in Hell! (erm, first world problems) Massive exaggeration, but I really felt unwell for most of that period. It was so tempting to just have the 1 cup of coffee, just that one, and I’ll get back on my wagon.
I sound like an addict. That was when I became conscious of the hold coffee had over me. I needed coffee just to feel human again? That actually solidified my resolve to quit. I mean, I can’t be looking for coffee during a zombie apocalypse!
The first week without coffee was the hardest.
The second week was equally bad.
Third week got a tiny bit better, and a month without coffee passed.
Through sheer perseverance, I did it!
But I wasn’t in the clear yet.
I was, and still am, surrounded by coffee drinkers. There are plenty of opportunities for me to fail. Coffee was always within my sight, and reach. Even if I couldn’t see it, I could smell it.
It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to my loyal companion Coffee.
Another month passed, and I got better. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and begin to appreciate the small things in life again. I still had urges to grab a cup of coffee, but these impulses were a lot easier to manage.
Life went on, and I moved on.
Without realizing, it’s been half a year since my last cup of coffee! I gave myself a pat on the back.
I was sleeping better at night.
I had a lot more natural energy to do things. And if I was tired, I didn’t need that extra kick of caffeine, all I had to do was soldier on, and somehow my body would rise to the occasion.
I saved money.
I no longer had to deal with the 3pm/midday crash.
I no longer have headaches brought on by a lack of caffeine in my system.
2 years went by…
Nowadays, I’d have myself a cup of black coffee once in a blue moon. I don’t crave it. Nor do I miss it. When I’m near a café, I raise my nose to savor that sweet, sweet aroma, without the urge to have one. I could look at people drinking coffee happily, and not be jealous. When I go to Starbucks / a cafe, I get tea, or juice.
I wasn’t intending to cut caffeine out of my life completely, and I do enjoy tea. But I am no longer dependent on it to survive!
Coffee free breakfast in Berlin, and I'm not even sad 😊
Thanks for reading, y'all!!!