Quitting coffee

January 5, 2010

Anyone who drinks or used to drink coffee knows it's no easy task to quit. Sure there is the physical addiction to overcome, but there is also an addiction to the whole process of making your coffee and holding your favourite warm cup (or mug, in my case), and the smell that comes from it.

Maybe, to you, drinking coffee means catching up with friends, or spending quiet time in the morning with your spouse before the kids wake up. Or maybe it's just out of necessity for staying awake.

Whatever the case may be, coffee is addictive in many levels.

Though I am sure tea can be as addictive as coffee, since a lot of them have caffeine in them, I would much rather "switch" my addiction from coffee to tea.

Why is that? Because I have no problem drinking tea as is, without adding any sweetener or dairy (or dairy replacement). But don't ask me to drink black coffee... yuck! It's just not how I like it.

I tried to quit coffee cold turkey yesterday. That's right. I thought I would go from drinking 4-5 mugs a day, to nothing at all. Oh, how wrong I was! By 9am I had a very foggy brain, by 10am a headache, by 12pm a migraine and by 1pm, I was ready for bed. I also had extreme chills. Basically, I was experiencing detox. I've heard of people going through detox when they go from SAD to raw, but I didn't think it would be that bad just from quitting coffee alone... well, come to think of it, I have not had junk food in a few days now, or sweets (another addiction of mine). Lets just say, I was not mentally prepared for such an extreme physical reaction.

By late afternoon, I had such a hard time functioning, I decided to make a small cup of java. I have not used regular cups for coffee in so long, always my gigantic mugs. But not this time. I made a small cup, and poured the coffee cream.... down the drain!

That's right! I know my body can't handle the lactose, especially not right now, so I got rid of it to not be tempted. Instead, I used my son's Lactaid milk. (I've never liked the taste of anything else in coffee other than a dairy product :( Well, the coffee tasted OK, but I very quickly realized that I did not want it. So I poured the remaining half a cup down the sink. The half cup I drank was just enough to get rid of the headache for the rest of the day.

And I was just really proud of myself, for not wanting to drink the whole thing. So while quitting cold turkey seemed like a great idea at the time, to go from 4 mugs to 1/2 cup for a week or two before completely stopping, is going to be the way to go for me. I still need to function during the day, take care of my kids, work part-time, take my son to preschool, etc. It's hard to do all that if your suffering from massive migraines. I had just a half a small cup again this morning, and it was enough to keep the migraines at bay all day... and just like last time, I did not really enjoy my cuppa.

I am not going to say no to coffee for ever though. For a while, I am still going to allow myself a cup from my favourite coffee place when I go to the city (which is once or twice a month). But that is it. I suspect that after a while, my taste buds will change and even my favourite occasional coffee will not taste as good as it does at the moment. I am feeling very confident that I will succeed, since I have a clear vision of what I want to allow myself, and what I want to achieve.

And quitting coffee, is just a start.

photo via planet-coffee.net


HippieMom on January 7, 2010 at 5:31 AM said...

I tried many times to quit coffee & always go back to it...I am working on it...
A cup once in a while is a nice treat ;-]

Stephanie on January 7, 2010 at 11:17 AM said...

I am still on a small cup a day to not have really bad headaches and it's working so far. Soon I should be ready to let go of it on a regular basis and just have it once in a while :) I want it to be just that, a treat. Otherwise I seem to have no limit.

Good luck to you too :)

Sheri (Green and Crunchy) on January 16, 2010 at 12:24 PM said...

I'm with HippieMom...a cup once in awhile is a nice treat. I LOVE the smell of coffee and could happily sit in a coffee shop, surrounded by java-scented air, and not buy a thing :)

Good for you, Stephanie, for taking such a big step -- quitting 4-5 daily mugs is a big deal! I hope your headaches subside soon and you find a nice tea that you like. I love a good cup of tea in the morning to jump-start my busy day with the kiddies :)


HealthyRainbow.net on January 21, 2010 at 11:41 PM said...

Hi Stephanie,

I was never a coffee drinker to begin with, but I've always loved the smell of coffee. When I stayed in Italy for a year, I became a coffee drinker, why ? because everyone was drinking it lol and coffee there is really good, and just like you, I'd drink up to 4-5 cups a day and coffee there is the black espresso which I add some milk and sugar, it was heaven.... coffee became kinda like a dessert for me :) But when I came home, I couldn't find a really good coffee, and I was cleansing and becoming a Vegan at that time, so I stopped drinking coffee. I never had headache or migraine when I quit, probably because I wasn't a coffee drinker to begin with. But now I don't really miss coffee, just like Sheri, I still love the coffee aroma, but I don't really crave it anymore.

PS. I totally agree with you about drinking plain black coffee, Once I was really sleepy and I thought a very strong black coffee would keep me awake, I took a sip and yuck... it was torture lol, I wonder how people can just drink black coffee, it's just way too bitter for me.

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Stephanie xx

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