Staying Off Coffee After Quitting Coffee: The Bulletproof System

quitting coffee you can sleep when you're deadWhen you find one, let me know. Quitting coffee was a good experiment in keeping my word and taking it slow. Staying off coffee, well, big fat fail on that score. And I couldn’t be happier.

I felt great off coffee, at first. I slept a LOT during the process and the first week or so. My energy was starting to stabilize, I felt all around physically better. Until about 10 days in…

A perpetual Pollyanna, nothing gets me down for long. But about 10 days into caffeine-free, I became depressed. It felt physical, not just emotional. And not just sorta un-cheerful, but “the world is pretty much ending and I’m a worthless human being” kind of depressed. I became moody (ok: moody-er) and short-tempered like I have not been in quite some time. Not pretty.

I don’t know if the depression was part of the physical withdrawal or just the huge resentment of taking away the last food to which I’m deeply attached. Over the years, I’ve given up cigarettes, alcohol, ice cream, white sugar, bread, beans, pie, Publix birthday cake, gallo pinto… all those foods I could never say no to. All those foods that, once I started the intake, I couldn’t stop until it was physically impossible to fit in another bite. The addictions: I gave them all up and have no craving for any of them anymore.

But coffee? Apparently, that’s the one thing I can’t give up. It’s my ultimate comfort food and being without it was hugely depressing. I’m confident that, if I stayed off it long enough, that would pass and I’d probably feel better than ever. I sure did last time I quit coffee for an extended period. But I couldn’t take it at this moment in my life… This is probably why I was so unhappy last birthday.

“Happy Birthday, doll. For your present this year, you must give up your last remaining favorite food for at least 3 months. Possibly forever. Have a great day!” What fun.

Here’s a tip for when you or I decide to give up coffee again: make sure you have a replacement drink that you really, really, really like all ready to go. It was a drag not having something delicious to wake up to. I mean besides Hal.

Quitting coffee? There might be some emotional, um, disruptions...Coffee in the am is the hot ceremonial wake-me-up drink. I tried other things. The Teecino people sent me a sample pack and it was delicious. I liked it better than Dandy Blend, plus Teecino didn’t make me cough like DB does. Nothing against DB — it’s definitely me. There’s a veritable world of good food out there that I can’t eat because it makes me cough.

My dear friend Robert sent me some Yerba Mate complete with a silver bombilla. I had a hard time with the taste, but it does give a lovely, much calmer “high” than caffeine. I bought some Yerba Mate tea bags to get used to the taste without the sediment — it’s actually pretty good. I was on my way back to the traditional method when Satan made me drink a cup of coffee.

Which is not all bad: read up on how coffee gives you a longer, happier life.

My caffeine-free period lasted not quite a month. But I’m not sad… I’m ecstatic to have my little cup of Joe in the morning. I seriously don’t need much, just some. Actually, just knowing I can have it is uplifting. Seriously, losing coffee was like losing an arm.

It’s my blog, I’m allowed to be dramatic. In fact, this is getting to be the only place left where I’m allowed. Taking full advantage.

Next Week’s WAPF Conference: Good Food, Good Company, Good Coffee!

Next week is the Weston A. Price Foundation international conference and I am so excited to be going! This year’s theme is Curing the Incurable: Holistic Therapies for Chronic Disease – right up my alley these days. Plus we’ll get to hear experts talking about soil health and how to save the earth with rotational grazing, my new passion.

I also signed up for the Debate of the Decade: Joe Mercola and Joel Salatin debate GMO labeling! It’s a fundraiser for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund and you can watch it live online for $20. Those two promise to be quite entertaining and informative!

The food, of course, will be outstanding. Even though WAPF takes a “coffee is not a health food” stance, I’ll bet they offer some delicious organic brew. Anyone out there going?

Sally Oh

Sally Oh lives in the Bluegrass area of Kentucky with her husband of 21 years and two gigantic sons. She is a Weston A. Price chapter leader and blogs to meet like-minded farm food freedom advocates. She's hoping you join us in the real food rEVOLution!

If you are here in KY and want to join our in-person fun, sign up on Meetup or like us on Facebook.

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  • Christina

    Don’t even try giving up a RITUAL (as I view my Coffee habit) – allow yourself to enjoy at least a single morning cup made with the best beans, best brewing method. Don’t make it such a loaded topic. Other than your coffee habit, you are perfect!

  • pr3ciousroy

    MAN, I so wish that I lived in Kentucky near you so that we could hangout all the time! I feel like we would get along awesomely. However, I regretfully live in the cesspool of crude oil (thanks BP!) and violent crime – called New Orleans – surrounded by people who only want to get drunk and eat crapfood. Woe is me… =(