I first began with limiting my coffee consumption to one a day. I would have to fend for myself for the remainder of the day! I would only have that morning cup and that was it. I use to have a quick cup before I left the house and then another one when I got to work. I would replace my afternoon/ evening cups of coffee with black tea. I really like this one by TAZO called Awake:
Next, I completely took out my coffee and started drinking the TAZO black tea “Awake” instead. I’m not going to lie this was a tough adjustment, but eventually it wasn’t so bad. I would say it took my body a couple of weeks to adjust to the switch of a lower dose of caffiene. Eventually the headaches wore off and I wasn’t feeling like a zombie in the morning. I have to say at this point I still wasn’t waking up cheerful and vibrant! Just wanted to point that out.
Note: For some the switch from coffee to black tea might be as far as they want to go and thats completed fine. For me I wanted to go completely caffeine free and not be dependent at all on a stimulant to boost my mood or make me feel awake.
After a couple of weeks of drinking the TAZO Awake black tea, I began switching my afternoon tea to a green tea to help with the afternoon slope that most people get. If you’re drinking loads of caffeine in the beginning of the day of course your going to feel tired and sluggish in the afternoon. What goes up must come down right? The key isn’t to jolt your nerves with a stimulant its to keep them regulated and balanced naturally.
Eventually I took it one step further and took out that black tea for a soothing but still caffeinated drink- green tea! I was drinking another brand by TAZO and this was their Zen green tea. And no I am not sponsored by TAZO! I just happened to work next to 50 Starbucks which carry TAZO teas… their everywhere in Toronto! At this point, my mornings weren’t as enjoyable. I wanted to go back to drinking coffee and just forget the whole thing happened. I thought I gave it a valiant effort and maybe I just wasn’t a morning person after all.
Note: With any addiction your brain often will try to make excuses and convince you to go back to your old ways. This is completely normal and just another step you need to overcome in order to reach your end goal.
After my body began to adjust to the cut back on caffeine I started to realize that it wasn’t so much the “caffeine” I enjoyed, but the experience of a hot beverage to sip on first thing in the morning. I remember reading in a book “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life by Maria Menounos” that she would drink hot water instead of tea or coffee. Even on planes or at restaurants, Maria would ask for just plain old hot water. At first I thought it was a big strange but I was up to trying it out.
I began with drinking my hot water with lemon and honey and then went straight to just plan hot water. It was winter in Toronto when I was doing this so I was loving it. Not only was it somewhat therapeutic and calming, but it was also tricking my mind to think I was drinking tea. It was hot and in a mug, so it must have caffeine or something in it right? I don’t know why I enjoyed it so much but I did, and it became enjoyable to sip my hot water all day long. I could have as many cups I wanted without feeling guilty or worrying about staining my tea!
I eventually was able to go travel without the reliance on caffeine, which was my ultimate goal and I couldn’t of been happier. But, although I was no longer a slave to the world of coffee, I still did crave the taste once and a while. What did I do you ask? I opted for decaf instead. Most coffee shops serve decaf as well, you just have to ask! Now remember decaf still does contain some caffeine in it, but it’s a lot better than the real deal if your just feeling like a treat. My favourite brand of decaf coffee is this one by “Kicking Horse” it’s fair trade, organic and water processed. Read the labels! Decaffeinated coffee can contain some nasty chemicals during the process of removing the caffeine, so water processed it best.
Today I am the biggest morning person ever! Within 5 minutes of waking up I feel awake and refreshed from a full nights rest. I don’t feel groggy, sluggish or “zombie like” at all. First thing I crave is my warm water and lemon to help detox my liver. I then opt for my decaf earl grey by Choice, which I love! Other mornings I drink a herbal tea. I’ve been enjoying a whole bunch from STASH, especially their Apple Cinnamon and Mellow Moments.
I know this was a very lengthy story about how I quit my addiction with coffee but I hope it helps inspire others to try quitting coffee as well. Even if it’s just for a month or year, just to feel the difference. You will be more in tuned with your body and hopefully look forward to your mornings everyday.
If you’ve recently quite coffee or want to, please comment below and share your story or experience. Quitting a habit takes time.