When I told my husband that I was planning to stop drinking caffeine in addition to not eating sugar and flour, he looked at me in horror and asked, “Are you on a mission to suck all the enjoyment out of life???”
My husband really likes coffee and carbs. Neither substance affects him much one way or the other.
I, on the other hand, was getting into a bad caffeine cycle. I’d have a cup of coffee to start the day. Or maybe two if I was really tired. Then tea mid-morning, and more tea during the kids’ nap time. Or maybe two cups of tea during naptime. I was just so tired all the time, you know? I’ve never been a great sleeper, but I was really not sleeping well and always felt about to collapse from exhaustion, so I drank more and more coffee and tea. The downside of that is that although it doesn’t impact everyone this way, caffeine makes me jittery and sets my stomach on edge a little. I used to combat that by eating carbs while I drank it, to sort of buffer it in my stomach, but without carbs that wasn’t working well.
Then I read this interesting post on Cheeseslave (which, if you’re into natural eating at all, would be a good blog for you to read) about how and why the author gave up caffeine. I decided to try it.
Cold turkey, because that is how I roll.
The first 37 minutes of the experiment were great! Actually I did fine until about 10am on the first day. Then the headache set in, and got worse and worse and lasted over a week. It was pure agony. I kept feeling like giving up, but then I would remember that I had already put up with this vicious, brutal headache for this long, so I might as well push through it.
I’m glad I did. After that first week, I have experienced a lot of benefits from giving up caffeine, including:
- I’ve actually had fewer headaches than usual.
- I have a lot more energy, even on nights when I don’t get much sleep.
- And speaking of sleep, I’m sleeping SO much better without all that caffeine in my system all the time!
- I even drove eleven hours in the car alone with my kids to the east coast without caffeine and felt great, or as great as you can feel when you’re stuck in a van for eleven hours with three bickering kids.
It’s pretty freeing actually.
I might have some caffeine from time to time if I feel like it or am out with friends, or I might not. In any case, now I can choose one way or the other.
Note: This is not to say that everyone should give up caffeine! It doesn’t affect everyone the same way. I’m just tossing it out there as a personal experiment I undertook, since I’m talking about other health-related topics this week on the blog.