I kicked my caffeine habit to the curb, as promised in an earlier post. It was not easy and, after sugar, coffee was one of the hardest things I’ve ever stopped using. I would watch and rewatch Dr. McDougall’s discussion about coffee and read other opinions. I think the coffee industry has as deep of a hold on researchers as the meat and dairy industry, because there is equal it’s bad/it’s not bad info out there that will support any view that is convenient for your particular situation.
Coffee is noted for its antioxidants and has been used to help with depression and migraines, among other conditions. For me, coffee was complicating my blood draws to see how my new lifestyle was working. I’d drink coffee before going for bloodwork, and the phlebotomist would complain that my veins were too small because of dehydration/caffeine intake. That’s when I knew I had to stop.
I drink water and Genmaicha tea now. Genmaicha is a roasted brown rice green tea. I found it at my neighborhood supermarket and bought it without knowing it would be my new favorite thing. Sometimes it’s called “popcorn” tea and it smells like toasted grains when you add the hot water. You can easily order it online. It was the only thing that satisfied me after coffee. I tried the other coffee substitutes and they just didn’t work for me, so it was on to green tea. If you don’t like green tea or you think all green teas taste like cut grass, don’t give up! You can still give this a try and you might like it, and it does not taste like yard clippings, I promise! Oolong also is a nice tea to try, and white teas are surprisingly flavorful and could be the healthiest of all.
Giving It Up
When you move away from coffee, taper off for your sanity! Don’t do what I did and try to go cold turkey. That was awful and the headache/depression was debilitating. I also noticed I could not breathe as my sinuses swelled from the lack of caffeine, which is a side effect among others you can read about at this site. Drink one less cup of coffee each WEEK until you are down to one cup. Then you can quit with arguably no side effects.
Go online to Amazon and search for caffeine-free substitutes if you still want to experiment with toasted grain drinks. Pero, Teecino and Ayurvedic Roast Coffee are all interesting options. Pero dissolves in a mug with hot water and is reminiscent of instant coffee, Teecino can be served as a tea from a teabag, and Ayurvedic can be made like regular coffee. It depends on your own tastes as this is a highly individual preference. If you add nondairy creamers, these options may work out terrific for you and you won’t even notice the difference (except the lack of caffeine buzz). Since I drank my coffee black, none really suited my tastes. I decided not to go with decaf because of pain issues associated with RA and decaffeinated coffee.
If you want to go herbal, Celestial Seasonings has a Roastaroma that I’ve not tried, but you can see what reviewers think of it on Amazon. Celestial also has different fruity herbals that might be a nice change of pace for you. Some people really go for Dandelion Root tea as a coffee substitute, which Traditional Medicinals, among others, sells.
You could start your day with smoothies. They may give you such a taste/energy lift that you don’t miss coffee, and smoothies are a good way to get your dose of greens early in the day.