If you know me then you are aware of the fact that I have always loved coffee! Hot coffee, cold coffee, iced coffee, doesnt matter. Coffee is delicious, smells amazing and is just simply inviting all together!
Clearly I was coffee crazed!
(This is a coffee smooth quote that I wouldve said in my coffee crazed lifestyle)
My love for coffee started when I was a very little girl, probably around age four. I remember dipping my oreo cookies in my coffee that was probably more sugar and milk than coffee, with my grandma. We always had the best time! Unfortunately no one had any idea that we were setting me up for an incredibly intense battle of addiction with coffee and caffeine in general at a very young age.
I have learned a lot over the years about addiction and caffeine, man I was in over my head for a long long time too.
For my generation, I know that most of us were given soda as infants and toddlers. Caffeine in our diets started early, our parents didnt have the knowledge or understanding of how unhealthy and addictive these sweet, seducingly fizzy drinks truly were and still are today. I even feel comfortable saying addiction begins in childhood with sugar and caffeine for so so many.
I wanted to make changes to my lifestyle coming into my adult and parenting years. It did take me a while to kick the soda though. I have always been adamant about not wanting my children to have soda or all the sugary candy and processed nonsense, but I myself was still bound to the satisfaction of the fizz in soda and what I thought was an energy boost from the coffee.
I openly admit that I was sinking my own ship. My oldest daughter has nothing to do with most processed things, especially sodas, but she didnt mind tasting my coffee if I had one. Ill also admit that in my denial over coffee I allowed it.
I know better now.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system in the body. For humans caffeine bonds with the adenosine receptors which in turn prevents that chemical from binding with the receptors and making us tired. It also prevents dopaminen from be reabsorbed into our systems leaving the feel-good chemical in our brains for longer than normal. In simply terms it would appear that caffeine makes us happy and gives us energy, but if you know anything about addiction you know that dopamine is addictive. Increased and extended periods when dopamine is present can cause us to want more. And more.
Did you know that caffeine is one of the worlds most widely used psychoactive drugs and it is promoted and glorified nearly everywhere.
But hey, at least we arent ants right? Caffeine is present to repel insects from eating the plant and pretty much kills any ants that do. Leaving what I invision to be a beautiful, full, luscious and thriving plant. (total plant mom imaginary eye candy & and great intuitive exercise)
It has been a month since I kicked coffee! It feels good! I was so surprised to see my energy levels go up and my over all moods became much more balanced. I even saw a difference in how I was able to handle high stress and emotional situations.
I cut caffeine before I shifted to a, for the most part, plant based diet. I was able to see clearly the changes of just cutting out caffeine. Caffeine dehydrates us anyway, so when I cut the caff I also had to find a more hydrating morning substitute. I had decided to listen to my body and eat when hungry. I thought I was doing that before, the problem was that I was using coffee as an appetite suppressant too. So, not only was i dehydrating myself, but also preventing my body from communicating that I really did need food.
Waking up in the mornings not hungry, but also not hydrating either, so unhealthy! I would wait around until I started to get hunry and instead of finding food to nourish my body I chose to supress my appetite further with coffee, and simply ignore my bodys natural call for food and hydration. I was in denial thinking this was okay because this was what I saw so often growing up, as well as in my adult years.
Did you know that coffee dehydrates you while simultaneously suppressing your appetite?
We know dehydration can lead to frequent urinary tract infections, bladder infections, and kidney infections. The doctor will tell you all those thingsn but fails to mention mood swings, headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue amd many other things. Its also harder for your body to properly absorb the nutrients from what food you do eat when you are dehydrated. This can result in weight loss, muscle loss and various vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Isn’t is crazy how much we put our bodies through when dopamine is in control. Imagine some of the choices we make simply because we are jacked up on that feel-good chemical that was triggered to be released by the coffee you drank, then prevented from reabsorbing into our systems.
Its like natures way of getting back at us. We may not be dead ants but we know that when we arent in control of our emotions alone, we can make thoughtless, inconsiderate, and many times, irrational decisions.
Ive read so many studies on caffiene, addiction and the two combined, most of that research was me trying to justify my caffeine consumption. Id be lying to myself if I continued though. Honestly if you care to venture down that rabbit hole you will find that much like breastfeeding in public the findings and opinions vary from study to study. Its a choice you habe to make for yourself. For me, it wasnt something I was willing to keep supporting. I had to kick caffiene out of my life.
Im so happy I did, but I have been on the search for a natural caffiene free replacements. Maybe thats the last bits of withdrawal in me craving coffee. So, I thought I would share one of my favorites that I have come across.
Dandelion coffee is tisane (herbal tea) used as a coffee substitute. It was writen about by Susanna Moodie in her book ‘Roughing it in the Bush‘, where she told of her adventures in the Canadian wilds. It is made from the root of the dandelion plant and by roasting the dandelion root pieces you can transform your tea time beverage experience! It has an amazing resemblance to coffee, appearance and taste.
A dandelion tisane is less bitter than coffee, and also less acidic. It may even be a little sweet in comparison to coffee. The dandelion root alone is packs full of great antioxidants and is wonderful at balancing gut bacteria, which can help regularity. Did I mention it is a natural immune booster!
I seek out things that are good for me, I enjoy taking the more natural or holistic approach. So when I realized how bad coffee was for me I knew I had to make a change! I stopped for a week at first, not intentionally but it happened, then I went out for my favorite coffee and ended up with a UTI. It came on so fast too! I started treating it and when all symptoms were gone, I had a coffee.
Big mistake! Unfortunately that ended the same way as the time before it. Bloody urine and incredible pain in my kidneys. Don’t do that to yourself people!
After that I was done! Done! I took the leap and decided to really take control of this issue, and just as usual the universe stepped in to see if I had really left that unhealthy habit in the past….
A friend took me out for dinner and coffee, and I said yes to the coffee, I just didnt get my normal expresso… HA! I cried that night because I was experiencing the pain from the coffee.
This addiction was beating me!
This must be what ants feel like, I thought to myself. That was my last coffee you guys! Like offical! I was really really ready this time!
Lesson learned! Moving forward!
That was just over 1 month ago and I cannot express how happy I am with myself. Super proud! I haven’t had any coffee, and I have only had soda when nothing else was available, and truth be told I cant handle too much. My taste buds even say no now.
I replaced my morning coffee with coconut water, which is very hydrating, then move to alkaline water for the remainder of the day. When my body begins to show signs of real hungry I nourish it! I give myself fruits for most of the day. Whatever I want, any kind of fruit.
They say “if your food is not hydrating you it is dehydrating you,” and that is so true.
I miss coffee sometimes, but I have a better understanding of it and how it combines with and effects my body now. Im not help by cravings and mood swings when the caffeine is gone.
I do enjoy all the juicy, goodness that melons have to offer though, as well as the bite sized explosions of berries. Natural treats that make you feel good for no damn reason excpet that they are good for you and your body is excited to let you know when you are good to it!
The colors of all the fruit make me happy too and it also makes me so happy to be able to spread the happiness and knowledge that I find in the most simple of things with everyone I meet!
My inspiration is yours!
This blog is one way in which I am able to spread and share my happiness and knowledge! I hope you have enjoyed the fruits I have shared with you here.