December 15, 2010

Life After Caffeine

Oh, coffee, how I love loved you

I am here to proclaim (and before I do, no booing or tomato-throwing, please) - THERE IS LIFE AFTER CAFFEINE.

I, former happy and willing addict, am living proof.

I was willing to try anything to get rid of, or to at least reduce, this curse of migraines which has befallen me these past five years. So, when the doctor recommended the Migraine Diet, I was desperate enough to try it (because giving up caffeine is desperate). I've been on it now for over three months.

I am still alive.

"No caffeine consumption whatsoever" was at the top of the list - a near death sentence for someone who used to say, "Coffee is my best friend - second to Jesus, of course." I just LOVE coffee. Loved it, I should say. It is now officially part of my past.

I thought weaning myself of my happiness-in-a-cup would be hard. I was wrong. It wasn't hard at all. I am serious. It took 5 days.
By slowly reducing the size of the mug...

...then the strength of the coffee...
 it wasn't bad.
No withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. I mostly just missed the taste.

Here are some of the amazing benefits I have experienced from no-octane living:
  • more energy. How can this be, you say? I don't know. You have to experience it to believe it.
  • I look better. The dark circles under my eyes are gone; my skin looks younger, cleaner, clearer; and I look brighter somehow. Tony keeps saying, "Es impresionante!" [impressive, incredible, amazing].
  • Less [regular] headaches overall
  • Gone are the permanent knots in my shoulders, which often led to tension headaches. My shoulders are now soft like buttah.
  • I sleep FANTASTIC. I fall asleep quickly, stay asleep, and wake up very well-rested.
  • ...therefore, no need for Sleepytime Teas, or sleep aides of any kind
  • Calmer nerves
  • Increased emotional stability
  • Little to no anxiety (mine was apparently caffeine-induced, or immensely aggravated by caffeine)
  • No more highs and lows in energy level over the course of the day - just steady energy all day

I like life post-caffeine. And it HAS significantly helped my migraines. Not at first, but now I see a difference. Because I can handle stress better, and there is no caffeine in my system to contract then dialate my blood vessels (thought to be a cause of migraines), I just don't get them as much.

Tony was so impressed by the overall change in me that he gave up coffee, too!

So, there you have it. God answers prayers in strange, unexpected, and sometimes normal ways that don't always involve huge healing miracles. Just a small change in diet, and wham-o. Answered prayer. Imagine.

And, you know, there's still decaf.


1 comment:

Christy said...

We quit drinking coffee too after the last time you were here. We actually weren't trying to but I started drinking hot chocolate made with raw cacao powder (which is a really great superfood) and all of a sudden I had no desire to drink coffee anymore. I know there is some caffeine in the cacao powder but it isn't the same. There are no highs and lows, only steady energy all day long and I never crave any more the rest of the day. It used to be that I couldn't drive past a Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks without pulling in. It was so strange that I asked Christian to try the experiment since he was more addicted than I (he would say he wasn't addicted but just liked the taste). The same thing happened. Absolutely no desire for coffee. He couldn't get over the fact that he didn't want it at all anymore even in the afternoon on a really cold day. There is no addiction to the cacao either because I could easily not have a cup in the morning but I do because it is so healthy (and yummy).

I read somewhere once that coffee mimics a certain neuro transmitter that your brain needs to function properly but doesn't do the job right. So I am wondering if the cacao powder supplied the correct neuro transmitter and thereby made quitting easier because that solved the addiction problem. I am not sure.

I do agree though. I thought I couldn't function without it and now we are very pleased to see that we feel way better without it.

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