6

votes

Getting off coffee

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 29, 2010 at 6:12 PM

I started eating paleo because I felt permanently off colour. I gave up all the processed foods, sugar, legumes, grains, etc without a backward glance. I wasn't overweight but still lost 10lbs. Unfortunately no corresponding energy burst followed so I kept investigating and discovered I have oestrogen dominance. Although my blood levels don't show anything I'm pretty sure this is putting extra strain on my thyroid and adrenals so I know I have to kick the coffee habit. But I REALLY don't want to! Why have I found it so easy to turn my nose up at cakes, pastries, pizza, even chocolate but I just can't stop drinking coffee?

5a83e85f9dce08bfc6b560f8accf8185

(15)

on October 31, 2011
at 08:37 PM

ah men brother. Going caffeine free has also been better than just going Paleo.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 19, 2010
at 09:32 AM

Difficult to measure it in cups, but 1-2 large cafetieres. Or if I was drinking espresso, 10 or so.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 06, 2010
at 10:12 PM

how many cups did you used to drink?

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on May 23, 2010
at 03:11 PM

It's a bit complicated but I had endometriosis which is caused by too much oestrogen so I had a complete hysterectomy. The endo symptoms started to come back and so I've had blood tests. apparently I should have an oestrogen level of less than 170 as I don't have any ovaries but mine is 545. They are now investigating the possibility of a tiny bit of ovary left behind which they will try to 'kill off' medically rather than surgically.

C8ff2dd43450e3ab1b1d06b9baf3cb30

(98)

on May 08, 2010
at 02:23 AM

I'm glad you said this. I've been trying to quit, and I can get over the physical (headaches, etc) withdrawal in two or three days. It's the other symptoms that are killer. I water down tea w/decaf and I can do that painlessly, but after a few days I start feeling murderously stressed (at the least little thing) and suicidally depressed (not exaggerating). And I get like this while still drinking a glass or two of (probably half-caffeinated) tea a day. Next time, I'm thinking I'll just try taking more time to do it.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 07, 2010
at 07:20 PM

The coffee bean is not a "bean" or legume, because a legume is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae) and the coffee plant is not a member of the Fabaceae family. The coffee “bean” is actually the seed of the coffee plant, the pit inside of the coffee fruit (called coffee cherries).

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 07, 2010
at 06:29 PM

Can I ask what oestrogen dominance is? How were you diagnosed with high oestrogen levels? All I can find online is suspicious looking websites selling hormones.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 02, 2010
at 07:52 AM

I'm fascinated to know what did work for you and the estrogen dominance.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on April 01, 2010
at 03:13 AM

"Dandy Blend" contains barley and rye, so it is neither gluten-free nor paleo. Many coffee substitutes contain roasted grains. My parents used to drink "Postum" when I was young. Jars of Postum are now collectors' items, selling for $100 to $200 on amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Postum-Original-Instant-Beverage-EXPIRED/dp/B0012QZWXQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=miscellaneous&qid=1270091080&sr=8-4 ).

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on March 30, 2010
at 08:42 PM

The simple reason that I know I have to kick coffee is that I am oestrogen dominant - very high levels - and even the most conventional advice says that even 1 cup of coffee raises oestrogen levels. I think cold turkey is probably the best way. I need to make sure there is none around so I can't give in to temptation.

8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

(2517)

on March 30, 2010
at 04:15 AM

Hear hear; this is what I would have suggested myself.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 29, 2010
at 08:31 PM

I have no facile answer for you. But I too am a coffee addict and it is not a good thing. I have kicked coffee cold-turkey before -- but know this, you will go through two days of withdrawal. I get massive headaches and general uneasiness. If you can stomach it, it might work for you.

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 29, 2010
at 08:16 PM

If you don't want to, then why are you? I cut my consumption down to 1-2 cups per day, which I've done successfully for quite a few years now. For me, the benefit of enjoying my 1 or 2 cups of coffee with cream per day outweigh the possible health risks. Your situation might be different, but imo, there is no real conclusive evidence that coffee is that horrible for your health, especially if you are doing everything else right.

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10 Answers

5
0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on March 29, 2010
at 07:29 PM

What about "watering down" your normal coffee with increasing amounts of decaf? That would at least wean you off the caffeine drug and allow you to gradually reduce your coffee habit (which, if you're like me, is more of a comfort routine and a chemical addiction) without the nasty physical withdrawal symptoms.

8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

(2517)

on March 30, 2010
at 04:15 AM

Hear hear; this is what I would have suggested myself.

5
9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on March 29, 2010
at 07:11 PM

David has some great points, but I'll add my own weaning experience. I mainly cut down because I hope to conceive soon, but there's plenty of extra benefits. First go to black tea, then green, then iced tea, then dilute iced tea, as you're able. I used to drink 4 large mugs of strong coffee a day if I could, but now a hot green tea in the morning, and a couple glasses of dilute iced tea during the day is all I really care for. I might even go for diluted + decaf iced tea. I really love the flavor, and I'm not convinced that I need to live totally coffe/tea-free for the rest of my life. Sugar, wheat, no problem. As for coffee/tea, I think a few minor indulgences are fine.

I also have a cold-brew system - one of those random but cool wedding gifts. It claims to lower the acidity and caffeine content of the coffee, and it's meant to be diluted to your preferred concentration - great for lacto-paleos who like a full coffee flavor with their cream. It definitely tastes better, too, hot or cold! Since the brewing process takes 12-24 hours, I wonder if there's some beneficial fermentation taking place. I really have no idea, but it sounds like WAPF grain-prep guidelines, so maybe it helps neutralize some of the nasties, making a not-great food a little better. A web search will give you DIY systems, and you might find it a helpful weaning tier, or just a tastier jump-start-the-day cup of joe.

4
Dcef9c9f5277c46da3eb7662d754876e

on March 31, 2010
at 12:05 PM

I got off caffeine for estrogen dominance issues (mostly fibrocysts), and it didn't matter. At the moment, I have no symptoms, and I am drinking caf. coffee.

You might have other hormonal issues - thyroid, insulin, progesterone and estrogen (not to mention cortisol and adrenaline) all have to work together.

If you still want to kick coffee, I'd start cutting your beans 1/2 and 1/2 with decaf and take the caf. part down slowly. That definitely worked for me in terms of kicking caffiene - it just didn't seem to help my issues.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 02, 2010
at 07:52 AM

I'm fascinated to know what did work for you and the estrogen dominance.

4
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 29, 2010
at 06:44 PM

Because caffeine is really addictive? You have my sympathy, I've had not the least bit of trouble being hyper-disciplined in every element of exercise and diet, but have found caffeine hellish to kick every time I've come off it. It's certainly not just a question of coffee being really tasty or tempting, it's the fact that withdrawing from caffeine, for me, entails pounding headaches, body aching worse than the flu, desperate tiredness and generally feeling suicidal (only half an exaggeration).

That said, coming off caffeine is the only dietary adjustment that I've made that has produced a really, obviously noticeable change in my health and demeanour: moving from a constant cold to never getting ill and moving from generally sluggish, nervy and depressed to being full of energy. It's actually quite shocking to find that things I'd thought were just parts of my demeanour were actually the result of caffeine.

I've tried kicking caffeine both by going cold turkey and by slow reductions. Going cold turkey if you've been drinking a lot of coffee is pretty hellish, I tend to reduce my intake down to less than a cup of tea per day and then go cold turkey.

And remember that the reason why you "REALLY don't want to" give up caffeine isn't because you're weak and just can't bear to give up how nice it feels, it's because after a while on caffeine, once your body's adapted, you need it to feel normal. Actually I seem to recall reading that after about three days you no longer get a real kick from a continuing dose of caffeine, you're really just returning your body to its normal state.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 06, 2010
at 10:12 PM

how many cups did you used to drink?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 19, 2010
at 09:32 AM

Difficult to measure it in cups, but 1-2 large cafetieres. Or if I was drinking espresso, 10 or so.

5a83e85f9dce08bfc6b560f8accf8185

(15)

on October 31, 2011
at 08:37 PM

ah men brother. Going caffeine free has also been better than just going Paleo.

2
954dbd7efe0e7653e8efd377d7776d38

(457)

on March 29, 2010
at 07:26 PM

I cut out caffeine a while back. Every time I tried to go cold turkey, I was left destroyed. I tried a reduction method and used effervescence decaf green tea. Eventually I went from 6 regular green tea bags a day to 6 decaf. I reduced from 6 to 0 in about 4 weeks. A few times throughout the process, I'd drink no caffeine as a gauge to my progress. Now if I miss even the decaf for a couple days, I feel no adverse effects. If you switch to decaf coffee, I'd look into the Swiss process method for cleaner, better tasting decaf.

C8ff2dd43450e3ab1b1d06b9baf3cb30

(98)

on May 08, 2010
at 02:23 AM

I'm glad you said this. I've been trying to quit, and I can get over the physical (headaches, etc) withdrawal in two or three days. It's the other symptoms that are killer. I water down tea w/decaf and I can do that painlessly, but after a few days I start feeling murderously stressed (at the least little thing) and suicidally depressed (not exaggerating). And I get like this while still drinking a glass or two of (probably half-caffeinated) tea a day. Next time, I'm thinking I'll just try taking more time to do it.

1
6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on May 07, 2010
at 05:32 PM

The reason you haven't been able to give up coffee is because it is so so soooooooo good! It is truly the nectar of the Gods. It even smells good. Haven't you ever walked into a room where coffee had just been brewed and had that feeling of being in love? It's like an olfactory orgasm. WHY WHY WHY did it have to be a bean??

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 07, 2010
at 07:20 PM

The coffee bean is not a "bean" or legume, because a legume is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae) and the coffee plant is not a member of the Fabaceae family. The coffee “bean” is actually the seed of the coffee plant, the pit inside of the coffee fruit (called coffee cherries).

1
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on March 31, 2010
at 09:17 PM

This will be a VERY unpopular view. I don't want to see or at least personally have Paleo be the new ???Vegetarian??? style dogma. Paleo is a fantastic diet/lifestyle to follow but I use it as a starting point, a foundation to build a diet that works fior me. As a diabetic, there are many Paleo foods I can???t touch, I always use several diary products because of the rich fat count and protein source my diabetes needs since carbs are on the low side and usually eaten late in the day. I drink coffee, black or with a super (yummy) rich cream. Back to my vegetarian issue. I don???t mine cooking for them when I throw a party but I know some that won???t even sit on my couch because it is leather or ride in my car- That???s too extreme and unrealistic - they would die outside of this century. Paleo shouldn???t dwell in this kind of dogma either. Respect it but don???t hang yourself with it. I tell my vegetarian friends that I eat MORE veggies than they do as they eat mostly grains. Half a cup.

1
A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

on March 29, 2010
at 08:21 PM

I agree with diluting your regular coffee with decaf. The Swiss process is the only natural decaf method I know of. You will still get the full flavor, but not as much caffeine (even decaf coffee has a little in it). One thing I used to quit smoking was meditation. It may sound hokey, but it helps. When you feel a craving, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and relax your body, unless you are driving. Depak Chopra has sections in his books about conquering addiction and they helped me out. Failing all that, there are always 12 step programs. ;)

0
1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on August 06, 2010
at 08:55 PM

Teecino - some people claim it's just as good or better than coffee, I wouldn't say that but it's an acceptable substitute.

I would start with half and half coffee/teecino, then work your way all the way down to pure teecino. This will get you used to the teecino flavor.

I would guess one of the reasons you like coffee is the caffeine fix. Slowly switching to teecino will wean you off that. Eventually you will like the teecino but not feel like you really need it. At that point you could stick with it (seems ok for you), or drop it completely.

0
Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9

on March 31, 2010
at 07:26 PM

I have heard reports that this substitute is helpful


Update for the comment: Health is always a compromise- if the substitute helps break the coffee addiction it may be well worth a minor bad point.

I am not sure if it is bad to drink water-soluble components of grains. At least there is no gluten.

Q. DandyBlend contains barley and rye. So, how can it contain no detectable gluten?

A. DandyBlend is made from extracts of barley and rye, not from barley and rye themselves. The roasted grains are mixed with the roasted roots, are ground, and then the water-soluble components (nutrients, minerals, biologically active substances) are leached out of the mash by hot water, just like you do when making tea. The liquid extract which is collected at the bottom is then spray dried to make the powder which we then call DandyBlend. Why no gluten? Gluten is not water soluble; it only dissolves in alcohol. Therefore, since no alcohol is used in the extracting process, all the gluten stays back in the mash. Tests done by Eliza-Tek Laboratories confirm the absence of detectable gluten in Dandy Blend.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on April 01, 2010
at 03:13 AM

"Dandy Blend" contains barley and rye, so it is neither gluten-free nor paleo. Many coffee substitutes contain roasted grains. My parents used to drink "Postum" when I was young. Jars of Postum are now collectors' items, selling for $100 to $200 on amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Postum-Original-Instant-Beverage-EXPIRED/dp/B0012QZWXQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=miscellaneous&qid=1270091080&sr=8-4 ).

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