Well, I have done the unthinkable. Today is Day 7 with no coffee. Yes I am drinking decaf and yes I understand that it does have trace amounts of caffeine in it. I’m shocked at the number of people who have brought that to my attention. Cut me a little slack, I may know something about coffee.
I started drinking coffee on a regular basis when I was probably around 19 years old. I pretty much haven’t missed a day since then. Even during my 2006 trip to South America and my 2009 trip to Southeast Asia, I still managed to find coffee. In 1997, I went 100 hours without any caffeine. It was a miserable experience and in the end served no purpose, as I resumed high coffee intake within a week of that detox.
My coffee addiction had me drinking multiple $3 Americanos at McDonald’s in Thailand.
I am a strong believer in gradually lowering your coffee levels and establishing what I call a “new normal”. So if I drop from 4 espressos a day to 3 espressos a day, I will stay there until everything feels normal. That might take a few days or a few weeks. By normal, I am not talking just about physical symptoms, but psychological ones too. Last summer I got down to a single espresso a day, before depression set in and I resumed a higher level of espresso intake. This year I decided to blast through that plateau.
After 9 days of just a single espresso, I reduced my level to 1/2 espresso. I roast my own coffee and was able to construct a “half-caf” blend. For another 9 days I did the “half-caf”. At each point, I stayed at that level until a “new normal” was established. I have no timelines, so I can take as long as I need.
Daily coffee intake since June 19, 2011.
Besides saving some money, the one effect is that I have been able to nap. No matter how early I wake up or how tired I get, I have always had trouble taking naps. My mind races and I can’t fall asleep. Since I’ve gone from 1/2 espresso to none, I’ve been able to nap successfully.
What about headaches? Too soon to tell, but September has been better than August, which was better than July. I am also doing a 30 Day No Dairy test (I’m on day 26). I’ve increased my Neti pot usage and recently increased my potassium intake. So I have lots of things going on. I hesitate to get excited, but my sleep has gotten deeper and that is a good thing.
Before I get hammered with criticism and feedback on my methodology, my plan was never to do a dairy and caffeine test at the same time. I screwed up twice on the dairy and had to restart the test. Don’t worry, I have a plan to figure out the guilty party or parties if and when I solve this riddle. I’m not going to be posting anymore on the headaches until I have more concrete answers. It was a mistake of me to share this health issue publicly. Let’s get back to the coffee discussion.
I have no plans on when I am going to end the coffee detox. At this point I can see extending it into October. My adrenals have been pushed by coffee on a daily basis for many years now. Will I go as far as eliminating all caffeine, including tea and chocolate? Probably. I’ll keep you posted if I do.
When I do return to espresso, I plan to have a more healthy relationship with my favorite beverage. Maybe take a day off every week or a week off every few months. Perhaps interject the randomness that has worked so well for me with Intermittent Fasting. This is uncharted territory.