Why I Gave Up Coffee

Red Rooibos Chai Tea

Oh no she din’t.

Yes, I did.

My Love of Coffee

Let me start off by saying that I truly LOVE coffee.  I love it so much I continued to drink it throughout my pregnancies because I didn’t want to have to deal with withdrawals.  That and I wanted my babies to be able to handle me drinking coffee while nursing.  (I know, I know you crunchy mamas, don’t chastise me!)

Needless to say, there is some weird psychological pull with me and coffee.

I wrote about my perfect morning, here where I described how it included a big cup of coffee with creamer.  Coffee was a necessity.

My Pestering Friend

Up until about a month ago, I hadn’t even considered giving up my java.

In fact, when a friend mentioned that maybe I should fast, I adamantly opposed that foolish suggestion.  (okay NOT foolish AT ALL…just illustrates where my heart was)

What a ridiculous idea though.  Psch!  I’d have to stop drinking coffee! I would have headaches! No way was I going to go through that on purpose.  How would I function?? Her suggestion was ludicrous.

Because she is a stubborn kill-joy, she managed to convince me to at LEAST get off coffee and then figure out the fasting thing.

Coffee Detox

I removed the coffee pot from the camper and dumped my creamer down the drain.  For 3 days I had a horrible headache.  I was tired and actually fell asleep sitting up on the couch several times.  I felt like a regular old lady.

I didn’t know how long I’d be coffee free, the longest I’ve been without coffee for the past 15+ years was 10 long days.

My Coffee Came Back to Bite Me!

After one week of no coffee, I asked Mark to pick up one while in town. I had decided to enjoy a random cup of coffee but not drink it every day or throughout the day.

I savored that cup of coffee. It was delectable!

But then it hit me. The caffeine assaulted my bloodstream. I do not think I can properly explain how awful I felt. I was jittery and my mind was just a mess. I had a bunch of things to get done but was spinning around in circles.

Yeah right!  You’re exaggerating – you say.

I’m telling you that I couldn’t even think straight.  My mind was racing through all that was before me. I had a list of things to do but for a few hours, I was extremely inefficient and not even accomplishing much of anything besides being a scatterbrained whackjob.

I’ve been pretty loyal to coffee for many years and have never noticed the effects of it like I did this time.  Freaky.

It’ll Hook You!

Coffee has a strange pull with many people.  I was discussing my coffee issues with several friends and they agreed – there is something weird about coffee.

Fellowship happens around a cup of coffee – sure.

But it’s more than that.

For most people, it’s addictive. That pestering friend I have, the one that urged me to get off of coffee, doesn’t drink it because she is certain she would be addicted to it.

But I think it’s EVEN more than that.

I think it’s the fact that it’s a stimulant, appetite suppressant, and mood enhancing beverage – all in one. Or am I just crazy?? Out there, someone is far smarter than I am and can explain it I’m sure.

New Coffee Habits

So I decided that every once in a while, I will have a cup of coffee.  I figure this will serve several purposes.  #1 – I’ll get to enjoy a random cup of delicious coffee.  #2 – I can enjoy the fellowship that comes with drinking my delicious cup of coffee with friends.  #3 – I’ll get to remember how terrible it really does make me feel,  Then I’ll be renewed in my resolve to not get hooked again.

How to Get Off the Bean

Since it was less than 30 days that I was arguing against ditching coffee, I’ll just say that these are my suggestions should you decide to give it a try.  No pressure from me. I’m totally NOT the pestering kill-joy kind of person (but those type of people are great to have in your life).

  1. Get rid of your coffee pot (or put it in a very inconvenient location)
  2. Find a good caffeine-free tea that satisfies, (I love Red Rooibos Chai from Saavy Tea and Herbs).  I also like Dandy Blend and Teeccino.
  3. Realize that your body will adjust to not *needing* that caffeine jolt to be coherent.  I actually think I have more energy now that I’m not drinking coffee and relying on it.

I know there are health benefits to drinking coffee in moderation. But for me, it’s too easy to drink 3 or 4 cups of coffee every day rather than limit myself.

So I’m obviously VERY human in this area of my life, but just to show you WHY coffee is not a good idea for me…

This past Saturday night, I had one cup of coffee over at a friend’s house.  The next morning, Mark got coffee from town and brought me one.   Wouldn’t you know, I had a headache Monday.  Old habits are hard to break so it’ll be interesting as I figure out the balance in this area.

Do you have any suggestions of a good non-addictive replacement?  I’d love to hear them!

Your Caffeine Detoxified Friend,




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  1. Again, love it! Jen & I actually used active (exercise to help detox) water fasting this year to kick the habit. I had wrestled with it for years, but always knew I was straight up dependent on it. Water & good nutrition are our substitutes. Caffeine free teas are always yummy…& personally, I think you should totally abstain from it altogether lest you fall into the same justification mental circus of addiction again. Let your no be no. You simply don’t need it anymore… Just my two cents 🙂 Is Mark quitting as well? Did he also quit Facebook?

    • Thank you Chris, it was also something I thought about off an on for years but just dismissed. :/ You have solid advice which I’ll most definitely consider, I refused coffee last night with friends and somehow I survived and only missed it for a minute. LOL The awesome thing is that I don’t feel a *need* to have any beverage right now so that is very freeing. But yes, I don’t want to fall into the same cycle I did before.

      Mark never really had issues with coffee. He agreed to not have a coffee pot in the camper for my sake and I think he maybe has 1 or 2 cups throughout the week. He never had headaches from lack of coffee so he’s just a weirdo.

      Oh and we joined our Facebook account under mine.

  2. Your pestering kill-joy friend is proud of you!

    • It’s good to have a pestering kill-joy friend. Not just sometimes, but always. Because that type of friend can’t always be pestering or a kill-joy.

  3. Hi Julie, since I’ve been commenting a lot I will introduce myself…I found your blog on pinterest for the wipes. You got me hooked and I read almost every post about your debt, the RV and simpler life. I respect your decisions to be debt free and the way you are applying the book of Acts with your friends. I also respect your humility in admitting you made a mistake with the RV, yet your attitude of perseverance if it is what God has for you.

    I’m commenting now because, like you, I also recently (actually almost a year ago!!) gave up coffee. I did a detox cleanse for 14 days with a friend last March and had awful headaches. Then I had 1 cup in the middle of the cleanse and experienced almost exactly what you did. Before the cleanse I was having trouble waking up (literally opening my eyes) without a cup of coffee. I was not able to get up and care for my family (I have 5 little ones) or read my Bible coherently without the caffeine. On the cleanse I noticed that I was actually more awake and alert without the coffee first thing in the morning, and I liked that I didn’t need something to wake me up. I decided after the cleanse that I would never go back. And I’m going on a year!! This is huge for me since, like you, I was always a coffee lover.

    I have substituted my love for coffee now with a love for tea. For me I’ve found that caffeinated black tea or lightly caffeinated green tea does not effect me at all like the coffee and even after having a cup of tea every morning, if I go without it, I am still able to get up and function and don’t get a head ache. There’s some really yummy decaf black teas out there as well that are really nice on a chilly afternoon (like Stash’s decaf Vanilla Nut!!) when you want that warm mug in your hand. And herb teas are nice without any sweetener or cream so my hips have thanked me as well. My favorite is Mint Medley by Bigelow.

    As for the social side of things, I bring my own tea bags and politely ask for some hot water if I am at a church meeting or a friends house. It’s been working great for me and I wish you all the best with your new conviction!!

    A new friend in Pennsylvania,

    • Hi Vicky!

      Thank you so much for your comments! I appreciate you sharing your experience with coffee (and WAY TO GO on being coffee-free for a year!). I was wondering if I was the only one who had such issues with the effects of coffee. You’re right, the mind clarity since getting off coffee has been amazing! And I would have swore that before, I functioned better when I was drinking coffee.

      Also, I love your recommendation about bringing tea! I’ve had some really bad teas and was actually going to share winners and losers soon. 🙂 And I’ll definitely give your recommendations a try. Blessings to you!


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