While most people like to sleep in a little Sunday mornings I’m up at 5:00 am. Why? Turkey. Yep, I’m roasting a 22-pound bird this morning. Tomorrow I start on the real cooking: LCHF versions of curry turkey, turkey pot pies and a turkey & bacon casserole.
While I enjoyed some coffee this morning, I am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed without the black nectar of the gods. It’s looking like my new-found energy isn’t a fluke.
Part of this new energy is a serious effort at cutting back on my caffeine intake. I tried giving coffee up cold turkey, but the headache that hit me was insane.
Giving Up Coffee…For Real This Time
Okay, I’ve written about attempts to give up coffee before, but this time I’m seeing tangible benefits. As my coffee intake goes down so does my anxiety and stress levels. Cortisol levels are elevated in the mornings (to wake us up) and taper off during the day. Caffeine amps up the stress hormone. Twelve ounces of coffee (your typical household mug) has 200mg of caffeine in it. That amount of caffeine increases blood cortisol levels by 30% in one hour. Yikes!!!
Granted I don’t know what my cortisol level is (I’m getting it checked soon). However, thanks to menopause, I always feel stressed and have anxiety attacks. That tells me my adrenals are over taxed. The coffee isn’t helping.
Once I started cutting back on coffee I noticed an initial dip in my energy level. But that didn’t last long. To me that’s another reason to cut back. It can’t be an energy crutch. My LCHF diet and staying active are key for keeping energy levels up.
My strategy for caffeine withdraw include:
- No coffee after 11:00 am. (helps with my insomnia).
- Slowly reduce number of cups consumed every few days (I’m currently drinking 2 cups a day, down from 8 cups).
- Switch from full caffeine to half-caff.
Finally, the husband, who also is trying to get rid of the coffee monkey on his back, tossed out our coffee maker. So now we have to drive to our local Dunkin Donuts for coffee. The genius here is our monthly budget is helping us with giving up coffee. After this coming week we no longer have dollars budgeted for the black gold.
One Exception: Teas
The one exception to the Great Caffeine Purge of 2017 is tea. Tea contains less caffeine when compared to coffee (60mg vs. 200mg). The other difference is I don’t drink tea like coffee. When I drink green or black tea, I usually am satisfied with just an 8 ounce cup. With coffee I’ll drink as much as possible.
I’ve always limited how much black and green teas I drink because herbal teas (no caffeine) have always been my go to teas. I use them to help me relax, to make ice tea, clear my sinuses and to sleep.
So yes, black and green teas are my caffeine exception, but I don’t drink them excessively. Of course, there is a chance I may have to give them up too. Hopefully I’ll have a better idea a month after being coffee-free.