Golden Milk / Turmeric Chai Latte in a brass mug

4 Good Reasons to Break up with Coffee

Relax, I don’t mean you have to quit your morning coffee FOREVER!  Nothing is impossible, but coffee is a vice I personally cherish, in moderation.  I am writing this post with a headache as I sip a Lemon Detox tea on Day 3 of my 10 day Gentle Family Cleanse.  Detoxification is often thought of as “cleaning out your insides”, but this is not the case.  We have natural detoxification pathways in our bodies which sometimes need clearing and cleaning so that your body can be better equipped to do its job.

The food we eat, the air we breathe, the stress we endure, the medication we take and the stuff that touches our skin, all need to be processed through these pathways, and they can get over-burdened and blocked, leading to all sorts of issues like autoimmune and other diseases.  Even mental health can be dramatically improved through regular gentle cleanses and great nutrition!

Last month my caffeine intake creeped up as some stressors (good and bad ones) increased in my life.  That, and MAN this winter is dragging on!  Starting my day with a big ol’ coffee and a few squares of dark chocolate brings me joy, and fuel.  But at what cost?  There are three big reasons I believe it is important to take a break from caffeine:

  1. Caffeine is considered a toxin by our bodies, which means on a daily basis we transform and excrete it using the 1A2 genetic pathway.  This is the very same pathway that is used to detoxify from medications such as anti-depressants, PAH’s (super important as these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can cause carcinogenic and mutagenic effects and suppress our immune systems!) among other toxins.  In other words, our body cannot as effectively detoxify from all these toxins when caffeine is constantly present in our systems!
  2. Caffeine stimulates your adrenal glands, releasing cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones).  And like any drug, over time you can need more and more to obtain the same effect on your energy.
  3. Caffeine stimulates your bowels, and over time they can rely on your morning coffee for elimination.  You don’t want to need coffee to poop!  Taking a break can help re-train your bowels and improve their function, which is much gentler for your body.
  4. Caffeine negatively effects your sleep!  If you found my site due to my work with family sleep, then PLEASE do yourself a huge favour and consider working with me to wean off your coffee habit.  It is a proven fact that caffeine consumption is linked to decreased sleep duration and increased wake times.  And if you are OK with that, then drink on my friend.  But if you are considering sleep training, this is but one of many holistic options you can implement first.

In the Gentle Family Cleanse that I lead, not only do we take a break from caffeine, but we also increase nutrients into our bodies that “induce” that same 1A2 enzyme I mentioned, which promotes detoxification.

Hopefully now you see why it makes sense to take a caffeine break, thinking long term for your health and longevity.  But you do need to exercise caution.  Many people I work with are surprised how badly they are affected by a sudden break.  They don’t think they are addicted until Day 2 hits, and they are suffering from pounding headaches and malaise!  If you are going to quit, easy does it.  Start by gradually decreasing your caffeine intake.  It is advisable to work with someone as you may need more support and have questions that come up.  Contact me if my approach resonates!  You will also do well with a menu of satisfying coffee alternatives to enjoy when you would normally have a coffee.

Here are my top 4 Coffee Alternatives:

Hot Cacoa:

  • 1 cup warmed homemade Cashew Cream or coconut milk.
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup boiling water

Warm your cashew cream on the stove while you boil some water.  Add the hot cashew cream along with the rest of the ingredients to your blender and blend on medium for about 1 minute.

Benefits: high in magnesium, iron, antioxidants and calcium.  Naturally elevates your mood!

Ginger Turmeric Latte:

  • 1 cup warmed homemade Cashew Cream or coconut milk.
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • ¼ cup boiling water

Same instructions as Hot Cacao.

Warm your cashew cream on the stove while you boil some water.  Add the hot cashew cream along with the rest of the ingredients to your blender and blend on medium for about 1 minute.

Benefits: Reduce inflammation, rich in antioxidants, improve memory, mood and brain function!  Protects your heart and may even reduce your risk of cancer!

Dandyblend Instant Beverage:

Fill a large mug with boiling water and dissolve 1 heaping tbsp of Dandyblend into your cup.  Top with homemade Cashew Cream or coconut milk.

Benefits: High in potassium, iron and calcium, an excellent liver tonic and blood purifier.

Herbal Tea:

I have a new-found love for exploring favourite teas at shops like David’s Teas!  What a beautiful act of self-care to take a quiet afternoon for tasting tea samples and finding blends that taste too-good-to-be-true!  I especially love my teas as an evening wind-down ritual.

If you have read this whole post and still cannot fathom giving up caffeine for even 10 days, you might be addicted and might consider a temporary break for that reason alone! Trust me that it is incredibly empowering to take control of your energy, bowels, sleep and detoxification process through a time of intention. I love to take my cleanse days as a special time to get to sleep early, slow down, and practice working on my boundaries. Stop and take a big cleansing breathe in… and now out. You can do anything for ten days!

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