So what I originally thought was perimenopause was just me being stressed out. I don’t get stressed out very often and everything goes off the rails when I’m under stress. Being in the wellness business, I know that caffeine, sugar and alcohol are the three amigos of BAD when you are perimenopausal and menopausal. I rarely have alcohol or sugar so that isn’t an issue.
But I was nursing a wicked caffeine addiction. Like 24 ounces of the strongest coffee I could get my hands on before I could form a sentence addicted. It was something that I knew was not in line with my healthy lifestyle choices. So perimenopause or stress – giving up the caffeine needed to happen for my mental and physical well-being.
I invested in some delicious (read pricey) decaf coffee. I replaced half of my second coffee with decaf. Day one had me reeling with a brutal headache. I was cranky. It wasn’t pretty. The subsequent days were easier and my courage was bolstered by the fact that I seemed to be handling it well. Every couple of days I’d up the decaf and take away more caffeine. I started taking Siberian Ginseng which helped my energy levels tremendously.
Then came the time to jump of the diving board. Pure decaf lifestyle. The first three days I sailed through. But by day four I was feeling awful. I was really hungry, I would have done anything for a coffee. My eyelids were heavy from 3-5pm. My bravado vanished and I found myself trolling websites searching for some good news. That caffeine if the best thing for you. Well actually, there are a lot of studies extolling the virtues of caffeinated coffee. And my personal theory is that they are authored by researchers addicted to caffeine.
I held strong and I’m happy to say that I’m out of the woods. I’m sipping on water, green tea (much less caffeine than coffee), herbal teas and a morning cup of Toronto’s finest decaf from Red Rocket Coffee. And it’s funny because when you’re not feeling great you don’t realize how shitty the things you ingest makes you feel until you don’t have it.
I traded in caffeine for amazing, deep and replenishing sleep. I now wake up after seven hours refreshed and ready to take on the day – without an alarm clock. I’m no longer bound by my addiction. If I don’t get a cup of coffee before running out the door, no biggie. I’m more hydrated because the absence of coffee has allowed me to feel my dehydration more [and do something about it]. I’m really enjoying my meals with a heartier appetite.
So if you’re sold on switching know a couple things:
- Do it slowly and gradually to avoid headaches and too strong of withdrawal symptoms.
- Take something to boost your energy. I used Organika Siberian Ginseng and it was great.
- Keep a glass of water handy because you’re going to be thirsty.
- Don’t cheap out on decaf coffee. Grocery store brands use chemicals to remove the caffeine instead of the less toxic swiss water method.
- Let yourself be a little hungry [if you are getting adequate calories in a day] because your appetite with increase slightly
- Don’t give up when it gets hard. The hard time will last about two days max.
I’m enjoying the sweet taste of freedom from any drugs or chemicals and it feels great.