It almost feels sacrilegious. How, oh how, can I put a poison sign on a cup of joe? A tasty morning delight? A pick-me-upper without compare? You see, I love my morning coffee. I’m really being unfaithful by calling it out like this.
It’s not like I drink gallons of coffee or soda. I hardly even average a cup a day. And yet…
Ever since I started drinking coffee again a few months ago, I’ve noticed some alarming changes in my overall health and wellness. What began as an innocent desire to enjoy a warm, nutty, flavorful cup of something creamy and mildly sweet turned into something downright disastrous.
The first noticeable negative? I stopped eating breakfast. Caffeine is a known appetite suppressant. I’d wake up, make a cup of coffee, drink it, and not be hungry until 11am. That’s practically lunch time!
Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. If you want to keep your hormones balanced, you need to eat breakfast within 30 minutes to an hour of waking up. If you don’t, you’ll stress out your adrenals as they pump out adrenaline and cortisol to keep you going. Messing with your hormones is like playing Russian Roulette with your metabolism, not to mention your other bodily systems. You just don’t want them getting out of whack!
The second noticeable negative? I started hitting an energy wall. By afternoon, my energy levels would plummet and I’d be ready for a nap. Again, this is largely explained by the hormonal imbalance created by skipping breakfast.
The third noticeable negative? I’ve gotten sick TWICE in the last three months, after years of not even having a cold! Caffeine weakens the immune system, so this isn’t really a surprise.
So, for New Year’s I’m giving up caffeine.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still not convinced that caffeine is evil, despite the fountains of research contained in books like Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drug. I don’t think drinking an occasional cup of coffee will have long-term deleterious effects on my health.
But I can’t deny that making a habit of consuming caffeine is bad. Since caffeine is addictive, it takes an iron will to not allow a habit to form — an iron will I don’t seem to have.
Will You Join Me?
For the first 30 days of the New Year, I’ll be kicking the caffeine habit. Will you join me? Each Monday, we’ll host a little link-up here where those of you with blogs can share a post about something relevant to your own Caffeine-Free 30 Day Challenge. I’ll also be posting updates here on how my own personal journey is going.
And, to top it all off, I’ll be sending out emails to those of you who join the challenge with goals, tips, and ideas for how we can quit. The content of these emails will be exclusive to those who’ve officially signed up for the challenge — not posted here at Food Renegade or anywhere else.
Use These Badges
To help you spread the word about the Caffeine-Free 30 Day Challenge, I’ve created the badges below. Feel free to use them in your sidebars, blog posts, or anywhere!
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