On Saturday we quit caffeine. It was a bigger deal than we thought. And I will never judge a drug addict–and we were only having morning tea!
It’s now 4 days later, and I’ll share our experiences with it, because it’s different than I thought it would be, and weirdly better. Last November we quit coffee and switched to tea, I sort of missed it at first, but soon just loved out tea.
For a long time I had been wanting to switch to hot water with lemon in the mornings instead of tea, I knew it does wonders for your body, and could replace the ritual we liked. If you have it before you eat anything when you wake up it flushes out your toxins, maintains your pH balance, full of vitamin C, nourishes your brain and liver, etc etc.
We wanted to, but kept putting it off for months, maybe close to 11 🙂 Well, on Saturday, we finally took the plunge. We woke up, boiled our water per usual and put our cut up lemons in the hot water. At first I felt really energized, really energized. Our bodies felt tingly and alive. We loaded the kids in the car and went on a hike.
While the kids splashed in the river, Andrew and I laid down and looked at the clouds, if that sounds romantic, it wasn’t, we were just tired. Very tired, like a trance. We hadn’t thought our tea had that much caffeine in it…why was it effecting us so much. On the way home Andrew desperately swerved to a McDonalds to get an iced tea,
“Yes!” I encouraged. “Wait–no, we’ve made it this far….we can’t start all over, we have to get through this.” We had headaches. After researching we found out that when your body goes without caffeine, more blood rushes to your brain, which causes the headache.
Luckily, after our long hike, all the kids wanted to take long naps. And we did too. For 3 whole hours. That’s pretty unheard of for us…maybe because our bodies are always slightly caffeinated.
I don’t get headaches, but I have been using peppermint oil on friends and family when they do and they say it works wonders. My head was throbbing, all the extra blood rushing up, and I put one drop on my temples. I felt instantly better, it was very strong and sustained, felt like a massage, and my head was clearer. I put some on my neck which still hurt even though my head now felt better, and it felt better as well. I was beyond thankful, I don’t get headaches, and that was terrible.
Even despite our long naps, we had no problem falling asleep that night. I didn’t get a headache the next day, Andrew did. Andrew had a mildly better headache for three days, and now is better. We have used peppermint often because it heals the headaches, but it also wakes you up with no stimulants. It was our very best friend for those three days.
So, now that we are off of caffeine, this is what we notice:
1. More energy: Three days after we quit caffeine, we had more energy throughout the day. Prior to quitting, I would zombie through putting the boys down or beg Andrew to because, “I am literally dead–a real dead body.”
After we quit caffeine, we are wrestling, dance parties at night for so, so long, the boys are sweating just before bed. We clean up the house, we hang out. Then we get tired and…..
2. We fall right asleep: At this super normal hour, like before 10pm!!! It’s crazy. We sleep well, very well.
3. We wake up better: I am no morning person, but now I kind of am. I feel myself when I wake up. I wake up feeling like I did after I had my tea.
3. We feel more normal throughout the day. Like, just our normal selves, no weird buzzing high where we start a bunch of projects, no crashing, listless and dead meat. Just our normal selves, all day. I feel content to sit and read 100 books to the boys and not jumpy to clean out the closet or some random thing.
4. Our mugs are getting SPOTLESS. The daily lemon water has stripped away any old residue from tea or coffee or whatever else had been in there. If that is any indication for what is happening in our bodies to the toxins, we are happy.
5. We feel more aware of our bodies. I think with our three kids and our busy lifestyle, we would take caffeine to push through at tired times, which would only mask what our bodies were telling us. I think we are sleeping so much better at night that our bodies are becoming more rejuvenated as a whole. When we sit down for a break for a minute or two, we hop back up feeling rested, whereas prior we would feel more tired. Plus, studies show the ‘mental alertness from coffee could be an illusion 😉
6. Did I mention more energy? I think Andrew and I fell into this trap…we had caffeine and it was the best day of our lives! We got SO much done and we loved EVERYBODY!!!!!!!! EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING WAS ALREADY DONE!!! It was euphoric, right? But, then we needed it just to feel our regular selves. Now without it, I sometimes surprise myself with the bursts of energy I have. I was babysitting for a friend seeing a counselor this week, so many kids, and we sang songs, ran around the yard, even though it was early afternoon, which is usually a tired time for me.
7. Less irritable: Just our normal selves because we are not crashing anytime throughout the day. No strained nerves, buzzing schedules.
8. Saving Money: Darn FoodBabe convinced me there were toxins in most tea, so we got this super hippy one. Well, no more, we have a Meyer Lemon tree and so our early morning healthy fix is now free and growing in our own yard. And if we run out, we can use our lemon essential oil which is super inexpensive. AND since we are adopting and pinching every penny…we’re stoked on this aspect, even though it’s small.
So… crazy right? When I told all my gals at BSF yesterday as they sipped their tea coffee or frappuccinos with tired eyes, they looked at me like I had lost it. But I felt like I was bursting with energy. “I seriously think it makes you more tired!” I told them, most of them nodded. “But it’s just my special thing, that’s so important to me…my precious….” which I actually totally understand. We were there too.
On Monday, after Andrew took Maria to school, Andrew had his headache and stopped at a local health food store on the way to work and put peppermint oil on his temples and called me, “Babe, I want to tell you that I tried this ‘organic oil’ and I feel nothing, I don’t feel better at ALL! Your oils are way better….and I am coming home to use them.” “Babe,” I told him, “I don’t even think those kinds are food grade, come home.” He now keeps a bottle in his car.
Andrew has taken pain killers for headaches and body pains a bunch as an adult, until he found peppermint, and if it’s really bad, peppermint mixed with Frankincense. We were just reading this article:
‘Millions of Americans take over-the-counter painkillers like Advil or Aleve for any random ache, pain, or cold symptom, without a second thought. What most don’t know is that those drugs — called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) — are responsible for over 16,000 deaths per year: that’s more deaths per year than caused by asthma or AIDS.
And, there is another less-recognized side effect — or, more accurately, another less-recognized effect, because side effects are nothing more than unwanted effects of medication. NSAIDs damage your gut lining, causing a condition responsible for a whole range of ailments, from allergies to autoimmune disease. It’s called leaky gut.’
So, we are now caffeine free and over-the-counter painkillers free, and we feel great. Just plants, lemons and peppermint, and we feel so much better. I think most of the stuff thats synthetic can just jack us up and confuse or damage our bodies. If you get headaches, do me a favor and try peppermint (single oils), I would love to see people getting healed and relief in a way that is healthy and natural and not damaging.
So….tell me your story!! I want to hear! This is still very new to us, our first week of no caffeine. Have you ever quit caffeine, did you get a headache? What happened? Have you tried peppermint to cure headaches!? I never get them and this one time I did I LOVED peppermint to treat them–I have so much more compassion for people with headaches, those things are brutal! What about pain-killers, 16,000 people!?! That was shocking to us, enough so to quit cold turkey. Do you have a story with those?