In Honor Of Self-Love Month I Gave Up CAFFEINE and Cookies!

By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters

I had a lovely morning ritual. Rise between 5:30 AM and 6:00, let my dogs and cats outside and brew my morning coffee. While I was feeding my menagerie, my coffee would be filling my kitchen with the rich aroma of roasted coffee beans. AHHHH! I loved my morning coffee. Like many addicts, I had my special way of preparing coffee. I drank mine with half and half. 


Like narcotics and cigarettes coffee and caffeinated beverages are addictive substances that cause a slew of health problems from heart arrhythmia increased blood pressure and even bladder cancer. Don’t get me started on energy drinks and kids! That is an entirely different article.

Coffee Is A Drug

Most people don’t look at coffee as the drug that it is. Over 15 million Americans are hooked on coffee. I was one of them. Coffee was the first thing in my mouth and possibly the only thing I consumed for several hours. I often sat down with my coffee to write my blog or do a session with a client, topped off with a couple of Walker’s shortbread cookies I was good to go! It got me revved up for my dancing routine in the desert. It kept me going late into the night when I was writing books or creating webinars for my clients.

I was aware that caffeine is a stimulant. I also knew that one cup of coffee has a half-life of eight hours. What does that mean? If you consume 16 ounces of coffee in the morning, eight hours later half of the stimulant is still circulating in your bloodstream. Caffeine causes your adrenal glands to push adrenaline through your bloodstream, causing adrenal fatigue. It is just like the fight or flight syndrome but happening daily.

Symptoms of Withdrawl

A coffee drinker might get a headache or even a neck ache from lack of caffeine in their system from missing just one cup of coffee a day. Irritation or anger can even result from caffeine withdrawal. Irritability and lack of focus for some coffee drinkers can result from just one cup of coffee a day.


Tea Has Caffeine Too

Some days I would drink two cups of coffee in the morning and begin drinking hot tea in the afternoon when the coffee would start to wear off with a few more shortbread cookies. If I got fatigued, I would continue to drink tea till I went to bed. One cup of tea has about half the caffeine as a cup of coffee.

The Downside of Caffeine

The average American consumes 26 gallons of coffee a year. Coffee and caffeinated beverages are linked to the following health issues.

  1. Infertility. If you want to become pregnant, stop drinking all beverages with caffeine.
  2. Birth defects. Women who consume caffeinated beverages during pregnancy are more likely to experience birth defects. I gave up all caffeine when pregnant. One drop of caffeine under a rat’s skin caused death.
  3. Increases blood pressure and increases incidents of heart disease.
  4. Coffee and cola beverages have been linked to bladder cancer.
  5. Hip fractures. People who consume just two cups of coffee a day, or four cups of tea a day risk more frequent hip fractures later in life. A hip fracture can be the final decline in an elderly person. It certainly was for my Grandmother. 
  6. Coffee spikes blood sugar; then it drops rapidly. This rapid drop in blood sugar is why people get the shakes after drinking coffee without eating.
How Did I Feel?

Once I made the commitment to give up all caffeine and sweets, I stuck with the program. The first day was fine. Day two, I had a headache and general malaise. By Day Three, I started getting flu-like symptoms, body aches all over my body. As an Intuitive, I am very tuned into my body. I felt the chemicals pulling from my upper back, thighs, and fatty areas. 

Today marks Day Five and I recognized how much I missed the caffeine buzz that amped me up in the morning. I even considered, briefly having just one cup today. I realized how ridiculous that would have been as I am over the worst of the withdrawal already. 

The Upside of Giving Up Caffeine

My lifestyle is quite clean. I was kidding myself thinking that drinking coffee was okay. It was like a dark little corner in my soul. I received frequent nudges from my Guides who often told me, “You need to give up coffee for your health.” I know I am worth taking care of. I love and respect my body enough to treat it well. Giving up coffee and tea is my last vestige from my dark past stemming from my childhood. 

I cleaned up my codependency. I no longer feel I need a man to feel whole or complete. I am complete by myself. YAY ME! I am done with my shopping addiction and a sex addiction. In fact, I have lived a celibate life off and on for almost two years. As far as shopping goes, I dislike shopping. This caffeine addiction is the last of a cascade effect from trauma. Most people who have childhood trauma have some form of addiction. Now I don’t. 

The Best Part!

I have already slimmed down and my cellulite is diminishing as we speak! I have a video I am working on to show my new dance workout that I do in the desert. I am delighted at how my body is looking after dancing daily. I have more energy and am sleeping better without the caffeine in my body. 

My skin is more supple and less dry. My face looks plumper, like it has better hydration. This is a plus if you are concerned about wrinkles or aging. Caffeine ages the skin.

Health Benefits of Giving Up Caffeine

  1. Caffeine dehydrates the body tremendously. Not drinking caffeine means that water and fresh squeezed juices are all that I drink. 
  2. Bones become less brittle.
  3. Skin looks hydrated, supple and younger.
  4. Cellulite is eliminated. Caffeine causes cellulite. Most people won’t tell you the truth. Cellulite is caused by a rapid elimination of fluids from fat. Caffeinated beverages are diuretics

Just how widespread is coffee drinking? The average American drinks over twenty-six gallons of coffee per year, but perhaps more germane to the discussion is caffeine itself. Coffee has over three hundred chemicals; caffeine is only one of them.v

The following chart is from the Mayo Clinic. The recommendation on their site is to use the caffeine content as a guide as the amount of caffeine can vary from day to day at the same coffee house, depending on distributors and brewing procedures.

Coffee

Type of coffee Size* Caffeine✝
Adapted from Journal of Food Science, 2010; Pediatrics, 2011; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26; Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 2006; Starbucks, 2014; Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2014; Keurig, 2014
*Sizes are listed in fluid ounces (oz.) and milliliters (mL).
✝Caffeine is listed in milligrams (mg).
Brewed 8 oz. (237 mL) 95-200 mg
Brewed, decaffeinated 8 oz. (237 mL) 2-12 mg
Brewed, single-serve varieties 8 oz. (237 mL) 75-150 mg
Brewed, single-serve varieties, decaffeniated 8 oz. (237 mL) 2-4 mg
Espresso, restaurant-style 1 oz. (30 mL) 47-75 mg
Espresso, restaurant-style, decaffeinated 1 oz. (30 mL) 0-15 mg
Instant 8 oz. (237 mL) 27-173 mg
Instant, decaffeinated 8 oz. (237 mL) 2-12 mg
Specialty drink (latte or mocha) 8 oz. (237 mL) 63-175 mg

Tea

Type of tea Size* Caffeine✝
Adapted from Journal of Food Science, 2010; Pediatrics, 2011; Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 2008; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26; Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 2006; Starbucks, 2014; Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2014
*Sizes are listed in fluid ounces (oz.) and milliliters (mL).
✝Caffeine is listed in milligrams (mg).
Brewed tea
Black tea 8 oz. (237 mL) 14-70 mg
Black tea, decaffeinated 8 oz. (237 mL) 0-12 mg
Green tea 8 oz. (237 mL) 24-45 mg
Iced tea
Instant, prepared with water 8 oz. (237 mL) 11-47 mg
Ready-to-drink, bottled 8 oz. (237 mL) 5-40 mg

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