A friend recently posted an article A Visual View of Caffeine from the Healthy Home Economist. The picture above is from her post. It is an actual picture of caffeine crystals. I had never heard of this blog before, but after perusing her site, she has lots of great information. I have to tell you caffeine is one of those subjects, right up there with sugar, that gets people very defensive. I find it very mind boggling that most people don’t truly realize that caffeine is a drug, a very powerful drug, a very addictive drug.
She states in her article, of which I highly recommend reading in its entirety, that:
Even folks who are seriously health conscious seem to have trouble shaking the caffeine habit which never ceases to surprise me. Those who eat low carb seem to be particularly devoted to caffeine perhaps because caffeine stimulates the liver to release sugar into the bloodstream – in essence, a way to get carbs without actually eating them.
I don’t drink caffeine and have not since I became pregnant with my first child 18 years ago. At the time I got pregnant I just knew that I needed to quit all drugs, including caffeine. I tried to go back to caffeine after he was born, but thankfully it made me sick. Perhaps since I had indulged in heavier drugs as a teenager along with a steady diet of Dr. Pepper my entire childhood, at least since I moved to Texas at 8, my body went into major repair mode once I quit everything. Then once I tried to drink caffeine again it severely rejected it. I will say that I have experienced this several times in my health journey. It happened again with high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and now even sugar. Having said all of that I can totally relate to the quote above. I do still indulge in chocolate and up until I gave up sugar for Lent this year, it was an almost daily consumption. I would get so tired around the middle of the day and craved chocolate. As soon as I ate it I would feel much better. SURPRISE!! Right? I knew exactly what it was doing to my body. I have been studying this stuff for years and yet I indulged regularly anyway.
Here is another interesting point from the Healthy Home Economists article:
If your diet is making you so tired that you need caffeine to indirectly boost your blood sugar and artificially stimulate your adrenals, you’ve got a problem and the diet you’re following is clearly not optimal for you…Frequent stimulation of the adrenal glands from caffeine eventually leads to adrenal exhaustion whether this be at age 20 or age 60. If you’ve been drinking coffee for years and think you are “just fine thank you”, think again.
With the several years of stress from my daughters condition, my adrenals were shot. Practiacally non functioning. I actually craved the chocolate because my body was so out of whack I needed something artificial to keep functioning. With the help of a wonderful naturopath and the motivation to get off of sugar for Lent, I was able to do several things to help my body heal and get my adrenals functioning again.
If you consume caffeine on a regular basis, the first step is to realize that you are probably an addict. Yes, that’s right, a drug addict. The next step is to realize that this drug is harming your God given body. This body that is supposed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Next, start cutting back your consumption. You’ll need to do this slowly as caffeine withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating!! Mental preparation is extremely important also. You need to mentally prepare yourself for the day when you will no longer look forward to that cup of morning joe. I had conditioned myself to expect something chocolately right after lunch, mostly because this is when I would be crashing, but it also became an emotional attachment. Sometimes I still find myself thinking about how nice it would be to eat a big piece of chocolate after lunch, even though I don’t physically “need” it anymore. As an interim you can switch to tea, as the caffeine in tea is not nearly as harmful as the caffeine in coffee. Chocolate is actually pretty healthy for you and has lots of antioxidants in its raw, organic form…not the yummy kind that’s been processed with lots of sugar added to it.
There are several essential oil products that can help support you in this process. Ocotea is a wonderful oil discovered for the general public by Young Living from their research with the indigenous people of Ecuador. If you already have some on hand at home, Thieves vitality essential oil blend is great to take a few drops of internally during the day. A great tea to switch to to get off of coffee is Slique Tea, formulated by Gary Young of Young Living. Young Living is the only company to be blessed with being able to purchase this rare oolong tea, usually sold to tea connoisseurs in Thailand only. It has the highest antioxidant levels.
I know some of you may be feeling quite angry at my assertion that you could be a drug addict. Take a few deep breaths and try to let go of those emotions. Remember the first emotional stage of addiction is denial, followed by anger. You can read more about that here. Having grown up in a drug culture around many people addicted to illegal drugs, I guess it was just a complete shock to me to see all of these straight laced people completely addicted to a drug, coffee. The most bizarre thing to see is that they somehow have fooled themselves into thinking they are not consuming a drug and their daily dependance on it is nothing more than normal. In reality, I see the exact same behavior exhibited in these very sophisticated, productive, sometimes elderly members of society that I saw in my illegal drug addict friends growing up. Granted coffee isn’t as rapid of a demise as illegal drug addiction, but lets just be honest with ourselves. If you drink coffee every day and can’t just stop without being sick, you are a drug addict. I’m not telling you that you have to stop, even though your body will thank you, I’m simply asking that people stop lying to themselves about the reality of what they are doing.
(11/09/18 UPDATE: Shortly after I wrote this we had our 6th child, who was planned and we can’t imagine life without, but he was a terrible sleeper, I became severely sleep deprived and my adrenals tanked again. I have yet to recover, with many other life issues and still consume sugar pretty regularly with occasional fasts. I have even started to consume a bit of caffeine in Ning Nitro and NingXia Zyng, both of which are very mild levels of caffeine and naturally occurring from green & white tea. They also both contain fantastic essential oils that help support the body…two other products that could be great to switch to if you are trying to wean off of coffee. I on the other hand, do not consume coffee and have been slowly cutting back on my consumption of both of these!
My husband is a coffee drinker and two things he has found to help curb his coffee habit is drinking our homemade bone broth first thing in the morning and drinking bullet proof coffee.)