I love coffee! As a young child, I remember sneaking in sips of Irish coffee my parents served to guests after dinner in little white Danish cups with saucers! As a teenager, hazelnut coffee brewing in the kitchen was a staple. As a college student, I routinely downed 20 oz caffè mochas – chocolate, milk, espresso – before Starbucks was even a thing! And as a Mama, I’d smile before bed just thinking of my morning cup of Joe. Honestly, coffee was part of my identity.
I’m not here to declare coffee is terrible for you. It’s packed with disease-fighting antioxidants! But, if you’re a wee bit curious about how to upgrade your morning coffee, decrease your daily consumption, or wean off coffee completely, keep reading. From one coffee lover to another, you won’t be disappointed.
“Your decisions shape your destiny.” – Tony Robbins
Let’s be clear. I wasn’t looking to wean off coffee. It’s funny how one decision leads to another. I made a decision to do a 4-day cleanse with my friend, co-led by Tony Robbins and Anthony Williams, better known as “the celery juice guy.” That decision led me to the decision to wean off coffee.
“Your decisions shape your destiny.” – Tony Robbins
The cleanse didn’t include coffee, not shocking. So we headed north to the lakehouse for four days and left my coffee behind. If you’re a coffee snob who fresh presses your morning coffee like me, I know you’re feeling my pain right now.
Day 01 without coffee was what I expected: cranky, headache, foggy brain, and low energy. I didn’t expect the upper leg muscle tension on Days 02, 03, 04, and 05. No matter how much I moved, massaged, or moaned (LOL), my thighs felt like they were continually contracting. It wasn’t pleasant!
What amazed me was my friend, whose daily caffeine consumption equaled mine or more, had no withdrawal symptoms. None! Notta one! For the first couple of days, when I was jonesing for my morning coffee, she wasn’t missing caffeine at all. The whole juxtaposition made me go, “Hmmm.” Why is that? Common sense tells me my body had its full of caffeine and was painfully letting me know it. While her body clearly functioned just the same – with or without caffeine.
All decisions start with clarity. My five days of pain off caffeine provided painful clarity: I was consuming too much of it for my health.
For the first few days of the four-day cleanse, I didn’t decide what I wanted to do about caffeine. The first day, my foggy brain couldn’t even think straight. On the second and third day, I was flip-flopping between rationalizing why caffeine is a health benefit. I went from “I don’t need to change my morning habit” to “too much of a good thing isn’t healthy” and ultimately landing on the truth: I don’t want to be dependent on a morning cup of joe.
On day four, I made a decision. Coffee is not my identity. Health is my identity. I clearly see I’m consuming too much caffeine for me, and I’m willing to make an effort to find a replacement.
“It has a sly habit of slipping in the back door and often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize an opportunity.” – Napoleon Hill
When I returned home from the four-day cleanse, I reverted to my morning coffee by day six or seven. I did drink my lemon/lime water and celery juice before, though! LOL. Progress over perfection, right? When you want to remove a habit, it’s easier if you replace one habit with another.
First, I tried Chaga mushroom tea. I pressed it in my coffee press for sentimental reasons, but it tasted like a bad cup of watery coffee. When I confessed my Chaga struggle during a DETOX 7-Day Reset, one of the participants messaged me: ‘Have you tried MUD/WTR?” I had forgotten about this healthy coffee alternative! It has 1/7th the caffeine of coffee and tastes incredibly yummy. The cacao, masala chai, cinnamon, and sea salt brilliantly disguise the Chaga and other mushrooms in it!
You can make MUD/WTR with coffee or with water. So over a few weeks, I lowered the amount of coffee and increased the amount of water. Bingo! If you’re curious, try a new morning ritual with MUD/WTR. It’s FUN!
I still enjoy my favorite coffee. It’s fair-trade, organic, and made with trace minerals (to reduce acidity) and green tea (to boost antioxidants.) It’s also free of mycotoxins – the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that readily colonize crops, including coffee. I’m grateful I have coffee when I want to, not because I have to in order to get my day started. Health is freedom!
P.S All decisions start with clarity. Painful clarity is incredibly motivating! Remember, it’s always easier to release a habit if you replace it with another. Humans generally avoid loss. Either way, you still have choices! I hope you’re inspired to upgrade your morning coffee, decrease your daily consumption, or wean off coffee entirely if that’s what you need to do for your health. From one coffee lover to another, it’s liberating!
About the Author: Dr. Sue
Sue McCreadie, MD (aka Dr. Sue), is a board-certified pediatric physician and wellness expert with two decades of experience helping thousands of families achieve vibrant health. In her pediatric practice, Dr. Sue helps children adapt their diet and lifestyle to optimize their genetics for health naturally. Online Dr. Sue helps other women learn how to eat for their genetics and use a nutritional system to feel confident with energy to live their best life. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, Dave, and their three children, Kaitlin, Elle, and Addison.