"Coffee convinces me that the minutes of pleasure I get from drinking it are worth more than whatever is coming down the pike as a result of the creamy elixir. It isn't long before that thinking...that behavior...that mentality gets applied to whatever I put into my mouth."
~ Wendy O'Neill, Health, Wellness & Success
As a result of the New Year's 23 DAYS TO A HEALTHIER YOU program, I've been completely abstaining from all caffeine. And, once again, I am aware of how much BETTER I feel! And yet, up until now, I have always returned for more...like all typical dysfunctional relationships.
Coffee is the second-most consumed beverage on earth surpassed only by water. Billions of people drink it every day. Even the romance novels I read have folks drinking copious amounts of it - which I find myself envying. I don't even drink that much of it compared to other people - usually only an 8 oz. cup maybe a few times a week is all. So you might ask, "what's the big deal?"
For me coffee is a love-hate thing. I LOVE the taste and I enjoy the boost of energy and mood that it provides, especially if I didn't sleep well the night before and/or I'm feeling down. However, it is clear that it doesn't love ME!
While there is evidence of some positive effects of drinking coffee, there are also some really negative effects:
- extremely acid forming in the body (the basis of all disease).
- highly addictive - requiring more and more to produce the same effect.
- rancid oils from roasting the beans clog the liver.
- causes the stress response resulting in adrenal exhaustion which then adversely affects hormones, the immune system, the health of body tissues, and blood sugar regulation.
- results in a reduction of quality sleep.
- increases lumpiness and tenderness of cysts in breast tissue.
- contributes to excess body fat.
- stimulant effect allows people to push themselves beyond normal capacity and, with no nutrients to support that, can be very depleting.
- depletes B vitamins, calcium, and potassium.
- dehydrates the body.
- common health problems are headaches and migraines, irritability, stomach and digestive problems, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, heart disease, and is a major factor in breast, uterine and prostrate cancer.
With a history of adrenal issues, it makes sense that caffeine is something I should steer clear of. And there is no mistaking that when I drink coffee, even in small amounts, I get painful lumps in my right breast that go away completely when I abstain. I also experience more muscle tension in my neck and shoulders and, most importantly, I find that I have more cravings for acid forming foods and often cave in to food products that aren't good for me rather than staying the course of my healthy diet.
"In reality, caffeine doesn't give you energy - it gives you stress. I see so many people that try to eat well and exercise intelligently, but have trouble making progress because of a stress filled life. The total stress is cumulative, so coffee becomes fuel for the fire."
~ Scott Hagnas, Cross Fit Portland
Each time I go back to drinking coffee I notice just a little bit more how it is negatively affecting my mood, sleep, energy, body, and especially my diet. So this time, I'm giving it up for good!
Coffee isn't all good, nor is it all bad. But if you've noticed, like me, that your caffeine consumption takes more than it gives, maybe it's time to take a look at your relationship with it as well.
Happy, Healthy Living!
JoAnn Newton is a Holistic Nutrition Educator and Master Massage Therapist with a private practice in Graton, CA.
Passionate about helping people transform their health through holistic nutrition, she facilitates the 23 day online Nutritional E-Cleanse Program with coaching, compassion, and humor.