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  • Writer's pictureShelby O'Hagan

I broke up with caffeine

It was beautiful while it lasted. A recap ;)

a hand holding a cup of hot chocolate
Mushroom Hot Chocolate

Let me make something clear:

I had no intention of quitting caffeine/coffee when I began Sober October.

In fact, I figured I'd probably cheat a little on the no booze thing -- who am I trying to prove myself to anyway, ya know? Ha.. ๐Ÿ˜œbut instead, I haven't even wanted alcohol (I had a couple glasses of wine at Thanksgiving, but more on that later) and here I am a week into no coffee without any intention of going back. Life's weird sometimes. ๐Ÿคช

So what happened??

Well it comes down to the fact that I take naps, and that I've been a napper for most of my adult life. Generally my energy levels are pretty good, but by mid-afternoon there's usually a dip, and the only solution is a lil snooze. My whole family is like this.

Last weekend I was chattin with the boyfriend making plans for something, and I mentioned that I would probably want a lil catnap. That's when he dropped the bomb -- that my afternoon naps might be an energy crash from my morning coffee. I was immediately on the defense.

"NO. That's not possible. Me and coffee have a relationship... a romance. I only drink one, mayyyybe two cups... I cut my coffee intake down years ago, it's literally not even possible. Plus I love coffee. It tastes so good, it feels so good... I've been a barista for over a decade. No, there's no way."

But deep down, I knew it was true.

Of course things always seem to align when we're on the right path, and the next morning I noticed Lion's Mane mushroom powder on sale at the grocery store. If you don't already know, Lion's Mane is known as the brain booster mushroom. It supports brain health, mental clarity, focus, and memory. A perfect substitute for coffee. Immediately after getting home, I made myself a mushroom hot chocolate: Lion's Mane, cacao powder, and collagen whirred in hot water with a big splash of whole milk and sweetened with local honey. It wasn't coffee, but it tasted pretty dang okay. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€โ€๐Ÿ˜† At least okay enough to commit to experimenting with going without coffee.

What I noticed after was a boost in focus and motivation.

I got a lot done. I felt good. And I didn't need a nap.

The next day was the same.

And the next.

And the next...

Damnit. ๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜‚

So here we are on Day 8.

  • I'm sleeping better

  • I'm waking up easier (and before my alarm?!)

  • I'm feeling energized and focused throughout the entire day

  • I don't need to nap

  • I don't feel jittery or anxious

  • The whites of my eyes seem a little brighter

  • AND I think my teeth will get a little whiter too ๐ŸŒŸ

Whaaat theeee heckkkkk! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Funny to know that this connection exists and is common but to have never ever considered it for myself. Goes to show how blind we can be to our own patterns!

What's more is that caffeine has come up a few times recently on my current favorite podcast.

Since I'm waking up so much easier, I've been going on long walks first thing in the morning. It feels so good to get a little movement right away, plus it gives me an opportunity to listen to a podcast and catch the sunrise. It's awesome. Highly recommend. ๐ŸŒž

Not only does caffeine affect our nervous system - hello anxiety - but it also affects our hormonal system. It does this by stimulating adrenaline release AND estrogen production among other things.

I also learned that caffeine has been shown to reduce the chances of conception for women looking to start a family.

I'm not qUiTe there yet, but I do hope to start a family in the next few years. And as I'm already in my early thirties, both of these nuggets of information are pretty valuable and motivating.

So here we are...

Long time barista and lover of coffee... turned caffeine-free... and stoked about it!

I'm sure in the future that I'll decide to have a cup every once in a while, but for now I'm pretty convinced that it doesn't have much to offer me... other than dysregulation, infertility, and that beloved hit of energy followed by an afternoon nap.


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