I recently decided to make a huge life change and stop drinking regular coffee for good. It’s no secret that my anxiety has always been a huge player in ruining my day-to-day life, and I figured cutting coffee out might help not only my anxiety, but my insomnia. However, I work a full-time job and cutting out all caffeine wasn’t possible for me, so I switched to green tea!
Before I get into what it’s been like to withdrawal from coffee, let me go over what changes I made to help manage the symptoms. As I said I started drinking green tea on the regular and I changed my diet quite a bit in order to help curb any cravings. I made a very brief daily meal plan where I list what I’m eating, but the most important and helpful change has been drinking hot water with lemon before I eat anything in the morning.
From what I’ve read it helps cleanse the body and rehydrate after sleeping, which I found to be mostly true. I’ve been doing this for two solid weeks now, and this past week I’ve noticed how clear my skin looks and how my complexion has evened out where I tend to get rosy. I haven’t had clear skin like this since before puberty… that’s enough for me to keep doing what I’m doing. No cystic acne, no little white heads, very few clogged pores, shrinking pores. I’m throughly impressed with this change.
Although, I’m not 100% sure I’d narrow it down to just the lemon and water. I am drinking around three large mugs-worth of green tea a day, sometimes more if it’s iced green tea, and on top of that I’m drinking about two liters of water. The water is for hydration after workouts, and to help curb my appetite and exhaustion. Over the years I’ve learned that drinking water helps me understand what my body needs when I’m not sure if my insulin resistance is acting up, or it’s anxiety building. Drinking more water also helps the heart palpitations you get when you’re coming off of a large daily dose of caffeine. The hot lemon water in the morning also helps restore your body’s electrolytes if you are drinking copious amounts of water.
When I looked into how drinking hot lemon water could help manage my PCOS I came upon this study done on mice. In regards to weightloss and insulin resistance, the mice on a high fat diet, but still fed lemon polyphenols didn’t gain quite as much weight as they typically would. It was also discovered that glucose levels and insulin resistance had an easier time finding balance, especially if the mice were on a low fat diet.
That might sound obvious, but being on a low fat diet doesn’t automatically fix your insulin resistance, especially if you’re already prediabetic. (At this point, I’ll mention again that I’m not a doctor, and everything written is based on my own experience!). My insulin resistance is at it’s absolute worst around 11:30 am, 4:00pm, and 10:30pm. I have been keeping a bullet journal for my mental health and PCOS symptoms, and while it’s annoying, particularly when I’m at work, I’m not starving the whole day.
Wow, that was long winded! Now, getting rid of my beloved coffee...that was so difficult. I think eventually I’ll add in espresso because the Italian in me would suffocate without it in my life, but for now I’m giving up all “regular” coffee, or American style coffee. The first day I felt exhausted beyond belief and the green tea felt like I was drinking plain water. I should mention that I was drinking between 20 to 32 ounces of coffee a day. Not as much as some, but enough to cause problems I wasn’t really aware of, and had adapted to over the decades of massive coffee consumption.
The following days were awful. I was cranky, depressed, having crazy heart palpitations, vomiting, constipation, body aches, ugh. It was so awful. Today it really the first day where I haven’t felt exhausted and sick. It took me a full two weeks to get this far, and really I started this because I was too poor to go out and purchase more coffee for the upcoming work week. I have a plethora of tea, so I decided it was time. I’m broke and all I’ve got are hundreds of bags of tea. Bring it on.
I’m still having some digestive issues, but I think it’s getting better. I definitely had a massive detox, and I’m watched my diet more closely so that I’m eating more fiber - coffee was my fiber. The lumberman that chopped down the trees to send down the river if you know what I mean…
I wanted to make a cup of coffee to take a photo of for this blog post, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I know I’d drink it and feel sick! I have enjoyed buying new tea and learning different ways to prepare tea. I had one cup of earl grey the other day and it was a little too much. One day I’ll get there again! Until then, if you have PCOS, or anxiety, I suggest giving up coffee if you’re a regular drinker, even an occasional drinker. Try green tea and hot lemon water for two weeks and see if it makes a difference for you. Let me know if it does!