Coffee is full of antioxidants and the next answer to diabetes and heart disease prevention one minute, and evil the next. I personally didn’t care what the latest was because I was drinking 3-5 cups a day and if you tried to take it away from me I would hiss at you. For real.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been trying to get on top of my autoimmune symptoms with diet and exercise— the next step for me was to try Paleo AIP – or Paleo Autoimmune Protocol.

There are a lot of ‘no’s’ when you’re eating AIP (no eggs, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no nightshades, no nuts and seeds, no sulphites and preservatives, no added sugars.. you get it) but the biggest commitment factor for me was quitting coffee.

I went cold turkey, otherwise I would have been cutting down for years, and I stretched out what I told myself would be a 10 day experiment, into a month.

It was torture and I learned a lot.

  1. You hate the world for 10 days.
  2. You have migraines and headaches that make you have to redefine migraines and headaches.
  3. You sweat. At night, during the day, from your fingertips and the tip of your nose— pretty much all the time and from every pore.
  4. The smell of coffee shops and even a stranger’s stale coffee breath has you inhaling with deep and delicious fantasies of caffeinated bliss.
  5. You realize you are addicted even if you didn’t think you were.
  6. You learn to appreciate hot water and lemon in the morning.
  7. Your skin actually starts retaining moisture because you’re not mainlining a diuretic.
  8. You sleep like a baby, and
  9. You can fall asleep like you’re under hypnosis. (*Snap* aaaand your out.)
  10. You realize a good 30% of your anxiety might be coming from a cup.
  11. You don’t have an afternoon wall to hit— your energy feels more stable.
  12. The yearning for coffee never actually goes away.
  13. Your tolerance for caffeine resets to rock bottom.
  14. A single cup of coffee packs way more punch than you remember. No I mean really— I reintroduced 1 cup at 5pm, and am still wide awake at 5:15am with no sleep in my immediate future. Which leads me to
  15. You realize that you weren’t using coffee, you were abusing coffee.

I know, I know. ‘Abusing’ sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I mean, the same way glue is meant to hold things together and not be huffed; coffee is meant to be ingested in moderation and not guzzled like it’s some kind of life plasma. (Who are we kidding? It kind of is.)

Will I go back to drinking coffee everyday? I don’t know.

But I do know that taking a break really refreshes your perspective. One cup is enough— if you find yourself drinking a few pots worth a day it might be time to scale way back.

And just so you know, it’s 6:48, I’m still awake, have written this article, packed lunches, made breakfast, made sure the kids were dressed, and have um, maybe put on a fresh pot.

Tricky fella, that Joe.