Decaffeinate Your Life: My Journey to Balanced Wellness
For those of you who are just tuning in, a few weeks ago I began working with Pressed Vibrance in a quest to heal my body from inflammation and fix my imbalances…aka put an end to the painful cystic acne that has plagued my face for the past year or so, and to do it naturally. I identify as an HSP - highly sensitive person - and with that comes an array of health issues since birth. Some of the many issues I’ve struggled with over the years include: many allergies (to food, pets, the environment), eczema, and IBS. Basically, about once a quarter, I find myself in the doctor’s office for some chronic illness or rash. Joy!
In order to get started on my journey to optimal health, I had a meeting with Eric Cooper (founder of Pressed Vibrance) where we went through my entire routine - from the food I consume and the products I use on my body. With that came the discussion of my sleep cycle. For the past year and a half, I have struggled with sleep insomnia - I am able to fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, but I wake up in the middle of the night, wide awake and ready to start my day, unable to fall back asleep until hours later. This has been exhausting (literally) as I then find myself snoozing through my alarm unable to wake up when I really need to. This has also been discouraging as I truly am a morning person and used to love early morning workouts. I’ve tried everything - sleep mask, white noise machine, meditating before bed, putting my phone away, CBD oil, Melatonin. You name it, I’ve tried it. No success.
Caffeine was the first to go. After speaking with Eric, I learned my morning staple wasn’t doing me any justice. I was shocked to learn that my 8am coffee could actually have an effect on my sleep cycle 16 hours later. It makes sense knowing how sensitive my body is, but I was still pretty mindblown, especially since I don’t have an issue falling asleep - it’s just staying asleep that is hard for me. I was not thrilled to give up coffee as I love both the taste and the ritual of it. But if it meant finally sleeping again AND helping my skin issues, I was fully committed.
“Going caffeine free has many deeply beneficial properties. For women, eliminating coffee can aid in digestion, reduce skin issues, calm the nerves, help in conceiving, and help subside menstrual issues as well as a host of other endocrine challenges. Mainly, it allows the body to effectively reduce inflammatory triggers.
The caffeine in coffee increases catecholamines, which are your stress hormones. This response, which is a stress response, elevates one’s cortisol - which will increase insulin levels. Insulin increases inflammatory triggers.
The main reason I suggested to eliminate the consumption of coffee was to help aid in rebalancing your body. Reducing the inflammatory triggers will allow you to achieve the goal you set out - which was to help sleeping through the night, as well as aiding in clearing up your skin. Both deeply affected by the consumption of coffee. Coffee affects the endocrine system (your hormonal system), which dictates how your skin looks and feels. Coffee interrupts your stress hormones, which affects your quality of sleep. Remove the items that take your body out of balance and you’ll be on your way to restoring that vibrance.”
I immediately gave up caffeine - coffee, matcha, pre-workout - and immediately noticed the changes. Not only was I finally able to sleep through the night, but my anxiety decreased as well as my heart palpitations, which I thought were caused by me having an unidentifiable heart issue (literally went to the ER and had an EKG because I thought I had a heart condition, only to find out that everything was functioning correctly). Sure, I still have stress in my life that causes a little bit of anxiety, but overall, it has decreased exponentially. This has been SUCH a game-changer for me.
Was caffeine easy to give up? Nope. I gave it up cold-turkey and to be completely honest, the first five days were brutal. I was lethargic, irrationally upset by everything and everyone, and just straight up sad. Think PMS on steroids. I switched out my morning coffee for a warm lemon water, and pumped as much water through my body as I possibly could. It was crazy to see how much my body depended on caffeine.
Do I miss it? Absolutely. I am sitting in a coffee shop as I write this, mouth-watering from the smell of espresso. I have switched out coffee for water (PV's Antioxidant & Fire are my favorites!) - and a lot of it. Am I going back? Probably not. I feel great and it has been so worth it.
When I shared all of these positive changes with you all via Instagram, I wanted to see if anyone else felt that they could give up coffee if it meant improving certain aspects of life. I was shocked by the number of people who said that they had also given up caffeine and others who said they wanted to but weren’t sure if they could do it.
Liz Mace, one half of singing duo Megan & Liz (THEY'RE AMAZING!), shared her story:
“I cut out caffeine about two months ago, because I was having heart palpitations throughout the day CONSTANTLY. So much to the point where I convinced myself I had a heart condition - but after a conversation with my mom, I soon found out that she too is very sensitive to caffeine and asked me how much I was drinking in a day. I drank a venti plain iced coffee DAILY for the past 4-5 years. I know that’s not a ton, but for someone who is sensitive to it, it was overwhelming my system. Since completely cutting it out (and I mean completely - no teas, no nothin’...I only drink water now) I’ve noticed that my overall anxiety level has gone way down. I also don’t have a high and a crash, I’m at a constant level the whole day. My sleep has vastly improved as well, I feel like I’ve never had better sleep in my whole life than how I’m sleeping right now! I’m not going to lie and say I don’t miss it, because I do. Coffee was a comfort blanket for me in my daily routine, but the low anxiety, heart palpitation free life I’ve traded it for are definitely worth it.”
Many others said that by giving up caffeine, they too, were able to greatly decrease their anxiety, and overall had a better quality of life. Does any of this resonate with you? Have you ditched caffeine yet? Would you, if it meant feeling better, crashing less, and being a little closer to living your best life? Share your story with us. We love to hear from you!