Guide to a Coffee Sabbatical: Reducing Caffeine Intake

I am a huge fan of coffee, and I don’t make that a secret. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I recently took a 2 week coffee sabbatical. I kept getting asked why I was embarking on this caffeine-reduction journey, and the simply answer was:
“I love coffee, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.”
With my current work situation, I am waking up earlier, having more meetings, and doing more after lunch runs to Starbucks. I have always had coffee every morning before noon. However, lately it has been a venti bold before 10:30am, a 12oz before lunch, and an Americano for the afternoon. Let’s just say that this adds up to a lot of caffeine and lot of bad habits. I’m an all-or-nothing personality, so when I need a reset, I need to do the whole cold turkey thing. So, I decided to give up coffee for 2 weeks. I almost cried, got over it, and decided it was going to make it a mission to find alternatives! I have been giving alternative suggestions to patients for years, but wondered if there were new options out there. I’m here to report the deets! Keep a couple things in mind, number one on this list is really the only alternative that feels and somewhat tastes like coffee, and the rest are just fun alternatives to try. The other thing to keep in mind is that some of these options are completely caffeine-free and others have a little, so if you are trying to give up all caffeine, no green teas.

List of Coffee Habit Alternatives: (that aren’t sugar bombs and would be enjoyed by the health-conscious)
1. Dandy Blend

  • This stuff is by far the closest taste and feel to coffee!  It’s bitter, rich, and somewhat frothy
  • Caffeine free
  • Good for liver function
  • Buy on Amazon or at a health food store
  • Powder that just dissolves in liquid: hot or cold
  • Make coffee-flavored stuff with it like my Dandy Blend Ice Cream recipe!

2. Rebbl Maca Mocha

  • This you can find at Whole Foods
  • This tastes like a treat, let’s be honest
  • Dark cocoa, chicory, and coconut milk
  • Superfood addition: maca; I love maca for hormone health
  • Somewhat expensive if you want to have it often.  Think around $3 for 12 oz

3. Rebbl Reishi Chocolate

  • Buy at Whole Foods
  • This is like chocolate milk
  • Dark cocoa, vanilla, and coconut milk
  • Superfood addition: Reishi; I love the idea of using beta-glucans to improve immune function and liver detoxification
  • Somewhat expensive but remember you get a 10% discount at Whole Foods if you buy a case at a time

4. Starbucks Shaken Iced Tea: Passion Fruit

  • This is sort of fruity with a hint of cinnamon?
  • It’s pink and refreshing
  • Order unsweetened
  • Great option if you’re with people at Starbucks
  • Similar cost to your coffee

5. Starbucks Shaken Iced Tea: Peach Green Tea

  • If you like peach tea, this is a subtle version with a little bitter hint of green tea
  • This is also refreshing
  • Order unsweetened
  • Green tea has many anti-aging benefits and plant chemicals that improve health
  • Has some caffeine because of the green tea

6. Green juice

  • If you have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s nearby, you can buy these pre-juiced
  • If you have a juicery close to you, it can be a good “get out of the office” run
  • If you have a juicer at home, it can replace your morning habit of making coffee to making juice
  • FULL of nutrients and great for your health and beauty
  • Store-bought needs to be cold pressed and not pasteurized, which can be tough to find
  • Juicery prices can be steep
  • You’ll have to clean up if you do it at home

7. Herbal Tea

  • Experiment with all kinds of flavors. You may find one that you love more than coffee!
  • Mint tea is great for those with PCOS
  • Ginger and turmeric are great for inflammation
  • Chai is usually a black tea base so has some caffeine, but this is a great alternative

8. La Croix

  • This is a fizzy, store-bought drink that comes in a can like soda
  • Grapefruit is the only flavor I like
  • You can buy it by the case
  • May fill the afternoon drink necessity

9. Flavored water

  • Flat or carbonated water will do
  • Add herbs like sage or mint
  • Add citrus like lemon, lime, or grapefruit
  • Possibilities are endless and free

10. Dandy Blend Mocha Latte

  • Use dandy blend to make 10 oz hot water and 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Add a splash of almond milk
  • Add a TBSP collagen
  • Add TBSP of cocoa powder
  • Blend until mixed and pour into travel coffee mug and feel like a starbucks treat has been served at home

Why would I take people off of caffeine or coffee?

There are many reasons but many people don’t realize that coffee is contributing to the following issues:

  • Headaches
  • Jittery feeling or racing heart
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergies
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hormone issues
  • Acne
  • Energy dips

If you decide to take a coffee sabbatical, set a time frame and just monitor how you feel.  If you feel great, then maybe you shouldn’t have it daily.  Sometimes I will then set limitations such as one day a week and one day on the weekend.  Many times these issues are due to exceeding a threshold.  Maybe it’s fine to have on occasion, but not so fine to have daily.  It’s your body, and you know it better than anyone.  Experiment on yourself!


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