Caffeine-Free Me

I’ve been told multiple times to give up coffee: when my stomach issues started six years ago, last summer when I was trying to do a semi-elimination diet. Six years ago, I basically ignored the doctor. Give up coffee? Oh. Hell. No. Last summer, I took things a bit more seriously, but I still wasn’t quite ready to give up coffee.

But with this latest round of stomach issues (no doubt triggered by the stress of being laid off), I gave up coffee willingly. (I know, I’m shocked, too.) When I was in Margate for the Fourth of July, I realized that I didn’t have coffee all weekend and my stomach also felt fine all weekend. Driving back, I stopped for a coffee and stopped very shortly thereafter for a bathroom stop.

The correlation between coffee and stomach issues couldn’t have been more obvious at that point, and I decided to give life without coffee a try. I think the fact I don’t have to be at work early in the morning now has helped the transition a ton–needing to be alert at work is a big reason I had a hard time giving it up in the past. It’s been about three weeks, and I can honestly say the change in how I feel is so dramatic. No more running to the bathroom a gazillion times a day. It’s seemed that, for me, the acidity of coffee stays with me all day and continues to bother my stomach sometimes.

I am, however, perpetually sleepy.


I haven’t been posting as many food pictures lately, partially because I’m bored of them, partially because my meals have been very random as I try to figure out what I can and can’t tolerate. I have been trying to eat lots of small meals and snacks, and that also seems to be working. (But the lack of coffee really still seems to be the most helpful.) This morning, that was cookie dough cereal with chocolate chips to make it chocolate chip cookie dough cereal.

Lunch was far too boring to even photograph: just a naked turkey burger and a microwaved sweet potato. Yawn.


Tonight, I made some whole wheat fusilli, sauteed onions, spinach, mushrooms and grape tomatoes and topped it all off with some pesto and chicken. Yum.

Will run for fusilli.

13 comments on “Caffeine-Free Me

  1. Cait @ Beyond Bananas

    Theodora – I am hoping that your giving up of coffee will help your stomach problems!! Maybe without the caffeine – you will be able to choose from a wider variety of foods – and it is really the caffeine that lies at the root of your problem.

    I feel you on the boredom of taking pictures of meals. That is where I am at right now as well!

    1. Theodora

      @Cait @ Beyond Bananas: So far, so good! It really seems like it’s helped so much. I’ve even been able to add some dairy back in! I started my blog to document everything I eat, so it’s hard to completely get away from that, but I’m largely over it.

  2. Emily

    when I was two months out from election day while in the middle of running a statewide campaign, I gave up ALL caffeine. It was miserable at first, but my body got surprisingly used to it very fast and I really, truly did not need caffeine to get through the day. And i was drinking a butt ton up until that point…I would tell you exactly how much but it would probably make you sick all over your computer and you’re just barely getting better…so, I’ll spare you. You’re welcome.

  3. Katherine

    I’ve tried giving up coffee and that is tough. The trade off sounds worth it for you though!

    I see someone suggested B12 to you, I’ve heard vitamin D (good old sunlight) and iron are supposed to help tiredness. But I’m always tired too, even with coffee. I either sleep too much or not enough

  4. Alison

    I gave up all caffeine about a year ago. I found it tricky a first. The best part is that I now sleep better – I slept more soundly and wake up way less through the night. I also have found a replacement that helps. I drink plain hot water like grandmothers do but I found that I just needed something warm to wake me up…. If i really need a pick me up I will have a black tea with caffeine in the morning…. I find that will stay with me all day.

  5. Jill

    I rarely drink coffee because I discovered the same thing, it made me feel awful, even though I loved the awake feeling. I drink a lot of tea though, and now I prefer it. Its not as much caffeine as coffee but now that I’m used to it, when I do have the occasional cup of coffee I feel like I’m bouncing off the walls. So, it may work for you!

  6. D

    it has some caffeine, but I use gunpowder green tea 9specifically, hate the other green stuff out there!)
    to replace coffee which I gave up sadly a few years ago.

    I love Twinings loose leaf Gunpowder Green the best
    (Numi gunpowder Temple of heaven 2nd)-the trick is to not steep more than 2 min or it tastes bitter & nasty!It took me a month or so of trying green teas until I finally found one I love.Now I start my day with it, but if I don’t have one I don’t get the horrible caffeeine headaches I used to get without coffee!


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