I’m Free! How I Broke a 30-Year Caffeine and Soda Addiction

Tom turns one year old today, and it doesn’t feel like that long ago we were sharing crazy nesting stories and I introduced him to you. The festivities continue into the weekend, but for now I was thinking about how I’ve made so many personal changes thanks to him, things I never thought I could do.

The year my daughter, my first child, was born was the most blissful, peaceful year of my life. She was an easy baby to care for and indulged me with three naps a day. I had free time to read, become accustomed to being a stay at home mom, and pursue my interests which led to writing here at Small Notebook.

This past year that Tom was born has challenged me to grow in ways I didn’t expect, it has stretched me beyond what I thought I was capable of and refined me to be stronger in the end. Oh baby who does not nap and who cries whenever I set you down! On your very first day the Lord impressed on my heart, “Be gentle with him.” I would have been at my wit’s end otherwise.

When he was three weeks old I felt convicted to stop drinking soda. My daughter was old enough to notice what I drank, and I didn’t want her to develop a taste for it. I stopped buying soda and drinking it at home, although I still had it sometimes when we went out. I drank more tea.

Shortly after that, we realized Tom showed several signs of food intolerance from the beginning, and I gave up all my favorite foods. My husband and daughter have food intolerances too, and though I tried to be similar to them, I found it so hard to do on my own. A couple of years ago I read Sally Parrot Ashbrook’s story of how when she changed her diet, her husband supported her and gave up foods too. When I read that, I thought two things:

1. What a loving thing to do.
2. I could never do that.

So here I had just stopped drinking soda at home, which was something I had depended on when I needed a shot of energy or a break, and now I was avoiding the foods on a list that grew longer with every passing week. I was giving up my dependence on comfort foods. It was worth it though. I realized I could make a safe haven for my kids at home, because everywhere else they go they are exposed to risk of becoming sick from other people’s food. I didn’t expect the blessing of family unity when I conformed to their needs instead of holding out with my own.

Without a break during the day, I was exhausted by 9 p.m., and I started going to bed early. I wrote about how changed from being a night owl to an early bird, and how it once felt natural to stay up late, but I finally started taking better care of myself.

Recently I had started drinking more tea with caffeine. I also started drinking more soda because when we went out I got refills since I knew I wouldn’t have it at home. I suspected caffeine made me irritable, but I assumed it was normal for a mom to feel slightly run down and tired at the end of a hard day. I loved the momentary boost I got from drinking tea or soda. I depended on it. I thought I needed it.

I loved drinking cups of hot tea. I love the routine of preparing them, the tradition, and the social aspects of getting together over coffee and tea. It was a nice respite that I still clung to, but then my baby boy changed it all. I became aware that every time I drank caffeine, his eczema flared up. So I gave that up too.

I started drinking water exclusively. After a week, I was amazed at how my mood and alertness improved. Even my husband noticed. I didn’t have mood swings in the late afternoon. I felt even-tempered and happy!

I had given up caffeine before, and I had tried to drink more water before, and I sort of tried to consume less sugar, but this was the first time I consistently did all three at the same time. For me, that was the secret.

1. I completely stopped drinking caffeine. Though some people favor a gradual step down, I always prefer to make big changes cold turkey.

2. I started drinking lots of water. I have a big jug I fill up twice a day, and I add sprigs of mint and a scant teaspoon of sugar to 32 ounces of water. It makes a refreshing minty water that I drink much faster than plain water.

3. I avoided extra sugar. After giving up so many foods, the cups of tea became my main source of sugar. I avoid herbal tea now. Though I don’t have a problem with herbal tea, I found myself adding heaping spoonfuls of sugar to each cup. If I slowly drink a cup of herbal tea, I won’t be as hydrated as when I drink a jug of water.

When I had previously given up coffee, tea, and soda, I was always conscious of how I was going without something that I wanted. It was really hard, and it only lasted as long as my willpower.

This time is different. I feel good, and I don’t feel like I’m going without. I finally found good health that other people alluded to, but which had seemed impossible, or impossibly hard.

All the times before that I had heard other people say to consume less caffeine and more water hadn’t motivated me to make a change, but feeling this good motivates me to keep it this way. I knew I had broken free from my addiction when I didn’t want to drink any tea or soda because it didn’t feel worth messing up how good I felt.

I want to be a “drink water” evangelist. I didn’t know it was possible to feel this way on a daily basis. I get to be a happy mom, and I really feel like it, I don’t have to fake it for my family. I can still “go out for coffee,” I just buy a bottle of water instead. I also don’t need to use under-eye concealer as much anymore because the dark circles under my eyes have faded and gone away.

Thank you, sweet guy.

Have you struggled with a caffeine addiction or tried to go without it? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Oh. I am loving a good Transformation Story right now, Rachel.

    I think I’ve finally convinced my self of the necessity of sleep.
    I’ll have to pay attention to the water thing and see if it benefits me as well.
    Now, if I could just get myself to spend less time on the computer or at least be more efficient about it… (Maybe your upcoming e-book will inspire that change? Looking forward to it.)

    Jill´s last post…A new Wednesday night routine

    • Oh yes! A good transformation story about spending less time at the computer would be so inspiring!

      Rachel–I do love this story and I love how real and down to earth you are with us. I have made a big change in not drinking any Diet Coke at home or at work and drinking much more water. I still get Diet Coke occasionally when we are out. I’m not sure I ever really want to get beyond that level. With the sugar, it’s the same. I did give it up successfully over Lent but I’m not sure if I noticed that big of a change in my health . . .

      I like your idea for flavoring the water slightly.

      Your boy is adorable! Congratulations to both mama and baby!

      Mary Beth´s last post…the miracle of weeknight dinner

  2. Sigh.

    Boy, can I relate… sort of.

    My daughter has never been a sleeper. Up 20 times a night from birth to 18 months, with only an hour total of napping a day her whole life (3 twenty minute naps… Grrreat.). She now, at 2 only sleeps 9 hours every 24!

    I was never a caffeine person, but I have come to absolutely depend on it.

    Recently, though, I became pregnant (yea!), and started going to sleep with my daughter at 8:30 ish… (although I don’t fall asleep until 9 ish). I’m amazed at how much better I feel, esp b/c I used to be such a night owl.

    But, obviously, being pregnant I don’t want to consume caffeine… so I’m trying to cut down. (I’m under the rec limit, but I still want to do less). It’s so, so, hard though! Maybe I’ll try to add more water and see how that goes before removing the caffeine! Thanks for the encouragement that I may come out better in the end without it.

    The Butterfly Nest´s last post…Sleep- Glorious Sleep

  3. congratulations! I’m a coke drinker myself…sometimes. maybe once a week when I am drowsy at work. When I have sugary caffeine at lunch, I am prone to falling asleep at my desk in the afternoon. no good!

    I drink a ton of water but not water exclusively. Must try that.

    ***it is important to note that you can drink TOO much water and the symptoms of that are similar to dehydration. google the topic..the stories are there. At one point, I was drinking too much water and began getting headaches..so I had to cut back a little. seems unreal that you can drink too much, but you can.**

    I’m trying the sleep thing now. Realized I need more than 8 hours..but how much is enough? I went to bed at 8:30 last night and couldn’t get up with my alarm at 6 AM and barely dragged myself out of bed at 7 AM.. (doesn’t count the three trips during the night to use the bathroom and drink more water) :)

    sunny´s last post…colorful DIY wedding

    • If you are sleep deprived, it takes longer than one night to get enough sleep to reset your body. Most people need 7-9 hours a night. I remember I do great with about 9, but I haven’t had a full night of uninterrupted sleep in over a year.

    • Hi All,
      Love your honest comments. I help people get off caffeine and onto water every day and the results are amazing: more energy, increased mental clarity, less food cravings – esp. sweet stuff and junk carbs, less body aches, clearer skin etc… I love the taste of coffee but only have a couple of cups of decaf a month as a treat. Once at Panera, they mixed up the thermos and the one labeled decaf actually had regular coffee in it – I was a total wreck for two whole days. I wonder if our nation would be calmer and less stressed and depressed without caffeine.
      How do you know how many hours of sleep you really need? Go on vacation with no appointments or tee times – how many hours will you sleep? That’s your magic number.

  4. Jennifer Ott says:

    Um…I am not sure I wanted to read this! I am expecting my fourth, and my other kids are now old enough to notice what I drink. I do drink lots of water, but I enjoy a “treat” once in a while. I do drink lots of water (I love my Camelback)…but other things, too. My hubby hates soda and drinks only water and one cup of coffee a day. Perhaps I need to try this?!

  5. I forgot to mention that I do have smoothies which I make from frozen fruit and a little apple juice and coconut milk. Somehow I think of smoothies to be a food instead of a beverage because of everything I put in them.

    • Smoothies are my way of eating fruits that I might not otherwise eat (don’t prefer the texture or if the bananas get a little too ripe/mushy for me). I like to add a bit of ground flax seed as well. If I have a smoothie for breakfast it’s the majority of my breakfast (maybe with a piece of toast).

      Katy´s last post…ten years since I saw your face

    • I would love your smoothie recipe!

      Great post…..gorgeous baby boy!

      • ps—-I mean both of your recipes….Rachel and Katy.

      • Start with frozen fruit: strawberries, peaches, mango, or blueberries. A combination is nice.

        A ripe banana makes it smoother.

        Add liquid: I use a combination of apple juice and milk (almond milk or coconut milk)

        Add extras: green powder from the health food store, flax, protein powder, cod liver oil, or liquid vitamins.

        Squirt of honey or agave if the fruit is tart.

        Blend, baby!

        • just found your blog..love it!

          A spinach smoothie is an awesome way to get in that extra good stuff…I swear to you you can’t taste it although it does turn the smoothie some interesting colors!

          I add a handful or two in my blender with my juice/milk, etc and blend that first – amazingly the spinach blends up really well…then add my frozen fruits and any extras… with spinach being so good for you it’s an easy way to add it. I tell my son it’s a monstor smoothie that’s why it’s so…well..ucky colored!

          • We add spinach to our smoothies too! My husband thought I was the only person that did that! :) I call them space smoothies and my kids drink them down! And about the original post…I have been feeling convicted to give up coffee also…I start getting headaches in the afternoon if I have not had my second cup by then…oh my… that is BAD!
            Heather´s last post…Character Building Through Playing Marbles

  6. I gave it up 5 years ago while trying to get pregnant, and I now have a 2 yr old and haven’t missed it at all. I kept off it while breastfeeding because I *needed* her to sleep so I could sleep. In fact, if I order a decaf but get a caff by mistake, it actually really affects me with sleeplessness and irritability.

    I still drink my morning tea – it’s decaf black tea – and have decaf coffee when the aroma tempts me, but otherwise it’s water with lemon or lime juice for a bit of flavor and no sugar and it works for me!

    I’ve read, but can’t confirm it’s true, that when you feel that afternoon slump where you reach for a coke – they say drink a glass of water and you will be just as energized. It’s because you are dehydrated that you start to feel sleepy.

  7. Denise C. says:

    Happy 1st Birthday Tom! You are a sweetie! ;)

    I have a caffeine addiction, I don’t drink a lot of soda, just an occasional Diet Coke if my day has been rough. Coffee though is a whole different story. My husband & I have an espresso machine, & we love, love, love lattes. I have one in the morning, one in the afternoon, & sometimes one in the evening. It keeps me going. Drinking one at night (not every night) makes my insomnia worse. I am trying to cut them back, I did it once, I know I can do it again. ;)

    Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy Tom’s birthday celebrations. :)

  8. I’ve kicked the habit several times in my adult life, only to come right back to it. I don’t excel at moderation.

    Oddly, my caffeine habit began during childhood – my family always drank sweet tea, and I had no idea that it had caffeine or that caffeine was addictive or anything like that. But I specifically remember going camping with a friend’s family for a weekend and getting a headache and barfing and really wishing for a glass of sweet tea. Classic caffeine withdrawal! I was probably 10.

    Thanks for the encouragement to quit the soda/coffee habit. I have a suspicion soda and coffee (with cream and sugar) isn’t making me any skinnier, to boot.

  9. How crazy is the timing of your post?! I just gave up my soda addiction YESTERDAY. I did reasonably well considering the well-stocked fridge of free sodas at my office. Today is tougher because I’m really feeling the desire for that sweet, carbonated goodness but I’m not giving in.

    I’m so glad you mentioned your sleeping trend because I consider myself a night owl but noticed that without the caffeine yesterday, I was ready for bed by 10:30-11pm! It’s a good thing, it really is. Thanks for sharing; it’s an encouragement to me!

    Angela´s last post…Songs to Sing

    • I used to work in an office with free soda, and my addiction became worse then. I know it is so hard! Moderation is difficult for me when something is so available like that.

  10. Happy Birthday Tom! Trying to cut down or eliminate is hard. I need more willpower!

  11. Wow, that’s a really interesting insight you had, about noticing how when you drank water your mood improved and your son’s eczema went down. I always wonder what things I might pick on if I pay closer attention. Those totally make the sacrifice worthwhile. I’ve been weaning myself off soda for the past few years, and lately I’ve just become more aware of how I don’t want to be dependent on anything! That has made it easier to say no, although the routine part of me still wants it “just because.” But it’s gotten easier over time. Thanks for sharing your story/journey!

    carmen´s last post…A Lesson About Love from the Cereal Aisle

  12. I’ve quit drinking the stuff several times, only to start drinking it again. I switched recently to diet coke from coke, trying to lose weight. That stuff makes me feel even worse than just coke! So, now I am just trying to stop everything. I know I feel better when I drink water, what is it that makes us drink something else? Ugh. Thanks for sharing!

    Amy´s last post…A Sloooow Day

    • If you drink more water, you start to crave it. I was so glad to realize how good the mint water tasted to me, it made it easier to start drinking more.

      • I will agree…you do start to like it more..I’m excited to try it with the mint!

        When I have up pop on a 100 day challenge of no pop or candy, I lost weight without changing any of my other habits. My mom did too! Pop just isn’t good for ya!

  13. Oh, my goodness, how did you know!?

    I’ve been struggling with caffeine since I was a baby. Literally, there is a picture of me at 1 1/2 and I’m holding this huge liter bottle of Diet Coke. I like to joke that my parents put soda in my bottles because I’ve been drinking it since before I can remember.

    When I was about 11, I decided that I didn’t like Diet Coke anymore and I switched to regular Coke. I completely blew up and have never been able to get my weight back under control… until those brief times that I’ve been able to cut back on soda and drink water. Those times are very few and far between, but they’ve been getting better. My husband was very impressed that I was actually getting to the point where soda tasted weird to me. This last time has been the best so far.

    Unfortunately, as I started reading this, I’m finishing up a Coke that I bought this morning before class and realizing that I’ve completely fallen off the wagon yet again. :(

    Thanks for the reminder! I’m really going to do better!

  14. This was timely. I have been trying to give up caffeine this week. I’m pregnant with my 3rd baby and at this stage of every pregnancy, I get insane heartburn that is of course aggravated by coffee and soda. I’m not a huge soda (I don’t know why I keep calling it soda. I’m from the South and we call it “Coke”!) drinker, but I “need” my one cup of coffee in the mornings. I’ve done so well all week, but this morning I have just been irritable and had a headache, so i swung threw Starbucks while we were out and about. Other than the temporary joy I got from actually drinking the Caramel Frap, I am not really less grumpy, and I still have a headache. :( I needed to be reminded that I probably just need more time. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Denise C. says:

      Great name Haley! My daughter is a Hailey as well! I lived for 5 awesome years in Texas, & I’ll never forget how all sodas were known as “Coke”, even a non-coke drink! Great memories! :)

  15. I too don’t feel the need to give up coffee. I have cut it WAY back. Somedays not even one full cup. I am good with that. Good for you though Rachel. I would o the same if my baby suffered as a result of something I did.

    Most importantly, Happy Birthday Tom!

  16. Before I got pregnant with our first child, I kicked the caffeine habit entirely, which no one who knew me ever thought I would actually do. To be honest, it was really hard – I can cut back to one cup of coffee a day, but anything less than that will induce terrible migraines and nauseau and vomiting. Because this reaction was so bad, when I went through the three or so awful days of detox, I was confident I would never go back again.

    But then I visited my sister in Alaska for three weeks, and she made me iced mochas every morning. Often, she made them decaf, so I assumed that’s the way it was every time I drank them, but there was some sort of miscommunication, because the last week, she had made them regular every day. Unfortunately, I was hooked again, and pregnant with my 2nd. I was too exhausted and overwhelmed with two children to ever brave the detox period again. Now I am pregnant with my 3rd, and drink usually just one cup of coffee in the morning, because anything more than that makes me really irritable. I’ve mostly cut out diet soda, though, because I realized how awful I felt after drinking it when I cut it out of my diet for awhile. I would love to go off caffeine entirely, but there’s enough migraines and nausea going on already without adding caffeine withdrawal to it, at least for now! :)

    Jenni @ Life from the Roof´s last post…These are the days

  17. I went on an ALL fruit and vegetable silly crash diet in support of my daughter’s efforts to lose weight. I’m drinking lots of water as recommended and completely lost my coke (I’m Southern too, it’s actually Diet Mountain Dew for me) addiction without even realizing it!

    You are only supposed to do this diet for a week, but I feel great. While doing research on the wisdom of all fruits and vegetables I came across all kinds of info @ 80-10-10/Dr Doug Graham’s site. I haven’t bought any of his books (no spend month) but there is tons of information on line. I’m don’t see myself getting all militant but I have to say, I feel wonderful!

  18. I used to live on chocolate for over a decade. During my pregnancy I was a good girl, but after my twins were born, I reached for my Milka bar to save me. I used to eat a Milka bar a day, then two a day, recently it went up as high as three bars a day. My kids will be 5 soon and they too have food intolerances. They smelled the chocolate on my breath, I couldn’t do this to them. So I too have done what nobody thought was possible – I quit eating chocolate. I am over a month free of my addiction and feeling great. I have to thank my wonderful children for this one too.

    Eszter

  19. My husband is a physician. I want you to know that it is not only the sugar that spikes your blood sugar, it is also the carbonation. So drinking diet sodas is not the answer. If you aren’t allergic, some coffee is in fact good for you, as it is high in anti-oxidants. It is moderation that is key is any beverage you feel you “must” have.
    Brenda

    • I did not know that about the carbonation! I read more articles that coffee is good compared to the number that say it’s bad. So, today I had some coffee after weeks of one cup of tea in the morning. I was wired like a cheap bomb.

    • Carbonation could spike blood sugar? I don’t understand that. I would be interested to read about that if it is true.

    • I don’t know about carbonation, but the sweet taste of diet soda has been shown to still spike blood sugar in many studies. In some people it also causes other cravings too.

    • I would also like to know more about if this is true or not, since carbonated water has been a real help in getting me to drink less soda- are you saying that sparkling water could raise my blood sugar? seems unlikely, but I’d really like to know.

  20. Happy birthday to your sweet sweet adorable boy! What a blessing. Our kids teach us to be better in so many ways, don’t they? I am not sure I want to give up coffee, I have cut back and started drinking more water and oh my what a difference it makes. Great job, Rachel. And as always, you share things in such gentle ways it’s always a pleasure to read.

    xoxo
    Emily

  21. I’m on day three of being caffeine-free! My six-week old developed baby acne and a terrible temper: she wouldn’t, couldn’t fall or stay asleep and was just miserable. If it were just the crabbiness, I would attribute it to six-week fussiness, but the acne sent me a-googlin’. Most babies don’t react to modest caffeine levels (one can of soda a day was well within the norm), but some react with–wait for it–extra fussiness and inability to fall or stay asleep.

    So I jumped ship. And for good. I don’t like to be dependent on any substance, but I need to take it slowly: I’m still drinking non-caffeinated soda and probably will for a while so the change to a zero bubble lifestyle isn’t so traumatic. But I’m excited for the journey–thanks for the encouraging post!

    Mrs. J´s last post…Six-Seven Week Stretch

  22. Great story–thanks for sharing! I hate soda–the bubbles hurt my stomach–and I only drink water and coffee. But I do love my coffee! I don’t have any stories about how caffeine or sugar affect my children because my son is adopted and thus was formula fed, but I’m wondering if anyone can speak to the effect of caffeine on fertility. All of those generic “get pregnant” websites say to eliminate caffeine in the same breath that they say to get moderate exercise and eat healthy. BUT, I’ve noticed that none of my fertile friends stinted on the caffeine before their pregnancies. Does anyone know anything about caffeine’s real impact on fertility? I’d be interested to hear y’all’s thoughts! :)
    PS I love adoption and my wonderful son and I wouldn’t “rather” be pregnant than adopt, but infertility issues still interest me!

  23. Oh, Rachellllllllllllllllll. Why? Why do you have to call me on my weak spots? Kyle stopped drinking coffee altogether – just cold turkey. He wanted to allow his body to detox a long habit of drinking it all day long. I’ve been feeling convicted that maybe I need to, too . . . but I LOVE it so much! I mean, not just the boost, but the actual taste of it. It brings me such joy.

    But you know, I’ve really fallen into the habit of too little sleep and then depending on a morning cup to get going again. I definitely have the afternoon mood swings. I have an afternoon crash that leaves me totally unproductive.

    Do you think if I get tears in my eyes when I think about quitting that I might *possibly* be addicted?

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOM! He looks so grown up all of the sudden. SUCH the little man. XOXO

    Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last post…What Are You Into This Month

  24. Congratulations on finding something that works in your life. A little alarm bell went off when you said “I can still “go out for coffee,” I just buy a bottle of water instead.” Buying bottled water may well prove to be as bad for your children’s future as eating foods that affect their health.

    • thanks for bringing this up, winnie. the same alarm bells went off in my head too.

      i’d encourage you to bring your own cup or just ask for tap water in a coffee mug. the last thing our children need is more empty plastic water bottles in the landfill, ocean and even the recycling center!

      emily´s last post…new shed doors

      • I understand, but it’s not often and I usually drink water from the tap.

        The reason I buy the bottled water is so that I can give the coffee shop money for letting me enjoy being there. I wouldn’t want to sit at their table drinking free water. The other option would be to buy juice, and that comes in a bottle too.

        • oohh..that’s what I do too (to give the coffee shop business) and often I’ll get an organic chocolate milk – because I don’t get enough calcium and it’s cheaper than the bottled water. then I get a huge iced water from their tap – which is usually triple filtered water. yumm.

          sunny´s last post…colorful DIY wedding

  25. I’ve quit my cherry coke habit several times in the last few years, only to pick it up again a few weeks later.

    I have a number of challenges that keep giving me a good “excuse” to return to caffeine. My six year old daughter literally has to be drugged to sleep and even that doesn’t always work. She’s been like this since birth – no naps, no sleeping. Both my kids have medical problems that require me to be up several times at night giving them medications, checking levels of ketones, sugar, temperatures, etc. They get sick at least once a month for about ten days at a time and stop sleeping for more than an hour at a time each night and by the time the sun rises, I’m beyond exhausted. It’s been like this for a year, since their second medical diagnosis and the sleepless nights, plus the stress of my daughter’s behavior challenges (Autism-like nature), keep me STRESSED. I use cherry coke as comfort food. It’s not for the energy shot it gives me, because honestly, after all this stuff, there’s not enough energy in a food or drink to help me feel better. So I turn to sugar and cherry coke as a way to make me feel like at least something I like is happening in my day. It’s an awful reason, but there it is. So I’m having a hard time quitting. Although, we’ve recently moved to California where the price of soda, the kind I like, is insane. That’s helping me keep down the amount I’m drinking for sure.

    Wow. This was a super whiny comment. Sorry ’bout that. We’re in the middle of one of those “sick” phases and I’m too tired to find the energy to fake a reason for my coke addiction.

    • You don’t sound whiny, you sound like you’re going through a hard time. I wish I could give you a hug.

    • I agree with Rachel, I wish I could give you a hug. I am so sorry.

    • Laura,

      Fellow Special-Needs mom here. I am so sorry. I too am reading the stories of victory with a fleeting…”sometimes I wish my life were normal.” It is funny how I don’t necessarily dwell on wanting to change my kids’ needs, but my inability to adapt to what they need. We have medical and behavioral issues that keep us up, and it is long term, not like waiting for an infant to sleep longer at night. At the moment, our needs demand that my husband sleep on the sofa on our first floor (we have an adopted 7 year-old with birth home trauma, and he feels safer knowing Daddy is in a central location where he is easily accessible.) I used to love stretching out in the bed on the odd occasion I was alone, now it just stinks. And caffeine….oh dear. I did cut way back when I realized my tea-drinking was out of control. But lately I’ve been getting migraines (medically diagnosed) and oddly enough, a can of Coke helps?? But nothing else. I hope I will be a happy caffeine-free, water drinking mama someday. One swing at a time.
      Comforts to you and yours,
      Katie

      Katie Dickinson´s last post…For Little Mommies- A “play” Diaper Bag with all the Essentials

      • Coke helps b/c caffeine it acts as a vascoconstrictor (constricts blood vessels size) which helps b/c a common occuurance with migranes is an increase in blood vessel size. This is also why many types of headache medicines contain caffeine. America is a hard place to be truly caffeine free!

      • As a fellow migraine sufferer… I take Excedrin and a coffee – seems to work better than Coke. This combo works as well if not better than prescription meds and is a whole lot cheaper, too. All things (even arsnic) have a potential medical use, this is just one for coffee!

    • One of my babies has/had issues, but he is 85% neuro-typical by now. Look into DAN! doctors, Tinus Smith protocol and GAPS diet. Reclaim your nights, it is possible!!
      With a big hug,
      E.

  26. Needed to hear this today. The fatigue, the grumpiness, and (you got me on this one) – the dark circles under my eyes!! All clues that something’s gotta change. For me it’s tea. Black tea – and lots of it.
    ok…. i think i can, i think i can, i think i can, i think i can …… I’m off to buy lemons and mint for the water!

  27. After drinking only soda for most of my adult life (and regular soda at that since I have a sensitivity to artificial sweeteners), and after gaining WAY too much weight, and getting too old to be carrying this much weight, I gave up, cold turkey for Lent. To me, Lent sacrifices should not be something you give up short term, but a life-long sacrifice of some sort. For me, it was soda. Since that day, I haven’t had any, until yesterday. I took my kids to the movies, and I got a very small one because I just didn’t want to pay what they wanted for water. The soda was that much cheaper. I have to tell you..it was nasty. I can’t believe how much my palette has changed for sweets after getting off having somethign sweet to drink with me 18 hrs a day.

    It’s been wonderful! I’ve lost quit a bit of weight just getting out from under the sugar and carbonation, I feel better and am healthier for it. Water replaced it immediately, with a very weak, low sugar tea for an afternoon treat. It’s been great!

    • I always read stories of people giving up soda and losing weight and get very jealous! I very, very rarely drink soda so I don’t have it to ‘give up’ to make me lose weight! Whenever I read about good eating/diet tips, the first ones are always to give up soda. Okay, been there, done that! Shouldn’t I already be skinny then! ;)

      Katy´s last post…ten years since I saw your face

  28. Diet Pepsi was my downfall. Every Lent (yes, this humanist observes Lent) I’d try to give it up and by 8pm on Wednesday the withdrawal headache seemed unbearable. Then 12 years ago, at the age of 28 I had a cardiac arrest while out running. I was in a coma for several days. The coma got me through the withdrawal and the doctor’s orders have kept me off soda. Now if only they had said no chocolate rather than moderate chocolate intake, my idea of moderate, well it isn’t very moderate.

    Tepary´s last post…- ‘Wandering Wednesday’ A Photo Challenge! -

  29. I hardly drink any soda, but I dooooo so enjoy my coffee. I make it weak, so I can have many cups. I thought I was doing great giving up the nasty flavored creamers. I say nasty because of all the chemicals, they taste divine. I use a few drops of vanilla creme stevia. I really like it. I am definitely addicted to the coffee and with three kids, 10,7, and 1, I really need to be headache free. It is the glue that is holding me together. Maybe in another lifetime…..

    Lauri V.´s last post…All I see is love

  30. Your little guy is so darling!!! I remember when he was born thinking I would be pregnant forever with mine!!! I am loving your discipline… and I am working on sleep… getting enough of it every night. I had gotten into really bad habits and it has taken quite a while to will my body to sleep when I am feeling wide awake in the dead of night!!! But getting to bed before I hit my 2a.m. second wind (shocking I know) has really made the days so much easier to manage – like I knew they would but really didn’t want to believe it!!! Hope you have a fun weekend!!!

    se7en´s last post…Sunday Snippet- A Visit to Egypt…

  31. Rachel P. says:

    I live in the Pacific NW and we love our coffee! For the longest time I didn’t drink coffee (too bitter) and became something of a pariah in the community I grew up in. When I came back after five years, I accepted a offer of coffee which astonished all my old acquaintances.
    I’ve learned to become a social coffee drinker. One or two cups a week. Tea if it is available. I have had times when I have become “addicted” to caffeine and had to wean myself off. The migraines are awful. I’ve never been a big fan of soda pop. Never touch it except maybe a root beer twice a year. My greatest vice was sleep. Over sleeping, under sleeping, sporadic sleeping, I had to get it under control. My simple fix was to get up to an alarm (I use my cell phone) at six. It gave me time to read my Bible, wake up a bit and be ready to greet my children with a smile in the morning. Then I get to bed by ten; if I’m especially tired I go to bed earlier.

  32. Coffee does make me cranky, on edge, and short with my family. After seeing our chiropractor for a while I was convinced and switched to green chai tea with real cream and stevia. Even though the green tea has caffeine, it does not have the same effect on me as coffee does. Supposedly it is the tannins in the tea that make the caffeine work differently on your body.

    Whatever it is, it works for me. I still drink coffee from time to time because I just love the taste, but I do notice what it does to my moods and energy later in the afternoon.

    Way to go, mama!

    Shannon´s last post…My Food Philosophy- Six Principles that Guide Common Sense Eating

  33. I have Interstitial Cystitis so when it flares up I have to quit drinking tea, my daily fix. During those long weeks I don’t experience this freedom I hear other recovered caffeine addicts profess. The whole time I can’t wait to get my self back – I mean my tea back! Maybe someday it will hit me just right and I’ll see the light. Maybe my children will do me in – I mean help me! By the way, those are precious pictures!

    Frances´s last post…Making curtains without a sewing machine

    • Ugh. I think that I have this too! I have had to stop drinking soda and coffee (my LOVE) because the symptoms are just too much. Black tea doesn’t seem to bother me yet, thank heavens, as I developed a huge love for it during my pregnancy. My urologist didn’t diagnosis this but the antibiotics that she had me on for MONTHS did nothing and my husband and I finally found this… I would do anything to be able to drink coffee again! I’ve been taking astaxanthin and ginger pills and they have helped, we think it is an inflamation in the bladder lining but… I want my old bladder back!

  34. We drank some soda when we were younger, but thankfully my mom stopped buying it altogether when I was around 9 or 10. I never developed an intense love of soda or caffiene – partially thanks to my mom and thanks to being LDS – we don’t drink coffee or tea, soda’s okay though we are encouraged to not also consume caffieneted sodas (coffee/tea/alcohol are the big no-no’s). Sounds like you’d make a great member of our church! ;) wink, wink!

    But seriously, I love that I don’t depend on those things. I love that I love water because I know those other drinks aren’t good for my body. To me, that’s what it’s all about – - not being a slave to your body and being in control.

    What I do struggle with are SUGAR cravings. Since having babies it seems to have escalated too! But I’ve found that exercise helps a T-O-N with not only the sugar cravings/appetite, but also it gives that much needed energy boost. I have so much more energy all day versus when I don’t exercise. So to anyone else struggling to give up caffiene and worried how they will get through the day – exercise!

    Good job on your improved health and well-being!

    • Hey, I’m LDS too! A lot of people think it’s weird that I’ve never had coffee or tea, but I just think about how much better off I am without it. I have a hard enough time with soda that I’m not sure I could handle anything stronger!
      Yay for the Word of Wisdom. haha.

      Jennie´s last post…What You Wake Up To

      • I’ve never for one second felt that I was missing out by not drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee. I feel like it’s one less thing to have to worry about in life – like having more freedom (though others view it as being so restrictive). Funny, huh?

        And yes, when I do drink a bit of caffinieted soda to help get rid of a headache (in the absence of Advil) I get jittery on even the tiniest amount. Plus all the carbination makes me feel bloated (I *don’t* need any help with that!:))

        Katy´s last post…ten years since I saw your face

        • We don’t drink soda either. My children think that Coke is a headache medication. :)))

  35. I have given up caffeine several times…most recently while pregnant. The longest I’ve ever gone is about 6 months, and then I think, hm, a soda sounds good, and I have one, and then a week later I have another, and then another, and then I’m totally addicted again. The problem is I really, really like soda. So now I’m trying to drink Fresca or Sprite Zero or other caffeine free sodas (since I’m breast feeding) but I’m wondering if maybe I need to do like you and go cold turkey to just water, because the Fresca is sort of my “gateway drug” to the diet coke! :)

    And, right now, I do let myself have a big diet coke every Monday morning as my splurge. That’s the one day I don’t take E to work with me, so I get a big coke in the morning, and then when I pump at work I dump the first batch, since I figure it’s caffeinated. It’d be really hard to deal with Monday mornings without that pick-me-up!

  36. Great post and comments. About 14 years ago I did the Dr. Weil 8-week challenge to optimum health and started drinking a large glass of room temperature water very first thing in the morning. It sets the tone for what you’ll be drinking the rest of the day. I’m 42 now and I feel better than I did when I was 20 (drinking coffee, beer and smoking). As I’ve gotten older I’ve become wiser with my health and I feel better than ever good luck to all of you trying to quit. It’s hard, but think of what you get for sticking with it.

  37. I enjoyed a morning cup of coffee starting in high school! I had a long drive to school and it was a treat on cold mornings. This continued through college until I became pregnant with my daughter. I gave it up and didn’t have any issues. I did continue with decaf coffee in the morning, as it was such a comforting habit, I realized I needed that more than the caffeine jolt. I didn’t drink it again till I stopped nursing (daughter was 8mo). Now I am pregnant again and off the caffeine. My big treat is a Decaf Sumatra on the Clover at Starbucks. And lots and lots of homemade seltzer!

    Emily @ Random Recycling´s last post…Back-to-School Lunch box ideas

  38. I chose my orthodontist based on how much caffeine he recommended that I drink. Mountain Dew is the nectar of the gods.

  39. I once went without caffeine for a year as part of my New Year’s Resolutions, and I felt great! Maybe I should start again.

  40. Thanks for this!
    I’m about to complete my first month sugar-free, and I’m very pleased with the results. Fewer mood swings, more energy, and I think I’ve lost some inches. This is meant to be a lifelong change, and I’m excited about it. I’ve learned that sugar IS an addictive substance, my “drug of choice”, and I’m better off without it in my life.
    NEXT… caffeine! I love my coffee! And iced tea! Addicted – heck yeah!! For the last year, I’ve known that I will give up caffeine “some day”. I expect that my mood and energy will improve even more. Your post has given me the inspiration to move “some day” up. Thank you!

  41. such a great inspiration!! i have recently come to the decision that i have a food addiction. no, i’m not that over weight, and no, it is not just because i eat a lot of food. it’s because i literally CANT say no to food when i’m bored or emotional (so, like, 99% of the time?) and i am prepping to give it up! not food, but my addiction to it!! i am setting hard limits abou the food i eat and it is so great to see someone who haas done so great “cold turkey!” i love that you found a deeper motivation to keep you going. i’m discovering mine.

    thanks girl!

  42. You’re right! In the weeks prior to my recent holiday I found myself sleeping less and depending on coffee or coke more and more to keep going during the day. Thanks for the timely reminder to change these bad habits and live healthier!

    Happy birthday to Tom too :)

    angelvalerie´s last post…off on holidays…

  43. Love hearing people wanting to drink more water!

    I experienced great success with cutting back on tea/coffee a few years ago when I started drinking hot water, sometimes with a squeeze of lemon. At first, it wasn’t amazing, but after a week or so, I started to crave it. I really love it during winter — it’s comforting to have a hot drink, and it encourages me to stay hydrated, even when I don’t feel like drinking much water.

    People often laugh at me, but I honestly just love it, and loads of my friends have started drinking it as well.

    • Karen (Scotland) says:

      I used to drink this all the time but I totally forgot about it! Weightwatchers used to recommend starting the day with this drink and I got into the habit of it.
      I’m sure it’s supposed to be detox-y too.
      Karen

  44. Rachel,
    I read this as I sit at Starbucks drinking a Peppermint Mocha. Sugar? Check. Caffeine? Check.

    Hmm…

    Actually, it’s so good for me to read this now. I’m mostly a water drinker. I don’t like soda or coffee, but I drink caffeinated hot chocolate, black tea and the occasional peppermint mocha. Just in the last 6 months or so I’ve gone from not drinking any caffeine to drinking it at least a few times a week.

    I think I’m headed in the wrong direction.

    I think the key is really for me to go to bed early CONSISTENTLY. I always wake up early and far too often go to bed late. So when I need a “pick me up” in the day I’ll drink caffeine.

    I HAVE noticed that I’ve been more easily grumpy in the afternoon. I wonder if the caffeine is to blame?

    Thanks for the eye opener/reminder.

    Kat @ Inspired To Action´s last post…Did You Know Someone Is Waiting…

  45. That’s awesome Rachel!!!
    I also quit caffeine a little over a year ago (you can read about it here: http://radicalsahm.blogspot.com/2009/06/sobriety.html) and I haven’t gone back. I think this quote from the above post captures it:
    “The first few days I ACHED for the coffee and the beer. I had the no caffeine headache. I felt flaaaaat. I felt considerably different after 4 days. I’d use words like clear and even and focused. I had no static in my head. My energy was much more stable over the course of the day. I kept thinking I was tired but I wasn’t. I was relaxed. I am being gentler with my children. I am being nicer to husband. The whole job seems easier.”

    juliet´s last post…you do not need to see an egg-sucking dog in action to know what to expect

  46. Must add…I brought alcohol and sugar back into my life after 3 months. Not sure how I feel about this…

    juliet´s last post…you do not need to see an egg-sucking dog in action to know what to expect

  47. Sitting here with my morning cup of coffee thinking that I am sure you are right! Oh . .. how I love my coffee . .. I can’t say that I will give it up immediately, but I am definitely agreeing with everything you have said here. . . (sad sigh)

  48. i’m sorry, i’ve been a blog stalker for way too long here. your blog is so precious and inspiring, thank you. but this post, was just so very precious, i just had to comment. thank you so much for sharing your journey. blessings to you and your sweet family.

    dena´s last post…Thankful on a Saturday Morning

  49. What a great affirmation! I gave up caffeine when I got pregnant, with the exception of one cup of black tea in the morning. Before that, I made a pot of coffee in my office every morning, and drank it. In additional I would have several lattes at the local coffee shop, and occasionally a coke.

    My son is now 5 months, and I don’t miss it at all. I still have a cup of black tea with my husband in the morning, and if I miss the taste, I make a decaf espresso in my formerly dearly beloved Nespresso. I am working on drinking more water, and definitely see that my baby boy does better with naps and tummy troubles on days I take care of myself.

    Hannelene´s last post…Gratitude Sunday in pictures

  50. I have given up diet colas and caffeine; I had to. I advise my children, now grown to do the same and one of them has, drinking water for almost everything. Even a smidgen of caffeine upsets my system of sleep and feeling calm–what a legal drug to get hooked on! There’s even caffeine in caramel coloring so be forewarned.
    Sugar is a thing of the past with only little bits entering the system and no corn syrup or corn of any kind. If it passes through your body whole and not broken down then it is not being absorbed for its nutritional values.

  51. I also gave up soda this last year! I loved Coke Zero, but I gave it up along with all artificial sweeteners and lowered my sugar intake to no more then 5 grams per meal. It has completely changed my life and Ive lost 53 lbs. I would never have believed that those simple changes would have made a big difference, but it did. I write about it on my blog! I didnt give up caffeine though!

    Amber´s last post…Looking back on the year

  52. I read this thread this morning, while sipping my second cup of coffee. ;) I have gone back and forth on the caffeine issue, I grew up drinking just water, and I’ve never bought soda, but 4 or so years ago I started drinking coffee. I’ve never had more than 2 cups per day. Especially with our cold Michigan winter, I need something warm to drink, so it’s been coffee in the morning, herbal tea or hot chocolate throughout the day.

    Tammy´s last post…Tomatoes!

  53. Karen (Scotland) says:

    I’ve never been a lover of fizzy drinks so I used to be a great water drinker until they boosted the chlorine in our water supply. It was so bad, I even called the water board to check there wasn’t something wrong. Now, I have to leave a jug sitting to allow the chlorine to evaporate. I keep forgetting or, when I remember, my two year old comes along and spills it all, or I catch the cat drinking it…

    As for coffee, I lived a caffeine free life for YEARS – not on principle but I had just never got into the habit of drinking coffee or tea. Then I had three kids under three… coffee became the only way to function for a while. I drank caffeine during my last pregnancy but kept it under the recommended amount.

    And then, for the first time, I was breastfeeding while drinking the occasional coffee. Oh, boy. My usually mellow little angel acted like a speed-freak! Her eyes would be staring wide and she just WOULD NOT nap! Lesson learned very quickly…

    So, on to decaff (though I always have a niggling feeling that it is “not good” – something I read when I was a teen?)
    And I’m off to try the minty water now!
    :-)
    Karen

  54. I don’t drink soda or caffeine, but don’t think for a minute that your post didn’t challenge me. For me, it’s all about the sugar. I usually have dessert after one if not both meals, and sometimes I even have a sugary snack during the day. Gasp! I read about people giving up sugar, and I think about all I would miss out on. Even though I know I would probably feel better if I did it and stuck it out. Don’t you miss ice cream or Christmas cookies or . . .?

    • Me too, Carrie. Back in April I did a detox for 2 weeks and didn’t eat any sugar at all. I felt great and cut back significantly for a few weeks, but slowly my sugar intake crept up again. It seems like the more sugar I eat, the more I want…and the less I eat, the less I crave it. I really need to just STOP, but oh, it’s so hard!

      Morgan´s last post…8 years ago this week

  55. I’ve been trying all summer to give up caffeine but as you noted, it’s extremely difficult to do so. I don’t have a sweet boy like you do to keep you on track, so I slip up a lot.

    The reasons I’m quitting are for health reasons, but now I find myself drinking more milk which tears through my budget when I’m buying two gallons a week just for myself.

    Thank you for your story though; it gives me hope!

    Amanda´s last post…Zinaida Sochirca Presentation

  56. Hi Rachel and everyone else who’s kicked the caffeine/soda/tea habit, I salute you. You have inspired me to take the plunge. I’m addicted to tea to an extent that if I don’t have my morning or evening cuppa, I get excruciating headaches and am crabby and irritable.
    Also, I really need to start drinking more water and eating less sugar. Rachel, the positive outcomes that you’ve talked about are amazing. Thank you for such a motivating post. I hope to share my progress sometime soon right here in the comments:-)

    Warmly,

    Prerna´s last post…Caring for a Sick Toddler- Gentle and Effective Ways to Make the Medicine Go Down

  57. This post couldn’t have hit at a more appropriate time!!! I gave up all forms of caffeine and soda two weeks ago. I prefer cold turkey also :-) I have suffered from panic attacks for almost 9 years now. I have stopped before because I felt they were contributing to my panic attacks but eventually they would “lure” me back in. Two weeks I had such a severe panic attack I knew I had to call it quits for good. It took about 3 days for everything to get out of my system but I feel soooo much better now. Sugar is next on my list…that one’s not quite as easy…lol!

  58. So in July I tried going one month without caffeine, sodas, or tea, and it was miserable! I did it because I hate the feeling of addition it brings – I have crazy intense cravings and count the time until I can have another “hit.” For me it’s not about the energy rush but the emotional connection that I have created between these foods and feeling content. Interestingly, I have IBS and caffeine and carbonation irritate my digestive system. But does this stop me? Nooooo! I have just learned the careful balancing game of how much I can have per week before i start feeling bad. I really want to kick this habit for good, and thought my month of abstinence would do it. But now I’m right back where I was and have even less desire to try stopping for good because last month was sooooo hard. I get so bored drinking just water all the time. How do you ladies do it?!?

    • Maybe you need to do a step down – maybe cold turkey isn’t your thing. If like milk, allow yourself to drink milk half the time and water half the time. Or you’d prefer juice, do some juice and some water. Even though you are still drinking your calories with those drinks (I prefer to eat mine ;)…one reason I drink primarily water) it’s better than soda and all the caffiene.

      Just work down to slowly having more and more water. Also, find a *way* to drink water that tastes better to you. Some people prefer room temp, some like ice cold. I tend to drink more if it’s nice and cold. If you’re anything like me and would much rather EAT something than get your kicks drinking something, figure out what calories you are saving from staying away from soda/coffee and use some of those calories (assuming you aren’t striving to lose weight) to have a little more of something you enjoy eating or an extra treat a week.

      Not sure what else to say that’s helpful…I never developed desires for anything but water primarily so that’s one thing I’ve never struggled to give up. (now if you want to talk about me and cookies….yikes.)

      Katy´s last post…ten years since I saw your face

  59. Ok, the part at the end where your under-eye circles have disappeared? That clinched it for me! I have to try this no-caffeine thing :)
    Love this Rachel, so inspiring!

    Emma´s last post…friday five issue 10

  60. Happy Birthday Tom!

    I gave up Soda 100% 2 weeks ago. I need to give up all forms of caffeine as well as all artificial sweeter. I am getting there. I miss soda a lot but do feel better! I am drinking one tea a day with a little sweetener which needs to be changed. My water intake has increased. I also gave up all gluten but that is another story. It is going good. I am going to try and make smoothies I need to increase my fruits and I need a little variety.

  61. horrible confession- after babies sleep dep destroyed me. i stopped eating and only drank soda to stay awake. i didn’t like coffee and i couldn’t deal at all. had a horrible soda addiction. broke it. but it keeps sneaking back in the summer when we entertain outdoors. i have to break it again and your post couldn’t be more timely. thanks!

    • If it makes you feel better to know this, I used to drink a soda when I was hungry because it was easier than making myself something to eat.

      • I don’t know about her, but this makes ME feel so much better! Haha. I used to do this all the time before I got married and I thought I was probably the only person on the planet to whom that idea made any sense. So glad to know I wasn’t alone in this, and that (pardon my little girl fandom moment here) the most amazing blogger in the whole world did it which means all is not lost for me.

        Jennie´s last post…Apparently- I’m Doing Something Right

  62. I just drank 2 glasses of iced tea while reading the comments! (They were decaffeinated and unsweetened, though. My daughter calls it dirty water.)

    I’m mostly down to one decaffeinated, diet soda a day, but would love to have the willpower to give them up. I don’t do much caffeine, but I drink more artificial sweetener than I’m comfortable with.

    I make my smoothies with green tea. I don’t like to add the calories that juice or milk add, but I have to have a little liquid. Do you grind flax seeds yourself? I have no experience with that, but is something in which I’m definitely interested!

    Thanks for the great blog!

  63. Going out for coffee and buying a bottle of water seems unpleasant. Just sayin’…

    Christine´s last post…Part I of the Hate Journey

    • I like to go for the atmosphere and being able to talk with my husband or read quietly. The beverage isn’t the important thing to me, it’s just a treat.

      • Karen (Scotland) says:

        I wouldn’t say it seems “unpleasant” to me. I would feel a bit sad though (and I mean true sad, not pathetic sad.) :-(
        The atmosphere is nice and being able to have full conversations with my husband is – bliss! – but I’d still want to treat myself to something – a fresh orange or something. That’s part of the “treat” – something “unusual” that I don’t tend to (or can’t) make myself.

        But reading quietly? Ah, that is a treat in itself, that’s true!
        Karen

  64. My daughter and Tom were born on the same day last year! Happy birthday, babies!

    Last week I decided to be “good” and I did not buy Dr. Pepper to keep in the refrigerator. Three days in a row, I was dying for a soda so bad that I strapped Abby into the stroller and walked to the nearest convenience store to buy one!

    Needless to say, this post was convicting. But I love the taste and experience of drinking Dr. Pepper so much! And water is boring!!! I’ll have to try flavoring it.

    Lindsey´s last post…the Glad Game

  65. Oooh this came at the right time.

    Starting next Tuesday I’m doing a detox recommended by my naturopath and in addition to caffeine I’m giving up gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, tomatoes, and a whole lot more.

    In one way I’m scared to death, but in another way I’m actually looking forward to this forced thing. Its going to last 3 weeks or longer (depending on what I reintroduce when) but hopefully that’s long enough to create a habit, and having dessert or a cup of coffee will be a treat thing rather than a daily thing.

    Oh Lord please help!

    Kait Palmer´s last post…I heart Canada

    • That’s so similar to our diet, and I love it now. Focus on the foods you can have instead of what you’re giving up and email me if you need help.

  66. When my husband and I got married, we decided to stay away from buying soda, though we still drank it at social events, etc. I found that when I drank it (after long periods of going without), I was moody and got frequent headaches. Not to mention I could NOT SLEEP! So I stopped drinking it all together. Hubby is happy with a glass of decaf iced tea. We drink water with every meal around here though. The next thing I need to work on is cutting down on the sugar!

  67. I gave up my Diet Coke addiction about 3 weeks ago as part of my healthier eating/diet plan. Water only and I felt great..so much more energy. Over the weekend, we ate out several times and I had several Diet Cokes. Today, I feel sluggish and “headachy”. Back to water only for me. I’ve also been trying to eliminate flour and sugar from my diet. When I stick with this plan, I feel so much better. Thanks for the encouragement :)

  68. Thank you for sharing your story. I am a new mother with a 5 month old that still doesn’t love to sleep. It has been hard!!! I have found myself relying more on sugar and caffeine than ever before. It frustrates me, because I drank so little caffeine prior to having my son. This may be just the motivation I needed.

    Amber Cullum´s last post…Multitude Monday IV

  69. Thanks for the tip about water- I need to drink more!!

    pam´s last post…Dont Ask- Dont Tell Volume 3

  70. Oh, I’m not there. When I had the flu last Christmas, I gave it all up and stayed off for a while, but I’m back in full force. My morning coffee just makes me so happy. I also mix juice and seltzer water sometimes; I’m not a huge fan of extra-sweet juice, and the seltzer water makes it feel like a huge treat. I also recommend cucumber water – it tastes so fancy! I drink a lot more than regular water.

  71. I gave up caffiene and artificial sweeteners about 10yrs ago, after suffering from cronic vertigo. Both are considered triggers for Vertigo, and I can happily say that I have not had any dibilitating episodes since.
    Next big hurdle, more water and more sleep.

  72. I gave up soda earlier this year, just after Lent (I know, it was supposed to be my Lenten resolution and I failed miserable). I craved it like crazy for almost three months, and I’m finally free of it. I still drink some caffiene when I feel I need a pick me up, but overall I feel a million times better.

    Doris´s last post…Coffee Cozy

  73. Bravo Bravo Bravo! Congrats on the new normal. I gave up soda 11 years ago when my husband would not even entertain the idea of buying soda for the home, and would not pay extra money to order it when in restaurants. Being frugal and health oriented has lots of benefits! I’ve actually not had trouble with coffee until this year when after having my 3rd baby, I used coffee with stevia as my go-to thing while I skipped everything else “yummy” to get the baby weight off.

  74. Absolutely I have struggled with caffeine addiction! When I was pregnant I stopped drinking more than 1 cup a day of coffee (I didn’t drink a lot of soda anyhow, and there was always a lot of water available at work). I tried decaf, but that stuff is nasty. My son never showed any problems with what I’ve eaten (except Thai food – some Thai chile or something bothered him immensely…), so I just kept eating normally. He no longer breastfeeds – he weaned himself at 15 months.

    With a child who doesn’t sleep particularly well, I started drinking more caffeine – both coffee and soda. My husband is, unfortunately, a HUGE coffee and soda drinker. So, there is very little to encourage me.

    Thank you for the water idea – I really, really need to drink more water and I’m excited to try something to make my water a bit more interesting.

    sarah´s last post…Today at the garden

  75. Annie Littlewolf says:

    Right now, I am addicted to diet coke. I drink a 12pack a day. Yes, no kidding. I start off with one as soon as I get up, and have 4 more by 10:00 (I get up at 5AM). So it is like 1 per hour that I drink them. I ALWAYS have to go to the bathroom. And I am actually fearful of going to someone’s house where I think they won’t have diet cokes, so I carry some with me, cold. I cannot drink them hot or warm. Only icy cold. I KNOW I need to ditch them, and am not afraid of going cold turkey on them, and your story has me thinking that maybe I just ran into your story on the right day, and in the right moment. My husband does our grocery shopping, and he is used to bringing me home a carton of diet cokes every day, or several cartons if they are on sale. If he brings me several cartons, I put them ALL in the refrigerator and will drink more than my usual dozen. But I am thinking that today I will ask him to not bring any home with him, and I’ll put a pitcher of filtered water in the refrigerator to get chilled, and drinking that in the morning and refilling it to keep it cold. If you can do it, and survive, so can I. I am 58 years old, and have been addicted for YEARS. But diet coke makes me feel dehydrated, thus asking me to drink another one – one way the manufacturer gets us to drink more of them. The water will not dehydrate me, but just the opposite. I can drink water all day long, and I am sure it will come in handy not to have to find places in the fridge for my diet cokes, or to haul a bag of flattened coke cans for the recycling to the curb on garbage pick up day. I will drink up today what I have in the refrigerator as a goodbye to diet coke, and will see how different I feel tomorrow. I have my first grandchild, a grandson, who will turn 1 year old on Nov. 30th. So that will be a milestone for me too. He is so precious, and loves his Nana (me), and to have watched him since he came home from the hospital to now see him crawl all over the floor and FAST, well, it is a miracle. He is going to be a big boy, by all the estimations, as he is in the top 98% height and weight. (well, I mean that he is 98% bigger and heavier than other children his age). He has not had any chocolate yet, and we plan on making him a chocolate cake, and praying that he does not have an allergy to it. His mama, my daughter is breast feeding him, so he has all the plusses of that too. Give a happy birthday hug to your baby from me! Annie

  76. I’ve just spent time reading all the comments on this post of yours, Rachel.

    Wow! It’s been a huge conversation starter to say the least!

    Now to add my story…

    I have just completed Day One of Soft Drink Free Meegan.

    I don’t drink tea or coffee (can’t stand the smell or taste of either – yes, I am strange :)) but Pepsi or Pepsi Max are my weaknesses. I have found myself consuming up to three soft drinks a day. And that’s bad! In the last 12 years, I have gone from never drinking soft drink at all (my family just never really drank it) to taking on my (now) husband’s family’s terrible soft drink habit. They are a family who don’t ever really drink water. I used to been seen as they strange one when I would have water with a meal instead of soft drink!!!

    So today was D-Day.

    And I got through it OK! At 5pm I was looking for something, anything, for a late afternoon pick me up. But luckily we had nothing cold and taunting me from the fridge so my temptation wasn’t so big after all. Bring on day two! I’m eally hoping that I see some of the beneficial side effects ove the coming weeks.

    Just please, please don’t ask me to give up my chocolate ;D

    Meegan´s last post…First Tooth!

  77. I am impressed. I got really addicted to soda after my girl was born. I needed the caffeine. I need to quit. I used to quit cold turkey in college during sports seasons.
    Okay, you’ve inspired me.

  78. I just came across your blog a couple of days ago, and I love, love, love it! I have been so inspired by your organizing and simplifying tips for small space living with kiddos. We’re a family of four in a 2/2 Miami condo, and we started getting the idea in our head that we were “outgrowing” our space. Stuck with a mortgage on a condo that isn’t going to sell anytime soon, we’ve changed our attitudes, started appreciating the blessings of condo living, and are now turning it into a place we don’t want to leave.

    This post hits very close to home for me, too. I am definitely addicted to caffeine. I *have* to have that cup or two in the morning, which has now led to a third in the afternoon. I know it affects my mood, and the way that I look and feel physically, and I want to quit. I’ve tried before, and only had one cup/day during my pregnancies, but it is so, so hard, especially when the withdrawal symptoms creep in. Maybe I just need to do it cold turkey.

  79. Thanks for this. It has given me food for thought.
    I have gone back and forth w/ caffine. Gave it up almost completely a few times. Now I am stuck in rut again. I know it affects my mood in the afternoon but it also makes for a much easier morning with two little kids and little sleep.

    Mamak´s last post…Change of Seasons

  80. Leigh Callen says:

    I have had a problem with coffee since the age of 17!! I am now 45! I have no idea why it has taken me so long to finally quit doing something which was harming me physically, mentally, and spiritually! I believe that I have always been sensitive or intolerant to caffeine because of all the crazy symptoms that I got right after drinking coffee! First of all, I never had weight problems until I started drinking coffee! I can remember my legs would itch all around the top of my thighs and I later noticed cellulite and weight gain which was probably water retention mostly! I also noticed that my throat would itch and burn, my face especially my eyelids would be puffy, my whole attitude changed where my family would tell me that the coffee turned me into a totally different person!! I had mood swings, irritability, and sweet cravings. The worst thing was how exhausted i would become only a few hours later, I was always fatigued!! It is beyond me why I could not break this destructive addiction which only caused me harm! I also struggled with spells of perioral dermatitis around my nose and mouth area, which i think was caused by the caffeine. I forgot to mention all my stomach problems like acid reflux, and ibs. I believe that It was an addiction for me because i love the taste and ritual of drinking coffee even though i knew i was going to suffer from side effects! Its like telling a person that they can never have chocolate again, and it only makes you want it more!! Well, I finally quit all caffeine because i was tired of fighting and so tired of my own insanity! It has only been a few days, but my mind already seems so much more clear, and i look forward to see more positive changes in my body and in my life to come in the near future!

  81. Amylouise says:

    How did you know about heaping all the sugar in my tea after I stopped drinking soda at home?

  82. The only time I was ever able to quit drinking caffeine (Coke) was when I was pregnant with my daughter. When she died, I went right back to drinking coke again and I have been unsuccessful in it. I have gone up to 2 or 3 days without it but get horrible headaches and am incredibly thirsty because I can’t stomach too much water. I really hope to make a change in this soon. If for no other reason than to save money, because good gosh, is it ever an expensive habit! I only buy it on sale but then I will buy tons for when it’s not on sale, so in the end I’m still spending a fair bit of money.

    Plus it’d be nice to be skinny again.

    I’ve been drinking more tea. When I drink herbal tea I don’t usually add sugar, but again I can only drink so many hot drinks. I always seem to follow the the tea with a swing of coke. go figure!
    ter@waaoms´s last post…Friday Funny- Lunch Lady

  83. What a wonderful post. I’ve been addicted to diet soda for well over 10 years. It started with MD, went to Diet Coke, now – after 3 kids – I’m back to Diet MD. There is no doubt in my mind that caffeine is a true addiction. The irony: my digestive system can’t handle it anymore (caffeine = reflux)! And I still DRINK IT! Ridiculous, crazy, foolish. I tried to abstain for a week…last week. Went well. I did physically feel better tho’ I was crazy tired. I slipped up over Thanksgiving – I ‘deserve’ a soda, right? – now I’m committed to trying another week without. I wish you all the BEST and am grateful to have ‘sisters’ in the struggle!
    Heather P.´s last post…ACK!! I forgot!!

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  85. it’s been a few months now as i started to follow your blog. i am really thankful for your honesty and talent to share struggles and joys. your decision to stop drinking coffee has inspired me to give it a try. January will be a trial month :). water, herbal tea and rooibos with a drop of soy milk as a morning comfort drink :).i am aware it can’t be a resolution only. it needs my commitment. and my husband has decided to support me as well-he will join me in this quest :). thanks again for your inspiration and God bless you and your family in the following year.

    • Soy has a lot of bad side effects. It inhibits your thyroid gland, etc. Check it out online…

      For protein, stick to legumes and nuts…

  86. Wow, just found your blog today and I LOVE IT! This post on pop, sugar and caffiene was so encouraging. I have tried before to quick pop and coffee, but you have encouraged to give it a go!
    Shirley´s last post…11 in 2011 Day 5

  87. One word…Teeccino

    This stuff is amazing, yummy and comes in many flavors. It is called a “Caffeine-Free Herbal Coffee”. It is organic and completely helps you wean yourself off of coffee for good. Or if you want to go cold turkey, either way, it helps you enjoy the taste of a hot and completely naturally caffeine-free drink that is still a treat! I get mine at Vitacostdotcom.

    Enjoy!

  88. Such a drink of cold water to a weary soul to find a kindred spirit. I am so glad I have been introduced to your blog. I dream of being free of these addictions and have tried and tried.. but it hasn’t lasted just yet. I dream of living in Italy!!! one day too. of being Simplistic and detailed, creative and organized. Will be reading your blog from now on.. wasn’t always a blog reader. but slowly am becoming a pastime that I enjoy so much.

  89. Thanks for this post! I just started reading your blog recently and found this post, realized even my one cup of coffee a day was really affecting my energy and decided to completely stop drinking. I feel so much better now, and my energy level is consistent all day long!

  90. Perspective from a Registered Nurse:

    Coffee and sugar are a lot alike – for every high, there is a double low. Surging your organs results in exhaustion.

    Coffee is a diuretic, which dehydrates – causing fatigue. It depletes vitamins, minerals and electrolytes – which support every bodily function. Caffeine constricts vessels, which impairs circulation.

    Women tend to retain caffeine longer than men – which causes insomnia. Deep sleep repairs and rejuvenates.

    Sugar increases Candida, which causes craving for more sugar. Candida causes bloating, gas, stomach pain and neurological damage. Nerve vitality energizes to prevent chronic toxemia.

    Avoid excessive fruit sugar.
    Coffee, animal products and processed foods cause inflammation.

    To fortify your organs, stick with a variety of grains, legumes and veges – cooked at a low temperature to retain enzymes.

    For breakfast, try oatmeal.
    For lunch, try a nut butter sandwich.

    For supper, try mixed grains/legumes/veges or a soup with the same ingredients. Frozen veges are convenient and retain more nutrients. We enjoy combinations of onions/cabbage to flavor brown rice/barley/lentils.

    Use sea salt – it is PH balancing and cleansing.

    Drink only water. Use medicinal herbal teas sparingly – as they are considered to be low-dose toxins.

    Your body knows best how to repair itself – don’t hinder it with toxins – which also includes alcohol, drugs or chemicals of any kind.

    A healthy body creates a healthy emotional balance as well.

    • Drink water between meals – don’t dilute your stomach enzymes that are needed for digestion.

  91. I just came across this and it encouraged me! I, too, have recently given up a long addiction to soda. I’ve always loved it, and we never had it in our house growing up, so when I got married I would make it a point to always have cans readily available. As I had my 3 babes and gained weight, I started drinking Diet. I preferred the taste, since it didn’t taste as sweet to me. I became impulsive about it, downright addicted and a few months ago made the switch from Diet to Regular. As time went by, I stopped buying it for the house and noticed significant changes in my mood, behavior etc. without the stuff. I replaced all store bought drinks (except apple juice) with homemade lemonade and homemade iced tea…and water. I’m definitely feeling better than I ever have, and my health has improved too! Thanks for the encouragement!
    Elizabeth´s last post…Stewing on some things

  92. I was very addicted to Coke Zero and have found out that the aspritame ingredient is very dangerous to your health..great post!

  93. A year later. I am curious to see if you are still 100% caffeine free.

    I have tried SEVERAL times to quit coffee. (soda was never a real problem for me, or tea.) I can last for a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months. But when it starts getting chilly or I meet friends at a coffee shop, or visit my parents’ house (where the coffee pot is on 24/7) I lose my resolve! It’s like being an alcoholic in a bar!

    I have reduced the amount of coffee consumed considerably. My water intake has increased and I still seem to be able to keep up with drinking lots of water. But I cannot quit 100% and make it last!

  94. wow after reading all of these i suddenly realise just how much coffee/sugar i have in one day i have 12 cups of coffee minimum a day with 2 sugars have been like it since i left home at 16 (i werent allowed it at home so it was my defiant bit) i am now 32 next week and beginning to think maybe i should stop but cant deal with the migraines any ideas