"From a Coffee Addict"

by Frederic Patenaude

You may have heard the expression, “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” In the same way, you could say “Once a coffee addict, always a coffee addict.”

But before I go any further in telling you my story about coffee and all the whys and hows of quitting it, you should now that now is a good time to quit drinking coffee.

You've been eating mostly well, you eat your fruits and vegetables, you've been reading Frederic's newsletter - but you think, “a little cup of coffee once in a while isn't that bad.” Plus it's good for the mood.

But I'm telling you right now that that cup of coffee, which I'm sure you're enjoying more often than you'd like to admit it, is preventing you from achieving the levels of health you desire.

I know because I'm like you. I started drinking coffee in high school. At first, it was to get up in the morning. But one day I discovered the gustatory delights of fancy coffee shops and went deeper down into the wicked universe of coffee. Cappuccino, mocaccino, caffe latte, espresso: a dozen ways to reach heaven for a few minutes at your local café.

Of course, my vow to become a raw-foodist ended all that madness. For many years, I resisted the temptation. But you know, once a coffee addict...

I admit having sinned many times. The lure of coffee sure got me more often than I'd like to admit it.

Think about it: Starbucks have popped up all over the place. You can go there with your laptop, answer your e-mails and surf the web on your laptop with their free wireless Internet access, enjoy your delicious coffee and get a bit of the feel that you're really part of this world, all of that for a few dollars only.

Petrene Soames writes in the article “Wake Up and Kick the Caffeine Habit for Good”:

“Have you ever wondered why Starbucks is so popular? Why do even the spendthrift amongst us pay over the top prices for a cup of coffee? With great packaging and good marketing Starbucks fills a niche in the national psyche. Identification is a major component. We simply identify with our purchases. Starbucks caters to the fast on-the-go customer and to the kickback and relax customer. The ambiance of the outlets is comfortable and feels like a great place to be, personal enough to take someone new, but safe enough when you aren't ready yet to take that new person home.”

“ Starbucks, it would seem, oozes cool and we - the consumer - have bought into that big time. But it is not cool to stress our bodies with caffeine, and it is not cool to blanket our emotions with quick-fix products. The longer we hide our true feelings, the longer it will take for us to recognize our true selves. Isn't it really time in all our lives to stop swapping life experiences and happiness for comfort foods and drinks?”

But there's an ugly side to it. Contrary to common belief, even one cup of coffee a day is too much. According to a recent study done at Johns Hopkins University, which examined over 170 years of research on caffeine, true caffeine addiction can occur from drinking only one cup of coffee a day.

According to Melissa C. Stöppler, M.D.,

“Morning caffeine consumption can lead to increases in blood pressure, feelings of stress, and elevated stress hormone levels throughout the day and into the evening hours, according to researchers at Duke University. (...)

“(...) the effects of morning coffee consumption can exaggerate the body's stress responses and increase stress hormone levels all day long and into the evening, even when no further caffeine is consumed in the afternoon. Persons who suffer from stress-related diseases or conditions worsened by stress, such as cardiovascular disease and psychological conditions such as anxiety disorders, could be adversely affected by caffeine intake.”

For me, even one cup of coffee taken in the morning will disturb my sleep late at night.

But that's just the beginning.

You don't really know exactly what type of hells are breaking loose in your body when you drink that little occasional cup of coffee you love so much. Just read on my website the articles I have on coffee (http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/articles.html).

But let's be honest about it - half of the addiction or more is psychological. It has something to do with the ritual of the coffee drinker. First I suggest avoiding that too. Don't go to Starbucks. Avoid temptation. Then, once the physical detox is over, you can go back. Go hang out at Starbucks, and instead have a cup of herbal tea, or one of their magic smoothies.

A few words of advice: giving up coffee and replacing it with tea or green tea isn't a good approach. An alcoholic who wants to quit won't go from scotch to beer. He has to stop altogether. And the truth is that tea, especially black tea, contains generous quantities of caffeine. So you can get addicted to it just as you got addicted to coffee. Better to give it up entirely.

I couldn't end this week's e-zine without a little encouragement to all of my coffee drinking readers who are not so sure about getting off the bean:

I promise that you'll feel better. I promise that you'll sleep better. I promise that you'll have headaches less often. I promise that you'll have more energy. I promise that you'll feel better in your body. I promise that your mood will be better.

By the way, the best time to quit drinking coffee is when you think you don't have time to stop drinking coffee.

PS: For a complete program on giving up coffee for good in an enjoyable way, be sure to click here.

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