image via pinterest
On any given day, our lives are structured around our caffeine consumption. Hospitality workers and white collar workers knock them back like medicine, while even the strictest retail manager will happily shoo a staff member out of the store to pick up a round of coffees for the team. After a while, it feels like you’re drinking coffee just to feel normal. But what if you just want to be, er, normal, to be normal?
We all know by now that when we eat poorly, it affects our energy levels, so it follows logically that when we eat well, we should feel energised.
Why is it then that so many of us still rely so heavily on caffeine for our primary energy needs? Is it because we are addicted, unwilling to forgo a ritual, or is it because we don’t know how to properly get our energy out of our food?
For myself, I would say it has always been a little of all three.
Two weeks ago, I moved from my regular 2-4 coffee per day and a relatively healthy diet, to three days weaning myself off caffeine and eating healthy foods, before a 3-day Pressed Juices cleanse.
The question is this; will all the natural energy my body is being fed from the juices remove the desire for caffeine, and will I be able to function normally and with a caffeine-free (or low caffeine) existence when it has been well and truly flushed from my body?
Day 1 No Caffeine
Of course, my first caffeine free-day I wake up with the lady painters in. Great start – already feeling lacklustre, and I can’t get my energy fix. Feeling sooky and precious, I succumb to a soy latte by 1pm. Whoops. But one is better than three or four!
Day 2 No Caffeine
I wake up very well rested. Today it feels as though I’m operating on a lower level, productive but calm. I manage to get through the day and a 1:30am finish somehow without the help of caffeine, even if my eyes are a little glazy, and I do miss half the directions my managers give me…
Day 3 No Caffeine
After the Aus Open kept me up until 2am, and I had to rise at 5am, a soy latte was completely necessary. Granted, in the four days leading up to my cleanse I’ve only had two coffees, rather than 10-16, and the second one of the week gives me mad jitters.
I feel okay! As directed by the Pressed Juices team, I have also eliminated processed foods and increased my lean protein intake, (in order not to lose any muscle mass during the cleanse), although I have not increased my intake of green cold pressed juices to prepare my body – we are launching right in.
Day 1 Cleanse
After a massive sleep, I head down to Pressed Juices to pick up my supplies for days 1 and 2. Alex, the nutritionist, helps me with my selections. I explain I’m hoping to compare how it feels to be powered solely by fruit and veg versus caffeine, so we decide that the Master cleanse is the best option (and the most intense as it has the greatest amount of green juices, with each 470ml bottle containing over 1kg of greens! Epic.
Obviously, consuming this amount of greens every day in a regular diet is not realistic, but by setting by body back to square one in order to eliminate as many toxins as possible, it gives me a clean start on a caffeine-free diet. I’ve also been instructed to take it easy and relax as much as possible for a few days!
We also opt for the most low-sugar options, including a lovely looking strawberry mylk that will play the role of dinner, and the greenest of green juices on the menu.
Halfway through the day and four juices down, I feel very full! I’ve also already peed about six times today. I’ve just had my Zest fruit juice for the day, and although I can feel the natural sugar ping-pinging around my body, my mind is craving a coffee. This has taken me way longer to write than it should.. A dull headache is threatening to overtake me so I spend the afternoon watching Netflix and sipping green juice on the couch. 6pm’s Blue algae milk (big lychee flavours) is a welcome relief after all the greens!
Wake up after sleeping like a baby. Today however the headache hits me earlier. It seems I’m getting delayed caffeine withdrawals; I even get in an argument with the chef at work – bad move. The juices have me waddling around full of liquid all day. I pray to god for no headache tomorrow.
Day 3 and headache free! I slept like a baby once again. My body is responding properly to the energy from the juices, and I’m starting to feel normal in terms of brain function. Tomorrow I could have a coffee, but I kind of want to see if this feeling will continue…
Post cleanse With the juice cleanse finished, I opt for a decaf soy latte (shut up) the next morning, and pop back into Pressed Juices to collect two more green juices and a smoothie. I feel damn good!
A week later, and I have managed to endure a full first day of uni, an 8 hour drive, and some very late work shifts with only two lattes consumed for the full week. I have continued to consume large amounts of cold pressed juices and I feel like my body is waking up after a long hibernation. My skin is looking clearer too, which is a happy side effect.
CAFFEINE ISN’T VITAL PEOPLE.
I know people that are as reliant on their one-a-day as I was on my two-four, but you know what? You just don’t need it. You might suffer a few days of pain in the interim, but it’s 1:20pm on a Tuesday, I have been up exercising and smashing out chores since 5:35am, and I’m not crashing.
At the end of the day, you need to be giving yourself the uppers to experience the lows – and I’m happy to keep on working on ways to get all my energy out of my food. This isn’t to say I won’t order a coffee if I’m out with a friend, but caffeine’s exit from my daily routine has had excellent effects on my energy, my wallet, and my quality of sleep. When I do choose to have a coffee, I know it will be all the more effective.
I vow to sneeze at those ordering their decaf lattes no longer!
*Shout out to Alex at Pressed Juices for lovingly getting me off the bandwagon and ensuring me everything I was feeling was normal! I doubt I could have done it without you.*