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Kicking the coffee habit

This question is sort of directed at Zoe since I recall her saying it took her forever to quit, but I could use all the suggestions I can get.

When I first started waiting raw I quit it cold turkey, I don’t know how long I lasted, but I eventually started giving in on occasion, on occasion has now turned into a few times a week, but it’s still way less than what I was drinking.

What are some suggestions you have? I was replacing it with tea or Yerba Mate, but I have found they dry my mouth out really bad. Yerba doesn’t do it as bad as tea, but still does and it drives me crazy.

It’s also strange I was able to quit smoking a lot easier than this. I did that cold turkey as well, although I didn’t really consider myself a “smoker” but I was going through a pack of cloves a week.

So what are some steps you took to kick the habit?


  • I love coffee, I drank 4+ cups a day. I too have been wanting a cup, but I know that once I drink it I won’t be able to stop, so I just don’t. Its the worst for me in the morning so I try to add really energizing things to my morning smoothie—cacao works for me.

    What is it that you miss about coffee? The heat, the smell, the energy boost, the psychological break, the nostalgia, the coffee talk with friends… Isolate the reason for the craving.

    I was shopping at the co-op yesterday and I was scared to go near the coffee aisle. Then I got a whiff. I floated over there and was in the aisle for a good 5 minutes. Do you know what? The SMELL of the coffee satisfied my craving!! I just stood there and took it in with a big old grin my face, it was just as satisfying as drinking it. try it! I have an old can of illy in the closet…I’m going to go smell it right now. :)

  • I’m right there with you. I tried quitting cold turkey and had the worst head-aches, I couldn’t function! So I started making 1 cup /day (which is less than the 5 cups/day I had been drinking previously). It has slowly started creeping up to making 2 cups /day, but not drinking it all. I think I’m going to go back to brewing only 1 cup, and see if I can drink a few sips, and have that be enough. Then wean down to 1/2 cup/day, etc. Once I down to 1/4 cup, I’ve got to find something else.

    For me, it is the long-time association of a nice hot cup of coffee as a morning treat. I work until around mid-night each night, so getting up early is difficult and the coffee has been my crutch for too many years. Plus, I love the flavor, the feel of the warm liquid, etc.

    My plan was to make a green smoothie for breakfast instead of lunch, and have that replace my coffee, but it just isn’t the same.

    How about a miso broth, or some other rich broth? As far as steps the kick the habit, I think the bottom line is the association of coffee as a yummy morning treat needs to be broken… it really isn’t a treat if it is toxic, right? but this is easier said than done.

  • I used to love coffee, but after giving it up years ago, I find that I vastly prefer the smell of freshly ground roasted beans to the taste of the brewed coffee. I used to use lots of cream and sugar, but to be honest, I think I mostly liked the cream and sugar. If I drink coffee now, which is extremely rare, I drink it black with no sweetener. It tastes okay, but not impressive enough to ever go back to it regularly. Besides, I can’t sleep at night when I’ve had any coffee during the day. I’m very sensitive to caffeine.

    You should try brewing one of those super condensed, murky Turkish or Lebanese coffees. Throw a few heaping spoons of super dark roast coffee or espresso into a tiny pot with enough water for only a small cup of coffee. Stir as it heats on the stove. Before it starts to really simmer, turn off the heat, give it one last stir, then let the grounds settle before pouring it into your cup. Don’t do anything to sweeten the taste. You’ll have a wickedly sludgy cup of ultra strong rocket fuel coffee. Unless you like your coffee this way (and many do!), it will be so gritty and heady that it might just turn off your coffee cravings for a while. With your ultraclean system on a raw diet, it will probably make you so jittery that you won’t wish to experience that again any time soon. Aversion therapy. Try it. Worst that can happen: you’ll love it and will have found your new favourite beverage.

  • dodododo Raw Newbie

    1sweetpea, aversion therapy indeed, i agree with you there, i had a cup of coffee yesterday for the first time in nearly 3 months, had a headache and felt sick for the rest of the day and come the eveing i had diahrrea all evening. thats the last coffee i shall ever be drinking i think

  • “What is it that you miss about coffee? The heat, the smell, the energy boost, the psychological break, the nostalgia, the coffee talk with friends… Isolate the reason for the craving.”

    Well it’s a little bit of all of those. But more on the psychological break most likely. I can still get the nostalgia while sipping tea. I think when I was experiencing detox a lot of the reason was being off coffee. When I think back on it I think the head aches began to end after starting coffee on occasion.

    The times I am most tempted though are Mondays, Mid week and Fridays. Especially Friday, I always tend to lean towards that as the best day to cheat and not eat raw. I think I have decided though to not go fully raw for now, but mostly vegan when not eating raw now. I have stopped eating meat though. Anyway, that was a sidebar. Basically I tend to go for a cup of coffee when I want to “reward” myself for going so long without it or when I’m just flat out tired or stressed from work.

    It’s frustrating because I do feel better without caffeine, but there is this huge mental addiction I can’t seem to combat. Smoking was the same way, but the health benefits from that are far more obvious. I think that is why that one was easier.

  • Well, Caleb, you have to look at it like this: you are an addict and you have to recover like an addict would.

    You have to put it down and walk away. You can’t drink coffee anymore, just like a junkie can’t do heroin anymore. It’s not going away, it’s not going to change it’s chemical composition, it’s not going to become your friend, ever. Period. You have to change.

    Different playgrounds, different playmates.

    I don’t mean to sound cold but that’s what they told me in rehab and it works.

    I love coffee. But like dodo, now that I have quit it, I get headaches and diarrhea if I try drinking it.

    So I drink chamomile tea. blech. But you know, I don’t want cancer, I don’t want to be a slave to the bean, or to anything else for that matter.

  • I was going to guess that you were a rewarder! me too :)

    There’s alot of debate about whether coffee has any benefits and its gotten some good press, http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA400146. Ultimately it should be about what makes you feel better. It could very well be that your body is telling you that you need it. I have ADD, and it helped me a great deal with cognitive function, better coffee than riddilin! But after going raw and losing weight I became far more antsy on it and just couldn’t tolerate it.

    The thing that help my withdrawal symptoms most was lots and lots of oranges.

    If you do, buy fair trade and Peets is the best coffee ever!

  • schmoopee, do you find that your ADD has been positively or negatively affected by your having gone raw? Have the people around you noticed and commented at all? I have a friend who has severe ADHD and won’t take Ritalin. His diet is horrendous. I believe that if he changed his diet, he’d improve immeasurably, but I’m sure he’ll never go that route. He just loves his meat, dairy and junkfood too much.

  • try dandy blend. It makes an awesome ‘latte’ plus its made out of dandelion. Its not raw, but is the best coffee substitute i have tried, and its healthy! Order it here: http://www.dandyblend.com/ i think its best to step off an addiction rather than quit cold turkey, less relapses this way.

  • Hi 1sweetpea, I feel much clearer eating raw. The biggest change for me has been a huge reduction in stress. Part of being ADD is that you spend alot of time with anxiety about what you need to do and how to get it done rather than just doing it. That’s gone. My friends + coworkers have for sure noticed that I am much less stressed and happier—I don’t get frustrated or impatient anymore.

    I do find it difficult to do anything raw that’s too complicated or takes too many days or too many ingredients. Following recipes is a challenge so I usually just wing it. I try to keep it simple one bowl dishes and veggie wraps.

    hope that helps!—schmoop

  • I just discovered this: http://www.teeccino.com/Default.aspx Thanks to one of my raw friends down in Austin. I don’t think it is raw, but definitely way better for you, it’s alkaline. On top of that, it’s “no-caff” not just de-caff. The stuff is pretty expensive though, not sure how long I will use it. I’m starting to think though since I don’t really plan on going 100% raw I will just have coffee now and then, but currently my intake is higher than it needs to be.

  • Dr. Mercola recommends Tulsi tea. Also, the Irish Macaffee recipe on this website tastes a little like a cappuccino. Good luck! :)



  • Thanks schmoopee. Your name makes me laugh and reminds me of a Seinfeld episode (“you’re a schmoopee-face …”) LOL! This friend of mine with ADHD has a constant quirky habit of clearing his throat. He says he has to do it. I’m convinced that the throat clearing would disappear as soon as he eliminates dairy from his diet and perhaps the refined sugar and processed junk foods. I know he’ll never do it, but it is exciting to hear that it’s possible to get the condition under control with diet. I have always believed that, but never been able to put it into practice with him or anyone else. In case anyone thinks we’ve gotten totally off topic, I’ll add that he drinks lots of coffee and Coke—caffeine which he definitely does not need to give him energy!

  • Caleb, I am also having a hard time ending my love affair with coffee. I think I associate it with taking a mental break and relaxing. I didn’t really start drinking it to wake up in the morning but for the flavour; we have incredible locally roasted coffee where I live and it’s soooo good. Soooo hard to quit. I did quit before for about a year because I felt so sick whenever I had it, but for some reason I’ve been able to tolerate it this time around. When you don’t feel sick every time you have it, it’s harder to quit! I’ve tried the teechino; its really good and you can brew it in an espresso maker. The dandelion tea is really good too… I used to replace my coffee with a dandy-latte at the coffee shop. Very cleansing too. I’ve found green tea best for the morning hot drink. It give you a bit of a kick and wakes you stomach up in a friendly way. Coffee usually kills my hunger for a few hours and then I’m ravenous when I do get hungry. Ughh. Good luck on your search for the perfect non-caff hot drink!

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