How to Quit Coffee


Would you like to learn how to quit coffee? I successfully quit coffee with no symptoms with the help of amino acids.

It's been over a month now since I've had a cup of coffee — and I haven't had a single craving. Moreover, I'm feeling happier, with more energy, and the quality of my sleep has vastly improved. Best of all, I don't need coffee anymore.

This is nothing short of a miracle for me. I'm the biggest coffee addict who ever lived! I've been drinking coffee since I was 16 years old. I've tried to quit coffee many times throughout the years, but I could never make it stick.

Why Quit Coffee?

Because caffeine is a highly addictive drug. Even worse, according to Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure, caffeine is the number one enemy of serotonin.

I know some of you guys are not going to like this article. I get complaints and protestations whenever I post on Facebook or Twitter about this. People really like their coffee.

I understand. I'm just sharing my experience with you. (And you might want to consider that it is possible that the reason you are getting so worked up about it is you could possibly have an addiction to caffeine. Just a possibility!)

Coffee Cravings and Nutritional Deficiencies

Kristen at Food Renegade wrote a good post recently about coffee, Should You Drink Coffee? This post is a response to that. (You should read her post instead of mine if you want to keep drinking coffee. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) I agree with Sally Fallon Morell of the Weston A. Price Foundation — coffee should be avoided.

The main problem with coffee is that we use it as a drug to provide chemicals to the brain. These chemicals are normally provided from food. Coffee not only suppresses the appetite, but it also damages our ability to produce those chemicals.

Coffee and Feel-good Brain Chemicals

The presence of caffeine in the blood stimulates the release of the catecholamines, adrenaline (also known as epinephrine) and noradrenaline. If you are low in these catecholamines, you lack the brain chemistry you need for energy and alertness. Taking a drug like caffeine is an easy fix.

But with any easy fix, there is always a price to pay. Caffeine is overly stimulating to the adrenal glands, as are white sugar, white flour, too little sleep, and any other kind of stress on the body. When the adrenal glands are stressed for too long, they don't function like they used to. This is called adrenal exhaustion.

Coffee: A Vicious Cycle

Here's the rub about coffee. Epinephrine is produced by the adrenal glands from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. When you eat protein-rich foods that contain amino acids, your body naturally produces these catecholamines and other brain chemicals that make you feel energetic and focused and ready to get to work. If you take the coffee shortcut to get your quick fix of catecholamines, at the same time you're exhausting your adrenals — the very organs you need to help you produce more catecholamines.

The other bad thing about coffee is it is a natural appetite suppressant. I always thought I just wasn't a breakfast person. I have been skipping breakfast since I was in my teens.

A few days into quitting coffee, I noticed that I was really hungry in the morning. I was craving eggs and bacon and toast.

It turns out that caffeine is a strong appetite suppressant. So if you think you're not hungry, it could be the drug you take before you eat. Here's what's scary about that: hunger is our body's way of telling us it needs nutrients. If we take a drug that interferes with that, we're depriving our body of what it needs to function. And the cycle continues.

Adrenal Fatigue

If you're wondering if you have adrenal fatigue, answer the following questions (from

Are you tired for no reason?
Do you have trouble getting up in the morning?
Do you need coffee, colas, salty or sweet snacks to keep going?
Do you feel run down and stressed?
Do you crave salty or sweet snacks?
Do you struggle to keep up with lifeโ€™s daily demands?
Do you have trouble bouncing back from stress or illness?
Do you feel like you're not having fun anymore?
Do you have a decreased sex drive?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue. (Read more about adrenal fatigue on

Adrenal Fatigue and Melasma

I realized a couple years ago that my adrenal fatigue (caused by years of overwork, not enough sleep, drinking coffee, Diet Coke, and smoking) was the root cause of my melasma. Melasma, also called the “pregnancy mask,” is a condition where you get ugly dark patches on your face.

I remember one day when I was in my mid-thirties, my mother looked at me and said, “Is that a mustache?” I was horrified. I knew what she was talking about. I had tried to wax and bleach it to no avail. It wasn't hair — it was a dark patch on my upper lip. I tried everything but nothing would lighten it and makeup wouldn't cover it.

The melasma continued to spread on my face. I had dark patches on my forehead as well. It looked a lot like this:

Yuck, right?!

If this is not reason enough to quit drinking coffee, I don't know what is. ๐Ÿ˜›

How I Cured My Melasma

When I started eating a traditional food Weston A. Price diet 2 1/2 years ago, I started researching melasma and what could cause it. Of course, very few people talk about hormones or adrenal fatigue and how they relate to melasma. Most articles I found online blame the birth control pill or sun exposure.

It occurred to me that melasma has the same root as melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that helps you relax and go to sleep. Melanin, or skin pigment, has the same root. This couldn't be a coincidence! If you look up hyperpigmentation on Wikipedia, you will read:

Addison's disease and other sources of adrenal insufficiency, in which hormones that stimulate melanin synthesis, such as melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), are frequently elevated.

I am very happy to report that since I changed my diet 2 1/2 years ago and started eating more nourishing foods, my melasma has disappeared. It's 95% gone. No more mustache, thank God!

I only recently quit coffee, though, so I bet that will help with the other 5%.

How to Quit Coffee

I want to thank Elizabeth Walling of The Nourished Life blog for the review she wrote on Julia Ross' book, The Mood Cure. I had read the book and had even tried the amino acid supplementation as Juila Ross suggests, but it hadn't worked for me to quit coffee. I guess I hadn't tried the right one, though.

Then Elizabeth tweeted one day something about how she had taken DLPA (Phenylalaline) to help her quit coffee. Just 1,000 milligrams in the morning and another 1,000 at lunchtime.

I gave it a shot. Guess what, folks? I was able to quit coffee without a single withdrawal symptom. No headaches, no fatigue, no suffering. And no cravings. I really don't even want coffee anymore. (By the way, I'm not saying this will necessarily work for you. According to Julia Ross, different amino acid combinations work for different people. Please read her book, The Mood Cure.))

Julia Ross

I'm so inspired by all of this that I flew up to Marin County, California yesterday, to attend a lecture this weekend with Julia Ross, expert on amino acids and author of The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure. I just can't get enough of her books so I wanted to come and hear her speak for two full days.

I promise to blog about it. Gotta go get some eggs before the first session starts!

Photo credit: Pillowhead Designs on Flickr and WebMD

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the worldโ€™s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.โ€จโ€จ The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

107 thoughts on “How to Quit Coffee

  1. love that you quit coffee – i’m thinking I should do the same – although i see my road being tough…filled with headaches.
    What does one do if she has phenylketonuria? I’m so highly sensitive to phenylalanine – I can’t even chew gum that has it. I found out about 10 years ago that I have a problem with protein to amino conversion in my body.
    I never had Melasma until I was pregnant with my first and it was only light. But with my second it was extreme. I still sort of have it, but as I ween it is getting better – a year ago I looked like I had a “stache” as well – so much that my father in law had to look really close – he said – wow – you don’t have a mustache – you just have hyper-pigmentation – gawd. Really? nice one.
    .-= allison´s last blog ..Allison, Allison, what do you grow? Lots of fruits, herbs and veggies you know. =-.

  2. I’m so glad you’ve got this all figured out. When I’m free from cravings and addictions to food, I feel my best. So many people seem to be against giving up coffee, saying it’s a natural, traditional food. But if you NEED coffee then something is wrong. When the craving/addiction is gone I find there’s more calmness, peacefulness and openness to enjoying different food.

    I already told a friend trying to quit coffee about the DLPA, she’s trying it and says its working. I’ll send her this post too. Thanks!
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..China Part 8 – Living in Changzhou =-.

  3. That’s awesome! It was easy for me to quit caffeine cause I’m so freakin’ sensitive to it. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Now… tell me how to get over my addiction to white sugar and white flour???? Those two things are my downfall in an otherwise totally WAP/NT diet. ugh…

  4. I successfully switched from “high octane” to decaf and am down from 36 ounces to 12. I had no headaches at all this time (I’ve been off and on coffee since age 16) but had no energy and brain fog for 3 months. I tried DLPA for a week or so but couldn’t remember to take it regularly. Being on a real food diet seemed to ease the transition. The one big improvement I have noticed being off caffeine us that I don’t need a glass of wine to unwind at night!

  5. I’ve just quit in the last few weeks myself. I’m also a huge fan of Julia Ross, though I’m having a few bumps working out my perfect amino acid cocktail. I haven’t completely read “The Mood Cure” so that’s probably the biggest part of my problem! I didn’t realize the DLPA could help with the coffee detox… For me, it helped (some) to drink lots of water, but I think I still fall pretty short of the mark with staying hydrated. I still miss my coffee ritual, but this is the first menstrual period I’ve had in MONTHS with cramping that is tolerable instead of completely debilitating. Totally and completely worth giving up caffeine for that! I’ve been making Kelly (the Kitchen Kop)’s Nourishing Steamers and that has been a great replacement “ritual” for me – so yummy! Trying to cut back those now, too, though and am going for a green foods smoothie (spinach, banana and another fruit with water and ice) first thing in the day. So far, so good! Thanks!

  6. I quit coffee too over the past couple of weeks to see if it would help curb the horrible breast tenderness (more than usual) that I get before my period. But, I didn’t have any withdrawals so I don’t know that I was addicted. Time will tell if it helped with the PMS.

    Since turning to Real Food, my energy has increased so much and I sleep like a baby. Real food combined with regular exercise puts me on the top of the world. When I slack with exercise, I find I eat more and get lazy and fatigued easily.

    Obviously, I do believe that caffiene can cause issues with some people. However, I’ve lived abroad where coffee can be as much as part of their life as their religion. As in, many drink far far far more of it than we do. Sometimes, several espressos daily. While I’ve heard some say that they’ve cut back, I can’t remember anyone telling me they’ve given it up altogether.

    When I see whole cultures drinking far more of it than we do and they are thinner, vibrant and healthy, I do admit that I find it hard to believe that coffee, in moderation, is really that harmful. I think it’s one of those things that is very variable and, therefore, individual specific. I think anyone having health issues should give it up for an extended period of time to see if it makes a difference in their health and if it doesn’t, I honestly don’t see too much harm in it. That’s kind of what I’m doing. If it helps, then coffee isn’t for me. If it doesn’t help, I’ll put one cup of coffee daily back in.

  7. I gave up coffee about three years ago. It was a slow transition and I made an interesting discovery along the way.

    Method I used (which is done slowly over the course of several weeks):
    1) Cut high octane with decaf for a 50/50 split.
    2) Cut back on the number of cups.
    3) No coffee or sweets after 1pm.
    4) Cut decaf with high octane for a 75/25 split.
    5) Cut back on number of cups; one with breakfast, one at work, one at lunch.
    6) Make the cups smaller.
    7) Go full decaf.
    8) Swap some coffee for tea.

    Eventually I completely switched over to tea. I had been drinking coffee for 30+ years. I now drink black tea with full fat milk no sugar. I sleep better and have even energy levels throughout the day. I no longer crave an afternoon nap which I had been doing since high school. Throughout high school and college I actually did sleep every afternoon. Unfortunately that is frowned upon during work hours in this country.

    Two things I learned. There seems to be some other chemical in coffee that affects my energy levels which is not caffene. I drink fully caffinated black tea without the effects that decaf coffee had on me. The effects are almost instantanious. If I sneak a cup of coffee I pay dearly for it and start to feel lousy within four hours. The effects last about 24 hours and are cumulative. If I drink multiple cups over several days I will feel worse and worse.

    The second thing I learned was from my acupuncturist; she says that coffee is a toxin to the liver but didn’t elucidate on the matter so I’m not sure exactly what she meant.

    Although I still sneak an occassional cup of my sister’s wonderful coffee, I am a tea convert and feel much better for it.

  8. I agree with Kat: coffee may or may not be inherently evil, but *needing* caffeine to get through every day is a sign that something is up. I am amazed that I used to think I loved coffee–I just thought I really, really liked the way it tasted, it was my special indulgence. Today I don’t even like coffee and I rarely have it at all, whereas I used to have it every day.

    Amino acid therapy was exceedingly helpful for overcoming my attachment to coffee and to this day when I start feeling emotional, depressed and unmotivated I start up with DLPA again and it balances everything out. It’s very subtle, not a caffeine-like rush at all. I just suddenly feel a little brighter and more motivated after taking DLPA.

    I do think experimenting with amino acids might be necessary to find the right combination. It’s all based on brain chemistry, and deficiences in different neurotransmitters can cause similar symptoms. Julia’s book The Mood Cure is helpful in that area because of the quiz in the front of the book, but I personally found that trial and error produced the best results.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Learn How to Detox with a Coconut Oil Cleanse =-.

  9. I thank you for the information on the amino acid you talk about, DLPA. I had never heard about its ability to help in caffeine withdrawal. Is it related to aspertane or have any of the affects of aspertane? Can I just buy this amino acid in a health food store?

  10. Well, we shall see. I didn’t even finish reading your post before I jumped into the car and drove down to the supplement store…EVEN if part of the success is the placebo effect, if it works, then I don’t care.

    I agree with Kat. If you NEED it, then you don’t need it. I have successfully stopped coffee many times. Each time, once the world is back in focus again, I say: “never again.” And then eventually I get just one cup….and it makes me feel SO GOOD! Next thing I know, I’m hooked again.

    Thanks for the info! I hope it works!

  11. Great post. I’ve never been a coffee drinker and I’m always trying to get my friends to quit. I probably really annoy them, but this post has added some more facts to my arsenal of reasons to quit drinking coffee. Thanks.
    .-= Lovelyn´s last blog ..Donโ€™t Loose Your Head =-.

  12. Ann Marie, what a wonderful article! I quit coffee, too, but didn’t have the info regarding amino acid therapy at the time. I had to quit cold turkey, as it was causing too many health issues. I didn’t want to give it up. Like you, I drank it since I was a teenager and really, really liked the taste of it–especially gourmet coffees. I researched and researched effects of caffeine, trying to find the benefits of coffee so that I could justify drinking it. But I was finding more and more evidence of unpleasant side effects. When I read the one about caffeine causing shortness of breath, I knew it was the culprit for the symptoms I was having. Also, whenever I would drink coffee, I would want to have something sweet to go along with it.

    I asked the Lord to help me quit, because i knew it would take more than will power on my part. He did, and I’ve been caffeine free now for over a year. I, too, had no withdrawal, which I believe was God’s wonderful grace helping me to do something I needed to do.

    Thank you for having the courage to write on a topic that is controversial. With so many touting the health benefits of coffee, which I’m not necessarily disputing, everyone just needs to make up their own mind as to what is best for them.

    By the way, can I give a testimonial for a beverage I’ve recently discovered? I found Teeccino a couple months ago and have been enjoying a cup every morning. The hazelnut flavor is my favorite. It tastes a lot like coffee but has no caffeine, no theobromine, and no harmful substances. I can drink a cup at night if I like, knowing it is actually good for me. You can find it on their website (, and many health food stores carry it, as well.

    Thank you again, Ann Marie, for this wonderful post.

  13. I do drink coffee, a cup of home-made high quality organic coffee with coconut oil in and I really enjoy it.

    I have noticed since improving my diet over the last five years, I don’t drink any old coffee. I must admit that I am now a ‘coffee-snob’.

    Two a penny, high-street coffee shops are the ‘fast food’ of coffee and rely on creating addicts. If we were injecting caffeine someone might regulate it, but as it is we are just creating landfill waste with oodles of take-away cups!

  14. I just spent the day teaching about healing with real food at a women’s retreat. Everyone had lots of questions about coffee. This is a great post and answers all those questions! Have fun at Julia’s seminar and say Hi for me!
    thanks so much and glad you are doing so well. Carol Albrecht

  15. Anne Marie, I have been thinking about quitting coffee. Maybe the DLPA will
    help. I think it’s more habit and ritual than anything. Thanks for posting this.
    Lierre Keith suggested that we interview Julia Ross. I will need to
    look into that soon.
    .-= Cathy Payne´s last blog ..ONL061 From Suburb to Farm =-.

  16. I am sitting here near tears. I know that sounds dramatic but hear me out. I had been considering cutting out coffee but addiction is a powerful thing and I keep finding ways to rationalize it. I know I have an issue with adrenal fatigue but I didn’t know it had anything to do to my severe melasma. When I initially saw that picture I honestly thought it was me. Then I looked closer and realized it wasn’t me because my melasma is way worse. It started after the birth of my first child and has just continued to get worse. It looks like I have tattoos on my forehead. I never used to wear make-up. Now I can’t leave the house without it, a lot of it. I have spent the last 5 years going out of my way to avoid being photographed. There are very few pictures of me with my kids and the ones we do have I can’t stand to look at myself in them. I have tried laser and even that didn’t help. Thank you so much for posting this. This is the last nail in the coffee’s coffin.
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..The Only Dry Rub Youโ€™ll Ever Need =-.

  17. Kim, I’m so glad you posted — thanks for sharing.

    Someone I met today — a health practitioner — mentioned to me that she has had success treating melasma with her patients with giving them folic acid. So you may try taking that in addition to giving up coffee and doing what you are doing to nourish and heal your adrenal glands.

    It’s interesting, too because I’ve been eating a lot more liver over this past couple years. Not only have I been taking cod liver oil daily, but I’ve been trying to eat liver anywhere from 1-4 times a week.

    Liver is very high in folic acid (I believe it’s the best source).

  18. Thank you for the additional tips. I greatly appreciate them. I’ve only had liver when I was a kid and I hated it. The texture was sort of like grainy paste with a very strong flavor. Is it always like that or was that just bad liver or poor preparation? I will go get the cod liver oil TOMORROW! Since I am asking, we recently had grass fed beef for the first time. We found it to be really wild tasting and terribly tough. Is that the norm? It is not what we expected at all. I had had my husband convinced to buy a half beef but now he won’t have any of it at all. ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..The Only Dry Rub Youโ€™ll Ever Need =-.

  19. Kristen,
    I had read all the tips about how to prepare it. The first time I made it the usual way. It wasn’t over done, I was super careful about that. Aside from the toughness the meat had a really strong wild taste. The next time I made it I marinated it and the flavor was masked but it was still tough. Could it be the location of the farm? It is nearly in the city limits of Phoenix. As I write this I realize how gross that sounds. Maybe I should try a different farm where the pastures have actual grass instead of cactus….

    Sorry, Anne Marie, didn’t mean to hijack the comments to a completely unrelated subject.
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..The Only Dry Rub Youโ€™ll Ever Need =-.

  20. Hi AnneMarie,

    I think it’s awesome that whenever I’m dealing with something or thinking about doing something, you go and post about it. I JUST listened to the Julia Ross interview on livin la vida low carb (thanks for the podcast recommendation!) I grew up in Marin and hope to meet Julia one day. Next weekend I am going to see Sally Fallon speak up there. I am so excited. I told my husband that it’s like seeing his favorite rock star.

    I really like Dandy Blend. I try to avoid caffeine, and so far it’s working. I had to wean myself. If anyone out there wants to know about their adrenals, there is a spit test where you collect saliva samples, 4 times in one day. It only costs about $100, and you do it at home. You can ask around, a lot of naturopaths and Chinese medicine people know about it. I’m waiting for my results!

    Best, Kristen

  21. Kim,
    We love grassfed! The steaks may be a bit tougher but nothing a good marinade can’t fix. I just made the pot roast in Nourishing Traditions tonight (grass fed) and it was so tender and delicious! The key was soaking it in buttermilk. I only soaked it for 12 hours ( the recipe calls for several days) but my husband said it was the most tender and delicious pot roast he’s had. There is hope for grass fed and your family, keep trying. Also use the cooking tips online becuase it cooks faster than corn fed.

    Best, Kristen

  22. Hi Ann Marie,
    Thanks so much for posting this about coffee. I don’t consider myself a big coffee drinker, but I do have a cup in the morning every day. I did not think I was addicted until the time we stayed with my in-laws for a week. They only drink decaf and I had that brain fog you mentioned until we went out to buy real coffee.

    I don’t know if drinking one cup a day is so bad for me, but after reading this I have decided to do an experiment. I will cut out the coffee for a while and see how I feel. This is a good time to start. Weather wise, it has been so hot I don’t even feel like drinking coffee. I just do out of habit.

    I do wonder about getting my dh to cut back. With his work hours it might be impossible, plus he doesn’t want to.

    I found Dandy Blend at my natural health food store. If I even feel like having coffee in the evening I drink that instead. Now, what about chocolate? I don’t indulge as much as I used to since I began eating real food, but I don’t really want to give it up completely.

    Thanks again for all your posts.

  23. Hey, inspired by your previous tweets I have been coffee clean for a week!

    I used Yerba mate tea for about two days then stopped all caffeinated beverages, and it feels good.

    What about smoking and melasma? I gather nicotine concentrates in melanin pigments making it darker due to a similar chemical structure.

  24. Thank you for posting this, Anne Marie. I have been hoping you would, as I am currently weaning myself off coffee. I don’t think coffee is inherently bad because as someone else commented there are healthy countries where people drink espresso several times a day, and it doesn’t seem to be causing health problems. But it IS a problem for me. I have been addicted for years, and I finally decided that I don’t want to NEED anything to get me going in the morning. So that was the nail in coffee’s coffin. I may go back to drinking it someday, but for now, I need to get off it completely. I am down on y consumption by about 60% and I think I am going to try for even less in the coming week. I may pick up those aminos to get a little more help.
    .-= Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen´s last blog ..We Have PEEPS! =-.

  25. Kennedy –

    I have never heard that about nicotine and melanin pigments — do you have a source?

    I do know that smoking wreaks havoc on the adrenal glands, in the same way caffeine and white flour and sugar do.

  26. How timely. I got the Four Fold Path to Healing last month, and even though I have only skimmed it I am planning to do the adrenal fixes to fully cure the minor asthma and allergy troubles I still have. Been drinking coffee since I was 10, though back then it was a little coffee with my milk and sugar. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I actually don’t have any of the symptoms of andrenal fatigue thankfully. But I figure it’s worth a try to see if this will help. I do like the ritual of a hot beverage in the morning, and will be replacing it with tea with very low doses of caffeine.

    So we shall see what happens.
    .-= Soli @ I Believe in Butter´s last blog ..Renewing my efforts =-.

  27. Way to go Ann Marie! I know quitting coffee is really tough for many people. I was helped to avoid ever becoming addicted to it by my extreme sensitivity to caffeine. It gives me powerful headaches (migraines?) that, untreated, can last 2-3 days. From one cup of coffee. So I’m not even tempted. But I salute you for taking the steps to conquer such a powerful craving.

    I used to go to Julia Ross but had to stop because I couldn’t afford her fees on a continuing basis, but I think she and her books are really good. She wisely advised me not to continue my marathon training (this was back in 2002 and 2003) and I unwisely did. While I’m proud I completed the marathon, now I know it really wasn’t a smart thing to do to my body, especially given all the stress I was under and the eventual adrenal exhaustion that followed. Well, live and learn.
    .-= Jeanmarie´s last blog ..We Have Chickens! =-.

  28. I don’t drink coffee, but I get easily addicted to black tea. I love the taste but hate the feeling of the caffeine hitting my system. I had to stop drinking it in the afternoon because it was keeping me awake at night — tea! Not even coffee! I quit altogether when we started trying to get pregnant. I had a caffeine-free pregnancy last time and will again this time. I LOVE not feeling the caffeine, but I so miss the taste of a cup (or two, or three…) of good quality, hot, black tea. Rooibos just isn’t the same. I doubt I’ll be able to stay totally caffeine-free forever…

  29. Are you aware that a lot of isolated amino acids such as Phenylalaline are usually now produced by genetically modified bacteria. You might find this interesting.

  30. Kim –

    It wasn’t just quitting coffee that helped me get rid of melasma. In fact, I was still drinking coffee when I reversed it.

    I switched to a traditional food diet with plenty of good fats — that is what did it.

    Also, please be sure to eat plenty of liver!

  31. I have been eating a real food diet for a while now. But I am working on cutting out refined carbs, sugar, starches etc. I hadn’t been so great about that. Not horrible but could definintely be better. Liver…..I guess I should give it another try. Haven’t had it since I was a kid and I hated it then. Maybe if it was grassfed…. I have heard that soaking it in milk makes the flavor less livery. Anyone try that? I did start the cod liver oil as you recommended too.
    .-= Kim@GFRealFood´s last blog ..Coconut Flour Pancakes =-.

  32. Kim, I’ve had it soaked both in milk and in lemon juice. Er, just not at the same time. Like you, I tried to eat it when I was a kid but I could not get myself to physically swallow it, no matter how much I chewed. My mom, bless her, thinks it’s because she overcooked the liver… because that’s how HER mother did it. Incidentally, she ate liver growing up and loved it.

    I also found out recently that one of the baby jar foods she served me was in fact liver! Funny how long that tradition held out, because that means it would have still been produced in 1974-1975.
    .-= Soli @ I Believe in Butter´s last blog ..Regional real food delicacies: Shad roe =-.

  33. I mentioned this above, but I’m back with a question. I’ve been caffeine-free for over three weeks. For the most part, I’ve been having a greens smoothie in the morning and I’m happy with that routine, but I did go visit family over the weekend and wanted a coffee-like beverage to enjoy while everyone else sipped their coffee. I had teeccino a couple of times while there. I was wondering about decaf coffee, however. I am curious if anyone knows what process is used to decaffeinate organic coffee and whether the amount of caffeine remaining would influence my caffeine-free state too greatly. As I mentioned, I am missing coffee a lot less than I’d expected, so I’m not desperate to drink decaf – I’m more just interested in exploring what my options are.

  34. Melasma! So that’s what I have on my forehead. It appeared there several years ago during a very stressful period of my life, and I never found out what it was. Mine’s light enough that most people claim they don’t notice it. Mine’s also been somewhat confusing because the shape has altered considerably over the years (it started out as a smallish patch in the center of my forehead and slowly expanded out as a rough, hollow circle over the years. The top edge is now very close to my hairline. Yeah, weird).

    Interestingly, this appeared on my forehead the same month that I was diagnosed with gastritis, and I had to stop drinking caffeine (that’s how I stopped … the caffeine was causing considerable abdominal discomfort, and also caused swelling in some of my lymph glands). I also don’t doubt for one second that the melasma was triggered by adrenal fatigue … at the time that it appeared, I’d been working rotating 12 hour shifts for almost a year, and it felt like my body was falling apart. I drank a lot of caffeine to cope with the complete lack of sleep, which obviously does not work long term.

    I’ve improved my diet considerably in the last few years, especially in the last few months, and I had the impression that the pigmentation was fading a little, although I thought that was wishful thinking. I’ll need to keep a closer eye on it … maybe it really is fading! Thank you for this blog post!
    .-= Angel´s last blog ..Low Carb Taco Casserole =-.

  35. Rebekah

    When I take my DLPA, I don’t have any cravings for coffee or caffeine. But I understand the desire to have something hot to sip, especially when you are with others.

    I just went home last week for my grandma’s funeral and while everyone was drinking their coffee, I sipped decaf black tea.

    I have tried drinking decaf coffee and I did notice it made me a little bit jittery. I think it depends on the person – some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. Some can drink a latte and go to sleep, others can have a teaspoon of coffee and are awake all night.

    I also like Teeccino, Dandy Blend, and Caffix.

    If I were to go with someone to Starbucks or something, I would probably just order a decaf latte or decaf tea latte (yes there is such a thing!)

  36. Oh, one more thing — when looking for a decaf coffee or tea, make sure you buy a “naturally decaffeinated” brand. They use solvents to decaffeinate coffee and tea — and you want to avoid those.

    Look for “naturally decaffeinated” or “Swiss water” process.

  37. Thanks! I have Caffix and Teeccino and just ordered some Dandy Blend last night. I haven’t had any coffee cravings, but I do miss the pick-me-up of caffeine when I don’t get enough rest. Working on that one! I’m shocked at how truly awful my eating, sleeping and hydrating regimens were before I finally took control of them. It’s a work in progress, but I feel so much better than I have in years. And, I’m a better mom because I can handle stress better and my kids don’t end up bearing the brunt of my grumpiness or hurriedness.

  38. I’ve had Melasma on my forehead for the last 3-4 yrs, then last year I started getting it above my upper lip so it looks like a mustache. I’ve never drank coffee or smoked but I have had hypothyroidism for 14 yrs. Any idea what it would be from & what I can do?

  39. I’m limiting myself to one cup of coffee a day (more like a 50-50 of coffee and milk). I fried my adrenals last year due to some family issues and don’t care to repeat the experience, thank you very much. I do drink some black tea. I have tried and can’t find green that I actually like.

    My sister’s doctor also mentioned another issue with coffee–whether decaf of regular, the roasting process causes alkyds, which can impact one’s mood. Amazing what we do to ourselves, isn’t it?
    .-= Fran´s last blog ..Next Issue Due Out June 21 =-.

  40. Sheree –

    I really believe that melasma is caused in part by adrenal exhaustion. I have also heard that folic acid supplementation helps to correct it (see comments above). I personally eat liver for folic acid, although I am now also on a high-folic-acid B complex supplement.

    From what I have read, hypothyroidism is often caused by adrenal fatigue. The adrenal fatigue often comes first.

    Take the Adrenal Fatigue Quiz (from )

    Tired for no reason?
    Having trouble getting up in the morning?
    Need coffee, colas, salty or sweet snacks to keep going?
    Feeling run down and stressed?
    Crave salty or sweet snacks?
    Struggling to keep up with lifeโ€™s daily demands?
    Canโ€™t bounce back from stress or illness?
    Not having fun anymore?
    Decreased sex drive?

    More than 1 yes answer means you have adrenal fatigue. I get a 4 on that quiz. I know my adrenal glands are still exhausted. I am better but I still have a long way to go!

    I’m going to order the adrenal saliva test from Canary Club and see if I need to take cortisol (adrenal gland) or DHEA or both.

    I heard Dr. Wilson ( speak on a podcast yesterday — he said that the ONLY thing that will rebuild adrenals are the glandulars. There are lots of herbs and nutrients that support adrenal function but if you have exhausted your adrenals to the point of damaging them, you need to take adrenal glandulars.

    You can read more on that site and/or get a copy of his book to find out how you can heal your adrenal function.

    Ann Marie

    1. “I realized a couple years ago that my adrenal fatigue (caused by years of overwork, not enough sleep, drinking coffee, Diet Coke, and smoking) ”

      You really can’t blame coffee. Coffee is not even on the same planet as drinking diet coke, smoking and not sleeping enough..

      Trust me COFFEE IS NOT as bad as you think it is…

  41. Thanks for writing this wonderful post. Right now I’m pregnant, so the smell of coffee makes me horribly ill which is a blessing. Obviously if the stuff is so repugnant to pregnant women (like cigarette smoke, gas fumes, paint and other noxious substances), there is something wrong with the stuff… there has to be wisdom in that. I’m determined not to drink coffee again after the baby arrives.

    I started to really question coffee after reading Daniel Amen’s book (he is an expert in brain chemistry), in which he says that according to brain scans, caffeine *decreases* brain function. Everyone thinks the opposite is true! But all coffee does is help you deal with …. coffee withdrawal. LOL In other words, drinking coffee depresses brain function so you aren’t even at a normal level of functioning – so you have to drink coffee to get back to zero. Huh?

    Also, as someone mentioned, it makes your breath stink horribly! I cannot even tolerate being near my husband much less kissing him, when he’s been drinking coffee. UGH.
    .-= Carrie at NaturalMomsTalkRadio´s last blog ..Need Cloth Diaper Recommendations =-.

  42. Just heard about your site on a Jimmy Moore podcast. I tried to quit coffee about three weeks ago. I was so tired! I actually got so depressed – so unmotivated, so I-don’t-care-about-anything-anymore that I had to go back to drinking it! I’ve got Julia Ross’ two books. I’ve skimmed through the Mood Cure and tried to pick out what amino acids I needed to help me kick nicotine but could never figure it out with any certainty. I quit smoking about 6 weeks ago and was hoping I could come up with an amino acid combination that would help but I had no luck. I quit all amino acids last week and am dealing with nicotine cravings much better. I want to kick the caffeine too. I never considered DLPA and adrenal fatigue. Maybe this is the answer. I will order some. I want to kick everything except water and healthy foods. My diet is very low carb already. I’ve got four books on fasting and when I have kicked the nicotine and the caffeine I want to go on a 7-day fast. I’m studying the health benefits of fasting. On Jimmy Moore’s podcast, Dr. Fred Seyfreid said something to the effect that a yearly 7-day fast will stop all cancers from growing because they depend on glucose to live and can’t live on ketone bodies! Thanks for the info.

  43. I have had melasma on my forehead for 2 years now, between my pregnancies. It cannot be due to the caffeine, because I only tried coffee for the first time 10 months ago. But perhaps I need more liver and folic acid. I also have only switched to a more than 80-90% WAPF/NT diet in the last 6-7 months. Ann Marie, how long did it take you to heal your melasma with diet? When did you notice a change?

    (Also, I live in AZ and was told it was linked to sun exposure, so I try to wear a hat outside, but I know better than to slap on the sunscreen, I want my vitamin D! I go in the sun every day, take fermented CLO, and wear my hat. That’s it.)
    .-= kmillecam´s last blog ..Things M Says Part 26 =-.

  44. I went off coffee a while back — drinking DandyBlend helped b/c I had SOME thing I could enjoy. (I don’t like tea.) But I got so incredibly constipated that I actually went back on the coffee and have been regular ever since, lol.

    I drink 2 cups every morning and occasionally I treat myself to a latte at Starbucks but that is rare. I use cream, but I have stopped using sugar in my coffee.

    I was reading Dr. Eades book about losing the middle age middle, and he takes the stance that moderate coffee drinking is actually healthful, although he recommends avoiding it during the first 2 weeks of his Cure diet – b/c of its effects on the liver.

    Anyway. I’d love to know your take on that whole philosophy.

  45. Stephen

    Please be careful with fasting. Julia Ross does not recommend it — especially if you are trying to quit addictive substances. She says we crave these addictive substances because we are nutritionally deficient. Fasting can cause more cravings.

  46. Carrie –

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! I had the same issue when I was pregnant — my coffee cravings vanished. Even the smell made me sick.

    Julia Ross talked a lot about Daniel Amen. I’ll have to check out his book.

  47. kmillecam –

    Melasma is not caused by caffeine. I believe melasma is caused in part by adrenal exhaustion. Caffeine is not good for the adrenal glands since it overstimulates them. (Same with sugar and white flour.)

    It took me about a year and a half of eating a WAPF diet before I noticed my melasma fading. But this is right after a pregnancy and nursing — when my body was under stress. I may have healed faster if I hadn’t been recovering from the stress of pregnancy/nursing — but perhaps not. Dr. Wilson says that it can take longer for fair-haired people to recover from adrenal fatigue. Also there are many other factors that impact adrenal health including stress, lack of sleep, and other nutrient deficiencies including vitamin A, vitamin C etc.

  48. Musings of a Housewife –

    You should not have to drink coffee in order to have healthy bowel movements.

    Constipation is rooted in other issues — it is often a lack of good bacteria in the gut but it can also indicate low thyroid. Have you had your thyroid function checked? If it’s fine, you might look into increasing your good bacteria.

    Another thing that can cause constipation is excess fiber (oddly enough). I also always get constipated when I eat white flour that is not fermented.

    I was reading Dr. Eades book about losing the middle age middle, and he takes the stance that moderate coffee drinking is actually healthful, although he recommends avoiding it during the first 2 weeks of his Cure diet โ€“ b/c of its effects on the liver.

    I don’t agree; I don’t think coffee is healthy. Caffeine is a drug. It’s an appetite suppressant (which prevented me from eating a nutritious breakfast for years) and it decreases serotonin.

    Worst of all, it causes stress on the adrenal glands. Most people already have way too much stress as it is, have trouble sleeping, have nutritional deficiencies, etc. Most of us already have stressed adrenal glands to begin with — we don’t need any more stress in the form of caffeine.

    It’s odd that they would recommend coffee for people trying to loose weight — especially torso fat. It’s well established that excess fat around the middle is commonly caused by excess cortisol, which is produced by stressed adrenal glands.

    A recent study conducted by researchers at Yale University compared women who stored fat primarily in their abdomens with women who stored it mostly in their hips. They found that the women with belly fat reported feeling more threatened by stressful tasks and having more stressful lives. They also produced higher levels of cortisol than the women with fat on their hips. And that, the authors reasoned, suggests that cortisol causes fat to be stored in the center of the body.

    Furthermore, healthy thyroid function is dependent on healthy adrenals. If your thyroid slows down, you can’t lose weight no matter what you eat (the thyroid regulates the metabolism).

    But that’s not all. The adrenals produce the majority of sex hormones in women — so if your adrenals are burned out, you can’t produce adequate sex hormones (and we naturally produce less as we age) — and so if you have adrenal fatigue, you can look forward to a very rough ride during menopause. Imbalanced hormones also increase your risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

    I can’t think of any “benefits” of coffee that would override all of the above issues.

  49. Oh and PS:

    My husband just gave up coffee 3 days ago. He can’t believe how much better he is already sleeping. He used to stay up late and had a hard time staying asleep. In the past couple of nights, he easily fell asleep by 11 and slept through the night. Research shows that even one cup of coffee in the morning does impact sleep.

  50. I thought I would update you, because I am so excited. I am a Seattle coffee drinking addict for the last 15 years, and I haven’t had a cup of coffee (or even wanted one) in 22 days!
    My husband and I found your post and decided to give it a go together. We bought the DLPA & braced ourselves for the eventual pounding throbbing headache and horrible cravings. They never came…we are feeling very blessed by your blog and are thanking God for your and Julia Ross’s wisdom! Thank you so much Ann Marie for what you are doing here. We will continue to be faithful readers.

    This was the last vice, it was definately easier than sugar….Wow, I’m not addicted to anything! wow.

  51. Coffee Free in Seattle –

    WOOHOO! That is so exciting! Congratulations to you!

    I love that you are now “Coffee Free in Seattle” and not
    Sleepless in Seattle”.


  52. This DHLP really worked for me. I went out and bought some and within a few days I noticed that coffee was not that wonderful after all! After a few sips of my usual morning brew I started thinking to myself “what is the big deal with coffee?”
    I think I have been a coffee addict longer than you Ann-Marie. I was sort of tethered to my coffee cup. My doctor has been urging to give it up for many reasons, one of them being that caffeine excretes calcium. I’ve tried many a time to quit, but never felt good doing so–this time however, I am amazed at how good I feel. I have also read the Mood Cure and have started supplementing with a couple of other amino acids. Boy do I wish I would have know about this 40 years ago.

  53. My naturopath recommended an herbal coffee substitute, DandyBlend. It is caffeine free. The best part?! It tastes amazing. I love it. Love love LOVE it. If you contact the company, they will send you a sample.

    I’ve tried other coffee substitutes and they taste horrible. Dandy Blend tastes great.

  54. I’ve linked to this post in a giveaway post for a coffee substitute I LOVE. It’s called Dandy Blend.

  55. I have never even tried coffee… but I drink far too much Diet Coke and not enough water. Will this supplement help me overcome my addiction without the debilitating headaches I get each time I try to quit?

    1. I don’t know if it will help you but it helped me! If this one doesn’t work for you, you can also try Tyrosine. Tyrosine made me a little jittery so I preferred the DLPA.

  56. Will L-Phenylalanine do the same thing? I’m starting that supplement as suggested in the Mood Cure for one of the mood profiles that fits me–and I also want to quit coffee. Hoping to kill to birds with one stone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. This is the first time that I have read of a connection between caffeine and melasma. I worked in cafรฉs for fourteen years. I went through off and on periods of drinking coffee. There were times when I had two or three cups of coffee a day, but never more than that. They were strong cups, though!
    I lived in Hawaii, Arizona and high desert in Nevada. I had melasma from 2004 until a couple of years ago when A) I moved to Oregon and B) I started mostly following the Weston A. Price Foundation guidelines. I assumed it was because I moved to Oregon that my melasma cleared up, but I was still spending my summers in Nevada. I still drank some coffee occasionally, but it was usually a cup of decaf.
    When my husband and I decided to conceive, I gave up caffeine entirely for a few months before our first (and only!) attempt. I was fully expecting my melasma to come back during my pregnancy. It didn’t! Not even a tiny bit!
    I drink chai now instead of coffee, but that feels manageable to me, and only a cup or less a day. Thank you for this article, which has reinforced my desire to return to using Nourishing Traditions on a daily basis. I may be drinking beet kvaas again instead of chai in no time!

  58. Hello,

    Thank you, for posting this page “how to quit coffee” I don’t miss it at all. I drink coffee for many years and I have decided to quit coffee because I have noticed that my skin was dried, I have trouble sleeping at nite and many others symptoms.

    I have replaced coffee with water and beet juice and I feel very energetic at work all day.

    My skin is a lot smoother and I can sleep at nite.

  59. Do you drink decaf, now? I am weaning off and love some half caf with whipped up with coconut oil. I also stocked up on some decaf chai. Just started on my aminos. Deeeeep sleep last night…wow!

  60. Hello! I’ve always enjoyed my mroning cup of coffee (about 10oz worth)…it helped me “get going” in the morning..however with bad side effects. Within an hr of drinking it, I had a racing heart, anxious feeling, felt a drop in blood sugar which made me very hungry. I have to say, it wasn’t until after lunch that I felt “right”. Being tired of feeling this way, I decided it was the caffeine that must have been creating those symptoms. Last week I cut back to 1/2 decaf..1/2 regular. I still felt the side starting yesterday I have decided to just cut the caffeine and go decaf. Already I’m noticing I’m feeling better..not starving, less anxious.. the only thing though is I’m having a harder time going to the bathroom. Can you suggest anything to make the transition a bit easier..or will my body just adjust? Thanks!

  61. Thank you! I have a couple friends with adrenal fatigue and have already passed on the link. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s cool to hear about how you can quit without withdrawal by using amino acids! I only drink it about once a week and sometimes decaf; I know it isn’t good for me. I also want to try your homemade chai recipe as an awesome substitute. ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Hey- I was wondering…what about if you aren’t hooked on caffeine? I LOVE my coffee but have decaf…is that just as bad?

  63. Thanks for writing this post. I actually saw this post via alink you posted for a January 2012 question and answer post. Let me tell you, that quitting coffee has been hard. I’ve given up a lot since I started the GAPS diet…and I don’t regret it…not one bit, because i”m losing weight and getting super healthy…but to lose my last comfort food, coffee, is really hard…even though I realize how important it is to give it up.

    When I read about coffee, adrenal fatiqgue and melasma, that made me cry. I have adrenal fatigue, among other things..but one day I developed a dark shadow over my lipa couple of years my mid-thirties..and I’ve done everything you have done to get rid of it. It makes me cry. While it’s not totally bad, the point is I notice it…and I’m embarassed to go out in public sometimes, especially to church. Now I’m hoping that quitting the coffee will help me here, too ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing this. Happy New Year to you and your family. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. Ok, I am really going out on a limb here, but I need to ask.
    If DLPA (Phenylalaline) is one half of aspartame, would switching from coffee to caffeine free diet coke work? It has no caffeine and would provide the DLPA to help with the coffee craving and add supplemental amino acid. I did the math and realize you would have to drink a case a day to get the 2x 1000mg doses ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. Thank you so much for sharing this Ann Marie! I love your blog, your recipes, and your enthusiasm! I recommend your blog to many of my patients who are learning about healthy food and how to prepare it.
    I saw you in the crowd at the Dallas Weston Price Conference, but didn’t introduce myself. I am a Naturopath working in Monterey and Menlo Park, CA. Being French, it is easy for me to love liver (ah! foie gras) and prepare lamb stew (my favorite) but what is so easy and natural for me is not so for many of my patients. This is where your blog becomes really handy!!!
    Happy New Year and Happy New Health!

  66. Since I only had DLPA 750ml I used two twice a day for a couple of days. Contrary to your own experience, I DID have one day of a slight headache (felt more like a hangover) and extreme fatigue. The second day, I made myself a couple cups of strong peppermint tea. This really helped with both symptoms. I would suggest stopping on a Saturday so that you have a day to recuperate (just in case).

  67. I cant get past the constipation. After a week of no other symptoms I have to go back to coffee in order for any BM to occur. I stared taking fiber pills 2x daily and no luck! What else can I do to avoid this bloated miserable feeling.

  68. Hi,
    I’ve read this a handful of times and my husband successfully quit coffee taking exactly what you did and has been coffee free. I didn’t think I wanted to but now I really do, I have adrenal fatigue. I am nursing so I thought I couldn’t take the DLAP? I’m nursing two kids actually but the older one only before nap and bed but my 15 month old still nurses quite a few times. I guess I don’t understand why it wouldn’t be better for me to take the DLAP and quit coffee. Than to keep having coffee? Thanks for this post!!


  69. Hey Guys,

    Coffee is a real guilty pleasure of mine. It doesn’t seem to cause much problems, even though I’m on GAPS at the moment.

    I only have it twice a week. If I have 5+ a week I will cop it with terrible constipation. Some ppl say coffee helps their constipation. Thats interesting. I’ve only found the opposite.

  70. Sorry for such a late post but I just came across this article.
    I’m definitely going to read the resources you mentioned because I’m extremely curious about taking DLPA recreationally. It’s great that it worked for you with such success and I hope it can help others but, Phenylalanine, if I’m remembering correctly from my lovely metabolic disorders course in college can have some pretty nasty side effects, especially for pregant women. And we really don’t know much about the different forms of it or the effects theycan have. I think that anyone considering this method to stop drinking coffee should consult with their doctor to make sure any other medications or supplements won’t interfere with it or cause adverse and harmful effects.

  71. This blog is sinpiring cause I have an addiction to coffee…I havent had any for four and a half to five days, that includes energy drinks. I quit because of the stress that it induces on my body and the effects it has on my mind. Please send me your prayers that I can quit for good. I would like to end this battle once and for all

    Peace on earth

  72. Has anyone ever tried buttered coffee? That’s why I’ve been having for breakfast in the morning…basically 2 T butter, a little coconut cream, and some raw honey blended together in my coffee. It’s not as filling as eggs and bacon, but it keeps me going until lunch. Here’s where I got the idea: I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t be so dependent on coffee! I just love it and I usually have to be out of the door before 7am so a quick breakfast is a must.

  73. OMG! I totally have melasma…only I didn’t know what it was! I just thought it was bad genes and sun damage! I have definitely got to get her book! I am really trying to live a clean life…or at least a cleaner life. ๐Ÿ™‚ WOrking on getting all GMO’s out of my pantry…seems like they are EVERYWHERE! Also working on converting my husband so we can be in sync when feedign and caring for our girls. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks so much! I am so thankful that you have chosen to be helpful and not judgmental! ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. I think I need to pick up some amino acids this weekend! I’m planning to quit caffeine (again) starting Monday, and I’ve been dreading the headaches and cloudy-headedness and the impact it will have on my work. Truth be told, it’s why I’ve been putting off quitting for so long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts