1 Month Without Coffee

Getting the Shivers

I don’t consider myself as a big coffee drinker. However, since I started working full time I’ve been having 1-2 coffees every day during the work week and maybe one during the weekend. I found that I would have slight shivers and a rather high pulse by the end of the workday. I also felt my skin getting very dry, particularly in my face. Moreover, felt that I was becoming more and more dependent on coffee to kick start my system in the morning and afternoon. Furthermore, my quality of sleep seemed somewhat reduced, but I didn’t think much into it. After all, everyone drinks coffee, right?

coffee4Before the Christmas holidays, one of my colleagues stopped his intake of caffeine for a bit. He would normally have 6-7 cups of coffee and a bottle or two of Pepsi Max per day. When he suddenly stopped feeding himself all the caffeine he claimed that he started having bad head aches, nausea and felt irritable. After staying away from it for a while he said the head aches and nausea faded away and his mood went back to normal. He also said he had better sleeps at night.

Hearing this, I thought I might try and hold off from coffee for a month and see if I could escape the shivers, high pulse and dryness at the end of my workdays. The first week I was really caving a big cup of coffee when getting in to work. I also felt very tired throughout the day. However, it slowly wore off, and by the second week I didn’t really think about coffee that much. Interestingly, I also felt that I had more restful sleeps every night.

Other Side Effects of Coffee

Most people have a lifestyle and diet that makes the body very acidic. With high levels of stress, the brain creates adrenaline and other chemicals that produce an acidic environment in the body. Unfortunately, the Western diet mainly consists of food and drinks that creates high acidic levels in the body. With a high intake of foods containing sugar, dairy, wheat, deep fried and other Fast foods, and then flushing it down with soft drinks, coffee or alcohol,  the pH levels develops way too far into the acidic side of the scale. As my main focus in this article is coffee, I will stick to the effect of this popular drink – I will be writing a post on the balance of alkaline and acidic levls in the body shortly, so stay tuned.

Coffee can result in:

  • More acidic body (leading to more inflammation)
  • Restless sleep
  • Leach precious minerals from our systems
  • Shivers and high pulse
  • Dehydrating the body
  • Caffeine dependence
  • Bad breath
  • Discoloring of the teeth

Alternatives to Coffee

coffee3I found that being in an office working in front of a computer the whole day makes you want to have little treats quite frequently – simply because it is stagnant work. I tend to want a snack or a drink because I’m actually a bit bored and want a distraction. Coffee is the most common drink to have, and makes you feel more awake and focused at the same time. However, as mentioned; after a while off the caffeine I didn’t reach the same levels of tiredness throughout the day. I found that drinking various types of tea (my favorites are green tea, chamomile tea and chai tea with organic soy milk), coffee alternatives such as Bambu Coffee Substitute (picture), and even water was just as good.

I found that reaching for the coffee is all a habit. When the body is dehydrated by 2% of normal levels, we can perform up to 20% poorer (read more about this in “Water“), so just by restoring those levels we automatically regain energy to continue on.


Results & Discoveries

As mentioned, during the month that I didn’t drink coffee I had no shivers or high pulse when leaving work. Neither did my face feel dry. Importantly, I also fell asleep faster and had better quality sleeps every night. Another side effect of this experiment that I did not expect was the feeling of cleanness. I actually felt that my body was somewhat more pure. I don’t know whether this was because of the acidity of my body going down or as a result of better sleep or even the absence of coffee itself. Either way it felt great! As much as I appreciate the taste, smell and feeling of coffee, I’ll be aiming at having it only occasionally and fully enjoy that treat.

Below is my first coffee after a month off; can’t remember last time I enjoyed it this much! ★



John Eales Medal 2013


Arriving in Sydney at 6:00am and realizing there were no dry cleaners able to sort out a suit by 4:00pm was a rather stressful start to the day. Luckily I remembered from my retail days that we always had to steam the clothing we received before placing them on the racks. We ended up finding someone kind enough to battle the creases for us. After that we chilled out at the beach for most of the day before getting back to the hotel to get dressed. I think the other girls were way more organized than me in getting ready. I used an old dress, did my own hair and didn’t even have time to fix my nails, hopefully no one noticed.

Gold Carpet & Media

As we entered the function we had to walk up the gold carpet. Nick had already told me what to say if they asked who I thought would win the John Eales Medal (as this was what I was asked last year). It didn’t quite go that way. The interviewer asked “Did you feel that the invitation to the John Eales Medal was something you simply could not turn down?” “Err…I don’t know anything about rugby, but I thought I’d do my best”, I managed to squeeze out. It would probably have been better if I said something along the lines of: “I’m from the Northern hemisphere, more accurately a few clicks from the North Pole, and don’t think I understand how big this is. But I’m very honored to be here”. Oh well,better luck next time haha. Luckily they didn’t include my answer on national TV.

The Dinner

After the somewhat awkward experience entering the function, Nick and I went inside to be seated. We were served delicious crab and caviar for starters. However, Nick managed to dip his tie in the crab meat and I launched my fork with black caviar into my lap (note: white dress) first thing sitting down. Can’t take us anywhere… I tried to not do too many clumsy stunts as most of the dinner was broadcasted live. Nick didn’t seem to care a great deal, but was rather focusing on getting as much food as possible while listening to the speeches.

The food was fantastic. The main, hereford beef tenderloin with chive-spiced goats curd mousseline, truffle potato galette and root vegetables looked very nice. However, I went for the vegetarian option as I’m not a huge fan of red meat. It was an asparagus, green pea and mint risotto with lemon mascarpone. The dessert was also really tasty; chocolate tart with raspberry cream, lemon meringue pie with raspberries, apple and sultana crumble square and vanilla & mango brulée. I tried all the different bits, so good! Nick also cleaned up, but in spite of having a starter, main and dessert, he still remained hungry.


Despite a few awkward moments, and me not knowing half of what the speeches were about, the night was really good, with awesome food and nice people  ★