What I Learned After Two Years of Giving Up Caffeine | Flourish Caroline Potter NTP

What I Learned After 2 Years Without Caffeine



What I Learned After Two Years of Giving Up Caffeine | Flourish Caroline Potter NTP

Considering giving up caffeine? Here’s what I’ve learned after two years without caffeine!

Two summers ago I gave up caffeine, something I NEVER thought I would do or even thought was possible for me, the girl that LOVES coffee and caffeine. And it’s safe to say that giving up caffeine has been one of the best health decisions I’ve ever made!

Now that I am one year postpartum, I look back on the past year thinking: I did the newborn phase without caffeine?! Now that’s empowering.

Let me set the scene of why I gave it up in the first place. A few months after my miscarriage, my body started revolting. My hormones were a wreck, my thyroid was acting up (eventually leading to a Hashimoto’s diagnosis) and I honestly struggled getting through the day. I was constantly tired and had horrible brain fog and couldn’t focus! <— Hello adrenal fatigue!

I loved my multiple cups of caffeine aka coffee in the morning and couldn’t think about life without caffeine!! Seriously, it’s crazy how much I “relied” on it, thinking caffeine was the answer!  

But I knew in my heart, that I had to take my hormone health seriously and a small voice kept pointing me toward giving up caffeine. So two years ago in June, I gave it up and haven’t looked back since!

Giving up caffeine was the best decision I’ve ever made for my health and hormones.

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What I Learned After Two Years of Giving Up Caffeine | Flourish Caroline Potter NTP

Here’s what I’ve learned after 2 years without caffeine…

The body is brilliant at healing

When you give the body the right love and tools to heal, it can do just that—heal! Adrenal fatigue is the root cause of low energy in today’s “coffee, hustle, repeat” culture, and it certainly was the foundation of my struggles!

So what happens when we drink caffeine? What are the not so talked about effects of caffeine?

Caffeine sends a message to your pituitary glands to stimulate the adrenal glands to make cortisol, giving you a rush of energy! When the body is in a weakened stated, or adrenal fatigue, this surge of cortisol overworks the body and causes the already depleted adrenals to keep making more cortisol. This is why the momentary energy is fleeting and eventually followed by a crash, and an even a bigger crash long term.

Does drinking coffee cause adrenal fatigue? No, chronic stress does. But caffeine does exacerbate the symptoms and can prevent the body from truly healing!

When we slow down, remove ourselves from the constant hustle that causes us to “need” caffeine, we take our bodies out of that “fight or flight” stressed state and our adrenal glands can eventually heal giving you heaps of real, lasting energy!

Removing caffeine was one of the biggest tools in my journey of adrenal fatigue healing—a key component, far more than food or supplements!

What I Learned After Two Years of Giving Up Caffeine | Flourish Caroline Potter NTP

We idolize coffee as a culture

I mean we have shirts and slogans that say “but first coffee.” And trust me, I GET IT, especially now as a mom, but it has been really nice waking up in the morning not feeling like I can’t function until I drag myself to the coffee pot. Waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day is an incredible and empowering feeling. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to idolize anything in life. I don’t like that feeling of “need.”  For me, I idolized caffeine in the past.  I bought into the mentality that more equals better and thought that if I just kept doing more, more success and contentment would follow and that’s simply not true! Now I say ‘no,’ prioritize, work smarter not harder and have accomplished more all while doing less.

Caffeine might be your “idol” like it was mine, or maybe it’s exercise or perfection or hustle or maybe even trying to find balance is your downfall.  And that’s ok, because we are only human, right? Removing something I idolized, something I held onto so tightly because I thought it was helping me hustle and do more has been freeing and empowering!

People often look at me like I am crazy when I say I don’t drink caffeine, and I for sure get lots of weird looks, just proving how much we idolize our coffee!

It’s so nice waking up everyday not relying on something physical like caffeine to get me going in the morning!

Drinking decaf coffee in the mornings is now something I look forward to, something I want and enjoy, rather than something I “need” as soon as I am out of bed. Usually I go 3 hours before making my collagen and cream decaf coffee too! I’ve already accomplished a lot before I even reach for the coffee.

It’s Taught Me to Stay Conscious

Giving up caffeine requires a constant, conscious effort. It is easy to give into the hustle, to stay up late working on another project and then just grab a cup of coffee in the morning (and sometimes that is necessary)! It is harder to learn to say no, to have discipline, to focus on what really matters and to focus on true, holistic healing. That’s by far the harder choice, but the best choice in the big picture!

Since I still love drinking coffee—the taste, the smell, the emotion, the memories, the comfort—sometimes finding a decaf option takes a bit more intention, or means bringing a bit of your own when traveling. 

It also means prioritizing sleep and commitments! This by far has been the biggest life blessing of giving up caffeine. I don’t have something to “pump” me up momentarily when I am tired, so I have to dig deep and rely on myself, my routines and my discipline!

What I Learned After Two Years of Giving Up Caffeine | Flourish Caroline Potter NTP

It’s Empowered Me

Knowing that I have given up caffeine for not just 1 but 2 years, including the entire newborn phase with my daughter without caffeine is empowering. If I can do this…I can do anything! You too can do the hard things.

To anyone that knows me, knows how much I loved and lived cup of caffeine to cup of caffeine…I hope my story encourages you that this is possible, anything is possible!

When you set your mind to it, you can follow through. You too can cultivate discipline in your life!

Increased Energy

Once I started focusing on my adrenal glands and recovering, my energy, focus and productivity went through the roof, all without a sip of caffeine!

It is absolutely possible to have energy all day long without caffeine! Morning rush, afternoon slump and all—thriving through the day with energy is a reality and what the body longs to do. 

I hear people say oh I “need more coffee just to get through the day” (hello that was me at one point too) and if that is you, I really encourage you to focus on healing adrenal fatigue first. I promise you will eventually have SO much energy, all without caffeine!

Now, this healing hasn’t been instant or easy. It’s taken me months and even years of consistent work, but I am thankful to look back on the journey and see just how far I’ve come.

And yes in full transparency, I might have a cup of caffeinated coffee on occasion when traveling and enjoy my Iced Vanilla Matcha Latte in the afternoons on occasion (but caffeine from matcha is slow burning caffeine that doesn’t spike your cortisol the way coffee does).  I enjoy it and don’t ever feel guilty for having a splash of caffeine. I don’t make it a regular, daily occasion but also don’t live with guilt for when I choose to do something against my norm! 

To me, it is not about perfection, it is about intentionally creating routines, habits and rhythms of life that support this way of life.

So, two years without caffeine—do I plan to keep going? YES! The benefits of removing caffeine from my days have totally transformed my hormones, skin and energy levels! At this point I don’t ever plan on drinking caffeine on the regular again, but I’ll always take it day by day!

Tell me, did this inspire you that you can do the hard things?


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  1. Charly says:

    Hey Caroline! I recently stumbled across your blog after borrowing one of your cookbooks from my local library… And I am loving all of these posts! I have recently begun my own journey to tackling stress and anxiety (possibly even fighting my own adrenal fatigue) and your posts have been so inspiring, so thank you!

  2. […] switching to decaf coffee in the mornings for many reasons and this post from Caroline as to What She Learned After Two Years Without Caffeine, might just have been the nudge I […]

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