How My Husband Quit Coffee {without a single headache!}

Wanna hear how Jeremy quit coffee?

Stories of my husband’s forays into the crunchier side of life seem to be pretty popular around here, so I thought I’d tell ya’ll about how Jeremy recovered from caffeine addiction and adrenal fatigue.

inspiring details about adrenal fatigue and coffee, plus a great smoothie recipe to start to the day!

{Just so we’re clear on this–it’s not a story as in ‘fairy tale’ – this is an honest-to-goodness real life account! I like to share this stuff in story form because I’m not a health professional and don’t need the liability of anyone taking my words as diagnosis or treatment of anything. I just love to tell stories that might inspire you on your Real Food Journey. Also, this post contains affiliate links which is how we keep the lights on around here. All clear? OK, here we go!}

Opposites Attract

When I met Jeremy he was a caffeine addict who’s favorite fix was a deep mug of coffee, with a cold can of Pepsi taking a close second.

It was enough to make a crunchy gal think twice about matrimony. 

However, some wise person must have made some impression on me at some point in my youth, because I decided from the start that our relationships with food would not come between our relationship with each other. He ate his junk. I took my supplements. He ordered curly fries, I ordered a salad. We were a classic example of opposites attracting.

It Gets Worse

And this was just the beginning. After we got married, Jeremy continued his ‘drinking habits’, while I got crunchier and crunchier, even publishing a real food cookbook. He fully supported and helped me with the book because he loved almost everything I cooked–he just liked his Pepsi on the side! I occasionally mentioned that I was concerned about the long term affects of his caffeine addiction, but most of the time God gave me the grace to bite my tongue.

Not harping on it was one of the reasons I think he was willing to listen the day he came to me and said,

“I’m tired of being tired all the time.”

Adrenal Fatigue

Being chronically tired is a classic sign of adrenal fatigue. No matter how much sleep Jeremy got, he never felt full of energy. His morning coffee got him going in the morning, but by mid afternoon he needed another caffeine fix, and by 8pm he was beat. If we stayed out late, it took him 3 days to recover from the loss of sleep.

From my studies, I knew that constant caffeine intake overstimulates the adrenal glands (the hormone that fuels our ‘fight or flight’ response to stress) causing our bodies to become so depleted that we have no natural energy and must use more caffeine just to get through the day.

The Solution

I broke the news to my husband with a huge grin on my face, “You have adrenal fatigue!” I was excited because I could tell he was at last ready to do something about his caffeine problem, and I knew exactly what to do.

See, I’d just read Cheeseslave’s article about  how she quit coffee (and wine and chocolate) without any withdrawal symptoms by supplementing with amino acids.

(Quick chemistry lesson: Amino acids acids are the building blocks of neurotransmitors, which in turn are what feed our brain the substances (like endorphins and serationin) that we need to function and feel mentally well. That’s why addictions aren’t always a moral failing–they often have to do with brain chemistry and a deficiency in the chemicals our brains need to function well. OK, I’m done now!)

How He Quit Coffee Cold Turkey

We didn’t have the resources for testing which amino acid Jeremy was most depleted in or for taking them in supplement form, so I decided we’d take a chance that he wasn’t too terribly depleted and we’d be able to address his nutritional deficiencies with (you guessed it) real food. Although protein is a great source amino acids, I’d read in this book that high powered blending can break down and make various amino acids available even from vegetables, so I decided a big, fat, smoothie would be how we would supplement his diet.

The next morning, for the first time in 7 years of marriage, nobody made a batch of coffee. Instead, I threw a whole bunch of goodness into my blender and served my man his first ever breakfast smoothie.

He drank it all up.

And he didn’t get a headache that day. 

No More Headaches (and a new husband!)

Normally, if he missed his morning coffee, that was  a recipe for a serious headache by lunch, and a nap before dinner. That’s why I’d faithfully made his coffee for him for 7 years because he really did need it. But he didn’t get a headache that day, nor the next, nor the next. I just kept making him a nourishing smoothie each morning, and he kept feeling fine.

Gradually we saw the symptoms of adrenal fatigue fade and within 3 weeks, I felt like I had a new husband. For the first time in our marriage, he was capable of verbal communication before breakfast! It was a well known fact among family and friends that you couldn’t get Jeremy to talk before 11am, but now my husband could wake up in the morning without the crutch of caffeine. We could have meaningful conversation before he left for work, instead of having to wait till he got off in the afternoon!

I was one happy woman. 

Two Years Later

Jeremy has now been free of caffeine dependence for 2 years. He still loves his Starbucks Carmel Machito Latte Frappicino Whateveryoucallit, but it’s a treat instead of a necessity. And we still do a smoothie at least 4 mornings a week.

He also eats breakfast with us more often (he rarely ate breakfast before–no surprise, since coffee suppresses appetite) which makes my heart happy because I like everyone I love to eat 3 square, nourishing meals a day. (Check out our favorite real food breakfasts)

He and I both love the new Jeremy, with his sustained energy levels and ability to recharge with just a single good night’s rest. Adrenal fatigue is no fun, and we were grateful that he was able to recover from it so quickly.

I feel that, just as in the case of healing his cavity, the fact that Jeremy was already on a nourishing diet helped us to see very swift results with a relatively small tweak to his diet. If you are struggling with adrenal fatigue you may need more than just the addition of a good smoothie with breakfast. But it’s certainly a great place to start! (Here’s more info on adrenal fatigue and amino acid supplementation.)

Here’s a what a smoothie contains at our house on a typical morning:

Super Breakfast Smoothie

makes enough for large glasses for Jeremy and me, and a smaller cup for each of the 3 kids who are of smoothie drinking age. 

Throw it all in the blender and blend on high for about a minute, or until you can’t see individual bits of anything. 😉 (I use and adore my Vitamix Blender for this, but you can make a pretty darn good smoothie with whatever you got on hand. You may just have to chew a bit ;))

The fruit is for sweetness, the kefir provides protein (and live cultures for our guts), the eggs and seeds add even more protein, the coconut oil has so many benefits (including making sure the smoothie doesn’t hit our blood stream to fast and give us a sugar high and subsequent dive) and the water makes it thin enough to drink through a straw. If I only have fresh fruit on hand, I add a couple ice cubes ’cause Jeremy likes his smoothies cold.

So, our experiment in healing adrenal fatigue with real food was a success! If you are ready to see what changes real food could have in your life, but don’t know quit where to start (it can be so overwhelming–I know!) the check out the Real Food Journey series I wrote just for you.

Have you ever experienced adrenal fatigue? Is coffee (or chocolate, or something else) a crutch or a treat for you? (I admit that though I’m not a coffee drinker, I do resort to chocolate on stressful days! I should probably just make myself a smoothie when I feel that way, huh?) What do you put in your smoothies?


17 responses to “How My Husband Quit Coffee {without a single headache!}”

  1. Pam Avatar

    I suffered greatly from Adrenal exhaustion. I was so bad I had to go to bed for several months. I had previously, 2 years before collapsing, experienced my mother’s cancer returning, and that stress, up until her death, catapulted other events. My husband and I discovered prior to her death that our nephew was not handling the finances or taxes to our company properly, we were facing financial trouble at the company for the first time. We had sold our trailor and was moving, my 9 year old son and myself doing all the work packing and moving, taking boxes over to the new house, daiky, after homeschooling was done. Money that was set aside for new furniture from. the sale of the trailor, $10k went to the company by the nephew’s request and my husband not informing me. We were also in the process of adopting a little girl, which soon I found out I was pregnant at 44. After moving in we lost our largest account, a chain of stores and had to find different vendors. That was a stressful time because it changed the scope of the company and financials. We were making $500k one year in the company and in 2 years was around $80k. My mother’s cancer returned around the time we had barely been in our new home. It was then we found our nephew was neglecting the finances of the company, so we hired a private investigator who help us fire him. In 24 hours the IRS had seized our bank, account due to unpaid taxes, we borrowed $ from a friend off his house to protect our company, and I was taught Quickbooks in 2 hours and started invoicing back jobs to get $ to start coming into the company. If I hadn’t started doing that, and these other measures, we would have lost our business, home…everything, and people’s jobs. Investigating and firing our nephew set many family members against us. This all happened a few months before my mom died, pregnant, and sick as a dog, everyday, adopting a girl, 8 years old, who already let me know she didn’t need a mom she already had one, and driving 3hour round trips on Fridays and Monday mornings to bring her for weekend visits. I did this for 5 months. Then my mother passed, and the estate of my mother’s became a fight over care for my handicapped sister. Once my nephew filed for unemployment, which we fought, and had proof of his negligence, it went to court, but our attorney lost our case because he had another hearing and wouldn’t let us fight accusations John kept making. So the judge ruled in his favor. This turned all 4 of my 6 brothers and sisters permanently against us, right after my mom’s death, and at the same time a fight had ensued over the house, possessions, and my sister’s care. Then the building our business was in was sold, so in a few weeks we had to attach a green house to a garage opening to the back of our new log home, and put another one up on the property to house my husband’s business. We moved the office into the family room in the basement. Then my daughter was born. I got an infection in my uterus one week after being home. I was taken into the hospital and given IV for the infection. It was a 24 hour IV. Once home my sugar and caffeine addiction went crazy. This was from the IV destroying all my good gut bacteria. I was working at the company, 2 weeks after all that,, bringing Dyanna to my sister’s, formerly my mother’s home, taking the other 2 children to private school, before heading to the office, trying to attempt cleaning up behind my nephews incompetence. Afternoons were pick up kids from school, or go to soccer games, or often back to the office, fast food, homework, some TV for the kids, leave around 7pm, pick up the baby and go home. Our kids often hit the pillow at 10pm. No one was eating right. Then one day I found myself driving and I didn’t know where I was going. I broke down at church crying. I didn’t know where my husband was or how I was to get home. So after some tests, my functional medicine MD found I had severe Adrenal exhasustion. I went to bed for months. I did get better, but between coffee and sugar that stress and the IV, causing a yeast issue,I had depleted my body severely of magnesium, vitamin C, and certain B nutrients. I still take things for this because it can happen so quickly again. I know how to destress, what to take, and the smoothy recipe is a great idea. It has many things to help this. But I recommend leaving coffee…period. It can ruin your kidneys. Coffee is a diuretic so it does two things: Magnesium elimination and insulin imbalance. Magnesium is in dark green vegetables, beans, and sea weed. It goes through your body after digestion and at the kidneys a process takes place where it recycles again, sorta like a double benefit. But that doesn’t happen if you drink coffee, tea, or excess chocolate, soda, because it affects this. So instead of the Mg recycling, it goes out your kidneys. Mg is for your muscles. So eventually a lack of Mg causes the weak bladder muscles and affects the heart. Sugar coincides with the coffee. The worst thing you can do is a Starbucks with all that caffeine and sugar. It is an adrenal exhaustion in the making. Vitamin C and glucose fight over the same receptor of your cells. So the cell will take the glucose over the C. Then the C isn’t absorbed and goes out your urine. You only keep C in your body a few hours, and where it goes besides white blood cells is your adrenals. Coffee and sugar disrupt all this. So thank you for telling us your story and sharing your recipe, and this site with us all. It is a blessing.

    Adrenal exhaustion survivor

  2. Danica Casabar Avatar
    Danica Casabar

    You know for sure how I found this topic. 😁 Thank you so much for sharing this real experience! I am really in need of a solution and I don’t want to look answers on Google. 😶
    If it worked to your husband, I guess and really hope it would work on me too. I’m just tired of feeling tired too. And tbh, it made my bones weak. Hope this healthy remedy would work on me. Thanks a million! 😘

  3. Kelly Kirby Avatar
    Kelly Kirby

    Hello, I’m trying to get off coffee or cut down because it bothers my stomach, but I can’t have dairy or soy. Is there something else i can do. I get bad migraines without coffee. And tea doesn’t work.

  4. Laigha Avatar

    I have been doing this for a few days and absolutely love it! Is there a way to.prepare the smoothie ahead of time? Like the night before?

    1. Trina Avatar

      You can measure the yogurt and fruit and other ingredients into your blender and just add the ice and frozen stuff the next morning!

  5. John Avatar

    I’m on day 3 of giving up coffee. I didn’t get a headache and was curious as to why not. So I Googled and came upon your article. I’ve been drinking homemade green smoothies for years at breakfast (before my coffee) and lunch. I had no idea smoothies could prevent headaches.
    I kicked the coffee habit to see if it’ll help my thyroid health, reduce my love handles and I’m just tired of being a slave to coffee.

  6. Kimmy Avatar

    I’m going to have to try this! Just graduated college last June, but back then coffee was only a treat. Ironically, once I graduated I started drinking my liquid happiness (as I like to call it) daily, and then without realizing it this continued for months, secondary to my job in healthcare which provides me with the most sporadic schedule I’ve ever had. Now I’m terrified to go without it because of the headaches! I’ll have to try this out. My question for you, is if I switch to drinking this in the morning, so I have to continue it to keep warding the headaches off? Or just for a week or so until I’m off coffee? Been slowly trying to switch to decaf, but I still drink caffeinated once a day to continue the caffeine. My issue is that I love the taste and the idea to waking up and having a warm cup of coffee, especially in the winter! I’ve drink decaf daily if I knew I wasn’t addicted! So anything to get myself off of it without the suffering! Thanks for posting!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Kimmy, if you’re addicted to caffeine then you’re probably on the verge or over the edge into adrenal fatigue. If so, it will probably take more than a week for your body to recover. A month of solid change and giving your body rest and nutrients it needs is what I have seen is common for adrenal fatigue recovery. Longer if the fatigue is acute.

  7. tania Avatar

    Great reading. Hubby and I stopped smoking 2 weeks ago . Next stop is the coffee. We have the suggested smoothies in the evening but am going to switch to morning. Thanks Trina ☺

    1. Trina Avatar

      You’re so welcome, Tania! Sounds like you’re making great progress.

  8. lisa @ being stepmom Avatar

    I remember seeing this a while back and had to search for it because I am ready to give up my coffee addiction! Going to give it a try! Thanks

    1. Trina Avatar

      Lisa! I’m rooting for you! let me know how it goes!

  9. JJ Avatar

    Really interesting stuff, Trina, thanks! My own experience with protein’s healing power involves sleep. After years of insomnia I discovered that the simple addition of a teaspoon of pea protein powder to my morning yogurt causes me to sleep really well, every night.

  10. Simone Avatar

    This describes my hubby to a tee. I’ve known this for a while too, but he is not yet motivated to kick the coffee yet (or greatly reduce it) But he would enjoy smoothies (I never added the spinach or flax ever before) He is also a major carb/sugar craver… the instant that he is down or even a bit stressed….out comes his drug of choice…. the bread and nutella (I know, I know)
    Any more advice for the body to feel satisfied without the carbs and sweets?

  11. Mar Avatar

    One cup of Coffee a day is superb and healthy with amazing antioxidants and health benefits… I would think over that it must get pretty bad for you…If we could only stick to one a day its perfect! The smoothies I love for mid afternoon snacks/ lite lunch/ dinner! As my morning is oatmeal and coffee! I love to mix a variety of smoothies always with yogurt and a green and experiment with fruits as i go along!

  12. Crystal Avatar

    I love coffee. Love it. And chocolate and sometimes wine. Why must they all be so delicious? I justify my coffee drinking with the fact that I am helping support my brother in law who owns a coffee business. 🙂
    But, it is food for thought! Glad you got good results!

  13. Victoria @ Creative Home Keeper Avatar

    Last year I completely changed my breakfast routine (no more milk and cereal) and instead started fixing a healthier smoothie consisting of frozen berries (I prefer a mix of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries), ground flax, spinach (although lately I’ve been subbing in Kale because I just can’t eat it raw!), banana and almond milk. When I make my own yogurt (thanks to your easy recipe) I’ll spoon some of that in too. At first I was skeptical that by just switching out by breakfast menu could change the way I feel, but now I wouldn’t go back! I’ll have to check out some your resources you mentioned above because sadly I am still addicted to my morning cup of coffee! 🙂

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