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5 Essentials During Caffeine Detox

My intention moving forward is to enjoy caffeine rather than creating an unhealthy relationship with this stimulant. I have a very healthy lifestyle and until now, I was dependent on caffeine. I’m focusing on finding balance in all areas of my wellness rather than eliminating things that I like. This detox is my path to fulfilling my intention.

During my multiple caffeine detox stints, I have learned that there are few essentials one needs to aid in the process. I’m not sure how many people have as severe withdrawls from caffeine as I do. I have quit caffeine about 6 times in past 15 years and without fail, my symptoms have lasted 8-10 days. I have heard that after 5-6 days, symptoms are psychosomatic and if I didn’t practice yoga and meditation, I would have bought the design these people were selling. My symptoms are physical and real because after 8-10 days, I’m pain free. Don’t let anyone tell you that what you are experiencing is in your head.

Many people haven’t tried giving up caffeine so I refuse to believe that I’m the only one who has such severe withdrawls. I have full body aches starting from 2 days of pounding headaches to pain traveling down my body and then leaving once it has caused its havoc on my ankles.

I know you are probably thinking that if it’s so bad then why do I go back to caffeine time after time. Well, it’s worth every drop of good coffee…

Let’s move on to some items that will help you while you are detoxing. There are many different things that can aid you in the process and I believe that keeping things simple is the best and easiest path when you are going through hell.

So here we go…

  1. Water - let’s make it warm water. Drink water to flush out toxins and help your body stay hydrated and not cause you pain from dehydration. Anything cold will increase pain so I suggest warm (room temperature) water.

  2. Rest - it means a lot of sleep for the first 2 days of the process. It will help you staying away from your normal habit of making coffee, tea, etc. Rest helps your body manage the chemical changes happening in your body since there is no caffeine. You will experience lethargy so sleeping will keep you company and keep you away from people so you can avoid having emotional reactions to what others say.

  3. Turmeric - you can buy capsules. Inflammation in body causes pain and turmeric is one of the best solutions for decreasing inflammation. AVOID any ibuprofen as it has some level of stimulant that isn’t helpful during detox process.

  4. Proper Nutrition - avoid sugar and processed food. There can be a whole separate article written about this and I will later on. If you just avoid these two from your diet, you have higher chances of getting full rest, low inflammation leading to less pain. Sugar and processed food cause inflammation so during any detox it’s best to avoid these.

  5. Warm bath - or you can get a massage. Add a little bit of epsom salt to your bath water. This will sooth your muscles and ligaments. It reduces inflammation. If you get a massage that is good to as it relaxes muscles relaxes tissue, which reduces painful contractions and spasms.

We all have foods and drinks we love and it is good. But problems arise when these become dependencies. It’s good to detox body every now and then to avoid creating long term health problems. You can find additional nutritional education and help on my Instagram.

Quitting is Hard & Quitting Caffeine is Harder

It’s 2019 and my first post of the year is about a stimulant that falls under the weakness category for many. Caffeine has been my weakness for as long as I can remember. Being raised in a culture that associates itself with chai, we were introduced to caffeine at a very young age (let’s say by 2 yrs of age).

Caffeine impacts mood and not always in the positive manner. For some people, a cup of good coffee can help them stay on top of things for the whole day. Then there are people (like me) who need a constant hit of caffeine through out the day. It may not necessarily be a need for the body but an addiction to feel good or get into a better mood. It’s good to acknowledge the addiction and then see if the timing is good to do something stabilizing for mood and body.

Detox process is physically painful and mentally exhausting. If you have the luxury to take a few days off work, then go all in and quit all at once rather than making small adjustments in caffeine intake. For the first 2 days, rest and sleep are vital and are your best friends when going through withdrawals. The symptoms are due to inflammation built in body and it’s vital to eat the macro-nutrients that aid in ridding inflammation. During caffeine detox, good fat from oils and nuts is an excellent macro-nutrient to subside the pain. Along with proper diet, physical therapy in forms of hot yoga, warm bath, massage, Reiki help in moving the toxins out of the body. I found that keeping my body warm helped tremendously with the pain. I found that my sense of smell and hearing were impacted and I couldn’t do the aromatherapy oils that sometimes can help. So imagine my experience in a sweaty yoga class. Yup, not much to look forward to.

Quitting anything is hard and from first-hand experience, I can say quitting caffeine is really hard (for caffeine addicts). Here are the symptoms and solutions that I offer to anyone who is trying to quit caffeine. I suggest you consult your physician to see if following recommendations comply with the status of your health and its condition.

DAY 1 - Headache, pounding headache SOLUTION - rest, drink water, sleep, yoga, eat some good fat

DAY 2 - Headache and upper body aches SOLUTION - rest, drink water, yoga, eat some good fat (eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk)

DAY 3 - Upper body aches SOLUTION - hot yoga for sure, eat good fat, drink water, listen to music that is specifically designed for releasing inflammation

DAY 4 - Middle back aches & restrictive breathing SOLUTION - hot yoga, eat good fat, warm bath, drink water and you can listen to music

DAY 5 - Hips/lower body aches SOLUTION - hot yoga, Reiki, eat fat, drink water, listen to good music

DAY 6 - Legs & Ankles ache a lot SOLUTION - hot yoga, drink water, massage, wear comfortable shoes

DAY 7 - Lowe body pain SOLUTION - hot yoga, water, stay warm, eat greens, rest

DAY 8 to 10 - Low level pain in various parts of body SOLUTION - be patient, hot yoga, water, eat well

Fat helps dealing with inflammation and pain in your body means there is inflammation in body. Fat eases the pain and so does massage. The above mentioned symptoms and solutions are from my own multiple experiences over 15 years. Every time I stop consuming caffeine, I go through the above mentioned cycle.

Over the years I have had my affairs with quitting caffeine and I have succeeded to stay away until I was offered a cup of chai. For me that’s all it took to get back my addiction. I call it addiction because I fail to function without caffeine. It’s the first thing I consume after my meditation and I can go without food for days but I’m unable to function without my few cups of chai or coffee.

This year as I started my 30 day yoga challenge that my home studio, School of Stretch, introduced to the students, I thought of making it little bit extra challenging for myself. I decided to quit caffeine.

This post serves as my account of my days in hell without caffeine and my solutions that I have applied for the last 12 years. I didn’t know of these solutions for the first few times I got on “quit caffeine” train. My purpose is also to help people understand how right type of macro-nutrients are necessary when they eliminate an addictive substance from their daily lives.

If you have specific questions and would like some guidance in making this process of eliminating caffeine from your day (even for short period), please reach out to me. I would be happy to help you with further details.

Holiday Nutrition & Mood Relationship

We are well aware that food impacts mood. There is no better time to see the relationship in real time than during holiday times.

As much as we look forward to getting together with families, we also are at our most vulnerable times as far as emotions are concerned. The traveling and eating schedule impacts us. Many have less patience with others’ friendly critique and others dread dealing with a family member because of what happened during previous get together.

Here’s food for thought. It maybe that our nutrition impacts our emotions that lead to less than savory interactions with others. One of the first things that we invite our clients to do is to journal their food intake. We ask them to note:

  1. What they ate - every meal, snack, drink

  2. When they ate - what time they had meal or a snack

  3. How much they slept - how many hours

So now relate this to our vacation/holiday schedule. Because of traveling, our meal schedule is out of order. Now load travel day with food that is heavy in simple carbs and sugars (brain craves this when stressed). What do you get? I would say it’s very little energy left to deal with things that don’t necessarily go your way.

Even if you are not traveling but are around family. Family meal times are all over the place so one doesn’t get to eat when hungry rather when extremely hungry. If most of the food items are sugar and simple carbs then you eat those and body doesn’t get enough nutrition and goes under stress. Stress causes cravings of more sugar and simple carbs and the vicious cycle beings. This all leads to not being able to handle pressing and uncomfortable conversations.

We think it’s hard to handle a relative or someone is not pleasant but it’s important to look at your diet and other person’s diet during holiday time. Some times things escalate because of lack of energy to handle stressful conversations as body is already under stress due to lack of proper nutrition.

Just a thought to have during holiday time.

4 Ways of Maintaining Physical & Emotional Health in 40s (and beyond)

I dreaded hormone change for a long time. I heard about the challenges but no good ways of managing the emotional health once hormone change takes a hold of one’s body. I have been researching and learning and experiencing many changes. Now I educate women on easy ways of managing health in 40s and beyond.

The full post can be read on Medium where I discuss in length about the 4 things that help manage hormone change.

  1. Stretching - body and mind

  2. Salt, Spice, Sugar Intake - Change in taste and how to accept it. Try not t judge yourself or make yourself wrong

  3. Water - You need a lot more than you think. Listen to your body

  4. Sleep - Your best friend - better than exercise, TV, or a happy-hour

Hope to see you soon to share more with you.

Quit It All - But Not Your Health

Quitting is good. Not everything I started has worked for me. Many things created stress and anger so I quit.

Maybe this is the month you are looking at what to quit in2019. Quit all that takes away from your health. Quit it all but keep your health.

Once you understand, I mean really understand that it’s one of the biggest mistakes to quit your health, you will be able to grow. Here’s how to keep your health:

  1. Quit HABITS that don’t serve you - yes, it’s very very hard to do but it needs to be done. Ask for help. Help from friends or professionals. Habits like - not sleeping, not drinking water, not stretching, not laughing…. Quit all these habits that don’t serve you.

  2. Quit PEOPLE who don’t serve you - yes, family, friends, co-workers. They are fine people but they are not fine for you for now. There’s nothing wrong with weeding people out. Do it with love and tell them you need space. One day when they are on their journey of learning, they will understand your decision.

  3. Quit CRITICIZING what doesn’t matter - quit talking about what doesn’t bring you laughter. There are things that don’t work but they don’t work for you so look at what you are not giving to make things work. Don’t criticize people or situations as it only causes you harm. Either quit these situations that you criticize or just speak only good even when things are not going your way.

Quitting all these will bring good health. Many of your health problems will go away. I can explain how it will work for many years but you won’t understand. You will understand when you practice, experience, live quitting what doesn’t work.

Eventually, there will be a time when you will feel fine and then happy and then you will be able to handle what’s around you without it impacting you. But FIRST step is QUITTING.