Q: I love coffee. In fact, I don’t just love coffee — I’m
addicted to the stuff. But every time I try to stop I develop a splitting headache!
Realistically, how can I reduce my caffeine intake without becoming utterly dysfunctional?
A: Be kind to yourself — it is best to get off caffeine in
a gradual manner! First off, accurately identify how much you are drinking, and
when each day. Then you can reduce this a little bit at a time and spare yourself
the pain of caffeine withdrawal.
For your morning coffee, for example, just get nice, high-quality beans and combine
about 3 portions of those beans with 1 portion of decaf beans. Mix these well before
grinding, to cut caffeine by about one-quarter. Then the next week use a greater
amount of decaf in the mix, and proceed like that each week until you are down to
If you find you like to drink coffee late in the day, you may want to start with
reducing the caffeine quotient in your latest fix first.
Swiss water-process decaf is best, for a more natural product. Adopt the same procedure
for ground beans, if you use those. And unless you are a coffee purist, you can
try mixing in a coffee substitute such as roasted chicory or Teecino, or even experiment
with Pero or Postum.
You can also benefit from drinking lots and lots of water throughout the day, and
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