Quitting Coffee Was Hard—But You Should See My Glowing Skin

Let me preface this by saying that I love coffee. It's not just the flavor that I adore (not to mention the insanely gratifying smell of fresh ground beans) but also the ritual. I am such a morning-brew buff that our entire kitchen counter is practically devoted to making it. I have a Rancilio coffee grinder so the beans can be freshly ground for each cup and a top-notch Italian Ascaso espresso machine that pours the perfect shot (with the creamiest crema), complete with a frother to create the fluffiest almond milk ever (no sugar needed). In fact, the more people I speak to about my recent decision to quit coffee, the more I realize I'm not alone in this sentiment. More of my friends and colleagues drink a cup of joe each morning for the ritual of it than the caffeine hit.

My decision to give up this holy grail of a.m. beverages wasn't mine initially. I was invited to do the Sakara Level II detox (story coming soon), and I jumped at the chance, not realizing that it involved ditching the java juice. But knowing ahead of the five-day cleanse that I couldn't have caffeine, I decided to go cold turkey. It won't be that hard, I thought to myself. But I was wrong. Despite only having one cup of coffee a day (when you add that regular cup over the last 10 years), I clearly had a caffeine addiction. Let me say this: Caffeine withdrawal is real, so very real.

"Breaking up with coffee and caffeine is not a joke," affirmed Carly Brawner, holistic nutritionist, health coach, and founder of Frolic and Flow. "For those who have repeatedly tried to give it up and can't because it's too difficult, you are not alone. There is a reason John Hopkins Medicine considers caffeine withdrawal a disorder. For some, the process is less painful than it is for others." Unfortunately, I was one of the "others," and I suffered terribly. Ahead is my account of what really happens to your body when you give up coffee, along with Brawner's professional analysis. It was rough, but on the other hand, you'll see what it did for my skin.