Tony Soprano Has a Message for You…

Ever hear this?

“Don’t talk to me until I have my coffee!”

In my first job at PwC, I remember overhearing a coworker yelling this at another coworker.  She couldn’t believe that someone had the AUDACITY to speak to her before she had her daily fix.  I admit, it was pretty funny and it certainly wasn’t the last time I heard something like this.

Is it just me or is it crazy we can’t even function these days without some kind of “crutch”?

You’re DESIGNED to wake up with vigor, with a purpose, and you’re DESIGNED to have sustained energy throughout the day – even at 2:30 in the afternoon despite what those idiots on the 5-Hour Energy commercials try to convince you.

You’re also designed to naturally feel tired and fall asleep at the end of the day.  But with all this over-stimulation — coffee to get you up, wine to get you down, and Facebook, Twitter, texting, emailing, constant interruption in the middle — you’re destined to get knocked off your A-game.

Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee.  I love the taste, the smell, the whole experience.  As a kid, my favorite ice cream flavor (after chocolate obviously) was coffee.  Those lattes with the cool artwork on top?  Love ’em.  Just walking into a coffee shop makes me feel happy and more alert.

Thinking that you need coffee is the problem here.  Yes, it gives you energy.  BUT, it’s a stimulant – it stimulates your body to give you energy that you don’t have.

It’s like borrowing money from Tony Soprano every day…and never paying it back.  What would happen if you did that?  You bet your ass there would be some consequences.

Same thing goes for your body.  You keep borrowing energy that you don’t really have — from your adrenals, your hormones, your blood sugar, etc. — eventually your organs are going to have to start breaking some kneecaps.

Since it’s highly acidic, coffee can damage the poor, cute little villi that line your intestinal wall to help you absorb nutrients.  It also inhibits your absorption of essential minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, etc. which can lead to deficiencies and compromise your immune system.

And, the more you deplete your body’s energy stores, the MORE exhausted you become, leading you to need MORE coffee.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Unfortunately, decaf is no better.  The types of beans used for decafinated coffee are highly acidic and most store brands use toxic chemicals to strip the caffeine out.  Yum!

So, if you think you NEED coffee to get going (in more ways than one), perhaps it’s time to give yourself a little break?  Here are some simple ways you can reduce your dependency in a week or less:

  • Substitute half of your daily coffee for green tea or white tea.
  • Try Teeccino – an awesome “grain coffee” that has a similar flavor without the caffeine or high acidity.  Hazelnut is my favorite flavor and you can get it in the coffee/tea aisle of a health foods store or here.
  • Have some raw cacao.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially first thing in the morning.
  • Go to bed early. If you’re dependent on coffee, your body is probably chronically exhausted and over-stimulated.  So give yourself a break and get some shut-eye.
  • Sweat it out. One of the nasty withdrawal symptoms is the dreaded headache.  Drinking water and working up a good sweat seems to help you feel better much faster.  So pump out a good cardio workout or hop in the steam or sauna.

How do you feel if you go a day without coffee?  What’s one thing you can do to ease yourself off this crutch?  Leave a comment below or on the Facebook page and share your insights.

Reducing any kind of stimulant can be brutal if it’s not done carefully.  That’s why next month I’m launching a new program I created to help you kick your coffee and sugar dependencies and Jack Up Your Energy and Mental Clarity in 21 Days or Less.  Stay tuned!


  • I just love reading everything you publish, this was such great info, sharing now 🙂

  • Bernardo says:

    Hi Heather,
    Awesome post. I have personally avoided coffee all of my life for some of the reasons you mention above + the extra unnecessary strain it causes on kidneys. I also agree that green tea is a powerful alternative not just because it contains caffeine without the side effects of the acidity in coffee but because it is one of the cheapest yet most powerful anti-cancer agents available.

    I appreciate your focus on health as well as your no BS and fun way of sharing information. I really like what you are doing here and hope to come back to get great info again and again. a big hug to you – I am your fan my friend! -Bernardo

  • genna says:

    I’m weaning myself off the hard stuff and this week have been having a decaf just for the taste 🙂

  • Liz DiAlto says:

    So so true!!! (as I sip my cafe americano)… Down to coffee 2x/wk, I use it as a treat, like you I love the smell & the experience. Wanted to spit when I read about the little villi in my intestines though, no bueno. Tea time it is!! My fav flavor btw is vanilla almond by republic of tea… Smells like amaretto, mmmmmm

  • Liz Longacre says:

    Good stuff Heather! I always know it’s bad but thanks for breaking down the reasons why. It’s the comfort of coffee I have the hardest time departing from. Right now I only drink it maybe once a week, sometimes decaf twice a week, but I really need to just quit it!

  • Karie says:

    “It also inhibits your absorption of essential minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, etc. which can lead to deficiencies and compromise your immune system.”


    I have never been a big coffee drinker but I always wanted to be. It just seems so cool to wake up in the morning to the smell of a fresh cup of coffee. Good thing I’m not a morning person and I never wanted to waste my precious sleep on taking extra time in the morning to make it.

    Great info, Mrs. W. xoxo

  • Carlo says:

    Heather, interesting read. i have been planning (you need a plan)on quitting the coffee fix for a few months already. Half the battle is out of habit. I drive by a McDonalds on the way to work and automatically go to the drive thru and get a large black coffee. I will take a different way to work and carry a bottle of water with me, starting TODAY! I have been reading many articles on how bad it is especially for your metabolism. Glad i found your website…..

    • Heather says:

      Love that idea and love that you’re taking action today, Carlo! Changing habits is not easy, but a great way to start is change your environment – glad to hear you’re up for a change of scenery on your way to work. Thanks for your comment!

  • Ana says:

    Is been two day for me!!! I used to drink one every day in the morning with breakfast, its not easy to stop but I guess taking care of your self is a good reason!!! Drinking lots of water helps!!!! Thanks for the info

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