- Drink decaffeinated coffee or tea as a transition beverage. If you cannot give up coffee, start by substituting water-processed decaffeinated coffee for the real thing. Then try to wean yourself from coffee altogether or try a coffee substitute. Some women may find the abrupt discontinuance of coffee too difficult because of withdrawal symptoms such as headaches. If this concerns you, decrease your total coffee intake gradually to only one or one-half cup per day. Use coffee substitutes for your other cups. This will help prevent withdrawal symptoms.
- Drink grain-based coffee. Drinks like Postum and Cafix actually taste somewhat similar to coffee, besides having its warmth and rich brown color. While nothing can exactly substitute for the flavor of coffee, many women find that these beverages provide a nice opener for the day when taken at breakfast. They are also handy to bring to work since they come in powdered form. Simply add water for a mid-morning or afternoon break.
- Drink herbal teas for energy and vitality. Many women who tend to be fatigued or stressed erroneously drink coffee as a pick-me-up to be able to function during the day. Drink ginger tea instead. It is a great herbal stimulant that won’t wreck your health. To make ginger tea, grate a few teaspoons of fresh ginger root into a pot of hot water, boil, and steep. Serve with honey.
- Substitute carob for chocolate. Chocolate is a common hidden source of caffeine. Luckily, carob provides a healthy alternative. Unsweetened carob tastes like chocolate but doesn’t contain caffeine. It is a member of the legume family. Carob is also high in calcium. You can purchase it in chunks as a substitute for chocolate candy or as a powder for use in baking or drinks. Be careful, however, not to overindulge; carob, like chocolate, is high in calories and fat. Consider it a treat and an excellent cooking aid in small amounts only.
Love, Dr. Susan
To learn more about food and beverage substitutions see my book Healthy Diet and Nutrition for Women.