Give Caffeine The Boot And Win Some Jerky

First of all, congrats to Megan H., the winner of our last contest!

Now onto business. I’ve been hinting at this next contest for a week now, so I’ll finally let its insidious little head rise to the surface today. Some of you have done everything right on this 30-day Paleo challenge so far. Everything EXCEPT give up caffeine.

So I’m going to give you a week to let it play out. A week for you to finally give up your coffee, tea (green, black, and white – not herbal), soda, diet soda, caffeine pills, energy drink, or whatever else harbors your cherished caffeine. Commit to giving it up today. Drink less of it tomorrow. Saturday, drink even less, and Sunday say goodbye. Or just go cold turkey right now – whatever fits your personality better. Just get it out of your life. In a week, you can write in and tell me how the first week (of many) went.

If you’re saying, “But I can’t function without caffeine – I’m not like other people,” then you are precisely the person who needs to give it up. At least for a while. If it makes you feel better to think of this as a trial separation, do that – give it 3 weeks. If after 3 weeks you want to go back to your co-dependent love affair then do that, but a break is in order right now. It may just be ruining your life.

Here’s a blog post on why you would ever consider doing such a thing. The basic gist is that caffeine messes with your hormonal balance and your blood sugar balance and creates energy swings and inflammation. Among other things. With your new Paleo diet providing you with balanced blood sugar, you don’t need coffee to keep you awake anymore.

The Contest
Give up your caffeine (that means de-caf coffee, too). Tell me about it next Thursday through Saturday in the comment section of this blog post. Or by email at Or on our Facebook page here. You’ll be automatically entered to win this. I’ll remind you to let us know how it’s going – don’t worry.

The Prizes
1. $75 worth of product from Slant Shack Jerky. 100% grass-fed beef made into delicious jerky for your snacking delight.

2. 1 hour of Private Paleo Coaching over the phone or Skype with yours truly, Neely Quinn. I’m a Nutrition Therapist and I regularly help people one-on-one with tailoring the diet to suit their lifestyle and needs.

Good luck!

Pick up your copy of the Quickstart Guide and Paleo Challenge eBook today!


    1. @mkocylowsky – Actually, yes, you should be. I for some reason was under the impression that you didn’t have to have the soy sauce marinade on the jerky, but it seems they are all marinated with it. I’m talking with the Slant Shack Jerky guy right now to see if he can make an exception for us and leave out the soy sauce, but if he can’t I’ll change the prize to something equally awesome. Never fear and thanks for your concern.

  1. I gave it up last week (I got the hint!), and I have to say, I’m doing really well! I only like coffee with milk, and since I gave up the dairy, I figured they would go hand in hand! I’m really hoping that I will see some improvements in return for “the sacrifice” :) !

  2. Busted!!! I quit drinking Diet Coke 4 days before starting Paleo so I wouldn’t be going through withdrawals from that the same time as starting a new diet, but I kept drinking coffee until the Monday the challenge started. My first week on Paleo I didn’t have any caffeine, but this week I’ve had coffee 3 days, including today. After reading that link you posted I’ve decided to quit again, cold turkey. It isn’t worth it considering how hard I’m working on my diet and exercise, to mess up my weight loss on a daily cup of coffee, no matter how much I love it.

  3. I have been coffee, i should say caffiene, free for a week now. I have been a little more irritable and a bit more hungry feeling. But i have health issues and am committed to sticking with this plan.

  4. I gave up my diet coke fix 3 weeks ago ( a week Before starting the paleo diet) I felt like I needed at least one soda a day to keep me going. I’m a full time preschool teacher and everyday for lunch I was eating a deli sandwich or left over pizza and pairing it with a diet coke, thinking it would give me the energy i needed to finish my day. I was totally wrong. I was good for about an hour or so and then I would completely crash. Since cutting out the caffeine and unhealthy lunches I find that not only am I losing weight but I’m in a better mood and have tons more energy!

    1. @Janelle – Thanks for this question – it’s a good one. There’s a ton of research out there on coffee’s benefits. It’s confusing, I know. The link to my blog post and the article you posted aren’t exact opposites, though. I’m talking about blood sugar regulation (keeping it steady – not non-diabetic), the fatigue that a chronic stimulant can cause, and the hormonal imbalances and immune system deficiencies a chronic stimulant can cause. What I’ve seen clinically is that most people benefit in their everyday lives by giving up chronic caffeine habits for the reasons I just stated above. Yes, depending on the brand of bean, coffee can have a ton of anti-oxidants, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it also contains a stimulant drug. I’d have to go through each of the studies they cite in that article, and I may do that and make it into a blog post. I just encourage people to do what seems to work, and this is one of those things. Let me know if you have any more to add on this. Thanks again.

  5. I started the Paleo diet 3weeks ago and was a 3 to 4 cup a day coffee drinker with french vanilla in every cup. I gave it up cold turkey and have not had a cup in over 2 weeks, i feel great and have lost 15 lbs so far. I am also a boarder line diabetic and have a thyroid condition along with high blood pressure, my goal is to eliminate all meds. Thank you for this diet plan.

  6. I attempted to give up the coffee with no success. I will keep trying, but I have cut it down to 1 early morning cup of joe. I will keep you updated on my success:)

  7. Whoot…I gave up my beloved black tea (never been a coffee drinker) January 1 for an entire week, with (thankfully) not much withdrawl…then had a cup…blah…to bitter. I have had an occasional cup here and there, but have given it up again this week for Neely’s challenge! I think for me it was the comfort of a warm mug, and habit that I drank so much, not the caffine. I’ve splurged on a few great tasting herbal teas to warm my cup.

  8. Wow! I never thought that giving up my “Joe” would be so easy, or come with such great benifits. The first thing I noticed, right off the bat, is that I wasn’t as tense in the morning and throughout the day. The biggest benefit, however, is that my pain level decreased greatly. I have fibromyalgia, and what a help giving up coffee has been! All of my “achy spots” just don’t ache as much. I vow I will NEVER go back! Thanks, Neely. I surely wouldn’t have done it without you. =)

  9. Hope this is not late. I gave up my coffee, which I ABSOLUTELY love!! Not only the taste but the smell!!!! I have been drinking an Herbal tea in the mornings and it has seemed to help. I will say that a couple days ago I slipped and had a cup of coffee….oops! I have been encouraging my Husband, who has gone Paleo as well, to drop his green tea and Mt. Dew……this will take some time ;). We are on week 4 of the Paleo challenge and we have not missed our old eating habits yet! We love how much better we feel and are more aware of the chemicals that are in our food.

  10. Like Janelle, I’ve read a lot of research about the benefits of coffee consumption. Except, I clung to these studies (such as: lower chance of type 2 diabetes, lower chance of colon cancer, lower risk of depression, helps fight off alzheimer’s, and somehow increases exercise performance) and used them to rationalize my addiction. There is a lot of information out there about nutrition, and it is often contradictory. The reality is that coffee isn’t PROVEN to be beneficial in any way; these studies show correlations and there is no real way to know if coffee is the distinguishing factor that prevented a given person from developing a given illness (it might actually have to do with innumerable other factors: heredity, environment, diet, etc.). Also, think about the researchers who are doing these studies, and consider who might be funding them. They might be brought to you by the same people who think ketchup is a vegetable, or thought up those corn-syrup-is-so-sexy commercials.

    After using this “research” to rationalize the mass consumption of something that made me feel like crap (much like how I used to drink a bottle of red wine for the anti-oxidants; it’s so good for me!, I would lie to myself), I got down to the truth that I had always known. Being coffee dependent made my mornings painful for me and those around me, prevented me from getting restful sleep, and didn’t ever really give me a boost. It also had a numbing effect that prevented me from being truly connected with what was going on in my mind and body. In the last two weeks of being coffee-free, I discovered I never really ate enough calories, having relied heavily on fake energy from coffee. Let me just say, fuel from food feels so much better. Now, I sleep when I’m tired and eat when I’m hungry (that might sound basic but it’s an effing revolution over here). My love affair with coffee has gone on for a decade and instead of looking back at it longingly, I’m looking forward to continued improvements in health.

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