Here’s what you need to know about me: coffee and I are in a serious love affair. Well, we used to be at least. It wasn't a mutual breakup by any means and I honestly didn’t even realize it was happening until it was too late. It wasn't even coffee's fault; it was a result of the day I decided to cut out dairy.

Ali Goetze

It happened in January when I decided to finally give up dairy for my skin problems. I’ve had acne since I hit puberty and, even at 20, it wasn’t showing any signs of leaving. Doctors had told me before that quitting dairy may help clear up my skin, but I honestly didn’t think that it would do much. I also thought that dairy was pretty important when it comes to our diets.

The Beginning of the End

When the new year hit, I decided I finally had enough. I was actually going to follow through with all of my 2019 resolutions, one of which was to clear up my skin once and for all! I started a new pill, which itself has a side effect of clearing acne. I also decided to try to cut out dairy. If only I had known how this would affect coffee and me…

Ali Goetze

I got back to school mid-January and had a really busy first week with no time to go purchase a non-dairy creamer. To cut out dairy, I would have to take a small break from coffee. So, I thought, I’ll just not drink coffee for a few days. Who did I think I was making such a stupid decision? 

Let me tell you, the breakup was dramatic. It was a real headache. Literally. On the first night of giving up coffee I got the worst headache I ever had in my life. And I’ve had a lot of headaches. I was nauseous from the pain and almost had to cancel all of my meetings for the week. It lasted overnight into the next day, and the day after that. Three days of the same headache! I should’ve figured after nearly 10 years of drinking 2-3 cups a day, coffee wasn’t leaving without a fight.

Ali Goetze

The Epilogue

So, how did the breakup end? My skin has cleared up, but I also started that pill I talked about that has the ability to help with acne as well. Coffee and I have decided to remain just friends for now, meaning I only have a cup every few days and refuse to get back into that overly-dependent relationship. I love the way I can go through a day without needing caffeine now and wouldn't even want to go back to that dependence. I added dairy back into my diet, but, only partially, because I honestly love how I feel when I have less. I realized I have fewer stomach aches and less bloating. I actually want to start limiting other things that I feel I overeat, such as meat. 

My Advice to You

If you look online about people giving up coffee (there are support chats btw), you will see the same advice: cut it out slowly! Start working your way down. I obviously scrolled through these chats after my 3-day headache when it was already too late. I also didn't really think that my decision to cut out dairy would affect my life that much. My advice to anyone who is thinking about removing a food from their diet: do your research, speak with a doctor, and think about any potential consequences.