44—Are you...

Flat White.


There’s no point in coming to see me for a bottle of my ‘calming’ herbs if you’re running around fuelled up on caffeine. Quite simply, I won’t give them to you. It would confuse the bejesus out of your body (Up! Down? Up? Down?). And also, it’s just plain daft! Why would you spend money buying ‘calming’ herbs when it would be more sensible to save money by not drinking ‘stimulating’, store-bought coffees?

Have you ever stopped to consider, that if you didn’t have coffee, you might not have a problem with stress and anxiety at all?


It’s you Mums with young families that I worry about most.  You’re always running around trying to be all things to all people. I get that when you eventually have time to come see me, that you’re not in a good space. You’re very tired and wound up. I also understand you have a strong emotional attachment to your daily “trim-flat-white” because it’s the one. little. thing. you get to do for yourself.

However, you’ve got a real problem if when I suggest you remove caffeine from your diet, you react like I’ve asked you to give up your first born!


Please don’t think you’re mounting any kind of defence by telling me that you’re, ‘only having one coffee a day’. While the act of imbibing only lasts a matter of minutes, the caffeine can have a stimulating effect for anywhere between 8—14 hours.

Caffeine activates your Sympathetic Nervous System (or as it’s more commonly referred to, your ‘Fight or Flight’ mode). Therefore, when you drink a cup of coffee, you’re literally evoking a sustained state of fear.  Unfortunately, in this state, you’re not very receptive to listening to health advice — let alone common sense.

If you’re resistant to removing coffee, I will recommend that you take a very small ‘experimental break’ from your beloved beverage. Unfortunately, many people then find themselves in an entirely different predicament. Now, instead of feeling ‘strung out’, you feel ‘flat’ or ‘bored’,  and don’t really ‘feel alive’.  Straight away you decide that you’d rather go back to feeling fearful and anxious (which you’ve conveniently relabeled ‘energetic’ and ‘motivated’). You want your coffee back.

So, you’re back where you started. Only now you seem quite content with your status quo. You’ve somehow convinced yourself that, ‘it’s better the Devil you know’. However, now you’ve also managed to convince me that you need my help more than ever!

An ECG graph to indicate the flat-lining you get when constantly drinking coffee

Want to hear more from me on coffee?

Then please head over to this link.

Lisa says:

I don’t always contest ‘Coffee Quaffing’

Depending upon the circumstance, I might actually prescribe coffee in the short-term to some clients e.g. for weight loss, depression1, sporting activities, studying, or to be taken occasionally (as a general ‘pick-me-up’).

However, if you come to see me for stress and anxiety I will always give you a flat-out ‘no — you shouldn’t have caffeine’. This is at least until you are feeling calmer. At this point, we may be able to reintroduce this substance back into your diet — but only in moderation.

Note: We can put our ‘thinking caps’ on to come up with a number of other small pleasures that you can enjoy throughout your week (or month). And, you should now have approx. $35 to redirect into this (the total cost of 7 x FWs)!

Follow some of the advice you’d give your kids

Stop, wait, and listen!

Please give this new state of being a chance — don’t be too quick to judge or label it.  I advise that you remove caffeine to essentially ‘reset’ you — to find out who you really are when you’re not amped up on caffeine.

We need a decent amount of time to establish whether the new feeling you are experiencing is actually ‘calm’ (and you’re just not used to it), or if you’re suffering from another health condition that the coffee was masking — such as depression, adrenal exhaustion, or hypothyroidism.

Note:  Keep in mind that the coffee may have created a new health concern for you.

From there, I can more effectively treat you based on what you’re REALLY feeling — not on what the coffee was making you feel.

Make an appointment with Lisa

Lisa Fitzgibbon is a degree qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice – OOMPH in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.

Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 16 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.

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