Tuesday, January 21, 2014

coffee break

So I've been taking a break from coffee now for a solid month. This was part of a personal 30 day challenge, which ended on January 19th. Now, of course, I didn't eschew all caffeine for this challenge, just coffee...so I was still drinking black and green tea during the 30 days.  I just wanted to see what would happen, if anything, if I stopped drinking coffee.   The challenge idea came to me as I was recovering from a 7 day siege with the flu.  After 7 days of feeling terrible and not leaving the house, I realized that I hadn't had coffee the entire time.  Yes, I had experienced headaches, but since I was so sick and had so many other symptoms at the time, who's to say the headaches were associated with withdrawal?  I had already gotten over the hump, why not continue it? 

I wondered how much I would miss it, how much I would crave it? Before I started the challenge, I admit to having a capp a day, sometimes two.  Most usually consumed out at one of my favorite cafe's, but also sometimes to go, or made at work on one of the fancy machines. My coffee drinking was under control for the most part, and as long as I didn't drink after 3pm, I could sleep at night without any problems.  I truly enjoyed the energy boost it gave me in the mornings.  Now, I know this is not an example of extreme coffee drinking, but I noticed it was becoming a habit and not necessarily a healthy one, so I wanted to stop it.

During the challenge, I would say that I got cravings for a cappuccino maybe 3 times.  But they weren't very strong... nothing like yearning for baked sugary goods or a cocktail or some other, unmentionable pleasurable vices.  I found that if I just asked myself, "Do I really want to break this challenge? Is it worth it?" then I would find that I didn't need the coffee drink, I was fine.  If I really wanted to have a special hot beverage, I indulged in a chai latte, made from scratch.  (Delicious!!)
Macchiato from a highway rest-stop in Spain
My sleep cycles seemed to be benefiting from the change, as well as my pocketbook.  Aside from those two results, I didn't notice any major effects from not drinking coffee. Once my 30th day had approached, I pondered extending it for another 30? But first, I would have one coffee drink as my reward and also to see if I needed to introduce this vice back into my life. 

The hot skim capp arrived and looked beautiful, I was excited to spoon the delicious airy mounds of foam into my mouth.  The drink tasted good, but wasn't all that satisfying. Though I enjoyed it, I also felt like, meh....I could take it or leave it. I guess I got a bit of a rush from drinking it, but it wasn't very noticeable at the time.  In the hours right after drinking the cappuccino, I felt pretty much the same as I had pre-cafe.  It wasn't until much later that night, when I was trying to fall asleep, that I noticed the buzz.  Lying there, trying to relax, mind racing, feeling completely wired, I could not help but blame the coffee. That evening, watching the hours pass, I felt as if I had never even fallen asleep, I decided to continue on with 30 more days of abstinence.  In the end, the cappuccino wasn't really worth it.

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