Today marks the 6 month anniversary of eliminating coffee from my diet. I had never felt like I was addicted to coffee; that I needed coffee. I only consumed 1- 2 cups a day if that, and I certainly did not need it to give me that get-up-and-go. I am a morning person.
Late October 2016, I found myself at a yoga retreat in Malibu, CA. Meals were included and I soon realized that coffee was not on the menu. There was the option to travel the 1.5 miles to the nearest Starbucks but I thought, ‘Hey, it’s only 10 days, let’s see how this goes.’
I think we can all foreshadow what was about to happen…
Day-one sans coffee.
9:00 am Me: One-hour mark of a 3.5 hour yoga practice.
‘See, I don’t need coffee.’
12:00 pm Me: Post yoga class.
‘Yep, still just fine, just a little tired from the yoga but I don’t need coffee.’
1:30 pm Me: Lying on my bed in my room [possibly holding my head].
‘I’m feeling off, I just need this tiny nap -- I’m jet lagged, and I just did 3.5 hours of intense yoga. I will muscle through this headache.’
4:00 pm Me: Half an hour into the 3 hour afternoon practice.
‘I think my head is going to explode, I don’t know if it’s from being inverted more than normal [lying to myself] or, if it’s from lack of caffeine. I’ll just let this pass.’
4:30 pm Me: In the midst of the 2nd yoga practice. [slight whimper]
‘Does anyone have any advil?.... Anyone.. please?’
5:00 pm Me: 25 minutes after administering headache meds.
‘All is right in the world again!! I guess I should have taken an Advil sooner.’
Day-two without coffee.
* See Day-one.
By the third day, I had completely recovered from my coffee detox. Wow, who knew such a relatively small daily intake could have such a profound effect on me. Needless to say, I did not include in a coffee beverage for the entire 10 day period.
Upon my return, I was a bit apprehensive to indulge in a cup of java. I really did not want to risk going through the headache-of-the-century again. Every single morning, as my husband brewed this magical brew, I would breathe it in. I mean a really deep ujjayi pranayama -- yoga breathing style that helps calms the mind during challenging physical practices and, can be applied to any mental challenge in our lives.
Over the next 173 days, I continued to refrain from coffee. I’ll have to admit, that I have become borderline fearful of coffee now. I know it’s not the caffeine that concerns me -- as I do enjoy an ‘English Breakfast Black Tea’ from time to time. I have come to realize that it's the habits of coffee that I wanted (and still want) to abandon.
Now, I am definitely not saying that coffee is bad -- in fact, a quick google search gave me the ‘19 Good Health Reasons To Drink Coffee”.
For me, I started to feel like coffee owned me. It was the necessary 15-minute stop before work; it caused the scrambling for change in the most obscure reaches of my car; it lead to the additional financial support of the breath-freshening industry; and it served as that crucial afternoon pick-me-up when things weren’t going well.
Although these reasons may not sound like a cause to abstain, I began to see the similarities in my thought processes, or mindset, between coffee and when I used to smoke cigarettes. (Something I did for a short while a LONG time ago -- but that’s another story).
So my friends, that is why (and how) I gave up coffee.
P.S. This date also marks the anniversary of 6 months since I removed meat, poultry, fish, and eggs from my diet for entirely different reasons. Check out my next blog.