365 Challenge Day 8 – Caffeine

23 May

A couple of days ago I wrote about water, juice, smoothies and tea. But there was one beverage I neglected to mention: coffee.

Here I am in Paris, on my way home from a three-week trip. I’m only here for a few hours at the airport. I’m sure there are many lovely things to see in Paris, and probably cool things to buy at the airport (if you like stinky perfume) but I had only thing in mind. I went through immigration, got my passport stamped, took an airport shuttle, and walked about 20 minutes, and, Voila!

coffee

Angels singing.

I don’t particularly like Starbucks coffee, but I do really like, okay love, their soy lattes. I am seriously addicted.

I’m sure there are many things that are bad about drinking coffee, in fact, I once read a book called The Caffeine Blues, that talks about how caffeine triggers an adrenaline response which produces energy but also taxes the body by keeping us in a constant state of stress. There are also the highs and lows it causes that keep us looking for more. After reading that I completely gave up caffeine for several months, waiting for my natural energy to kick in. Which it didn’t. I mean, I was okay, I survived, I could get up and get dressed, go to work, function fairly normally. But at some point I decided, You know, life without caffeine kind of sucks. I missed the buzz, I missed that perky vivacious way I feel when I drink it. In fact, some of friends asked if I was depressed. Apparently a percentage of my perceived personality results from being caffeinated. (For the record, there are studies that show positive differences amongst coffee drinkers such as reduced chances of depression or suicide.)

At a later time I actually gave up coffee for about eight years. I was having some health problems that I thought might be related to a sensitivity, and when I switched to tea instead I did actually feel better. During the eight years I was a tea drinker, in my heart, I was still a coffee drinker. Sometime last year I tried some coffee, and found that I felt fine, no negative health reaction, in fact, I felt great! I started off having it as a special treat about once a week. Then twice a week. Then every day. Then… I am embarrassed to admit how much I’m drinking now.

So. Where does this leave me? The minute I started drinking coffee again I completely abandoned the healthy green tea I had been drinking for eight years. I’m definitely not ready to give coffee up completely. When I wake up in the morning, getting out of bed seems bearable, and actually a little exciting, knowing I’ve got my organic French roast with soy milk waiting for me.

But I DO think it would be a good idea, a great idea, to cut back. It annoys me every time I pay more than $5 at Starbucks for one cup of my addiction (although today I would have paid $50!) And in Madagascar I drank black coffee the whole time which I don’t even particularly like, and that felt kind of pathetic, just feeding the addiction and not even enjoying it. And I am drinking kind of a lot.

Cutting back on coffee has to eventually be on my list of aspirations for this year.  I’ll have to think about this one. I’m not ready to commit. Maybe I’ll cut down to two cups a day; one in the morning, and one in the afternoon to get me through the rest of the work day. And start to drink some green tea again, which is gentler on the system and is supposed to have some health benefits. That might be a good compromise.

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One Response to “365 Challenge Day 8 – Caffeine”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 365 Challenge Day 16 – Energy | true body mind soul - June 1, 2014

    […] is tiredness.  I don’t like feeling tired, in fact I kind of hate it.  Hence all the coffee drinking I have written about […]

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