Tag Archives: caffeine

365 Challenge Day 168 – Coffee

15 Nov

Darn it.  I’m so addicted.  As I mentioned before my skin has been really irritated lately.  I can’t tell if it’s something internal, external, or both.  I found a list of things that can irritate the skin and coffee/caffeine was top of the list.  I went cold turkey and switched to green tea.  I lasted four days : (

I was fine when I was work, I didn’t mind feeling a little lethargic working on the computer all day.  Even made it to yoga class feeling mellow.  But cleaning, that’s another story!  It was the thought of having to clean my whole house over the weekend that did me in.  I needed that jolt!!  It also helped when I went running yesterday…

If I knew it was the coffee, I’d be more motivated.  But it’s harder to motivate on a guess.

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365 Challenge Day 83 – Sleep

13 Aug

Somewhat related to my posts and my issues regarding caffeine…

I consider myself a very healthy person, with very healthy habits.  But, there is one area in which I’m not doing very well: I’m terrible about getting enough sleep.  I avoid getting in bed, then once in bed, I avoid turning off the light.  I’m always trying to squeeze more out of my day.  I’m always trying to push the limits and see how little sleep I can get away with.

For the most part I do okay.  If I feel overtired or run down I will go to bed early (or earlier.)  But I also go through phases where I’m just consistently up late every night.  I’m in that phase right now.  For at least a week I’ve been up well past 1am every night, while still working my 9-5 job, getting up around 7.  Last night I talked to my best friend, it has been months since we’ve had a good catch-up, and we talked until around 1:30, even though we both said we were tired around 10pm!  I’m so glad we got to talk, I missed her a lot, and we had lots and lots to catch up on. BUT, now I am feeling the effects.

I can function at work on little sleep, but exercise is one of the first things to go, along with cleaning.  I wanted to go to yoga tonight, but I can’t even imagine it right now.  It’s 4pm, and I’m yawning, and can only think about going to bed!!  I can see that in order to live the QUALITY of life I want, I need to be well-rested!!

In one of my favorite books, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, author Dr. Amen lists sleep as one of the most important things we can do to maintain a healthy brain and maintain good health.  Not getting enough sleep can damage your brain much in the way doing drugs can.  YIKES.

Well…  I’m not sure yet what my solution is.  I’m not quite at the point of making a change.  Not quite ready to force myself into an early bed time.

Did I mention that after about four weeks of going off coffee that I’m fully back to drinking three cups a day?  : (

365 Challenge Day 72 – Coffee

3 Aug

I. AM. A. COFFEE. ADDICT.

It’s sad. After several weeks without coffee (three, four weeks?) I am now back to drinking it every day.  And since I haven’t had any at home, I’ve been at Starbucks every day, $ $ $.  Lately I’ve been getting a venti soy latte which has THREE shots of espresso and costs almost $6.

Tonight I had dinner with a friend.  He really wanted desert after and so I innocently accompanied him to get some ice cream.  It didn’t even occur to me I’d get anything.  Well, I was very surprised to see they had multiple vegan flavors!!  And not nasty sorbets; real, creamy ice cream, one soy based, one coconut based, and one hemp.  I (again, in complete innocence) asked to try the soy coffee ice cream.  Just a taste.  YUM.  Two of my favorite treats combined into one delicious indulgence!!  I got a small, which turned out to be pretty big, more like a medium or large size.  And it was STRONG.  Not a smart thing to have at 10pm.  And I knew that!! But I did it anyway!!

So.  Now it is almost 3am.  And I am WIDE AWAKE!!!  I should channel this energy into cleaning my room or something, but I took a benedryl and am going to try to get some sleep.

Starting tomorrow I will cut back.  One cup in the morning.  And then green tea in the afternoon.  This is getting out of hand.  Oh yeah, and no more ice cream either!

365 Challenge Day 63 – Caffeine

27 Jul

How many weeks was I off coffee?  Three or four?  I remember the day I went running  a couple of weeks ago in the morning, and then drove five hours to Brooklyn, I felt that I deserved an iced soy latte!  It is a slippery slope!  Ironically, being at the retreat center I got back to a daily morning coffee habit, and even had some in the afternoon many days.  This is funny because most people do the opposite and use retreat time to give up coffee.  The retreat center doesn’t buy or provide coffee, but there are always generous souls who leave some behind as a gift for us addicts.  There was a bag of Pete’s French Roast that was amazingly good with soy milk and a little agave nectar : )

We’ll see.  I am still feeling motivated to cut back or eliminate coffee.  I don’t have any coffee at home, and yesterday I went to Starbucks twice which means more than $10.  Ridiculous!!!

365 Challenge Day 31 – Coffee… : (

22 Jun

After not drinking it all week I have discovered something disturbing and depressing about coffee: I’m allergic to it!

For several months now I had these small bumps around my chin, I didn’t know what the heck they were.  I tried various creams thinking it could be acne, dry skin, or a bacterial, or a fungal infection, or psoriasis.  Nothing helped. I saw my doctor who said she didn’t know what the heck they were, and told me to see a dermatologist.  I used an over the counter cortisone cream which made the bumps go away, temporarily, but they kept coming back as soon as I stopped using it.

Well, yesterday I wanted a special treat and got a decaf soy cappuccino from Starbucks.  I got home and looked in the mirror, and bam, red bumps on my chin, as bad as ever.  That’s when I made the connection.  HIVES.  From an ALLERGY.  To COFFEE!!!!

How could I have missed that??  This is why I gave up coffee in the first place way back when, and didn’t drink it for eight years!!  I never got hives before, but I did feel like it was negatively affecting my health.  And sometimes I would get swollen glands, or a sore throat, and could just tell it wasn’t good for me.  I’ve been drinking it again for about a year now, I think.  And was up to about 3 to 5 cups a day!!  Sometimes I’d get a latte with a triple shot!

So, this is a huge bummer.  Can’t even drink decaf.  I’m sure it’s good for my health in the long run that I’m giving it up again.  But not by choice : (

365 Challenge Day 27 – Coffee

17 Jun

Well, I went cold turkey off of coffee, because I ran out.  But this is not as impressive, or as stupid, as it may sound.  I didn’t cut out caffeine, I just switched to tea. A lot of tea.

I’ve done this several times before.  Sometimes when I was actually giving up coffee, and sometimes when I just wanted to do a detox or take a break.  I’m actually not sure which this will be!!  I guess it will depend on how dramatically different I feel when it clears from my system.  I don’t like tea as much so it’s easier for me to slowly cut down on the caffeine once I make the switch.

S0 I may end up drinking coffee again, but at the very least I want to cut down because I have been drinking way too much.  For now it feels good to be taking a break.

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.