I did the unthinkable. I removed the coffee pot from the kitchen counter and put it away in THAT cabinet. The place of kitchen exile that rarely sees the light of day. The home of the instapot and the waffle iron. No man’s land. Why would an otherwise sane person who goes at 100 mph most days, ever do such a thing? Read on. I’m shocked, too.
All my adult life, I’ve been a black coffee kinda gal. First thing in the morning. Throughout the day. Even into the evening at times. I would brag that I can drink a cup at 7 pm after dinner and be totally fine, and still get my solid eight hours of needed sleep. A professional coffee drinker.
The photo above is one of the coasters in my office. A gift from a co-worker observant of my habits. I could, and often did, drink a pot a day. I could drink the expensive $6 kind from a fancy coffee shop. I could drink from the big burning-all-day pot of REALY black coffee that sits at the back of the room in every community building or council house across all of Indian country.
I loved it all. Black. Never with sugar or milk. So it was pretty healthy, right? No calories. I never got jittery or had the GI problems that other people had. In fact, I could drink black coffee until about 2pm and not eat any food some mornings. I was never really hungry for breakfast and I rationalized that I shouldn’t eat if you wasn’t hungry, right? Calories in, calories out. Winning.
Welp, wrong. Here’s my recent epiphany – as blasphemous as it is: Coffee sucks. And I was totally addicted to it. To that caffeine fix. I rationalized that it was ok because I didn’t drink Dr. Peppers or Cokes. That’s the really bad stuff that lead down a path to the dreaded diabetes. But black coffee is not that bad at all. Wrong again (for me).
It’s a long story, partially told here, but I have slowly cut back on coffee over the last few years. Switched to one or two cups a day and supplemented with herbal tea to satiate my desire to hold and drink something warm. In June of this year, I finally stopped. And I feel like a million bucks. And it’s been as transformative for my overall health as when I stopped eating gluten/wheat to end terrible chronic migraines. That long story, here.
Remarkable, actually. So what’s going on?
Caffeine is fake fuel. And I am now convinced that even one cup of coffee in the morning was partially responsible for other food cravings that I had – especially carbs. And perhaps partially responsible for a danger of overeating later in the day, even if I ate something for breakfast and lunch. My cortisol levels were so haywire. (Google it). My body was looking for it’s next fix. A rebound from the afternoon crash. And in terms of really really tasting my food, I’ve come to realize that coffee also was wrecking my palate.
So how to get the groove back. Coffee gave me a spring in my step. It made me happy. Joyful. It was part of morning ritual and my daily comfort. Like a favorite stuffed animal. What happens now that it’s gone? What’s the point? Why not just live our life, man?
After the full detox was finished, and IT was completely out of my system, it’s been really easy. And I’m not sad at all. To the contrary. Shockingly, I don’t miss it at all. The thought of it honestly turns me off. When I wake up in the morning, I crave a glass of cold water, or two. I’m super clear headed. Energized. And I’m no longer a junkie for coffee.
It’s hard for us to think about addiction on things that we see as so benign. But I was truly an addict and it was impacting my health and my stamina. I could go months or years without alcohol, but I couldn’t go one day without coffee.
As you know from reading this blog, I’m a try it all kinda lady. I’m big on elimination diets and other experiments to just see how it feels. In terms of “feels” – this one has been a really wild ride. And I think it’s going to stick. Winter will be the test. And by the way, that kitchen countertop looks so much nicer too.
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