Monday, February 24, 2014

No More Buzz

OMG, what have I done?  As of Saturday, I've given up caffeine.

Can you tell?  Do I seem a little...

Well - do I!?!?!

Woah.  I need to calm down.  *Deeeeeeep Breeeeaaaatttthhhhh*

Ok.  Calm.  Back on topic. 

I'm sure you're reading this right now and thinking to yourself...

No, I wasn't dropped on my head.  I'm doing this for my health.  Or something. 

I mean, I've read all sorts of articles about how caffeine is bad for you, how it can give you insomnia, how it can raise your blood pressure and/or be hard on your heart,  etc., etc., etc.  Honestly, I'm not too stirred up about that because I don't have any existing health conditions that can be aggravated by caffeine intake.  Nor do I have any ill effects from the current level of caffeine that I consume.

So, you're likely asking yourself why I'm giving up caffeine.  Maybe I'm just doing it because...


Well, isn't that kind of a given?  Anyone who runs a half marathon dressed as a unicorn or teaches in glitter spandex must have a few screws loose.  No surprise there.

Anyway, all joking aside, part of the reason I decided to give this a try is my husband.  Of all things.  I know!  He's not exactly ... what you would call a health nut.  (Hard to believe with a wife like me, right?  LOL!)

But here's the thing - a few months back he started working from home.  And being home all day with easy access to the coffee machine, he started upping his coffee intake.  Within a few weeks of doing so, suddenly we had decaf coffee in the mix.    I didn't think anything of it at first, since we do keep some decaf in the house for the occasional after dinner treat, but...

Finally, one day, I realized he was actually drinking the decaf.  A lot.  Even though I never even noticed he was bothered by coffee or having any issues, he had made the switch to drinking 100% decaf.

Upon asking him if he was feeling ok, and then asking him why the switch to decaf, he had a very simple answer.  (Those of you who know my husband know that unlike me, he is definitely a man of few words).  Basically, he said he had started feeling too jittery, and after switching to decaf, felt a lot better. 

I asked him if he had any side effects from going off caffeine, and he said that he had a pretty massive headache on one of the first few days, but after that - he was fine.  In fact, after the switch, he stuck to the decaf for quite a few months, until we ran out of it in the house one day and he didn't have another option. 

After re-introducing caffeine that day, he decided he didn't feel too bad ... as long as he stuck to one cup.  So now, for the most part, he is OK to have a single cup of regular ... or decaf, no big deal either way.   And any additional cups after his first are decaf.

So how does this tie in to me?  (Since you know I don't drink a ton of coffee and pretty much no caffeinated sodas.)

Well, for the last few months I've been working to eliminate added sweeteners as much as possible from my diet - mostly artificial sweeteners, but also regular sugars as well (including natural ones like honey and so on).  But the one thing I haven't been able to eliminate yet is... some sort of sweetener in my coffee.  So, I thought three things about giving up coffee:

(1) If I could wean down to decaf, I'd get off the caffeine train.

(2) If I can eventually eliminate the AM coffee all together, I'll have most of the additional sweeteners out of my life.

(3) Maybe... just maybe... if I eliminate my morning coffee rituals I'll get better at starting my hydration cycle earlier in the morning?  (A girl can dream, right?)

And, here I am on day three.  I had a slight headache late yesterday, and I felt a little tired/foggy this AM, but so far so good. 

That's about it.  I'll keep you posted in a few weeks as to how it goes.  In the meantime, wish me luck!!

(PS - Yes, I know that decaf isn't really great, either, given the chemicals that go into the processing of the beans.  But since my goal is to quit coffee all together, I'm not too worried about that.)

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