Java Free

Ugh. I hate even typing that headline.

I have decided, after postponing it long enough, to quit caffeine.

I’ve always justified my coffee consumption: I don’t drink nearly as much as others. I’ve cut back my consumption incredibly over the past few years. I’m not addicted to caffeine–I just like the taste of coffee. Et cetera, et cetera.

But several weeks ago, a friend put the idea in my head and since then it’s bloomed. It’s the only thing I haven’t really modified in my diet and wellness plan. Could it be the thing that’s holding me back–messing with my adrenal system and impairing it’s ability to do what it needs to do to lose weight?

Some might say that’s hogwash, but quitting coffee isn’t gonna kill me. It’s worth giving it a try.

Yesterday, when I made my morning coffee, I knew it was my last pot. It was the last bit of my caffeinated java stash. And now that Trader Joe’s no longer is carrying my favorite fair trade organic Scandinavian Blend, I don’t have the urge to find a suitable, tasty replacement.

This isn’t the first time it’s been recommended that I quit my daily cup (or two) of coffee. When I saw a nutritionist in 2007, she suggested I read the Schwarzbein Principle and follow that diet. I did. Mostly. Until I got to Step 3: avoid toxic chemicals including caffeine, artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, etc.

Oops. Is that why I lost another 10 or so pounds and then stalled out?

So… here’s what’s happening. My coffee consumption is being tapered. I’ve been gradually reducing the amount I drink. This week, I am allowing myself a cup of the decaf crap in the morning as I wean myself from the emotional attachment I have to my morning routine. I will still have tea, but only the green stuff. Most of that is caffeine free as well. I will still have a decaf latte on occasion. I will avoid caffeinated sodas, although my consumption of those is typically limited to the occasional diet coke anyway. I’ll just make sure it’s caffeine free.

This should be way easier than it was to completely overhaul my diet and replace foods of convenience with unprocessed grains, lean proteins and fiber-packed veggies. Much easier than planning and menu for the week (3 meals and up to 3 snacks daily) and sticking with it.

Truly, I think this is more of an emotional connection to coffee than a physical reliance on caffeine. Daily since my sophomore year in college, my morning routine has included a cup of coffee and watching the Today Show as I’ve gotten ready for school/work. I did that even when my first class wasn’t until 1pm. You should have seen how much my world was rocked when Katie Couric announced she was leaving and Meredith Viera took her seat. I’ve grown accustomed to (and even enjoy) Meredith with my Ann, Matt and Al. I’m sure I’ll feel the same way after I get used to replacing my morning joe with some decaf green tea.


5 responses to “Java Free

  1. Good Luck! I was caffeine free for about six years (pre-children) and once I was free of it, it wasn’t too hard but the transition is probably akin to breaking other addictions, the physical and emotional linkage kills you for awhile. I’ve considered going back to a caffeine free state of mine again, but I’m not sure I can get there while the kids are still young. Best of luck to you!

  2. You are a never-ending source of motivation! I look at what you have already accomplished and I am awed.This may be a difficult transition but I’m sure you will be successful in losing the caffeine. I hope it makes a difference in your diet and wellness!

  3. while you’re at it, want to borrow my copy of the belly fat cure and rid yourself of artificial sweeteners? i’m still trying to break the addiction (ahhh sugar) buttttt thankfully i’ve never suffered from caffeine addiction. once you’re cured of it, if you ever do have caffeine on occasion, it will be like taking a laxative (pardon my TMI). milk and ice cold water are the only things to wake me up in the morning (plus 90 5-10 year olds)

  4. OMG andddd think of all the money you’ll save!!! go you!

  5. @senioritagordita: I WISH I’d save money, but I typically only go to Starbucks once a week and I buy coffee at Trader Joe’s for just $6.99/lb which lasts me weeks. No thanks on the book. It sounds interesting, but I’m woefully behind on my reading.

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