Coffee Fast is Over…For Now

 

 

 

 

I don’t feel saintly after abstaining from coffee and alcohol for a mere two weeks. Really, it’s not much time. But it was enough time to give me a sense of freedom from dependency. I went through caffeine withdrawal, and then I got over it. I woke up in the morning with no expectation of a jolt. I looked forward to a nice cup of tea, more relaxing than stimulating. I went to bed knowing I was responsible for getting myself rested, for there was no boost waiting to save me for bad decisions of staying out too late the night before.

I went through my days at a pace that my body could handle, and sustain, without stimulants or depressants. But I wasn’t working. I wasn’t out partying. I was hanging low, practicing yoga, baking, going to the beach, planning for my fall….nothing all too demanding. And emotionally, I felt calm and settled, for the most part. All these factors helped to make my experiment manageable. Not that anyone in any period of their life, crazy or calm, can’t quit coffee and alcohol. They can. We can! That’s what’s great. We can create little changes in our life through our diet. We have control over our diet. We may not always want or need to exercise that control, but it’s there.

But I like the invigorating feeling of a caffeine charge just as much as the calm of tea. Or do I? I drink a cup of coffee and my heart beats a little faster, my excitement about life rises a little higher, I have the feeling that I can do more in a day than I actually can. I send emails and texts galore,  making plans for the present and the future, on this high, this energy kick, that gets me going, gets me excited, gogogo. And, when it falls, will I want to keep half the plans I’ve made? Perhaps not. And perhaps, out of obligation to keep commitments, combined with fatigue from a long day, I’ll have to drink another cup of coffee.

You see, I love coffee, for it makes me feel like a king, but I am afraid of it. My shoulders rise up with a little feeling of tension and stress, so I must move, do, go, in order to keep up with the demands of my internal system on its high. My risen shoulders tell me that my body wants me to move, not to relax.

Ahhhh. The coffee houses of Austria would be neat. If I were a man, sipping a strong brew, discussing the philosophical debates of the day, engaged in intellectual conversation, back when Austrian coffee houses were intellectual gathering places. It’s a romantic thought. But here in my house, jacked up on caffeine, well…I think I’ll just have to go for a bike ride. 🙂

What’s your take on coffee and your body? How does coffee affect you? Do you drink it? Why or why not?

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5 thoughts on “Coffee Fast is Over…For Now

  1. I guess I’ve been fortunate enough that I tried it once and never developed a taste for it. Never even tried a cigarette. Alcohol…now that is another story…although my body seems to help me moderate that pretty well.

    • Yeah coffee, like wine and other complex tastes, is not something that most people would like the first time they try it. I think it is also an acquired taste…unless, of course, it has a large ratio of cream and sugar to coffee 🙂

    • Yeah, coffee, it seems, is not something people would like the first time the try it. Like wine, it is an acquired taste, especially if people go on to develop preferences for one bean to another, or one roasting style over another. The only way it wouldn’t be difficult to take to is if there is a good high ratoi of cream and sugar to coffee…our tastebuds seem to enjoy that without any lag time! 🙂

  2. I think going for a bike ride can help replace things like caffeine and alcohol, and I try and use it regularly! I will admit, I don’t turn to exercise as much as I used to, but through my teenage years, thats the only substance i knew….exercise based adrenaline.

    For me coffee is actually revolting. I can’t stomach the smell or the taste of it, so this decision is easy. I am not exposed to much caffeine, and am thus quite sensitive to it. I don’t drink pop, (or soda for your fellow americans), no coffee, for sure no energy drinks, but the ocasional green tea or dark chocolate will provide a boost when I need it.

    I think your point about living within your bodys’ needs is very representative of where people and society are living beyond what is sustainable, whether that be financially or environmentally. While far from perfect in this regard myself, I pride myself in trying to be aware of this idea and striving to do better for my body and our planet.

    • It’s amazing to think that so subtle a caffeine intake as green tea or chocolate can give your body an energy boost when you need it. We tend to notice the more subtle changes in our bodies only if we are not disguising them with strong substances. I think this is true physically and emotionally. Caffeine, alcohol and other drugs can surely disguise what is going on with our bodies.

      I think that one reason why people turn to vices is because we seem unable to, “live inside our bodies’ needs,” as you say, because of the pressures to do more, work harder and accomplish more than seems possible in a day. So I think that, until our communities can start accepting the limitations of productivity, we will have trouble fully living within our bodies needs because we will need to overstimulate with caffeine and wind down with alcohol. I don’t think, there is anything wrong with pushing ourselves sometimes to go the extra mile and to work really hard (beyond the 9-5 hours), but maybe it can be done in a gentler way somehow?

      I do know that when I am drinking less coffee (which I definitely don’t find revolting!), and then I do drink some, it gives a real energy boost and is so much more appreciated than having habitual coffee. Just yesterday, I was up working since 6:30 AM, and by 5, when I needed to continue to focus, I was tired. I had a coffee and felt my brain stimulated and active. I needed it! Then I was able to be up till midnight, boogie-ing down at a party:) My only regret: putting splenda in that!!

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