Moving to Lexington and being with Bird has been tremendously good for my health in many ways.
“Is that 16 oz tumbler filled with coffee???”
“Belle, that is TOO much coffee. You have a problem.”
In time I began to take these comments to heart and I actually gave up coffee in favor of a morning cup of Earl Gray tea and a little green tea throughout the day. While I missed the deliciousness of coffee, I felt amazing. My sleep was awesome, my days were full of energy. It was actually quite remarkable and I swore I would never turn back.
But then life got complicated – I was planning a wedding while working an extremely high-stress job. “I am now able to manage coffee in a responsible manner,” I announced one morning as I poured myself a respectable sized cup. It only took one sip. My “one cup” turned into “one giant cup” which turned into “one giant cup plus a small latte” and eventually into coffee throughout the day.
Last month I woke from another fitful sleep, rubbed my uveitis plagued eyes and stumbled to the kitchen to start the coffee. I watched as our gourmet coffee grounds swirled in the French press and thought – I don’t remember feeling this rotten when I was not drinking coffee. I thought about the boundless energy I had as a child – springing out of the bed at ridiculous hours (much to my parents dismay) and all the “stuff” I would accomplish.
It was time to come clean: I have a problem and the only solution is complete abstinence.
I have had lots of people look at me like I’m crazy and remind me that a cup of coffee here and there really does not hurt you. Then I remind them that a martini every now and then does not hurt you, either… unless you are an alcoholic. When it comes to coffee I am in need of meetings and support groups. There is no “moderation,” only elimination.
Rather than subject Mr. Husband and my kind coworkers to the wrath that is Belle during caffeine withdrawal, I started a caffeine taper. I reduced to two cups of coffee in the morning and two cups of green tea during the day. Then one coffee and two teas. Then one coffee and one tea. During our relaxing vacation to Florida I gave up my one coffee.
How do I feel? Fantastic. My sleep is rich and deep, my mornings are bright and my workdays are more productive. Even the cats seem to notice a change and spend more time quietly curling around my ankles than meowing loudly each morning.
As I handed the Breville over I felt a twinge of sadness. Coffee and I have been together for many, many years. It is more than just an early morning jolt – it is a ritual. As my morning ritual wandered down the brick sidewalk I set another intention: I intend to find a new morning ritual that is just as satisfying, and much less inflammatory. I have no idea what could possibly replace coffee, but will be sure to keep you all informed when I hit upon it. In the meantime, I’m going to make a cup of decaf herbal tea to invoke some creative juices as I dive into my next big project – organizing my closet.