Last Monday, I woke up with an idea. An idea about engaging each day in action words to make good things happen. An idea about self-care. Yet another idea about yet another Green Cape Work idea.
And as a part of this idea, I came up with the notion of giving up coffee.
I think I just heard some of you gasp.
I have never been a big coffee drinker. Not even in college. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon of binge drinking caffeine to be able to stay awake and focused on studying or reading. No, instead I went the equally troubling path of pounding diet cokes. I know, shudder.
Pretty late to the party, I never really understood the ‘drink coffee all day’ mentality.
Sometimes I was even pretty indignant about the seriously bad coffee breath of others. I will admit that I’ve been judge-y about colleagues who drink cup after cup all day long. And on my list of one of the worst smells ever is the time that someone left the pot on all night long and burned coffee into the bottom of the carafe. Oh, the stench of stale coffee is just ucky. Fortunately, I had my Young Living Purification oil which came to the rescue and saved my nose. (Let me know if you need essential oils in your life, they are part of my Green Cape Work plan, too!)
The only time that I intentionally drank coffee was after the movie, “You’ve Got Mail” hit the theaters. I used to treat myself to a Tall Skim Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks, but only so I could feel like Meg Ryan. And it is super fun to say! Try it: Tall Skim Caramel Macchiato.
But about two years ago, I discovered coffee in a new way. I’m not really sure what the initial motivation actually was. Two years ago, I went into the local gas station and bought myself a cheap cup of coffee. I added a little of the French Vanilla creamer and enjoyed the caffeinated goodness.
I’ve decided that it may not even be the coffee. It might be the creamer. I love the french vanilla of it all. And I love french vanilla ice cream so my coffee has just a decadent hint of ‘dessert for breakfast’ feel to it. That can’t be wrong, can it?
And it may not even be the creamer that keeps me coming back.
It might just be the people that I find in this gas station. The old-timer farmers that stand around the coffee machines to shoot the breeze each morning, move aside for me as I pour my cup o’ jo. The sweet ol’ country gals greet me each morning and make me feel like a regular. I feel like I get the equivalent of a “Noooooorrrrrmmmm” as I walk through the door. They miss me when I don’t come in for a while. They remind me to bring my own cup in and only charge me 55 cents for a really good cup of coffee.
And when I am there, the sweet ol’ country gals tell me that I look preeeetttttyyyy and how much they like my skirt.
Ok, that is totally why I still go in for coffee each morning.
And that is it for me, that one cup, is all I drink all day long. I don’t go back to the pots at work. I switch to water for the day.
But, I think I’m going to give up the daily coffee ritual for a little while. Or at least dial it back a few notches to every now and then, for the next little while.
Even though many folks give coffee credit for the Age of Enlightenment, (that is true, look it up) unfortunately, coffee is also great for causing inflammation.
Yep, sadly. The caffeine increases our stress hormones which increase cortisol and insulin which causes inflammation. After the initial caffeine kick, we are left with a feeling of thick and joint-painy and slow and groggy. And then there’s the acidity of coffee that can lead to gut flora run amok. And the last thing we all need is undisciplined gut flora that doesn’t think it has to do its job. Then our sweet little unsuspecting cup of coffee can also interfere with the detoxification work that the liver has to do each day, leaving us all toxic-y and generally inefficient with flushing out the junk to make room for the goodness.
All of this combined can make us feel chunky and toxic with gut flora acting like a two year old having a temper tantrum in the middle of the towel aisle at Target.
Ok, that may all seem a bit extreme, but as one who is working on being a little more intentional about eating well and playing more, coffee seems like the first thing to go.
Of course, after deciding to give it up for a little while, I was tempted two days ago while out of town on a trip. I went to the lobby of the hotel, saw the complementary coffee with my favorite creamer and decided that I actually needed a quick cup. Yep, it had only been three days and I was already giving in. Wouldn’t you know it? The universe was working for me that day and the large pot of coffee was absolutely empty. Yep, how often does that happen? Any other day, that coffee would have flowed like water. But not today.
I poured a cup of tea and thought, “I need to listen to the universe and see what happens.”
Ok, don’t celebrate with me too hard, because just this morning I needed a sweet ol’ lady “Nooooorrrrrmmmm” fix and stopped in for quick visit/cup.
Ah well. Perfect, I have never claimed to be.
I did go 5 days without a cup of coffee and might feel a tiny bit better. I will keep avoiding the ice cream-ish caffeine treat and see if I notice a difference in any of my issues.
There is, of course, one exception to this rule of no coffee. My grandmother, Maw Betty, makes the best cup of coffee ever. So, if I’m there, even if I’ve kicked this coffee habit, I will fall off the wagon any day of the week.
There is just nothing like greeting her in the kitchen, picking a colored cup from her cup tree, pouring a cup and then sitting around her cute little kitchen table in the morning, waking up to her sweet face.
But for now, I’m playing around with kicking coffee and all of its little inflammatory-acidity-toxicity to the curb. For now.
Engage each day in action words to make good things happen.
Eat well. Play more. Choose happy.
Let’s all, Go. Do that.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30760976@N04/6869833257">pretty in blue</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>