Scenario One: It’s a lazy Saturday morning. Jazz is playing in the background and you’re sipping a dark, velvety cup of coffee as you settle back on the sofa. Maybe you’re perusing your emails, or maybe not. The rich, tantalizing aroma is wafting deliciously throughout the room, slowly and sweetly awakening your senses. You know the kind of morning I’m talking about. You have nowhere in particular to be and can happily lounge around in your pj’s, doing whatever you want for as long as you want. A slice of weekend bliss.
Scenario Two: You’re sitting on the sidewalk patio of a quaint, little European style café. It’s late afternoon, the sun is shining on your face, birds are chirping in the trees and you’re taking a break from your busy day to watch the world go by. You’re wearing red lipstick, big, movie-star shades and having an Audrey Hepburn moment a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You sip a creamy, frothy latte, sweetened with a drop of honey and topped with a perfect, milky, latte art heart, enjoying every last mocha drop.
Scenario Three: You and a friend have just finished a mouth-watering, three course dinner at your neighbourhood’s trendiest new restaurant. It’s been a dining marathon and now you need just the right ending for such a beautiful meal. The server places a crisp, white china cup of dark, delicious espresso is placed on the table in front of you, freshly brewed with silky mocha bubbles floating on top. You lift the cup to your lips and taste pure java perfection.
As you can see, I love coffee. Not a little but a LOT. Some of my favourite moments in life involve me holding a yummy coffee in my hot, little hand. I can’t quite imagine my day to day life without it and nor would I want to really. I’m thoroughly addicted. I get severe headaches any time I’ve half-heartedly tried to give it up and I’m pretty much okay with being an addict. Things could be much, much worse: think heroin, crystal meth or double vodka martinis.
The only cloud in this happy existence is the health risks of drinking too much of my beloved caffeine. So, the facts that have brought me to this place of that difficult word, moderation, are below. If you have a big joe addiction like me, maybe give the list a quick look and see if you have any of these pesky, overly-caffeinated symptoms. I, unfortunately, have a few.
- Accelerated heartbeat
- Difficulty sleeping, insomnia, restlessness
- Flushed face
- Acid stomach
- Increased urination
- Increased thirst
- Irregular heartbeat
So I’ve realized that it’s time to attempt to cut my caffeine consumption in half. Sad face. This blog is all about experimenting in happy, healthy living, so I’m going from four big, strong cups of coffee a day (don’t judge) to two. Sigh. I’ve never done moderation well. All? Yep. Nothing? Sure. Moderation, however, is not my strong point.
Not to mention that I’ve been reading articles about the, eeeeek!, aging effect of too much caffeine and the havoc it plays on female hormones. Also, remember that coffee vendors like Starbucks serve mega-sized coffees so if you’re thinking one of their monster coffees is only a cup, it’s actually closer to two or three. A standard cup of coffee is measured as 6 ounces and a Starbucks Venti has 20 ounces. Good to remember when grabbing a cup on the go.
So, after perusing the internet for something, anything, that may help ease me into a less caffeinated life, I found Dr. Oz’s natural, energy-boosting bars:
Dr. Oz’s No-Bake Energy Bars
- 1 cup quick-cook oats, uncooked
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, blueberries or cranberries
- 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.
Spread the mixture in a pan and refrigerate for 2 hours. Grab one whenever you need a little extra non-caffeinated boost!
So, as much as I prefer extremes in almost all areas of my life, I guess it’s time to see if I can embrace a little moderation in my somewhat over-the-top caffeine consumption. All things in moderation? We’ll see…
If anyone else has tried to cut down/give up caffeine, I would love to hear your experiences, successes, and tips for grappling with society’s omnipresent drug of choice.
I gave up coffee once. It’s almost worse than giving up a lover. – Sandra Bullock