“Tea is my new jam,” I just texted a friend in all seriousness. Because after years of an on again, off again relationship with coffee (mostly on, because hello, it’s a drug), I had to examine the dynamics of this incredibly co-dependent, one-sided chemical romance.
Wait a minute, you may be thinking, you don’t have to do anything, it’s not that bad for you and hell, don’t they say drinking coffee makes you live longer?
Yes. And there are also articles claiming the key to a longevity is to be in a loving, trusting, and intimate relationship. Next to another claiming staying away from men (if you’re a heterosexual woman) has the same effect.
Oh, and regular orgasms will do wonders for your skin. I may have made the latter part up, but my gut tells me there’s truth to it (I checked, and there is).
It’s the internet, and there’s a study, article, or meme to confirm the whims of your ever changing biases.
Coffee’s been a daily habit most of my adult life, and in recent years I’ve altered some other habits, namely no longer drinking booze or smoking the weed. What’s another substance to kick?
A friend recently mentioned going on a cleanse after returning from a road trip that involved mainly gas station snacks and fast food. Gross, right?
While I wasn’t on said road trip, I thought, yeah I’m down, I can always be more diligent with my diet. My guidelines were fairly simple: eat a ton of fruit and vegetables; no wheat/gluten, no dairy or meat, no added sugars, no processed/boxed/otherwise shitty food products full of preservatives bound to make one gassy and bloated.
Then with a bit of a shudder and intuition that this was a necessary change, I added no coffee.
Not no caffeine, gawd no. I’m not an effing masochist.
Green tea would replace my morning ritual, and turns out the effects are much more…mellow.
It’s been five-plus weeks. I’m going for the end of 2018, or two months. Who knows how long I’ll continue, but here’s what I’ve noticed so far:
• I’m saving hella coin.
To the tune of $1,000-plus a year. No fucking way, you’re thinking, from no coffee? Yes fucking way, and here’s how.
I was drinking at least one cup of coffee shop brew daily, which costs anywhere from $2.50 to $3.50 for an Americano or plain drip. Average that to $3. Multiply that by 365 days. You’ve got $1,095.
And that’s not including the days I’d overindulge. Because one’s never enough and four is my energy cranked on ambition and ideas, without any actual focus or plan.
So why not just make it at home and save that money? Well, my kitchen is a science project. The counters are filled with appliances. I make kombucha there. And occasional meals of sweet potato, avocado and quinoa. Doing anything that requires more gadgets and cleaning makes me tired thinking about.
Plus the coffee shops have internet, and I don’t. Because let’s not talk about rent.
• I’m sleeping better.
I admit I still have nights chasing the refuge of deep sleep, I still occasionally nap and yes, stay up well past most people my age, but I don’t have kids, a husband or a 9 to 5 which requires such regimen. Hopefully that didn’t come off like gloating. Though it’s pretty sweet. Ok, that’s closer to gloating.
I’m getting about six to nine hours a night, depending on what I’m reading, whether I’m writing, if I went out, if my cat is circling above my head and knocking things over while I’m trying to be lulled to sleep by the “Rain Rain” app.
I’m also more awake when I’m awake. Less dragging. My energy is more stable rather than way up, then down, then up again when I get another fix, then down when that wears off.
• People say I look better.
And who am I to argue? It’s an energy thing. Call me a vain, granola-eating fairy princess hippie, I’m down to alter my diet to enhance my physical appearance.
Turns out it works. Looking good naked is motivation. Continuing such lifestyle changes also feels better than previous choices.
• I still dream of coffee.
I was at Starbucks earlier getting a tall Jade Citrus green tea. So my previous mention of saving hella money from no coffee is true in theory, but in practice I still enjoy the ritual of ordering a hot drink in December.
It wasn’t even their coffee, but their espresso that got the cravings kicking. The Americano. A slight jolt. The high that would carry me into the next class I’d teach, the temporary energy surge I still imagine because like anyone with a habit they’ve kicked, the memories remain. Full spectrum. High-def. Vivid and don’t you just want to feel good?
I envisioned it. Saw and tasted it. Held it and let its heat enter my bones.
Coffee feels good. Coffee feels familiar. Coffee knows all the right tricks. Coffee’s my ex-lover who stopped growing with me so I found another.