Goodbye coffee. Oh, how I’ll miss your smell, flavor, the cozy feeling you bring, your comfort, excitement, and taste. (Thank goodness for decaf! Even though it’s not the same) I have been drinking caffeine everyday for the last 14 years. I did not go one day without it. Actually, I didn’t go one morning without it. It was a part of my everyday morning, regardless if I was out of routine, on vacation, etc. I needed a cup of coffee to say a happy hello to the day. I know a lot of coffee drinkers that don’t have a cup of coffee until 3:00 PM, or not at all for a day! There was not one day during these 14 years that I waited until the afternoon for a cup of coffee, or just didn’t get around to having one all day. Who doesn’t get around to having a cup of coffee? I don’t function without a cup of coffee. Or so I thought. If you want to know WHY I stopped drinking coffee, skip down to the last 3 paragraphs. If you want to read details about my drinking coffee days, continue reading. Hopefully, my story doesn’t bore you too much.
I started enjoying coffee on the weekends in my early high school years. I remember sipping on my warm cup of coffee full of milk and sugar reading the Sunday newspaper’s funnies and skimming through the ads, while my parents read the whole newspaper, the important stuff. Those were the days. They would brew coffee every morning which made turning my weekend cups of coffee into an every morning cup of coffee convenient. I would sip on a cup while I was getting ready for school and sometimes even take some to go, especially the colder mornings! I then discovered Coffee Bean’s Ice Blended and Starbucks’s Frappuccino. I always had to get one of those while out shopping on the weekends with girlfriends.
I then got a job my junior year of high school at…yup, you guess it…Starbucks! I ended up working there for 6 years! I loved working for that company, and still miss it to this day! I daydream about steaming milk and whipping together a latte. It was seriously the perfect job to have during my college years. They were flexible on their scheduling with college students, plus the free coffee during late night studying sessions wasn’t so bad either. I later discovered it was dangerous having espresso at your fingertips. My sleep cycle and everything was all off during my college years because, well, who’s isn’t? We’re either up late studying…or partying, going to early morning classes, and taking naps during the day. There were some mornings I worked at 4:30 AM and some evenings I worked until 1:00 AM. When I was tired, I would just chug 4 shots of espresso over ice with a straw. I was averaging about 6-8 shots of espresso a day. Who does that?
After college, I tried to cut back on some of the caffeine. I was still working at Starbucks, so still had espresso at my fingertips, but I would only have 3-4 shots of espresso the days I worked (my drink of choice was a grande americano) and tried to just stick to brewed coffee at home on the days I didn’t work. I stayed employed at Starbucks for about a year after I graduated college, and then took a full time job in the real world. I didn’t want to have to have espresso everyday, and not clocking in at Starbucks made that transition a little bit easier. I mainly drank brewed coffee, and would get Starbucks as a treat every once in a while. My every once in a while is about twice a week. Including weekends. Hey, that’s pretty good! Since I was just trying to stick to brewed coffee, I found myself drinking brewed coffee throughout the day, because it’s just brewed coffee, it can’t hurt me, right? I would have a cup around 3:00 PM or whatever, towards the end of the working day. I started to notice that because I had cut back on espresso, and my body wasn’t as immune to the caffeine, the brewed coffee was starting to affect me. For instance, I found that it was harder for me to go to sleep on days that I had brewed coffee later in the afternoon versus days I didn’t. My new bedtime for my new full time job probably wasn’t helpful either, but still. So, I pretty much switched to just having coffee in the mornings, and still have a Starbucks beverage on special occasions, like days I was really tired, mornings we were getting breakfast to-go, etc.
During that time, about 4 years, not only did I transition to just brewed coffee in the mornings and Starbucks on special occasions, but I also transitioned to just drinking my brewed coffee black! It was a month strict paleo challenge that transitioned me to just taking my coffee black. I tried putting creamer in my coffee after my month challenge was up, and it made me feel bloated and sick in the mornings! Black coffee is the way to go. I still enjoy tasty, flavorful lattes from Starbucks, as a treat, with soy milk being my milk of choice. But my brewed coffee has to be black in the mornings.
I have become more cautious and over thinking my caffeine consumption even more so the last few years, which has been the time that my husband and I decided to start trying for a family. I was not too paranoid about it at the beginning of our journey, but I didn’t know we would be faced with infertility challenges at the beginning either. I did a lot of research on the affects caffeine has on trying to conceive and I found a lot of different studies with mixed opinions. I would even ask every doctor and nurse that I came in contact with their opinion. I would try to just have only 1-2 cup of coffee in the mornings and sometimes even order 1/2 decaf on my Starbucks treat drinks. During the TWW, I would have just one cup of coffee, not 2, but in the back of my mind I was wishing that I just didn’t need this at all. The over thinking of my caffeine consumption got annoying so, I got to a point where I just decided to quit cold turkey, for a few different reasons. 1. I like to challenge myself and not be so reliant on something. 2. it will make the time having to quit when i’m pregnant a lot easier! 3. I don’t have to over think my caffeine consumption during my journey to conceive. I agree and feel that a cup of coffee a day would not hurt (before your confirmed pregnant); however, due to my infertility challenges, I feel that it is safer to just steer clear from it. It feels good to not be so dependent on something either!
I enjoy challenging myself with things like this. I do it often. It’s good to challenge yourself, I feel like it keeps you on your toes. I once didn’t eat ice cream for one whole month. If you know me well, you would know that is a big deal! I was getting in the routine of having it EVERY night, I was like OK this has to stop, I need to lay off! So, I did no ice cream for a month. I found that when the month was up, I went into a routine of NOT having it every night. Mini challenges are fun, and extremely rewarding!
I still have to wrap my hands around a warm ceramic mug in the morning to say a happy good morning to the day, but it’s nice knowing that my mug isn’t filled with caffeine. Instead, it’s filled with decaffeinated tea or coffee. I still go to Starbucks, but order decaf of course. Now, I’m one of those annoying customers that asks, “I said decaf, right?” or asking the barista “You pushed the decaf button, right?” I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry! I definitely still enjoy the taste of the decaf coffee over tea, but I try to switch it up and drink tea more than the coffee. Does it matter? Probably not. But it’s all in my mind. Whatever makes my happy, right?! 🙂