I am great at exercising, watching my alcohol intake and eating healthy 90% of the time, but I have a big vice. There is a habit that I just can’t seem to shake, I divulge in it at least twice a day – sometimes much, much more. I know it’s bad for me, but I just can’t help it!
I am talking about coffee.
Oh coffee I love you. Not just because it wakes me up, I love the feeling of holding a hot cup of coffee. I love the smell of it. I love the taste and how warm and fuzzy drinking it makes me feel. When I say coffee, I mean coffee, none of those mixed mocha-caramel-frappe-whatevers, I like actual coffee with nothing added other then maybe a little milk.
That does make my daily habit a little healthier, much more so then my co-worker who drowns his cup in syrup and whipped cream, but sometimes I do wonder if it is good for me at all. There are countless studies claiming the negative effects of drinking coffee, and just as many praising it’s health benefits. In my research (yeah I researched) I found a few articles stating that coffee reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer – this is assuming that you keep your intake under four cups a day and don’t add too much sugar, milk and whatever else you see fit.
So coffee may not be too bad, but like everything else it is all about moderation and I don’t think that my two a day habit is doing me too many favors. Last week, after a terrible nights sleep on Sunday which resulted in a millions coffees throughout the rest of the week, I decided to see if I could take a little break from the good stuff.
Instead of waking up to coffee, I woke up to tea, because total caffeine withdrawal was not something I wanted to experience and I still want a mug of something hot in the mornings. It wasn’t as hard as I thought when I sat down with my breakfast, but once I got to work and started to get ready to teach I really missed the hit. I found myself feeling so tired and foggy, it was hard not to rush out and grab an Americano from downstairs. But I persisted (stubborn Taurus, that’s me), and made it through the seven days.
While the initial hour in the morning was hard, the rest of the day I felt like I had much more energy and was more focused than I usually would be. Often I find myself wanting another cup around 1pm and 3pm, but I felt no cravings for coffee throughout the day. I definitely think that not having the caffeine crash made a huge difference in my attitude, there was no cranky teacher in the afternoon!
I also found that the usual cravings for sugary snacks that I have in that fateful 4pm-6pm period were gone. This was probably due to no caffeine crash as my body wasn’t looking for something to wake me up.
Overall I had a really good week. I am trying to continue the no coffee thing to see if there are any long term benefits, but am still planning on having a cup every now and then. What about you? Anything that you feel like you can’t live without?
And before I forget, Merry Christmas!!!