Top | Views from the Carrot Condo
(post, Trista Cornelius)
Well, Culinate friends, it’s been 13 days since I quit coffee cold turkey, no caffeine and no substitutes, not even chocolate. For four days, Friday-Monday, I thought I’d made it. Not only did all of the withdrawal symptoms end, I felt exactly as I’ve wanted to feel: full of energy. A calm, steady energy steered me through the whole day, no afternoon slump and no Exhaustion threatening to strike at any moment. I woke up early feeling rested, and I lasted through a normal day feeling alert and prepared. Then, Tuesday, I succumbed to a long afternoon nap, and today, although I am determined not to nap, my head and neck ache and I crave coffee to jolt me beyond these discomforts. Actually, I don’t crave coffee, I crave caffeine. I took a walk to try to perk up and found myself meditating on an image of a cold glass of Coke with a twist of lemon. Clearly, caffeine still has a hold on me because I don’t even like soda! When will this end? One article says it takes an average of four days to break a coffee habit. A few others say the bigger the addiction, the longer the withdrawal. Brendan Brazier in Thrive says encouragingly that the harsher the withdrawal, the more there is to gain. Addiction. Withdrawal. Nasty words, aren’t they? Not only do they imply drugs harsher than caffeine, they also conjure the image of someone dependent, a person at the mercy of a substance, not free. This bothers me most. I’m starting to doubt my ability to have a cup of coffee now and then. I’m kind of all-or-nothing, and a cup now and then might turn into a thermos daily. Besides, “now and then” might be a bit too wishy-washy. A few years ago, I worried about eating too much fried food. My husband assured me we only ate it now and then. I started a food diary, recording what I ate each day for a month. “Now and then” turned out to be a few times a week, sometimes more. Well, first things first. At least one more week of no caffeine, no substitutes, and great hope that my own energy will return. Nutrition aids recovery from addiction, so I’m turning to food not for comfort when I crave coffee but to bolster my resolve and nourish me through this challenge. In doing so, maybe rather desperately seeking a cure, I’ve broadened my palate and tried some new things, from dandelion greens and blueberries in my salad, to soaked raw sesame seeds and seaweed in my rice. I even invented a new breakfast: Trista’s Not-Quite-Vegan Coffee Detox Breakfast: Two pieces Dave’s Killer Bread (whole grains, organic, and no dairy), toasted. Light spread of raw honey on each piece (good for energy and immune system) Scattering of cinnamon over the honey (helps moderate digestion and metabolism) Alternating thick slices of papaya (alkaline, good for helping body adjust pH after high-acidity coffee) and kiwi (just plain cute and colorful) on top. Voila! Delicious! At least to someone like me, seeking vitality in every bite of food to naturally achieve the energy I previously sought artificially!