Let’s keep it real. Today, I’d like to make a confession about…
If you have been following me for a while, you’ll know that I love coffee. In one previous post, I discuss the types of coffee. In another, I talk about the types of coffee drinkers. Then there’s the Maple Cinnamon Latte post, and the Dairy-Free Coffee Creamers post. So yeah… you get it. Here’s the confession:
I quit coffee three months ago.
There, I said it. I quit. Cold turkey. The caffeine was messing with my body, I was becoming reliant on the stimulant, and after weeks of denial, it was time to let it go.
When I decided to quit, I meant to cut all of the stimulants, not just coffee. That included caffeinated teas and hot chocolate (yes, cocoa is a stimulant.) That was it. Finite. No more caffeine. I usually had one or two coffees a day, so I thought eliminating it from my diet would be easy.
I was wrong.
In the days that followed, I was irritable, lethargic, suffering from headaches, brain fog, and relentless hungry. (Remember, caffeine is an appetite suppressant.) At first, I thought I was sick with something until I asked Dr. Google and realized it was an open-shut case of caffeine withdrawal. All from one or two daily cups of coffee.
A week later, the symptoms left and I became more energized and focused than when I was on coffee. A few months later, I incorporated the occasional caffeinated tea or hot chocolate back into my diet, sometimes the rare decaf coffee. But ever since that week of withdrawal, I’ve steered clear of the regular stuff.
Since then, I’ve changed my opinion about coffee. True, there are some benefits to it, but people tend to propagate those details while ignoring the negatives just so they can enjoy with a cup of joe without any guilt. It’s the same idea with people who list off the benefits of cocoa and eat an entire chocolate bar. That’s not how health works, honey.
Even the good stuff can be bad in wrong quantities, or for the wrong person. Walnuts are a powerhouse of nutrients, but my brother will never eat one. Why? Because he’ll die. He’s anaphylactic to tree nuts. Admittedly, most people die won’t die from eating food, but we have to be aware of what’s good for us and what is not.
This is part of the reason why fad diets are awful. They tend to list ‘safe’ foods and ‘bad’ foods without any thought to the varying needs of different bodies. There’s no one-size-fits-all with food. Some diets preach to cut carbs while the vegan diet consists of mostly carbs. Eggs are good or bad? High fat or low fat? Whole grains or grain free?
The answer is: It depends on you.
I’m not here to tell you to quit coffee or to change your diet. In this post, I merely pointed out what works for me and if you can relate, maybe give it a try. The bottom line is to stay honest with yourself. If they say quinoa is healthy but you gag at its taste, you don’t need to eat it. If you love coffee, but it triggers your anxiety or stomach, you might need to let it go.
The key is awareness. No one else but you can know what’s best for your body, not even Dr. Google. (Yes, you should see doctors for advice, but notice how they based their treatment off of what you tell them. A good doctor will tailor-make a diet for you, not recite the same thing he or she told the other patients.)
If you want to try cutting caffeine or you are in the mood for a low-fat treat, here’s a spin off the classic hot chocolate. Tea is awesome but sometimes it doesn’t satisfy that craving for a hot, creamy drink. Carob is a great substitute for cocoa. I bought carob powder to experiment with and now this is my go-to.
I may or may not be sipping a cup of Carob Hot Chocolate right now…
Comment below about your opinion of coffee. I know you have one.
Carob “Hot Chocolate”
- 1 cup hot chocolate
- 1 cup warmed almond or coconut milk
- 1 tbsp carob powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (plus an extra 1/2 tbsp if more sweetness is desired)
Stir the ingredients together and pour into two mugs. Enjoy with coconut whipped cream if desired!