Losing weight, detoxing, getting more exercise, or some other goal of getting healthy are typical new year resolutions after the hedonistic holiday season in December. We eat too much rich food, we drink too many adult beverages and we stay up too late.
I would love to have the time and energy to do another restrictive detox like I followed for almost a year when I was in my late twenties. I felt great, weighed less and was healthy. But I also couldn't go out for meals with friends, had to explain dietary restrictions for family meals and spent a great deal of my time planning, prepping and cooking meals.
I do need to get back into a regular exercise routine. I hope to complete another Sun Run in April, which means that I need to get back into a training schedule.
I sorely need yoga and meditation to ground my body and quiet my mind.
But for the new year, the one thing that I am going to do to feel healthier is try to restrict or gradually eliminate my caffeine intake.
I love pretty much everything about coffee. I love the morning ritual of making a pot of coffee; I love the smell of the beans as they are being ground and brewed. I have been drinking coffee, on and off, since my last year of high school when I was preparing for my grade 12 provincial exams. I began drinking coffee, black, to help me with my late hour studying and essay writing. Through my university years it was pretty much a necessity for survival, along with the culture of coffee. It seemed very adult to sit down with a cup of coffee and chat with friends.
After a variety of health issues I went to a naturopathic doctor and had food allergy testing done. I was told that I was intolerant to corn, sugar, dairy, chocolate and yes, coffee. As mentioned above, I followed a very restrictive candida detox to heal my body. The withdrawal symptoms from caffeine were quite painful; headaches, body aches, lethargy, moodiness - basically I felt like I had the flu for about five days. I vowed I would never go through that again, so I was coffee-free for eight years. After a particularly bad spell of sleep deprivation after my second daughter was born, however, I had a cup of coffee to help me cope. And the rest, as they say, is history.
My favourite organic, fair trade coffee: ethical bean coffee,
a local company that makes me feel good about buying their product.
I now feel like I am a prisoner to coffee, rather than just enjoying my morning cuppa joe (or two or three). It is well known how our bodies build up a tolerance to caffeine and require more and more to have the same effect, and I am no exception. Over the past five years I have brewed stronger and stronger coffee, although I can no longer drink it black (I love making my faux lattes with a milk frother). The end result is that I can no longer function in the morning until I have had my first cup of the day. I make my poor family drive around to find the nearest coffee place when we are on vacation and I don't have access to a coffee pot where we are staying. Basically I don't like being controlled by my addiction, so it is time to stop.
What clinched the deal for me is reading more and more about the negative health effects of an acidic diet. Eating too many overly acidic foods not only depletes calcium from our bones but is linked to a variety of health concerns, including cancer. I'm not good at explaining information about this because I am not a nutritionist or naturopath. This video explains some health problems related to pH and our diet:
YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpoAtwVyzZI
I realize that coffee is just one of the offending acidic foods that I consume on a daily basis but I am starting small with this one and picking on the number one drink in the world because of the grief it is causing me.
Even my students know about my coffee addiction.
This lanyard for my keys and whistle was a gift from
a group of students a few years ago.
Cutting out coffee will mean that I can reduce the milk and cream that I consume (which currently is fairly minimal). As I've mentioned, I have an intolerance to dairy products (which is not surprising as being lactose tolerant is a genetic mutation in humans - mammals don't consume milk from their mothers past weaning). This will eliminate another acidic food. I'm already motivated to start incorporating more whole foods into my diet as a result of this, which will increase alkaline foods in my diet.
In my humble opinion this is the best latte in town, from
my favourite coffee shop, Bean and Beyond in Steveston,
just a short walk from my home.
There's just one problem: I need to replace coffee with something else in the morning, for the short term at least. I like the ritual of sitting down with a hot drink, but I'm not a tea drinker. I do enjoy some herbal teas like liquorice root, chamomile, lemon and mint but I definitely do not like green tea.
On the morning walk to school
with my daughters, the ever present
coffee in hand.
From a tea party with my grandma and my daughters.
So much for going easy on myself; I either do something or I don't, there is no in-between. I was anxious to get going with this coffee detox thing so I skipped ahead to eliminating coffee sooner than I had planned. I'm currently on day six of no coffee with only a medium-sized headache on day three. I have noticed that I am quite fatigued in the afternoon (on my days off this past week I've had a little nap) and falling asleep earlier in the evening (sometimes sleeping on the couch until 2:00 am!). I haven't had the same energy to do things (crafts, baking) in the evening, which could also be due to the fact that I'm back at work after the winter break. I'm noticing that I'm hungrier too, so I have to make sure that I have healthy snacks readily available (Friday after work I wolfed down half a large bag of potato chips... oops). Time to try some of the healthy, whole food snacks I've pinned on Pinterest. One of the more obvious withdrawal symptoms, to my family at least, is my short temper and lack of coping ability. Sorry family! It will get better, I promise.
But I do miss coffee today. I miss sitting down and smelling it before I take a sip. I miss the false energy I get from it (everything is more difficult today). I know I'll come out of this soon, but I'm licking my wounds today.
Something interesting that I've noticed, when talking to people about quitting coffee, is that most people cannot understand why I would want to do this. I am not one to proselytize and so I have generally avoided going into food pH other health concerns. They see no problem with building up a tolerance to caffeine and they say that I should just drink more. Perhaps I should just keep my plans to myself (and then write them here instead).
I have found a delicious tea, through a work colleague, to replace my coffee intake. It has cinnamon, roasted carob and chicory, cardamom and ginger (the tea may be increasing my appetite). A side effect benefit of drinking three to four mugs of tea a day is that I'm increasing the amount of water I drink, which is always a good thing, and will hasten the detox. Yay!
Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting this March!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Pinterest Inspiration for Easier Winter Holidays Shannon, writing at Natural Parents Network, shares inspiration for having more relaxed winter holidays from their Handmade Holidays Pinterest board.
- Seven Recipes for Beans - Post Holiday Cleaning — Destany at They Are All of Me shares her favorite bean recipes that she hopes will help her body recover from overindulging her sweet tooth during the holidays.
- The Recovery in the Change — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen made changes in her life and attitude throughout 2012 and was pleasantly surprised at how those changes impacted her holiday recovery!
- Could this question change your life for ever? — To get your new year off on the right footing, Mrs Green of Little Green Blog is challenging us all to love ourselves with commitment and discipline. She asks you to focus on a simple question which might just bring you back in balance...
- Holiday Recovery — Meegs at A New Day talks about how the holidays can be overwhelming for a toddler, and how she's helping her 3 year old recover.
- 5 Ways to Detox After the Holidays — Brittany at The Pistachio Project gives a few ways to help you detox and get back on track after the holiday season has passed.
- 3 Simple Ways to Establishing Rhythm After the Holidays or Any Time — Sheila at A Living Family shares 3 simple ways to reestablish a rhythm of connection and calm in your family after holidays, visitors, travel or any time.
- Gemstones For Holiday Hangoverss — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama delves into the power of gemstones as an often overlooked means of dealing with the holiday letdown.
- Getting back to Healthy — Bess at A Warrior Mom talks about the struggle of getting young ones back to eating healthy after several days to weeks of getting more candy and sweets than normal for the holidays and gives some suggestions on how to get them back to eating healthy in the new year.
- Post Christmas Juice Feast — Sam at Love Parenting explains why she has created a new tradition of juice feasting, and how she includes her toddler when detoxing.
- The Java Monkey On My Back — Christy at Eco Journey in the Burbs realizes it is time to kick her cup of Joe habit as a first step toward detoxing.
- Minimalist Holidays — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn't find much need for recovery after her minimalist version of the holidays.
- Do something for you — Lauren at Hobo Mama urges you to find a silly and indulgent reward of me-time — and she has hers.
- do we recover? — Kenna at Million Tiny Things wonders what recovery really means in the context of the tragedies of this past holiday season.
- 37 Easy Ways to Save Money — Shannon at GrowingSlower is sharing these money-saving tips to help get your budget back on track after the holidays.
- A Two Year Old's Resolutions — That Mama Gretchen is putting the holidays behind her with a spin on traditional resolutions — New Year's goals for her two-year-old! Sound crazy? Read on for an explanation!
- How to Find Balance after the Holidays — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her favorite ways to start a new year with hope and calmness.
- Fresh Awakening — For Luschka at Diary of a First Child, the new year has coincided with a return to restful nights. With sleep, she's found new directions in life, but while she can't make too many changes to her life right now, she's inspired and excited about the future.
- Learning to slow down after a busy Festive Season — Stoneageparent describes the joys and lows of this year's festive season, as well as her New Year's resolutions.
- Detoxing' Your Toddler After the Holidays — Does your family suffer side effects from the holidays? Join Christine from African Babies Don't Cry to learn how she detoxed herself and her toddler off the treats and festivities of the season.
- Scheduling is OK! — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep explores the possibilities of the — SCHEDULE!!
- We're Saving their First Christmas for Next Time — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot takes it easy after moving with her husband and new babies to Scotland.
- A Vacation from the World — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children retreats with her family at the end of every year in order to recuperate and enjoy one another.
- On the Road to Recovery — Dionna at Code Name: Mama isn't just recovering from the holidays, she's recovering from a lifestyle.
- We Never Left the Grind — Erika Gebhardt compares a typical day pre-holidays and post-holidays.
- Remembering and Recovering from the Holidays (One day at a time) — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM is recovering from holidays slowly--taking one day at a time--while trying to remember all the sweet moments that passed too quickly.
- 5 a Day — To get back on track Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy needed a simple system to help her family learn new values.
- Holiday Detox & Healing: Bieler Broth — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her secret for a gentle, whole-foods-based post-holiday detox: Bieler Broth!
- I'm Mama Not Supermom — After a year filled with changes Angela at EarthMamas World has to remind herself that she does not have to be supermom while recovering from the holiday chaos.