I’m the poster girl for coffee. from the tender age of 12, I would secretly slurp the remaining drops of my dad’s and uncle’s coffee, left in the sink. It was a secret until now.
After a few years of drinking lukewarm to cold coffee, I upgraded once I had gained a sense of independence and started attending college (high school) in Hampstead, London.
Hampstead is laced with deli’s and coffee shops, with an array of coffee specialities. I became a coffee connoisseur. I could tell the difference between a roast and have a guess as to what type of coffee it was. Kenyan or Venezuelan? I was addicted to it all.
By the age of 26, I realised that I hadn’t gone a complete week without slurping on some variation of coffee.
Ten years on, I hadn’t taken a step back to realise the problems my coffee addiction had.
10 years or coffee.
3650 days of coffee.
109, 500 minutes (approx 30 minutes a day) consuming coffee.
Coffee became a ritual. Without it, I would be riddled with migraines, be moody, always dehydrated and would be thinking about my next hit.
As I’m sat by someone drinking coffee, I realised that I was not alone. Every day, during rush hour, there are queues leading right out of the entrance of coffee shops, providing us with java crack and no one thinks it’s an issue. It’s actually the norm.
I want to decide, once an for all, if my body works better without this legalised drug.
I am challenging myself, starting today on the 1st November 2016, to stop drinking coffee, and cataloguing my mood, fitness level and overall health.
Alternatives to coffee
- Chicory root: so far this is my favourite and is the closest thing to the real deal, without all the jittery issues. You can find some blends that are made with the plant and some with the root. This is definitely a hit or miss product as some products are gross and some are to die for. For those living in the UK, I grabbed some chicory root coffee from Holland and Barrett, although this is mixed with barley. Here’s a list of some you can find in H&B. Chicory cup is a brand that is particularly delicious, introduced to me by my aunty. Check out the recipe here for Creamy Chicory Root Coffee.
- Barley: Barley drinks tend to be mixed with figs, to give a rich flavour, I personally enjoy a chicory coffee recipe as opposed to a blend.
- Caro: Caro is a blend of barley malt, barley, chicory root and rye, and is particularly popular amongst those transitioning away from caffeinated drinks.
Tips for those transitioning:
- Think about the ritual. Is it the actual taste of coffee that makes you crave a cup or simply the ritual? for me, I particularly like the smell of coffee so even if I’m not drinking a cup, just smelling a cup of Joe satisfies the urge (partially). Try going a day without coffee but continue wit the ritual of coffee.
- It might be about the sugar? Sometimes drinking a cup of coffee was more about the sweet fix than the caffeine. Sugar poses a real issue for many of us and can be the reason why we pile on unnecessary weight. Sugar can not only increase your risk of diabetes and other immune related diseases but can cause an imbalance in endogenous bacterial species. A particular type of sugar can cause a particular type of bacteria, Candida, to grow, which is particularly prominent amongst women.
- Venture out of coffee places. Instead of meeting up for an afternoon coffee with friends, try doing something active or going somewhere out of your comfort zone. Often doing something different can keep your mind off of the coffee beans. For ideas, check out the blog “We tell, you tell.” for ideas on doing something out of your comfort zone with friends.
- Take it one day at a time. You are more likely to stick to something, if you take it one day at a time. So, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself.
If I can do it then you can, too.
With some chicory loving,