Lately I’ve been drinking less coffee and wine because I’ve realized that consuming both makes me feel less than great. Here’s why I’ve made the change and how I’m doing.
Coffee and Wine. Let’s discuss.
Coffee first. Studies show that coffee is good for you (like all things, in moderation), and generally 1-2 cups of coffee a day is nothing to cut out if you feel your best. Remember that I was a decaf drinker for years? That’s because I am very sensitive to caffeine. I’ve become dependent on coffee at different points in my life, and I found that out because I skipped a day and got a raging headache. I usually just have one, maybe two, mugs in the morning, but doing something every single day is enough to get the body too used to having it. I didn’t like feeling like I had to have coffee to avoid feeling bad, so I switched to decaf for a long time.
And then I met Thomas, who LOOOOVES coffee. He buys really delicious, locally roasted, freshly ground coffee that smells so amazing, and I just had to hop back on the coffee train. His excitement got me excited about it! I really didn’t notice much difference after adding the caffeine back, but many months later, I started to feel kind of bad in the mornings. It was sort of like being mildly hungover and a bit foggy (and this included mornings when I had no alcohol the night before). I never felt any kind of immediate change upon my first few sips of coffee, but I felt better by mid morning once I had “woken up” a bit. So maybe it was my body asking for coffee first thing, getting it, and then feeling good again.
I didn’t like that feeling, so I’ve started to wean myself off of caffeine yet again to see if that is the culprit. I do plan on drinking regular coffee on occasion because I love the taste, but I’m hoping not to get quite so dependent on it in the future (which is hard!). I started the weaning process by having just a half mug for a week, and then less and less until I switched back to decaf. So far, so good! I *think* I am feeling better, but since feelings are so vague it’s hard to be sure quite yet.
And now on to wine – yum! The past two years or so I’ve been drinking more frequently than ever. I drink for all of the reasons one would think to partake: because it makes me feel grown-up, because it’s nice to end a long day with a glass of wine, because I have lots of fun social events at bars and restaurants, because it’s relaxing, because it tastes good, and because it makes food taste better. All understandable reasons, right?
But I could feel myself wanting a drink every night because I had no reason not to have a drink every night. Sometimes one drink turned into two as it does, but most of the time I stopped at just one (er, one big one 🙂 ). This is one of my favorite posts because it outlines the dichotomy between what I practice and what I truly think about alcohol. This post, written by my former intern Blake, also outlines some of the nutrition behind it. Overall, one drink at a time = no problem. (Other than the empty calories, of course.)
And then I listened to this three-part podcast series by Brooke Castillo. (You can listen on her podcast through iTunes or watch the videos that I linked to on her website.) I was in agreement with every single point she makes about all the reasons people get conditioned to drink alcohol habitually (which is different from alcoholism). So much of what Brooke says about the classical conditioning that goes into having a drink to celebrate, relax, or socialize and then wanting to satisfy that desire again had me nodding my head in agreement. I am practicing some of her techniques (such as having the desire and not acting on it) and I think it is working to break the chain. I just want to drink less, not quit altogether, and her techniques work for either. And I always have lots of mocktail ideas! Like the coffee, so far, so good on progress. I’ll update you guys in a few weeks!
(I am finishing this post at 5:41 p.m. and of course, now I want a glass of wine at the end of the work day while I start on dinner! I am saying no, though. Thought –> Desire –> No Action breaks the cycle! Go listen to Brooke!)
I’ll be sure to update you guys soon enough on both of these. What are y’alls thoughts on this topic? Do you drink coffee or wine? Why or why not?