Coffee and I go way back. We’ve had a tumultuous relationship, somewhat on and off.
Somewhere in between 2003 to 2005
I started drinking instant coffee in university to stay awake in my classes, but my efforts went sour. I still fell asleep in every lecture. You see, Starbucks hadn’t found me yet. Plus I was on a student’s budget, where instant coffee in milk and water was good enough.
Summer of 2006
I stepped into the workplace, and picked up a taste for Tim Hortons, the coffee brand us Canadians stand by, no matter how much the quality has diluted over the years. At that point, I didn’t quite get the hoopla about Starbucks. Why would anyone pay $3 for a coffee?
But just a few years later, even I wanted to pay it. I started enjoying the strong taste of Starbucks.
A year later, I changed my mind and I decided it became too expensive.
Fast forward two years, and I was flirting with coffee again.
And boy, did I get addicted this time!
Initially, it really helped me stay focused at work. But then I started realizing that coffee was also the reason for my inability to get up in the morning, and so I reached for more coffee. And the cycle continued. After hitting the snooze button multiple times every morning for many months, I realized, waking up early shouldn’t be this difficult. I was a morning person, and I wanted that person back!
So I decided to quit coffee cold turkey.
Summer of 2013
The following 4 days were hellish.
I’m pretty sure I snapped at my husband and at my team at work as well. I had headaches and mood swings, but I knew this was all part and parcel of the withdrawal phase, so I just had to ride it out. Since then, I have given up coffee as an every day thing. I love the smell and taste of coffee and I still have it at Sunday brunch or once in a while with co-workers. This seems to be working for me, and I don’t struggle with sleep on a daily basis.
It has been a couple years now. I get up early every day – almost always before my alarm goes off.
I don’t sleep more than 6-7 hours, which would have been an impossible task while I was on coffee. I still wake up with all this energy throughout the day that I had forgotten about (albeit eating healthier and working out might be a contributing factor). And this includes weekends, where there is no alarm to wake me up, yet I can’t sleep in past 7 am.
Actually, its 6:07 am on a Saturday morning as I write this, and I’m watching the sun rise from my desk, so I can’t really complain.
By 10 pm, however, my brain turns to mush, and that’s when I shut down my computer and phone. I remember when I was on coffee, my mind would still be going a million miles a minute making lists and brainstorming ideas, which didn’t help when all I was trying to do was fall asleep.
My point is that if you’re wondering whether coffee can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, the answer is, it depends on how your body processes coffee. If you cannot relate to any of the above, then it may be working for you. In the below video I talk about how you can determine that using the positives and negatives of coffee the latest studies have determined. I talk about how to analyse your own rhythm, so you can make a decision that works for you, and not just follow what the latest study says.
Here are the coffee alternatives I mentioned in the video:
Ayurvedic Roast (Find it on Amazon)
Dandiblend (Find it on Amazon)