Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Addicted to Love



What an amazing video.

While I may be addicted to love (who isn't?), the addiction that has been tormenting me as of late is the one I have had to caffeine. I'm not sure when it started, but I know I started going to Starbucks a few times a week during my senior year in high school. I got really into green tea in college and when my husband and I started living together, I fell in love with homemade coffee. I usually had about a travel mug and a half a day with an iced tea or diet coke in the afternoon. I wasn't drinking a ton of caffeine, but if I waited a couple of hours later than usual to have my first sip, I would get a terrible headache. Even on the weekends, I would have to get up early to have some coffee to stave off a headache that would ruin my weekend.

I remember before our wedding two years ago I cut down on my caffeine intake to just one cup of white tea per day. I had read that it would help calm my anxiety to go caffeine free, but I couldn't go quite that far. By the end of the honeymoon, I was right back on coffee and continued until last year when we started trying to get pregnant. I knew that caffeine was ok for pregnant women to consume in moderation, but I didn't want to have to deal with the caffeine headache if I missed my morning cup due to morning sickness and I also wanted to make sure it didn't hinder my ability to get pregnant. I switched to decaf, but slipped back to regular between cycles or after a late night.

Eventually, I switched to decaf tea (chai was my favorite for a while) because I just couldn't let go of that warm beverage on my morning commute. Then, after my miscarriage the cycle before last, I went on a bit of a bender over Memorial Day weekend and had regular coffee three days in a row to fight consecutive hangovers (yes, I had too much to drink three days in a row; no, I don't usually do that). Just three days of caffeine had me completely addicted again and I had to start my detox process all over. This entails switching to decaf (usually starbucks since I hate making a whole pot of decaf just for me only to have my husband make his regular) for a few days and then to decaf tea.

I had been wanting to incorporate green smoothies into my diet for a while and originally though I'd have them as an afternoon snack when I got home from work, but I decided that I needed to not only cut the caffeine from my morning routine, I needed to cut the hot beverage. As long as I was dependent on something hot to get me through my drive in to work, I would continue to slip back into drinking decaf or regular coffee. I needed to make a bigger change, so I decided to try out smoothies as my morning beverage and breakfast in one.

As I've posted here and here, the green smoothies were an awesome change to my routine. They are so tasty and filling and still give me something to do on my commute. Plus, they have no caffeine at all so there's no risk of becoming dependent or slipping back into that cycle of addiction. I had a smoothie every weekday for about a month and then once my summer vacation began, I kind of stopped. Now I have some fruit or toast for breakfast with a little orange juice and sometimes I'll make a smoothie in the afternoon for lunch. I'll start the morning smoothie routine back up when I go back to work in August, but for now, I don't really need it since sometimes I sleep until lunch (I'm on vacation).

I'm really glad I've finally kicked my caffeine habit, but I know it'll come back one day. I still crave coffee and love the smell and taste, so I'm sure I'll go back to it eventually, but I'm hoping to remain caffeine-free until after I have a baby.

Do you have any addictions? How have you tried to kick your bad habits?

6 comments:

Beth Brakewood said... [Reply to comment]

Until I started cutting it out for fertility reasons, I had no idea how addicted to caffeine I was. I did the same thing as you - replaced with decaf, with caff-free tea, etc - until I was able to get out of the habit as well. (I have developed an out-of-proportion love for A&W root beer instead of soda too.)

For me, I'm super super super sensitive to caffeine now (almost 11 months since I quit consuming it regularly). I can have half a can of Coke Zero and, if I have it after noon, I have a hard time falling asleep at night. It's made giving it up and keeping away from it muuuuuuuch easier.

And my key for homemade decaf coffee (not that you need this trick since you've switched to smoothies), is that I bought a single-serving french press for myself. I used that to make homemade coffee in the morning (or leave it overnight to make cold press for iced coffee) while the hubs gets the big coffemaker.

Angela said... [Reply to comment]

Diet Dr. Pepper is my nemesis. My husband is my enabler! I got into the bad habit of drinking soda (only diet because regular is way too sweet for me) when I was in college. I was the assistant manager for our on campus Snack Bar/Grill, so I worked at least 12 hours a week while carrying 16.5-23 credit hours a semester. While at work, we got free drinks. My options were soda, slushies, fruit punch, or water that tasted like it came from a drainage pipe. I chose diet soda due to the water tasting badly, everything else being full of sugar, and well, I was just plain tired!! ;-) Anyway, upon graduating college, I moved in and nannied for a family that always had soda. When I moved out, I never bought soda at home, but still drank it at work. Then enters the hubs. He drinks coffee and diet soda all the time. I know I am my own person, but he is a bad influence. Haha. Anyway, after this case of diet Dr. Pepper, I told him no more. I might be pregnant right now (fingers crossed) and I've read too many studies on artificial sweeteners causing premature births, so my soda days are numbered as of now. (I am worried about the caffeine headaches though! EEK!)

xo,
A

Morgan said... [Reply to comment]

Good for you!

I know just how hard it is to give up caffeine, in college I was drinking up to four quad-shot drinks a day. After college, I started having stomach problems, and my doctor informed me I was starting to burn a hole in my stomach from all the coffee and acidic drinks I loved. I had to go completely cold turkey, no coffee, no sodas (not even ones like Sprite, because of the high citric acid content), nothing, and it about drove me nuts. These days I'm back on coffee, but never more than one quad-shot drink a day, and I only drink iced ones, so I don't have to worry about drinking it so fast before it gets cold. It's actually a goal to get it to last until lunch!

I like your plan of subbing a smoothie, or actually eating breakfast--anything to make you still feel satisfied in the morning! Good luck!

Jakeandjess said... [Reply to comment]

Good girl! My bad habit...candy! I used to be so addicted to having something sweet after dinner/lunch but knowing what's in candy helps me stay away. When I do indulge I enjoy every bite though!

katherinebee said... [Reply to comment]

I had to quit caffeine when my medical issues were really bad, and coming from someone who used to have at least 8 Diet Cokes a day to zero was crazy. Now I'm ultra sensitive to caffeine.

Thanks for the green smoothie help! I've been making them the past few days and I love them! It's a good reminder to have something for breakfast in the morning.

Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

My addiction is not food or drink related but stupid computer games! Any facebook or iphone games i'm on it. It's terrible! But since I've moved, I have not had any time for it. I'm too busy helping Adam with the horses and dog. Probably the healthiest thing I've ever done for myself is moving up to Santa Ynez.

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