Perfection

January 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Posted in Starbucks, wine | 11 Comments
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I woke up this morning inspired by this. You see, I was at the doctor again yesterday, getting another prescription for another ear infection. I really want to feel healthy again, to feel inspired, to feel fun, to stop complaining and being short-tempered at home. I’ve been thinking that maybe I should tweak my diet a bit — less lattes and red wine and cheese and Wheat thins, more spinach and almonds.  So I skipped the coffee this morning.  I didn’t have any immediate or debilitating caffeine withdrawal symptoms, but it was sort of a bummer nonetheless. 

I mentioned this to a friend over email this afternoon. Knowing that my health and the general winter malaise had me sort of in the dumps, she generously and genuinely pepped me up over the course of a lengthy back-and-forth.  She said: “Don’t be crazy, girl. You love your cup of coffee on your way to work. You write essays about it. You have a blog category dedicated to it.” Well, she didn’t actually write this, but it was the subtext of her much more articulate message, which was: hang in there, make time in your day to exercise (which I have not been doing, of course), and don’t deny yourself some pleasures. And then she sends me this:

Does the sight of a Starbucks cup make anyone else’s heart race, just a little bit? (If not, do I have a real problem?) Thanks for bringing me back to my senses, E — erstwhile champion of smart dialogue and smart women. This picture perfectly captures — on so many levels — why we are friends.

In all seriousness, though, has anyone else ever given up caffeine and found it worth the short-term (long-term?) denial of pleasure? Have you ever changed your diet and found it made you healthier (please say no)? What else are you doing to stay healthy and peppy in this grim winter grayness?

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  1. First of all, that Madeleine Albright quote is one of my favorites. Second of all, I gave up caffeine exactly once, which was a couple of years out of college, and I felt like I was going off crack. I had debilitating headaches, shakes, etc. It was awful. And the worst part is this is an awful addiction with no upside – I basically drink coffee to stave off the headaches. But I’d say add the spinach and almonds maybe, cut down on the cheese and crackers, but by God keep the coffee. It’s a life necessity. Maybe I’m just talking to myself here! (but that’s almost the same as talking to you, right?)
    xox

  2. VITAMIN D!!!!! And tons of it. It is making a huge difference in my whole family’s immunity this winter. Whatever you might be taking right now, double it. Also, I’ve had good experiences with a light box or one of those special beat SAD lightbulbs.
    Good Luck!

  3. I quit coffee in July because Josie is super-sensitive (so much so that I eventually had to quit Diet Coke as well). My heart still breaks a little every morning when I have to deny myself. Aside from getting more sleep because Josie wakes up less (which has been worth it), there has been no upside. None. When she weans, I will celebrate with an enormous cup of coffee, chased with a Diet Coke — the decaf versions are just not the same.

    Right now, I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to add any pep to my step.

  4. Hi – I’ve been a follower for a while and thank you so much for always sharing. Do what you think is best for yourself and what you need – not what you think you need.
    I’ve cut back on wine and coffee since I want to get pregnant and honestly, it has been fantastic. Once I made it to no coffee mornings, I also realized that I was sleeping better and my stomach felt better. Reducing wine – yup, less migraines/headaches. Do I still indulge every now and then, sure.
    Another random suggestion – take a look at dairy intake. Lord no, do not give up cheese! But take a look at cow’s milk and consider trying a soy milk or almond milk. Even my Cow lover husband is doing the almond milk change. Just a thought.
    Give it a try, even if for 2 months. IF it doesn’t work, well then you can say that caffeine and wine are good for you! And then try something else. And always, please share. It is a fun part of the week to check in with you. Hang in there with all of that snow!

  5. I love your blog! FAF, I had not seen this Madeline Albright quote and just love it! Shared it on my facebook page this morning 🙂 Second, I cannot imagine going without coffee (and red wine, quite frankly). I am willing to forego the cheese and chocolate. In all honestly, as soon as I stop exercising I notice my stress level and mood changes drastically. Even 10 minutes of walking on the treadmill seems to give me a boost in this winter! Good luck! If you do

  6. After 32 years of drinking coffee (believe it or not, I started at age 8) – I have recently given it up. I weaned myself gradually to avoid the crack withdrawal that Lindsey mentioned. I’m still drinking tea, so I’m not completely caffeine free. So far? I do feel better. I discovered Teeccino – an herbal alternative to coffee. Love it. Seriously. Oh, and – my heart skips a beat when I see a starbucks. Thank god they serve tea there!

  7. LOL – okay, don’t know how that sunglass smiley got there – should have read age eight!

  8. First, I LOVE the title of your blog! So clever. And second, I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves coffee and Starbucks. There are days when the drive thru at Starbucks is the only good moment of my day. 🙂

    And no I’ve never felt better after giving up anything, but I do feel better if I do things in moderation. I gave up caffeine while preggo but didn’t have any withdrawals. For me. it’s the ritual. I can easily do decaf instead.

    I will beat up anyone that tries to take away my coffee. 🙂 Looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog!

    Oh and to beat the winter blues: Coffee, tea in the afternoon, hot bubble baths, cheesy television, chicken pot pies, movies on a rainy day, pizza, red red wine, reading by the fire. I sound like an old lady.

  9. I LOVE your blog. I linked onto it from Lindsey’s blog, and I would say we were kindred spirits. I can’t tell you how many times I have told my husband I am becoming macrobiotic/vegan/giving up wine/coffee/dairy, only to inhale a plate of cheese and vat of wine the next day. My personal law of physics: each diet has an equal and opposite binge.

    However, I have cut back my wine intake and started my mornings with tea (I personally recommend Peet’s Winter Solstice) with coconut milk and saved my coffee with half and half for later in the day (which cuts back my coffee & dairy intake as I used to have about 3 coffees a day).

    What I think makes the biggest difference is whether or not I eat standing up/in the car/cleaning up the toy room or whether or not I actually take time for myself and sit my ass in a chair like a civilized human being.

    Just be good to yourself. Life is hard. Enjoy your coffee. Keep writing:)

  10. With two kids three and under, quitting coffee would bring on more crying than this house could sustain. Meaning, mama would be crying. I find that my pleasures are few these days, mostly limited to coffee, red wine (in reasonable quantities), and chocolate. I would feel very deprived if I gave up these things, which would make me, and by extension my family, miserable. Which is a great justification not to quit, if you ask me.

    So glad to have found your blog (through A Design so Vast).

  11. Have I given up coffee? Yes.

    Was it worth it? No.

    I like going to Starbucks. I like a grande latte and a ginger molasses cookie. I like the calm atmosphere and the low lighting. I like that the one near the university is in an old stone building.

    Unfortunately I have an ulcer (I think) so I can’t have coffee just now. And yes, that is awful. Fortunately I can have my coffee vicariously through my two sons who are more than willing to let dad buy them a coffee and a sandwich.

    Sad face


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