Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Substitute teacher.

I've done it again.  I've quit coffee and yerba mate, which basically means that I've quite caffeine.  It was a decision that I came to earlier this year when I realized, yet again, that the stuff was tearing up my digestive system.  I also happened to read a fantastic book called Caffeine Blues, written by a brilliant nutritionist, all of which solidified my decision and commitment.  After totally withdrawing, it was painful for about four months with various adjustments being felt in my body, mood and energy level.  But I stayed off of it and it's been nearly six months now and I've finally settled into life without caffeine(unless you count the copious amounts of chocolate that I eat).  I sleep better and I slept good before.  I digest better and I don't crave it, but I do miss it.

When I began life without caffeine, part of what made the process so daunting was wondering what I was going to replace my warm drink addiction with.  It isn't just the caffeine I love about coffee and mate, it is the ritual, the warmth, the milk and honey, the rich earthiness, yum.  I knew finding something with the richness and body of coffee would be a challenge, and I knew that I would just have to miss yerba mate altogether as nothing is quite like it.  sigh.  I experimented with a few different herbal teas and it was alright, it got us by.  But then I discovered roasted dandelion root and I was back in business.  I tried it at a wedding in California and a friend mentioned that it was sort of like coffee.  I bought some, brewed two bags in a cup for super flavor and it was the bomb!  No, it's not coffee, at all, but the roasted flavor and the dark brown smoothness was as close as I was gonna get save for decaf coffee(barf).  I've also taken on some powdered rooibos tea which is so rich it's almost creamy.  All of it caffeine free and all of it taking full place of something I didn't ever think I would have to replace.

I can say that I am quite proud of myself and am really happy to be off the juice.  I have had mate once since quitting and it made me feel like I was gonna freak out.  Who knows if I'll ever get back on the coffee or the mate again.  I'd love to, but until I decide that I really wanna feel like cracked out, I'll stick with my substitute teas.  I be sippin' on some right now.

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