I was the girl who walked into work everyday, high heels, designer bag and cup of coffee in tow. I needed that coffee to get me going. Every day I would go to Tim Hortons and get a medium triple triple (three creams and three sugars) or get a tall white chocolate mocha from Starbucks. Sunday through Saturday. That was my daily routine and had been for 4 years. Giving up coffee never crossed my mind as a goal to accomplish, but as I began to progress in my journey to be the Queen of Clean, I realized that it was something I needed to do. As it turns out, I was racking up at least 2,226 calories per week and spending a minimum of $11.42 a week. That totals $593 dollars down the drain and 115,752 calories a year that could really pack the pounds on.
It was a 2 year process, but I ultimately gave up coffee for good. I would like to share the reasons I gave up coffee and then explain how I stopped drinking it.
I was addicted to coffee. I had to have it everyday. I felt that I needed it to get through the day. I couldn’t imagine not having coffee first thing in the morning. I didn’t like that feeling. Why did I need coffee? Was it really a need? I didn’t drink coffee until I started my career with the state. Everyone around me drank coffee and I just naturally followed suit. I felt more like an adult. It gave me a boost of energy and the added sugar and cream made it quite tasty. But then it became a nasty little habit and I didn’t like it. What if I didn’t have coffee? Would my day suck? Would I be less productive? More tired? I decided I didn’t need anything to make my day better but me! A positive attitude, a good nights rest and a great breakfast.
2. Jitters/Stomach Issues/Headaches
I noticed that when I drank coffee I became jittery and nervous. I even began to shake. My stomach would churn and I would feel bloated and gassy. The caffeine would also cause me to have headaches. The negative physical effects of coffee were not worth it.
3. Empty Calories/Potential Weight Gain
A medium triple triple from Tim Hortons is a whopping 318 calories. That’s 2,226 calories per week and 115,752 calories per year. One pound is equal to 3,500 calories so I could potentially gain 33lbs a year just from drinking coffee everyday! 318 is a lot of calories to drink and they are empty calories. There are no nutrients or antioxidants consumed. I would much rather eat those calories as part of a complete balanced meal.
4. Toxic/Cancer Causing
Coffee contains Acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substance that forms when coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures. I wanted to avoid consuming cancer causing and toxic substances.
How I Quit Coffee
1.The very first step I took to give up coffee was to start making my own coffee at home. As a single mom it simply was not economically feasible to buy coffee every day when I had a coffee maker at home. I purchased the coffee filters, the coffee and a thermos and I started brewing my own cup of joe.
2. The next steps I took was to stop adding cream and sugar to my coffee and start drinking black coffee during the week. On the weekend I would treat myself to cream and sugar. I noticed a decrease in stomach cramps and gas which I attributed to the cream. I then stopped using cream and used organic milk instead.
3. My next move was to only drink my black coffee a few times a week and not everyday. This is when I began to realize that I didn’t really need coffee. It was just a habit. I didn’t need it to feel alert and motivated to do my job, even on the nights where I got only 5 hours of sleep. A wholesome breakfast and plenty of water was enough.
4. On a business trip to San Francisco, I stopped into Peet’s coffee and saw the following sign
I thought wow, I’m knowingly ingesting a chemical known to cause cancer! I still got the coffee but I couldn’t stop thinking about the sign. A week later, after my fitness accountability partner told me she had given up coffee and had switched to green tea, I decided that was it. I would finally give up coffee. Proposition 65 and the talk with my accountability partner was the final push I needed to leave my life with coffee behind.
It’s been a month since I’ve had a cup of coffee and I’m glad to say I don’t miss it. I don’t miss the jitters, the stomach issues, the headaches or the cancer causing chemicals. I have found a less addicting substitute; green tea. It is full of antioxidants and has many positive attributes. I hope I can one day write a similar post about how I finally stopped drinking gingerale and eating bacon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that one 😐😉