Ever since the beginning of dance competition season, coupled with extra work, I had been using coffee to really boost my focus in the mornings. It was part of my ritual at work to take a break, check my social media (the lines are long at the university where I work!) and wait for that hit of coffee to push through the next half of the morning. Driving to and from competitions involved the same visits to coffee shops, trying to keep my energy the best it could be. I finally reached a point where it was too much. I knew I was tired but because of the coffee effect, I just didn’t know HOW tired I really was.
So I decided to do the typical 21 day/3 week ‘break the habit’ challenge to break up with coffee. I didn’t intend to say goodbye forever so it didn’t feel TOO drastic. I figured that, unless the results were so dramatic – perfect skin, perfect sleep and energy galore, I would return to coffee but try to keep my consumption more moderate.
I dove into the experiment with a variety of green and black tea on hand. Luckily, I love tea (especially Earl Grey!) and was excited to try some new tea blends from David’s Tea and T.Kettle. Strawberry shortcake is one of my favourite green tea blends and I discovered Earl’s Garden as a beautiful blend to have first thing when I woke up.
The second day of my challenge I was back at work and planned to order a London Fog when I took a break. What happened was half funny and half sad. I went downstairs and nodded when asked if it was the usual Pike Place, paid and took the drink, and drank part of it at my desk before realizing that I had robotically ordered and drank coffee! I tipped the rest into the sink and decided this challenge was the right thing to do haha.
I wish I could say that my life was transformed and I had amazing results from this challenge. There were definitely some benefits to living coffee-free, which I will describe. But I mainly just really missed coffee – the scent, taste and the ritual of brewing coffee or sitting with my cup and feeling that boost of energy! I would say my mood was not as happy during my coffee break.
Sleep is another issue for me and I had hoped that eliminating coffee would help me sleep more deeply and fall asleep more quickly. Unfortunately I didn’t notice any changes from eliminating coffee, possibly because I was still drinking a ton of caffeinated tea.
There were some positive benefits to my coffee break! First, I noticed my skin was a bit more ‘glowy’ and my immunity seemed to be much better. During the last three weeks EVERYONE around me was sick with colds and I managed to avoid catching anything. The skin and immunity benefits might have been from the lack of coffee but they may also have been from the surplus of green and black tea that I was drinking. If anything, the experiment encouraged me to keep drinking tea for the beauty and immune-boosting perks!
Tomorrow will be my first morning with a cup of coffee since the beginning of April! I have a package of Kona coffee to break open in the morning and I am sooo excited!
Have you ever given up coffee? I’m curious to see what you experienced and if you ended up sticking with it!