- I’m excited about it. (Actually, I’m more curious
- It has an end date: February 29th.
- I know what counts as done: No sugar for 19 days.
Today I walked into Wegmans and the first thing I smelled was the coffee. It was a cold, raw day. I was tired. On the drive over I thought about stopping at The Soulful Cup for a latte.
In my mind I saw myself standing at the counter, ordering a latte, not to go, but in a big cup with a saucer.
In my mind I took my cup to the back room, settled into a comfy chair among the books and the people working on their laptops.
And then taking a sip.
Savoring the flavor, the aroma, the warmth of this heavenly elixir cradled in my cupped hands.
My naturopath Jennifer said last week: “Go 2 more weeks.” (without coffee)
This has been really hard. It has now been 32 days since I’ve had a cup. After the first 10 days, I thought I was through the worst of it.
And I am, really. On most days, I am really, totally O-Kay.
But not today. Today I felt like an addict.
I really needed something to perk me up and comfort me.
I told myself I was ridiculous. This was not cocaine, after all; this was a freaking cup of coffee. Innocuous. Legal. And according to some research, really good for you. A health food, almost. Practically medicine.
I wanted a milky cup of warmth that would boost my energy and my mood. Hell, I would have settled for a nice Americano, I didn’t need the milk. But in my coffee fantasy, I saw the latte art, and it had me craving.
Who would know if I snuck into Soulful for a cup? I didn’t have to tell G or Jennifer. What would be so bad about having a cup of coffee on a shitty cold day in April?
I did not make the right onto Market St and go to Soulful, but went straight to Wegmans.
The coffee kiosk is right inside the front doors. And even though the coffee there is far inferior to Soulful, and the barista is a complete nitwit, and slow, and there is no inviting place to sit, so I would end up sipping as I shopped, still, I was sorely tempted.
As I tooled around the Nature’s Marketplace section picking up my spelt bread and my wild caught tuna fish, I almost cart crashed a couple holding big coffee cups.
Really. Who would know?
On my way out, I thought of the 30 minute ride home, the boring chore of unloading groceries, and felt no energy. I could get a cup to go and sip it as I drove home listening to my James Altucher podcast. By the time I pulled into my driveway I would be all perked up and ready for the tasks ahead.
Who would know?
Me. I would know.
2 more weeks. Good god. How am I ever going to make it?
My tooth of doom. Number 15. Upper left, all the way in the back. My periodontist has been “worried” about this tooth for years. Every time I go he says, “I’m worried about this tooth.”
Every time he says that I think to myself: “I’m gonna die with this goddamn tooth, Buster.” He’s cute, but a little bit of an Eeyore, my periodontist. When he talks to me with his dental loupes on, I can’t figure out where to look.
Too many eyes to worry about.
I’m pretty sure he doesn’t stay up at night worried about my tooth number 15.
But last night I was up worried about tooth number 15. In the last week or so I have been feeling a little, what? Nudgie back there? I opened my mouth to eat one day and there was some TMJ-ish kinda ouchy. But it went away. Then last night I woke up with a mean headache behind my left eye. Tooth of Doom acting up?
Dr. Eeyore found a little inflammation in tooth 15, and also in my fang (tooth 11) so he squirted some antibiotic in both of those gum areas and I’m to call him in a week with a report. We shall see.
On the food front, I am still craving coffee, and especially so this morning when I woke tired from fractured sleep. I eyed my Verismo with longing and could practically smell the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.
I am going to have to talk to Jennifer about this.
I then drove to Culligan to pick up water for home and the studio. The spunky dude who loaded my car with the water read my bumper sticker and said, “I don’t get it.”
I said, “It’s sarcastic.”
My bumper sticker says: “At least the war on the environment is going well.”
I thought of trying to explain it to him. But no.
Today was Day 2 of my attempted yoga streak. I practiced with my late class and that totally counts, even though I feel guilty practicing with them. Better that than letting my practice die.
So I’m all set in my Fundies today.
I went on a “walk and talk” with Rowena yesterday. We walked the bike path. It was 60 degrees and sunny. I like to walk and talk. I much prefer that to “sit and talk.” I think more clearly when I am walking and I also think I am a better listener.
Solvitur ambulando: all is solved through walking.
I told her about how dreary I feel without my coffee and how I don’t even drink all that much and only want it in the morning, and she asked me how long I have been off it, and when I told her “3 weeks” thinking that she would be totally impressed, she just scoffed and said, “You’re not even detoxing yet.”
And when I heard her say that, I knew she was probably right. I’m just at the beginning of this journey. I had no intention of quitting before the end of April, but when I think of the summer, I can’t imagine being able to keep this going.
( I need to go back and re-read that Alberto Villoldo piece in The Intelligent Optimist magazine, called “Why taking supplements leads to enlightenment.” He said it would take 6 months to fully detox.)
Rowena has been off coffee for over 2 years and I wanted her to tell me WHY I should sustain this. What’s at the end of this rainbow? What magical world of energy awaits me? If I thought I would reach some crazy energy nirvana state as a result of no caffeine, I’d be totally incentivized.
“You’re energy will be more balanced,” she said.
“I don’t care about balance,” I said. I want amplification.”
“You want to get to the point where you don’t crave anything, she said. “Then that lack of craving will free you to access another, higher energy level.”
This had SOME appeal, but not much. I wanted her to be more rhapsodic about it; I wanted her to describe it as some alternative state of consciousness, some trip.
But she didn’t.
She suggested Teeccino, which I have tried in the past, but that stuff doesn’t do it for me, but I might try it again. Something tells me that it will just awaken my love of coffee, so it might be better just to stick to my hot water laced with honey and coconut oil.
It is a royal pain in the ass, this detox, but it is having a good influence on G. We used to sit and have a drink practically every night to wind down. It’s a nice, relaxing ritual. But since I am not indulging now, she isn’t either, and she reported that her body fat is down 3% in just about 2 weeks
She said she read my post from yesterday and she thinks we could be on the verge of a new lifestyle. I was surprised to hear her say that. It would certainly make it easier for me to sustain this streak if I knew that she supported it not just for my sake, but for hers, too.
I can’t see us not having drinks ever again, but maybe just on the weekends. I think that would be a good compromise.
I got on the scale today and nothing has changed. You would think 3 weeks of no alcohol, no caffeine and virtually no sugar would have me down a few pounds, but nothing. I am even up little in pounds and there is no difference in my measurements either.
I am getting stronger though, and I can see definition in my arms, but today at the gym I was working at the mirror to try to keep the squat bar level, and I noticed I am still not where I would like to be.
Like everything, it’s going to take slow, persistent practice over time.
Okay. No more about this for awhile.
So it is 3 weeks today of this austerity diet and I am getting tired. Literally tired. I want one cup of coffee. That’s all. One cup of coffee in the morning.
But then last night, I also wanted one glass of wine. One glass of wine. In the evening. Is that so bad? But I know what that will lead to. I do. It will lead to gelato, and gin and tonics on the deck, and beer, and then I will be back to my old ways.
But I ask myself: what is so bad about those old ways? And my answer is: crummy sleep, a black tongue, some flab around the middle.
And I think I just talked myself out of wanting my coffee in the morning.
But this is what I wonder: could I just have the coffee and not the other stuff? Just the coffee? Make that my only bad habit? Stay away from alcohol and sweet things? Could I adjust my streak? Let the coffee streak die, but keep the alcohol and sugar streak going a bit longer?
I don’t know. I think Gretchen Rubin is right about abstaining. Sometimes abstaining is easier than moderating.
Is coffee my gateway drug? I really don’t think so. I think alcohol is my gateway drug.
Alcohol leads me into sweets and other food temptations, like cheese and chips and other kinds of happy hour food, and it lowers my resistance to sugar. For some reason I always want something sweet when I am drinking wine. I don’t seek sugar as much if at all when I am drinking gin. But I do when I drink beer.
I think alcohol is the stupidest drug of all. I wish cannabis would hurry up and be legalized already. It is such a better high, though there IS the problem of munchies, which is not to be discounted.
So did I just talk myself out of breaking my streak? I think so. What I have been thinking is that I will break it when we go to Sanibel at the end of May.
I don’t really think I can last that long, but I am going to try. I am at least going to keep going until the end of April. These austerities are my own little “April Challenge.”
This is my 51st post in a row. I started posting daily on Ash Wednesday (February 18th) and I’m still going, even though my stated commitment for this streak was only until Easter, which was 5 days ago.
What can I say? I love streaking. Once I get a little streak going, it kills me to break it.
The big problem with blogging every day is not so much coming up with things to write about, I can write about anything. It’s coming up with things to write that both interest me, and interest others.
Today I was telling Kate, my hair stylist about my current detox. This detox is another thing I am streaking at the moment: I haven’t had sugar, caffeine or alcohol since March 24th (17 days).
As I was telling Kate about how I sip hot water all day to flush my lymphatic system, and dry brush before my shower, her assistant and other people who work there began walking within earshot of me, and then started asking me a million questions about why, and how do I do it, and how do I keep motivated, etc. So I basically did a mini-Health Coaching session as I was getting my hair foiled.
I think people love to learn about eating and detoxing strategies, and they are especially impressed when you tell them that you have been able to sustain what they see as an act of extreme austerity for 17 days. Everyone, it seems, wants to give up these things for at least a little while, but nobody knows how to actually DO it.
So maybe I should be writing here about how I manage to stay the course when so many people can’t even get on the course?
I think my wonky eyelid problem incentivized me this time. Nothing like having your eye suddenly look like you’ve been punched to scare you off sugar, etc.
But now that I have figured out the eyelid problem and eliminated the offending culprit, I could, feasibly, go back to drinking my blessed morning coffee, and having a nice glass of wine on Friday night. But I can’t bring myself to do it, at least not yet, because, you see,
I have this little streak going and I want to see how long I can keep it going.
I want to see how much better I can get myself to feel. I feel really good right now, but I am still craving coffee, and also to some extent, sugar.
I want to get to the point where I don’t crave anything, and then keep going past that to the point where I plateau. Right now I am trending “up” in a pretty steep line in terms of energy and getting quality sleep. What I am really curious about now is: Where am I going to peak, and how long is it going to take me to get there? How many more days of this before the “up” trend starts to flatten out?
Is this kind of thing of any interest to anyone else?
Is this worth documenting here? Or is it profoundly boring? I’d love it if you’d let me know in the comments.
It’s been 10 days since I’ve had coffee, sugar, alcohol, eggs or wheat and I am feeling really good. I feel calmer, more relaxed, still a little on the tired side, but I think that is more a function of the weather (cold, cloudy, spring-resistant) than my diet.
I had a great talk with Jennifer last week and she recommended a tincture and some supplements which I immediately mail-ordered and now everything is here, and I am ready to go into the supplement phase.
My eyelid is improving dramatically since I stopped putting Royal Glow on it. (How could I use something everyday for 2 years straight with no problem and then suddenly have a BIG problem with it? Mysterious.
Today I did my weekly food shopping and in addition to food I picked up 2 magazines: The Intelligent Optimist and Experience Life.
The cover story on The Intelligent Optimist caught my eye because it was “Why taking supplements leads to enlightenment,” by the famous shaman, Alberto Vilodo. He said we have to clean up our bodies, and more importantly, our brains, if we want to access shamanic states of ecstasy.
How? Give up sugar, dairy, coffee, and gluten. Take Omega 3s, Vitamin D3, turmeric, trans-resveratrol and coconut oil (which he calls “jet fuel for the brain.”)
Also: get our intestinal flora active and healthy via probiotics.
He claims that if you go radical and extreme with this diet it will take you 6 months to get there. This article gave me fresh motivation to continue on.
The article that made me pick up Experience Life was, “What Your Skin Is Trying to Tell You.” And once again, just as I suspected, it’s all about what you eat and your gut health.
(Everything is about what you eat and your gut health.)
I have been dealing with my eczemic ear canals for years (4 or 5) and it is time to get to the bottom of this. I am going all in.
Add to that the prospect of shamanic states of ecstasy?