Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Two interesting things have happened to me in the past month or so. What makes them most interesting (to me, anyway) is how they did not require much effort.

The first: I don’t drink coffee anymore. I used to drink a cup a day, in the morning (short nonfat latte), and then it escalated into a second cup after lunch (espresso macchiato). I’m extremely sensitive to caffeine; so going from needing one to needing two and the subsequent feeling of going directly from lethargic to bouncing off the walls subtly signaled to me that I needed to stop. I tried, dealt with withdrawal headaches, crawled back. Then, about a month ago, I had to travel around and was really busy at work and stopping to get coffee and standing in line at Starbucks was just not convenient, and it sort of happened. I’ve switched to tea.

For the past four weeks, I’ve been drinking two cups in the morning (usually green tea, one at breakfast, the other midmorning) and two after lunch (with no caffeine). I’ve had a total of three cups of coffee in a month’s time and have not once felt that “aaaaaaah” release I reveled in when trying to quench the squeezing headache abstaining used to give me.

I’m free.

I don’t know if I’ll eventually slide back into the steamy, fragrant black depths of being a coffee drinker but I’m amazed at how it went from being a nearly impossible feat to an almost accidental one. (I’m sure there is a life lesson in here somewhere.)

The second: for the first time in my life, I have drastically reduced my considerable sugar intake in a sustained manner. I have an (formerly) irrepressible sweet tooth and am used to having some type of dessert every day after every meal (and am no stranger to snacking through the afternoon). Here again, in the middle of being distracted, I just never stopped to look for whatever would feed the craving. Then I suddenly realized I felt so much better: less hungry. I guess what they say about not letting your sugar levels spike is really true. One thing is to read it, the other to live it. (Yet another life lesson lurking here.)

This luxuriously smooth, glossy feeling of not being ravenous mid afternoon has made me strive to not go back to my churning, serrated, sugar-loving ways. For example: the last three times that Luca stocked up on the ultra dark chocolate he consumes while he watches soccer, he’s asked me if I wanted my usual ration of milk chocolate, and I declined. (And, he didn’t look at me in shock, which is in itself quite interesting. I mean, what if someone tries to impersonate me one day? He’d never notice!)

I know enough to realize these series of remarkable incidents might very well be fleeting. But for now, without caffeine and without sugar I am feeling pretty even keeled. Even keeled is good. I think I’ll hang on to it.

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