I figured I couldn’t post this back on National Coffee Day without being run out of town (or my own house). Dare I say this out loud…I gave up coffee/caffeine this summer, gulp! I have to say that I never imagined my body reacting the way it did, especially since I only drank a couple cups in the morning. It took 10 straight, VERY LONG, days to feel some sort of semblance of normalcy again. I didn’t get the headaches or flu symptoms that most people describe. What I did end up with is deep, achy bones and crazy lethargy. It was shocking how physically painful it was. I told my husband if he ever goes off of it, he is going to be in trouble. He will be in the fetal position and probably in a detox center (he drinks that much coffee!!)
Can’t even begin to describe how much better I feel without it and even have more energy which I know sounds counterintuitive. I am so happy to be off of it now. I didn’t realize what a roller coaster it sent me on in the mornings (and no more monthly achy boobs…need I say more). It has been so nice staying even keel throughout the morning instead of relying on the short lived “energizer bunny” impostor that showed up.
I really haven’t missed coffee at all. What I did miss right away was having something warm to drink and hold in the morning. I’m cold all the time – doesn’t matter if it is spring, summer, fall or winter. I know most of you are thinking, just switch to decaffeinated tea. I have tried in the past to drink it occasionally but have never been a huge fan of it in general due to the bleaching agents and chemicals they use to make the tea bags (once you come to recognize the taste, it is very off-putting). I also don’t miss the yellow hue of stained teeth.
Since I tend to gravitate to the simple things in life, it was easy to go back to the basics in finding something new to try. As an alternative, I ended up testing out about every variety of steeped hot water imaginable. I thought I would share some of them in case anyone of you daring souls wants to give it a try. Mind you, there is nothing sweet about any of these so it will not be anything like Starbucks or any version of doctored coffee but have to say I have come to love the simple flavors of each of these.
- Spiced Cider Version: Granny Smith Apples Slices with Whole Cinnamon Sticks (I have found that Granny Smith apples release the best flavor but you are more than welcome to try other varieties but I do not recommend Red Delicious)
- Wassail Version: Fresh Orange Slices with Anise or Whole Cloves or All Spice (or combination of all three)
- Fresh Pear Slices with Freshly Sliced Ginger Root and Whole Cinnamon Sticks
- Sliced Fresh Ginger Root
- Squeeze of 1/2 Lemon or Sliced Lemons
- Sliced Lemons with Fresh Spearmint or Peppermint Leaves
- Sliced Oranges, Lemons, Limes with Lemon Balm Leaves
- Spiced Chai: Fresh Orange Slices, Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon Stick, Ginger Root Slices, Peppercorns
SIDE NOTE: I mentioned this before in a prior post that I prefer whole spices to ground. Whole spices work great for steeping since there is so much more flavor intensity (cinnamon sticks, whole anise, cloves, all spice, cardamom, you name it). Steep directly in the hot water for as long or as little as you want. I’m guessing you could use a steeping ball too but mine is missing at the moment! I usually leave all the fruit and spices in my cup and refill the rest of the day to make good use out of it all. Just be sure to empty out your cup at the end of day and not just dump in the dishwasher. You (or in my case, my husband) will quickly learn that your dishwasher clogs very easily when ginger slices or lemon seeds make there way to the drain. Oops!
It has been fun coming up with various flavor combinations. Like anything in life, it’s really up to your imagination so put it to work!
P.S. As always, you can find more at Sharing Our Life, Love and Food. On a whim last week, I decided to trash the old website. It was getting way too discombobulated so blew it up and started over so it is now much more simplified with less on it. If you have any suggestions or tips for it, just let me know. It’s sometimes hard to know what is missing when you are up, close and personal to it so am open to any and all suggestions (the good, bad and the ugly). It’s best to view it on the computer as I’m still working on the mobile version. = )
BTW, would love to have all you local peeps join us for our next “Super Soul” Evening on November 4th from 5-7pm where we will be taking a look at Marie Forleo’s “Everything is Figureoutable”. To join in, RSVP here: http://novsupersoul.rsvpify.com