I have been ‘coffee free’ for a number of months now - and as you may recall, I gave it up for a number of reasons, amongst these was a need to help me feel more grounded and calm - you can check out my reasons for giving up coffee here.
And being coffee free has definitely assisted me with this.
As such, my primary motivation for writing this month's blog was to share with you the steps I took to give up my coffee habit, with the intention that you may be able to take some motivation, guidance or advice from my experience - not to give up coffee as such (because coffee can be wonderful for some people) but any habit that no longer serves you.
But then something happened…
No - I didn't start drinking coffee again - although I understand why you'd think that!
No - what did happen, was that I saw a nutritionist.
It wasn't exactly the act of seeing the nutritionist that derailed my writing intentions - my nutritionist is a lovely soul who is all about holistic health and wellbeing and does not expect or condone an ‘all or nothing’ approach. She knows her stuff, but is also realistic enough to not force her clients to throw out everything in their cupboards all at once. Like me, she seems to believe in realistic, kind and incremental change - as this type of change is truly transformational. She did not judge my diet one bit.
It was me who judged my diet.
What did I find in the food diary I took the initiative of keeping in the week prior to my appointment? Yes - I've given up coffee. Tick.
But - I've ‘replaced’ the strong caffeine hit with daily doses of stevia rich dark chocolate and pots of chai tea. And I'm not talking one or two squares, or even one pot of tea.
My body is obviously still craving caffeine - and although the ‘hits’ it is getting are less potent, and don't make me feel the same way as drinking coffee - I'm still seeking out caffeine and satiated myself in other ways.
When it comes to food, diet, weight, nutrition and body image many of us have complicated and contradictory histories - reinforced by our culture, friends and family. My own triggers around food and body image are longstanding - and although I am definitely on the path to healing, the depth of my emotions and self judgments still take me by surprise.
And do you know what also surprised me? Maybe this is perfectly ok. Maybe I can let myself off the hook and realise giving up coffee was a big step for me, and for the time being I'm still craving caffeine to keep me going.
Now that I'm aware of it, I'll work with my nutritionist to enrich my diet with all of the nutrients my body is craving and over time, I may start eating less chocolate and drinking less chai tea. In the scheme of things though, everything is perfectly ok, right now - so long as I don't run out of chai tea bags….
Amanda is a (reformed) lawyer turned holistic life coach, self-care advocate, workshop facilitator, writer, speaker, avid reader, nature lover, chai tea drinker and mother to a curious, active toddler. A spirit seeker who loves connecting with others on journeys of self-discovery, Amanda believes we can all find our own version of success and live an empowered life.