to muse or not to muse

♥ randomness ♥

Mar 23

Day 12: Coffee & Caffeine Free

Ginseng, Date & Honey tea.  Yea, I said it, Ginseng.  My dad’s aunt, who is an eastern herbal enthusiast, gave us a batch of dried Ginseng roots and dates.  After our weekend trip, I gave up drinking caffeinated teas altogether and became a herbal ginseng/date tea drinker :o)

Apparantly gineseng and date has healing and detoxifying properties (according to wikipedia).  The taste:  After brewing the date/ginseng for about an hour, on a low simmer, the date gives off a very sweet, nutty flavor; Ginseng gives it a little kick with it herbal flavor.  Overall, I enjoy it…my hubby though, he’s not much of a fanatic but drinks it anyway because he’s so awesome.

Coffee update: It’s quite amazing how I don’t miss coffee at all.  Overall, I have a lot more energy and my skin is moist (whereas, coffee/caffeine dried out my skin). I will probably drink coffee, in the future, occasionally, but for now…Cheers!


Mar 18

Day 6: Coffee Free~

It was a bittersweet moment when I finally packed up my beloved CuisineArt coffee maker into storage.  It has been 6 days since I’ve had my last sip of coffee.  This is amazing.  For those who are familiar with my coffee drinking habit, this is a big deal.  It’s quite relieving to be ‘free’ of the coffee cloud.  I do however miss the ‘experience’ of curling up with a nice cup of ——.  So….although I have given up my good ol’ coffee mug, I am enjoying tea (Vanilla Chai-black-, Chammomile, Green) occasionally.  My MIL recently gave us this ‘gourmet’ honey which I’m enjoying with a cup of tea or hot water and lemon.  I am hoping to move up from regular teas to drinking decaf teas, barley and roasted corn tea in a few weeks to be completely caffeine free! 

Cheers!

Here is a great chart that describes the caffeine content of coffee and tea from stashtea.com:

Caffeine Content Comparisons Approximate caffeine content of various beverages:Milligrams of Caffeine:ItemPer
servingRangePer
ounce*
Coffee (5 oz. cup)80 40 - 17016.00 Cola (12 oz. can)45 30 - 603.75 Black Tea (one tea bag)40 25 - 1105.00 Oolong Tea (one tea bag)30 12 - 553.75 Green Tea (one tea bag)20 8 - 302.50 White Tea (one tea bag)15 6 - 252.00 Decaf Tea (one tea bag)2 1 - 40.50 Herbal Tea (one tea bag)0 00.00 * Assumes 8 ounces of water per tea bag


Mar 13

Day 2: Caffeine Free~

Coffee Journal:  Thank God there’s a second day journal.  I have been coffee free for 2 days.  This is amazing.  I do have to admit that it has been difficult because of the physical side effects; the throbbing headache, slight sleepiness…A friend was having coffee with her lunch and I wanted to snatch it out of her hands and throw in the towel.  I literally had a headache all day yesterday, went to bed with a headache and felt like I awoke from a car accident.  Horrible.  If this is something you don’t want to do, you shoud reduce your coffee intake gradually. (for example, if you drink 4 cups of coffee a day, then reduce your intake to 2 or 1 cup a day).  I really don’t recommend the cold turkey method for heavy coffee drinkers.

Positive effects:  My vision seems a lot more clearer.  More clarity in my thoughts/alertness. 

*I have to admit though I did have two sips of my hubby’s coke today.  Refreshing. 

Yay!  Cheers to a coffee free life!


Mar 12

Day 1: Goodbye coffee~ Cold turkey.

Coffee Journal:  After meeting with my doctor several times, she highly recommends that I give up the good ol’ coffee pot.  Absurd.  Are you kidding me?  Every morning, I wake up to the smell and sound of my Cuisine Art coffee pot churning with its freshly brewed contents dripping, exactly at 6:30am.  Its rich aroma intoxicating my every sense as I pour it into my travel mug, ready to start my feverish crazy day. Never.  It has been a great 6 years, journeying life with my good faithful friend. Can I kick the habit?

The Addiction: It all started when I was rooming’ with another coffee addict in L.A.  She introduced me to Illy coffee.  It was love at first sight.  We started ordering Illys by the boxes every couple of weeks.  (I am not blaming her for my addiction, I am sharing when and how my addiction began).  She was a great roomy, every morning she had my share of coffee ready for me.  The spiral down: After several years of drinking coffee, faithfully, I do admit that it has become an obsession. As a student, at that time, my addiction got expensive, so I started going for the cheap stuff (starbucks, dunkin’donuts…even folgers). My day didn’t seem complete without my cup of Joe, not to mention the obscene headache that left me irritated and feeling disheveled.  I even bought an automated coffee maker so that prepping wouldn’t get in the way with my morning routine. 

It’s time to say goodbye to Mr. Coffee, hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy you rather than having to run to you every morning.  Hope this journal helps those who would like the same, a life free from caffeine.  

Progress: It has been about 36 hours since my last cup of Joe, I already feel a throbbing headache.  I keep thinking about it, crazy.  The taste, the smell, the feeling.  Geesh. Hopefully, this goes away soon. 

Cheers to a caffeine free life!

Here is a great article on the benefits of “Kicking Caffeine Habit”:

(CBS)  Some people want to quit caffeine because they are obsessed with it. Others are told by their doctors to kick the habit.

But quitting isn’t easy. It can be so hard, The Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen reports, that some people are now going into caffeine rehab.

Koeppen tells of a recent Friday morning in Baltimore, when all Lynda Davis can think about is getting her fix.

"I have a strong craving for coffee," she says. "I like the taste of it, the smell of it brewing, the sound of it brewing, everything."

Davis is a caffeine addict, so hooked, she literally can’t go a day without drinking coffee. Every morning, she fills up a 20-ounce travel mug to the brim.

"If I don’t have it," she says. "I feel very irritable, depressed, the headache is severe, I feel down."

Davis says she’s tried to quit, but failed.

She says, “I still wanted it all the time; I was thinking about it, craving it, obsessing about it day and night; and wanting it, why can’t I have it? And that’s when I felt like an addict.”

Today, caffeine is the most commonly used mood-altering drug in the world. Nobody knows that better than addiction expert Dr. Roland Griffiths.

Griffiths says, “We know about 80 percent of the population consumes caffeine, so we have millions and millions of people out there who are physically dependent.”

Many people need caffeine to jumpstart their day and get rid of that dragging feeling. Turns out, that tired feeling may really be a symptom of caffeine withdrawal.

Dr. Griffiths explains, “They don’t recognize that that boost they get in the morning from that first cup of coffee or soda is actually a reversal of low-grade withdrawal effects.”

Experts say all it takes is one small cup of coffee a day to get hooked. Caffeine is so powerful that some people, when they try to quit, experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those of illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine.

Dr. Griffiths says, “They’ll actually have nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and weakness.”

At Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Griffiths has set up a caffeine addiction clinic to help java junkies like Lois Smith kick the habit.

Smith says, “I’d wake up and my first thought was, ‘Get to Starbucks and get a cup of coffee’ so I could take it to work.”

At the peak of her addiction, Smith was downing up to 12 cups of coffee a day. Getting her fix began to interfere with her life.

Smith says, “There were times when my husband and I would go out to dinner after work and I would pick a restaurant because I knew that there was a Starbucks on the route.”

After seeing an ad for the caffeine addiction clinic, Smith knew it was time to try to kick her habit once and for all.

At the clinic, doctors first measure how patients are getting their caffeine and how much. While most of our caffeine comes from coffee and soft drinks, you can also find it in tea, chocolate, and over-the-counter medications. The key to kicking the habit? Don’t go cold turkey. At the clinic, patients have their caffeine intake cut back gradually.

Smith says, “The first week, I could only have 75 percent of what I was used to drinking; the second week, I could have 50, and so forth.”

After six weeks, Smith was caffeine-free. Immediately, she noticed the benefits.

She says, “Now I wake up, I’m more rested, I’m more alert.”

But in our caffeine-obsessed world, Smith knows staying clean can be a daily struggle. Koeppen took her to a local coffee shop to hear how she copes.

"Every once in awhile I’m a little shaky," Smith says. "What I try to do is, before I come in, I make up my mind that I’m not gonna get a caffeinated beverage."

Her new drink of choice? Decaffeinated herbal tea.

Smith says, “I think, I might enjoy that one cup of coffee, but then I remember the withdrawal symptoms. I just tell myself that it’s not worth just having one cup.”

Lynda Davis learned that the hard way. She went through the caffeine addiction clinic, and also kicked the habit. On her six-month anniversary, she rewarded herself with a cup of coffee. She says that’s all it took to get hooked again.

"It makes me worry," Davis says. "I wish I could just enjoy it and not worry about it. It’s best not to start it, because it’s too easy to get hooked."

Experts say caffeine is not linked to any life-threatening illnesses, but it can cause things like mood swings, and insomnia.—>

Eighty to 90 percent of people in the United States use caffeine. And that means that millions of them are physically dependent.

Tune in Friday morning to find out more as Koeppen talks to addiction expert, Dr. Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore. He not only studies caffeine addiction, he opened a caffeine addiction clinic.