To Caffeine or not to Caffeine? That is the question.

bean memeSo most of you know I turned in the manuscript to Fall or Fly, my journalism-storytelling book about foster care in the Coalfields, and then got sick. For a week I was down, during which I basically didn’t eat or drink much.

Two weeks later, down I went again with something viral. With the end result that no coffee has been in my body for almost a month. Nor iced tea, nor hot tea, nor other caffeinated beverages.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been monitoring how that changes anything – do I sleep better (possibly, jury is still out) feel better (the same) see any other advantages (I get out of bed ready to go as opposed to needing 30 minutes with the mug) or disadvantages (there really isn’t anything to order at a hotel for breakfast except expensive “juices” that don’t taste like real juice).

So, those of you who have kicked the habit, or who haven’t, any words of wisdom? Booksellers who don’t drink coffee are not unheard of. Booksellers who don’t drink coffee OR hot tea (Earl Gray, hot) are a bit more unusual. What will I drink at the salons? What about when out with girlfriend booksellers? Or just girlfriend posse members? There’s a whole social aspect to coffee, as there is with cigarettes. Will I miss the rituals? Will I miss the camaraderie?

Send thoughts. Send chocolate (I do still partake of that caffeine source). And thanks!

15 thoughts on “To Caffeine or not to Caffeine? That is the question.

  1. Water, drink water. Maybe decaf when you feel the need. At home I make turmeric milk. You can add fruit to your water, lemon, cucumber, strawberries.

  2. I don’t drink tea or coffee. Gave up soda…I drink water. I even carry my own around in case it is not offered…..good luck!

  3. Had a bout during a particularly HORRID time of menopause, with heart palpitations. Recommendation from my MD to lay off caffeine. The palpitations did not resolve immediately. (More research on my part led me to understand that palpitations are a normal happening for some of us in menopause. And the palpitations resolved after about 8 months.) After about a month or 2 without caffeine, (and feeling like utter crap) I was out and about and decided to stop for a coffee. Well, holy wow. I felt like I had gained 60 IQ points, my depression was LIFTED, and I felt like a NEW woman!! SO, lesson learned for me was/is: have some damn coffee, it won’t kill you AND it could quite likely make you into a new woman. Of course, the research is there, that coffee IS good for you. Now, having said this, drinking POTS of it all day, of course, is probably not good. Doing anything to excess isn’t good. ENJOY THE BEAN!!!

  4. I have had my ups and downs with coffee…..currently on a few cups of decaf per day…..I am the olde Overlea Goat Herder posting my very first reply or comment. “THEY”: say (who ever they is) a picture is worth a thousand words and if i could send you a picture of every room in my house, basement, attic, garage, you would understand why I goggled The Little Book Store of Big Stone Gap in Va. My wife and I are both readers. My wife reads to me every lunch time and we currently finished Chap 18 and Wee Willie when I decided we are going to visit TLBOBG. It will be this summer after we survive the mosquitoes of Chink A Tink island….I learned to type over 65 years ago, so you can expect to hear from the Olde Overlea Goat Herded again…do not forget to eat more Feda in 2016 ……………… be seeing ya

  5. Wendy, I spent years without caffeine, and probably was better off for it. However, the ritual of coffee, especially when I opened my own Saturday bookshop, makes me HAPPY…and I think “HAPPY” trumps “better”…

  6. I have never been a coffee drinker but lots of tea, especially iced tea in the warmer months. I switched to decaf tea years ago and I don’t remember there being a big difference in taste. You don’t have to go herbal, you can get regular black or green tea caffeine free. Even regular green tea doesn’t have much caffeine. maybe you could reduce gradually?

  7. I have been off caffeine (except for chocolate) for thirty or more years. Quit er doc’s orders. Cold turkey because I am not able to do anything slowly. No more heart palpitations. No stomach clenches. No brain racing but unable to capture thoughts. I still seem (at 77) to be productive and I get out of bed smiling and perky.

    Jane Yolen

  8. I still love my morning coffee, but a good caffeine free alternative is green tea, if only because it has become ubiquitous, so it’s usually available. Personally I think it tastes a bit like boiled lawn clippings, but I’ve decided that that’s not necessarily a bad thing! I do really like some herbal teas, especially chamomile and anything mint.

  9. Maybe you could try Rooibos (African red bush) tea? I drink it in the same fashion as regular tea – with milk. In Australia it sometimes is available flavoured, and lends itself nicely to vanilla or caramel flavours. Good luck!

  10. I second the recommendation for Rooibos tea–it reminds me vaguely of sassafras. I like mine plain or with a little honey. The vanilla flavored rooibos is quite tasty. Celestial Seasonings has lots of good herbal blends and there’s more variety on-line than in grocery stores. Also, the Republic of Tea makes a lot of good blends. Moroccan Mint, I think, is a green tea & mint blend. Really great hot or cold , depending on the season. Green tea was an acquired taste for me about 20 years ago. I found in the beginning adding lemon helped to smooth the taste, but now I like it fine just plain. Check out Zhena’s Gypsy teas , too. And also “Holy Basil” tea, various blends /brands, I was surprised at how much i liked it./love it!!

    I haven’t totally given up coffee, but drink mainly decaf now because the caffeine really agitates me. (since menopause… ) That said, even black tea doesn’t upset my stomach like coffee has in recent years. Herbal teas can be a whole new girls’ night bonding experience, and it’s pretty convenient to carry tea bags on travels.

    And Water! Drink it up. I prefer good old fashioned tap water, recent news notwithstanding. Buy a filter and save the planet from another gazillion pounds of plastic waste. And fight back against the persistent corporate commodification of all life’s most basic need.

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