HOWEVER, my decision to give up caffeine was a totally different story. It was both difficult and painful!
So, why did I want to give up my beloved cup o' Joe in the first place? Well, for starters, I had begun to notice some of the side effects of my addiction: Specifically:
- when I didn't drink my latte first thing in the morning I would have en excruciating headache by 10:00 a.m.;
- around 2:00-3:00 p.m. I would experience a rapid energy slump;
- I was visiting the ladies' restroom more than normal following my caffeine consumption (I will spare you the details!); and
- perhaps most disturbing, I was dependent on my latte fix every day...sometimes more than once a day.
I finally decided to give up caffeine while I was training for my yoga teacher certification at Satchidinanda Ashram-Yogaville this past spring. It was a natural decision to go-for-it while I was there because the ahsram doesn't actually serve caffeine at all (therefore, it would never be a temptation to cheat!). Sadly, but not surprisingly, within one day of being caffeine-free I had a constant headache that didn't diminish for about two weeks. Owww!
|This picture was just too cute to pass up!|
Needless to say, I didn't do my headstand in yoga class for a few days...
But after those two weeks I emerged feeling fantastic!
- I no longer had withdrawal headaches;
- my energy was constant throughout the day;
- my restroom visits had noticeably diminished; and
- best of all, I didn't feel the need for my caffeine fix!
As of today, I haven't had caffeine in over six months!
Confession: Once I week my girlfriends and I meet for coffee. I always order a decaffeinated, almond milk latte. Although it is labelled "decaffeinated," all coffee still has a small amount of caffeine. So, in that respect, I have had some caffeine these past few months. However, I believe in balance in all things, and having this time with my girlfriends each week is worth the trace amounts of caffeine!
Regardless of my no-caffeine intake, I still need something warm and comforting to start (and frequently end) my day. Enter vanilla-maple hot cocoa!
1 T unsweetened cocoa (I prefer Ghirardelli)
1 C + 3 T unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 T maple syrup (I prefer 1 T, but I don't have much of a sweet tooth these days)
- Add cocoa and 3 T of milk to your mug, and whisk together.
- Add remaining milk and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.
- Add vanilla and maple syrup, and whisk together.
- Microwave an additional 1 1/4 minutes.
- Enjoy! (pastry and/or book optional)
I make other variations of this hot cocoa as well (can you say peanut butter?!), but that recipe will have to wait for another post! Recently, this simple vanilla-maple concoction has been my go-to.
As many of you know, I also LOVE a good read! A couple of months ago I discovered novelist Kate Morton. In the last couple of months I have read all of her books, and her latest, The Distant Hours, has been my favorite!
An editorial review summarizes the book as follows:
A letter posted in 1941 finally reaches its destination in 1992 with powerful repercussions for Edie Burchill, a London book editor, in this enthralling romantic thriller from Australian author Morton (The Forgotten Garden). At crumbling Milderhurst Castle live elderly twins Persephone and Seraphina and their younger half-sister, Juniper, the three eccentric spinster daughters of the late Raymond Blythe, author of The True History of the Mud Man, a children's classic Edie adores. Juniper addressed the letter to Meredith, Edie's mother, then a young teen evacuated to Milderhurst during the Blitz. Edie, who's later invited to write an introduction to a reprint of Raymond's masterpiece, visits the seedily alluring castle in search of answers. Why was her mother so shattered by the contents of a letter sent 51 years earlier? And what happened to soldier Thomas Cavill, Juniper's long-missing fiancé and Meredith's former teacher? Despite the many competing narratives, the answers will stun readers.Literally, I received this 600-page book on a Monday afternoon, and by Friday I was finished. It was so good that in-between all of my teaching, cooking, and cleaning, I couldn't put it down! If you like a good mystery, driven by gothic romance and intricate family dynamics, you will adore this book!
Question of the Day:
What is your idea of comfort? Obviously mine is hot cocoa and a good read...
Ally and Bo