"The best part of wakin' up is...."

Woo! It has been a minute, ya'll. What a wild ride 2021 was; creeping into 2022 with new perspective, personal growth, and goals up the wahzoo.

Let's get down to it, shall we? Am I the only person participating in "Dry January" this year? I decided to step it up a notch and eliminate caffeine all together, as well as my precious wine. As we all know, caffeine is one of the main drivers that help us get out of bed in the morning, drop the kids off at school on time, and keeps us afloat during the work week. For me personally, I did this as an experiment to see how much I truly rely on caffeine everyday and how I would feel without it. Let me tell ya, it was rough in the beginning. The withdrawal headaches were in full swing for the first three days, the lethargic waves hit almost as fast as my bad attitude, and not to mention the odd food cravings throughout the day. It was a battle I was willing to face as my curiosity had me hooked!

I had anticipated the headaches, and questionable mood swings, but the weird cravings had me stumped. I was slugging fresh lime water everyday to help combat the headaches. By slugging, I mean at least a gallon of water a day. I carry a half gallon water bottle with me everywhere I go, which lately, hasn't really been much of anywhere. The water helped with the cravings too, but it was mind blowing to me that I was craving chocolate cake and fresh baked bread on the daily. This was totally out of my wheelhouse, as I had never baked fresh bread in my life until yesterday. I am not much a dessert person in general; savory all the way! I was naive to think that I was different. Just because I don't drump cream or sugar into my coffee every morning or shove my face full of sweets everyday, didn't mean I wouldn't be vulnerable to side effects . My cortisol levels and stress hormones were just as much affected as anyone else's, triggering those weird cravings

(weird for me) at any time of day or night.

From a mental health perspective, once I got past the three days of chaos, I began to notice my anxiety was more manageable. I didn't wake up in the morning feeling groggy, depressed, or down right pissed off. I woke up feeling well rested and calm. Now, not to be confused, I have been putting my mental health first for some time now, putting the damn work in. But, I will say that I've noticed an even more pleasant change since giving up caffeine. My body is no longer relying on that caffeine boost throughout the day, it is fueled on nutrient dense foods and tons of lime water. It was weird getting used to not saying, "I'll workout after this cup of coffee" or "Let me finish this cup of coffee and then we'll go grocery shopping" or "Errrgh, I need a cup of coffee." I no longer need the "fix" & it feels great.

I realize that compared to some people, I may not drink as much coffee as the next person. However, it is completely possible to do this! You may have five days of chaos or little to no side effects at all. We are all completely different. I chose to slug water, invest in decaf coffee (the placebo effect is our friend in this case), and concentrate on my overall health by eating nutrient dense foods. Apples, carrots, greens, dark chocolate, bananas, and beans are just some of the whole foods that help provide that energy you're longing for! Don't forget, getting some activity in is also super helpful! That's right, I said it. Drag that beautiful body of yours to the gym, on a walk, or stretch it out right there in your living room (the floor is yours). For me, yoga and my stationary bike has been my savior lately. Michigan has been having its typical frigid weather for this time of year so I've been glued to the yoga mat or my bike. Make a new playlist that gives you all the good feelings and get movin'!

I am currently 23 days deep, zero caffeine and zero booze. Feeling phenomenal, if I'm honest. My skin is glowing, my mental health is on the up & up, and I have more energy than ever before. This girl may have a glass of wine here and there, but I think the caffeine is being put on the back burner until further notice. If I feel my best without it and my body is thriving, then I am full steam ahead over here. Sometimes small changes can turn into lifelong positive changes if you are open to it. I challenge you to make a positive change this year, big or small, it is all the same if it helps you feel your best!

Quick Tips (If you choose to eliminate caffeine):

  • WATER (good lord, drink your water)

  • Nutrient dense whole foods (will help keep you energized)

  • Activity (help combat mood swings)

  • Drink herbal tea or decaf coffee as a substitute (be mindful of those sugary creamers, it is not a necessity)

  • Nap time is acceptable (especially in the beginning)

  • Give yourself some grace (Rome wasn't built in a day)

Create good intentions for yourself & remember to breathe deep, you are worthy.

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