I recently decided to give up coffee.

I have tried {and failed} at this before. I actually went without coffee the whole time I was pregnant a few years ago. But as soon as the Boy got his eviction notice, I was “back on the sauce” {coffee, that is ;)}. And man was it good. I love everything about coffee: its velvety smooth texture; the smell of fresh ground beans; the aroma when it begins to brew…it just makes me happy. Maybe others can relate??

But, if I missed a day of coffee for whatever reason, I became a bear {my husband can attest to the truth of this statement. Laugh if you want, but it’s no joke!} Upset, cranky, no patience – I was just MEAN! Then the headaches in the afternoon…ugh. And that was just from one day without coffee.

OK, so I didn’t just enjoy my morning cup(s) of coffee, I was a coffee addict. Going through a pound of coffee a week made me rely on the power of those magical beans – just to get through the day. And enough was never enough. Instead of enjoying coffee (like I thought I was), coffee was controlling my life.

So with much effort I made the decision to give up coffee. And in the past 3 weeks of being coffee –free, I have come to realize some benefits.

3 Benefits of Giving Up Coffee

1. It Saves Money

At about $7/lb, my habit was fast becoming pricey. A pound a week translated into about $32 per month, or almost $400 per year! That’s a huge chunk of our monthly food budget when you consider that I could buy a lot of fresh produce or meat with that amount. {Or have a date night with my husband once a month, go on a weekend family vacation this summer, finally get an iPhone :), buy a pair of really cute boots…you get the idea}. My addiction was keeping me from experiencing other things in my life.

2.    It Keeps me Honest

I can no longer lie to myself about not being tired. My moods are me being me. My energy levels are what they are (or at least not dependent on getting a jolt). In short, not having coffee makes me actually hear my body. Tired = “You need to rest!” instead of “Drink some coffee and power through!”

3.    My Mind is Clearer

It’s not the first day without coffee…it’s actually the third day that’s the worst. The ice pick that got shoved in to your brain is now trying to find new and uncharted territory to poke and pierce. The dull, low grade headache at the base of your skull and sloshy feeling when you turn your head…that will pass. In a few days. But at least the nausea and shakiness has subsided {I told you, I was addicted, in the truest sense of the word!}. After getting through the “detox” period, I actually feel like I can think again. That might sound strange, but when I was on coffee, I felt like I wasn’t getting past survival mode. Like I needed that “artificial intelligence” just to help me function at a normal level. It feels so good to not be constantly rushed by the overactive caffeine induced chatter in my head. Having a clearer mind creates more calm and peace in my daily life, and also helps me to stay focused on my weekly goals and tasks.

For me, giving up coffee has made a lot of sense, and (I think) was very necessary to achieve a better quality of life. But please don’t only hear me saying that coffee is evil! I know that there are many health benefits to consuming reasonable quantities of it daily. However, I believe that if anything in your life becomes an addiction, then it needs to get kicked to the curb. Even coffee 🙂 .

So what is your coffee drinking style? Casual or addicted?