When I went caffeine-free last year, I ended up at the doctor’s office. My withdrawal symptoms were so severe that my husband was worried about me. It was an awful two weeks complete with headaches and extreme fatigue. I fell asleep at noon, on the couch while reading with Lilah. I did not think I would make it through, but I was concerned at how much caffeine I was drinking (pots of coffee a day...not cups) and how miserable I was feeling. Eventually the withdrawal subsided and I was left with not only physical relief but a profound appreciation for what an stronger addition; like that of heroin or crack, must be like.
I did go back to coffee but not at full strength. I mix decaf grounds with regular and limit myself to two coffee cups in the morning. Before whenever Greg and I were out and about we never thought twice at popping into our favorite coffee shop on the corner for a coffee to go. We would have coffee when we went out to dinner and always at friend’s homes. I stopped all that. Occasionally I will purchase coffee, like I did Tuesday when I spent a glorious afternoon outside with my friends sipping lattes while our girls attended their pottery class, but it was decaf. Always decaf.
Now I have made the decision to cut out sugar. It has been three days. I made this decision for the same reasons I did with coffee. Basically I felt like poo. I have always had a problem with sugar. I love it. Chocolate is my best friend. Ice cream and I have a love affair. My desire to ingest it has not changed as I have aged, but it seems my body is no longer willing to process the amounts of sugar I have been consuming. My stomach has been upset. Nothing serious, just uncomfortable. I don’t feel healthy. I have been asking so much of my children when I have changed their diets. I started to wonder just what I am asking of myself. After Easter weekend, and two days of feeling like poo, I made the decision to cut it out cold turkey.
I have had no bread, no chocolate, no ice cream, no beautiful sugar in the raw sprinkled on my oatmeal. This is coming from the woman who got busted for sneaking into and eating all of her children’s valentine heart chocolates. I have been focused on eating with intention. I love Lilah’s eggs for breakfast, or oatmeal, sans brown sugar. For lunch Grace and I have ham and cheese quesedillas on corn tortillas. Around 3:00 I have my green smoothie with a recipe I have perfected for me.
- Handful of chopped fresh organic spinach
- Handful of chopped romaine lettuce totaling about a cup of greens
- about a 1/2 cup frozen banana, peach and strawberry mix
- Fresh pineapple with juice
- Big splash of orange juice
I love love love this smoothie. My friend swears that they have been vital in helping her to cut her sugar cravings. Maybe it is a placebo effect but I swear they are helping me too.
For dinner we have had pork tenderloin, grilled chicken, rice, black beans, grilled veggie burgers and homemade meat spaghetti sauce with gluten free pasta. I am not yet counting carbs so I know that I am not “technically” sugar free since I believe you can’t be totally sugar free without cutting out carbs as well but I am very conscious of them and keeping to low carb foods as well.
Right now I am not feeling great. I researched sugar withdrawal symptoms and I think I am suffering some of them like muscle fatigue. I am more thirsty but less hungry. All textbook symptoms. I hope to emerge from this stronger, healthier and happier. I want to go into my forties aware that it is disrespectful to expect my body to handle what it did when I was in my twenties. In order to stay fit and energized I need to take my diet to a new level and I am proud of what I have begun.