This is one of my favorite mugs. (Along with my Pumuckl mug from Germany.) However, it has been seeing a lot less time outside of the cupboard this week as I am making an attempt to cut back on caffeine.
I started drinking coffee when I was 16 and working my very first job, in a cafe. Since I served coffee through my whole shift, and loved the smell of it, I thought I should try liking the taste. (Also, at that age, I thought it would make me “cool”.) I found it bitter, and either had to add 4-6 sugars or would pour in a packet of the gourmet flavored hot cocoa that we sold. I would drink this once a week when I would work my morning shift on Saturdays. After I left there though, I stopped drinking the coffee, and went years having only the occasional mocha on a shopping date with a friend.
Then, about 5 years ago, I had a horrible job experience working as a teacher at a day care. The place was just bad news, and I won’t go into it here (it is a long and winding story), but thank goodness they shut down shortly after I quit. I only stayed for a month. That was the only place in my life that I have ever left working without giving proper notice. I just told them, on the answering machine, I was never coming back. The point of mentioning this, is that after really bad days there I would come home crying, and Jeramy would take me to Starbucks for a treat. We would drive around the nearby lake and talk, listen to music, and sip our caffeinated beverages while I wiped away my runny mascara. One day, after a particularly heinous day, we went for our drinks and I saw a ‘help wanted’ sign on the door. I knew right then this was a hint from the universe and I asked for an application.
I was hired, and worked there for over three years. I really liked it there for the most part, and part of my job was drinking and learning about coffees. I had to be able to talk about flavor profiles, origin, roasting, and pairings with my customers, and I really took an interest in this aspect of my job. I also learned, through these tastings, to appreciate good, quality coffees, and to differentiate them from bad coffees. I also drank so much coffee during a typical 8 hour shift that it was a bit insane. I was usually quite hyper while at work.
When I became pregnant with Simon, I cut down instantly. My midwife OK’d me to have one latte a day, so I didn’t quit completely, but I cut down to about 75 milligrams a day (one shot of espresso), which, contrary to popular misconception, is less than a cup of coffee. I continued this for a while after Simon was born, but when I began weaning, caffeine began creeping back in, so that I was having two (big) cups a day.
Recently, I find myself always in an energy deficit and I know I am the only one to blame. Inconsistent sleep routines, lack of regular exercise, not quite enough fruits and veggies delivering micro-nutrients to my body, and a dependence on caffeine. I made a recent decision to begin correcting these issues, and am progressing, slowly but surely. I decided to try to tackle all areas at once, a little at a time.
My morning coffee went from my big 16 oz. mug to a small, 8 oz. mug. (I drink my coffee black, so there is no milk or cream taking up any of that space.) I did this for a few days, and then this morning switched to only filling the mug about 2/3 of the way. After a while of seeing how this feels I want to switch to green tea. And from there, possibly off of morning caffeine altogether…perhaps. (I am still feeling a tug of reluctance on this journey.)
I still love coffee and probably always will. I might even allow myself a cup as a treat on Sunday mornings. Or I might buy some decaf beans and still enjoy the flavor without the addiction. We’ll see.
For now, I am noticing this change, in combination with the others, is giving me a clearer mind, and I like it. The chalkboard mug will still get to come out and play when it is time for herbal tea.