The end of a calendar year and the start of a new one is always a good time to reflect what I can do for me to feel more nourished in the coming year. In my blog today I am talking about my Caffeine Addiction and giving up alcohol (not an addiction for me, but just interested to see how I feel without it).
Over the past 17 years I have taken my health more seriously – because I want to have a long life to be here for my children and I want my family to be healthy and nourished. I have done lots of research on nutrition, studied Homeopathy for a year, studied about herbs and essential oils, learned to be kinder to my body. I spend a lot of money and time on my and my families health and wellbeing. Unfortunately and much to my frustration now that they are teenagers they seem to undo so much of the good work I have tried to do over the years, making organic home cooked meals, reducing sugars, toxins, having almost no processed foods, only toxic free cleaning and body care, only very limited screen time etc. etc.. Ah well, at least they had a good start I guess…
I am eating and cooking a lot more consciously, although admittedly my family is not super excited about my ideal diet, so I am making a lot of compromises due to the lack of time. I try to move my body regularly – even if its just walking the dog or standing instead of sitting at my desk. I try to get enough sleep, to drink good stuff, to use good supplements when I feel I need them. I try to schedule regular selfcare, like nourishing holistic facials, a massage, acupuncture, chiropractor etc. Not all at once of course, but I try to mix and match and do at least 2 nice things for myself a month.
I try to take care of my mind and spirit. I stopped watching TV years ago and only watch carefully selected things now. The rule is – if it doesn’t leave me feeling good I don’t want to see it. I very much limit news and only “consume” carefully – I don’t like how media is run and how selectively and usually one sided they report and I am too sensitive to absorb all the misery shown in the news several times a day. A reporter told me once the first thing they learn is journalism school is “if it bleeds it leads”…. Anyhow that would be a whole other blogpost.
Instead I try to learn new things that interest me, journal, crochet, draw, paint, listen to audiobooks, go a for a walk, do some yoga, do a meditation etc. I have very little time to myself currently, but the little time I do have I try to spend with things that I find calming, relaxing and nourishing.
In the past year I had the inspiration to try and do away with Coffee. My hubby and I had a shared passion for coffee over the years – we were kinda coffee snobs. Tim still is enjoying his brew. But I realised I liked the ritual of sitting down and having a nice drink more. I am also fairly intertolerant to dairy and plant milks are so expensive (I have my coffee with lots of milk). I realised everytime I would have coffee my heart speeds up and I also realised I needed it (addiction hellooooo). I am also going through peri menopause and have quite a bit of physical stuff going on, so was interested to see what happens if I cut it out. I had headaches for 3 weeks after going cold turkey. Then I was fine for a few months. However I love the smell of coffee and being surrounded by coffee drinkers at home and in the office and feeling I needed the “energy boost” I had the occasional one. And then I realised the addiction kicked in again. I wanted more and I wanted regular. I noticed that I mood was declining on it too, my fuse was shorter and felt more grumpy. So I gave up again – this time it was only a few days of headaches.
I tried to replace it with a ceremonial cacao (Seleno, Keith’s or Mamamuti) which is a bit of an investment and very rich – I don’t like it all the time. I have tried Matcha tea, but its not quite the same. I like herbal teas and drink heaps of them, but I still missed the coffee smell and ritual, until a friend came around and said why don’t you try decaf – it tastes the same and doesn’t have the side effects! Well why I didn’t think of that myself I don’t know. I found a nice organic one where the caffeine is removed via water extraction: Good Fortune Coffee. They also have a little message in the coffee, like in a fortune cookie. That was such a lovely surprise (see photo). Just for your info decaf has about 2% caffeine vs. over 90% for a normal one. So now I can still get my coffee ritual with out the jittery side effects. Yay.
Apart from Caffeine I am also going to try Alcohol free / Sober life starting today. I want to see how I feel without stimulants. I don’t drink much anyway. Much to my hubbies annoyance I usually have a sip of his beer, because I wouldn’t be able to drink a whole bottle myself. I might have a glass of wine here and there and I have been known to enjoy a Gin Tonic and sometimes even a good spirit, like a Whiskey with the hubby or herb schnapps for digestion. I am not sure how this one is going to go. It will be interesting. I have several friends who have started their sober journeys over the years and I followed with interest and queried it with myself. But because my alcohol consumption is so low and occasional anyhow, I thought its not something that really bothers me.
I grew up in a drinking culture in East Germany. We were drinking Schnapps out of the bottle when we were young and I was drunk too many times than I care to remember. I see a similar drinking culture here in NZ. I have observed lately how people talk about getting drunk / pissed as if it was something to be proud of. Responsible, nice adults too. I can’t relate to the need to escape into an alcohol haze anymore. I guess I have enough other places to escape to that I have learned over the years, that feel way more nourishing and authentic to me. It repels me to be honest, when adults get drunk and silly and think its funny or something to boast about. Also I have a nearly 17 and 14 year old now and alcohol discussions have been regular and fierce at our house. I don’t want to discuss here what concerns my children, other than that I want to be good role model and be a living proof that one can survive without alcohol. And of course I totally believe its not good for the body, mind and spirit anyhow. Here is a podcast I listened today that was recommended by someone who also started their sober journey 7 months ago. Its a bit longwinded and American, but has some good bits of information in it as to what alcohol is doing to your brain, hormones, gut, organs etc.
I will keep you updated on the decaf and sober journey. Perhaps you feel inspired to reflect what you can let go of in the new year. I have another few things in the pipeline that I want to let go of, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself and prefer to take it one step at the time. I trial different things at different times to see what makes me feel good and what feels right and authentic to me. Some things I stick with for some time, some things I let go of after a while, some things I do regularly, some irregularly. Its good to stay curious about ourselves and our bodies.
I am wishing you a happy, healthy, fulfilled, nourished New Year, wrapped up in love, care and kindness.