Why did I start drinking coffee again? One word: toddlers. (That’s a short post, right?) But seriously, my toddler is where my love affair with coffee began again. But before we get to that, let’s talk about why I stopped drinking coffee in the first place.
In 2001, I was experiencing panic attacks. At the time, my doctor suggested that I cut all caffeine out of my diet to see if that would help, and along with other interventions, it did. Immensely. So other than an occassional cup of tea (I’d choose caffeine-free when possible), I didn’t drink almost any caffeine for 15 years. I was that person who’d order a decaf while meeting friends at a coffee shop, even at 7:00 in the morning. (Because I know you’ve been wondering who the heck.)
Then, last January, my husband and I adopted an adorable two-and-a-half year old daughter. Of course, with adoption comes all sorts of changes, including major sleep disruption. But life goes on and I still had to function as human and mom to three other children… so coffee.
1. Other than the obvious increase in energy that coffee gave me in the mornings, there are four more reasons why I’m glad I’ve started back on the habit. Check them out — you might be surprised.
2. It curbs my morning appetite. Earlier this year, I decided to try intermittent fasting after hearing Kristen & Liz talk about it on their Spawned podcast. (Basically, you eat inside a shorter window of time, which pushes your breakfast back later in the morning.) Before coffee, I was starving by the time I’d dropped the kids off at school. But when I sip on my coffee all morning, I’m not nearly as hungry and can stick to the parameters of intermittent fasting. And the fact that my tight jeans are now loose is evidence that it’s working.
3. I’m more (ahem) regular. You coffee drinkers know: it really works out your GI system. It turns out that caffeine stimulates the muscles in your intestines along with everything else in your body. The trick is figuring out how much is too much, you know what I mean?
4. I love the ritual. My coffee maker is near the window in my kitchen and I can look outside while it brews. I have a favorite mug that I use each day, and I know exactly how much cream to pour in. This ritual has become something that I look forward to in a way that I did not expect. It’s the calm (if brief) me-moment that I carve out for myself each morning, and it’s often a tiny respite on my many whirlwind days.
5. Surprisingly, it makes me more relaxed! Because I’d never been much of a coffee drinker before, a latte is something that I associate with long conversations with friends at a coffee shop. So treating myself to a warm drink while I get the kids off to school feels almost indulgent. Something about the self-care that’s involved in brewing a delicious cup of coffee reminds me to breathe deep and enjoy my morning, instead of looking at it as a to-do list to finish. It’s a change I have been happy to make.