A cup of cappuccino with a tea spoon on a wooden table

No coffee for a month challenge (February 2021)

Following my no sugar challenge, I’m starting my no-coffee month challenge. It’s ridiculous: It’s the 3rd day after the end of my previous challenge and I have been eating Oreos every single day, like an addict finally ”allowed” to have her daily shot. Anyway.

My relationship with coffee

Let me give you some background information about my relationship with coffee.

I started drinking coffee at the university, during class breaks and doing like everyone else (as almost everything I did around that time). Of course, I didn’t really like the taste of it, especially the one from those vending machines, so for long, I drunk my coffee with sugar.

This must have been going on for a few years until I realised that my sugar consumption was quite high. With some effort, I managed to finally enjoy the taste of coffee without sugar and felt at peace again drinking it.

Why I have decided to go caffeine-free for a month

When I started these monthly challenges a year ago, I thought I could go for a month without drinking any coffee. Like many addictions, I thought I could reduce and even quit easily (ha-ha-HA).

I more or less managed to go until the end of the challenge. However, after a month without any coffee, I slowly but surely went back up to 3 coffees a day, and even 4 on bad ones!

When I realised I lost control of my coffee consumption, I thought I needed a good detox again. The goal this time? Maintaining a reasonable consumption.

Disclaimer: I read many studies on the topic over the past years and to be honest I don’t know who to believe after having read everything and its opposite. As always, I suggest you try it for yourself to make your own opinion about coffee to find out what works best for YOU.

The first days of detox

While writing these lines, don’t know where this is going but I’m on my 3rd caffeine free day and I feel good 🙂

The first day was horrible. I won’t lie. As usual with any detox, I experienced migraine from the withdrawal and felt extremely tired, not really able to function or think.

As I ask my office to add decaf coffee to the grocery list, one of my colleagues then messaged me to offer me some he just got for himself. Directly from heaven! So unexpected. Ok, it’s a Nescafe decaf, very basic, but for my first day, it was just perfect.

On the second day, something even more amazing happened. Another work colleague brought 2 packs of decaf coffee from a brand that makes really tasty decaf! It was part of her Christmas calendar and it turns out that she doesn’t drink decaf because she wants the kick of the caffeine. It was just perfect. Really. I shared it with my new decaf buddy and I think we now formed a club, kinda.

So tonight, it’s my third day I as said earlier. My bf works the night shift and prepared a coffee before heading to the office. The smell was really tempting. Even when I normally drink coffee, I just can’t reasonably drink one after 4 pm. So I resisted. Even though the thought of ”It would be nice if I could just … NO!” came into my mind.

Half-way through my no coffee month challenge

We are almost half-way through the month and I’m sitting at my desk just to let you know that nothing really happened in the past few days. But actually, thinking about the past events, I’m like, hmmm, a few things are still worth mentioning:

  • I have been replacing coffee with decaf so that my habits still remain the same: I have one coffee before leaving home, coffee at the office, and coffee at coffee places. Exciting. I know.
  • Something else worth mentioning: one day my boyfriend ordered 2 americanos and I was tempted to say nothing, a bit like ‘Oh, I didn’t pay attention, what a pity. Now I guess I have to drink it.’, but I couldn’t lie to myself so I specified ‘One decaf, please’. Me: 1 – Coffee: 0
  • I took the afternoon off and the weather was so beautiful. I felt like treating myself even more when I walked by one of my favorite coffee shops, something like ‘Come on, one coffee after 12 days, you did a good job, it could be your reward!’. How amusing and ironic. Ha-ha … HA. I decided I didn’t want to fall into the same traps as the previous month with the sugar. Me: 1 – Coffee: 0 – My little evil me: 0

Btw: a quick update about me and my sugar relationship: we missed each other so much that we date every single day, and by the date I mean 1 or even 2 packs of Kinder Bueno at the office. My sleep quality has decreased and the area between my cheek and my jaw has welcomed numerous spots.

However, I fell that my energy level overall has increased. And this is pretty awesome!

First fail and coffee after 17 days

Day 17 annnnd, here we go again: I allowed myself to fail. It was a cold morning, I had to queue outside for 30 minutes to collect my ID and I couldn’t resist long. Writing these lines, I know what happened. Again, the brain.

When I first went to that place to apply and renew my ID, we arrived before the opening to avoid queuing, and my boyfriend got us some coffee to keep us warm for the waiting.

That day was day 17: I hadn’t had many coffee cravings so far, but as soon as I arrived at that exact same place, I knew I wanted some coffee. And being cold and alone was my excuse.

Would that article be so interesting if I wouldn’t fail a few times? I like to think that I do it for the sake of this write-up 😉

Which leads to another coffee, … and another

A week after or so, it was the weekend and we ran out of decaf coffee at home. And because it was 6 am and it was obviously too early to go to the grocery shop, I casually prepared a normal coffee.

Well, this is this exact act that confirmed my doubts. Do you see where I am going with that?

Here we go: I have managed to stop coffee for almost a month by replacing it with decaf coffee.

You could take the previous sentence and fill in the gaps yourself: I have managed to stop … for almost a month by replacing it with …

Is it just me or is it exactly what an addict would say?

I had my doubt at the beginning of this no coffee for a month challenge, but now I know that I missed the point … somehow (yes, because I don’t forget to be kind to myself).

Don’t take me wrong, I’m happy I did this challenge, and I’m happy I can enjoy decaf coffee without the downside of it (feeling tired, excited, with an accelerated heartbeat, etc.). However, the real test would have been to remove completely coffee from my routine.

My conclusion about this no coffee for a month challenge

The challenge is now over and I can easily draw a conclusion: I am happy I did this no coffee challenge although I replaced caffeine with decaf. Even though I’m clearly addicted to my morning coffee, I feel better since I’ve switched to decaf and I can now enjoy 3 cups a day without any guilt if I want to.

  • My energy has increased in general. I don’t have these big low energy moments.
  • My anxiety level has decreased. (I’m aware it can be linked to something different, but I think coffee does play a role in anxiety level).

Last year, after this challenge, I remember introducing coffee with one cup a day. Then 1 cup became 2. Until 2 became 3. I guess part of me wanted to avoid falling into this situation again, and I’m confident decaf will help me do so.

Believe it or not, there are some good decaf coffees out there!

Take care :*

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