My (almost) 30 days without coffee

Most people give up coffee due to a health kick, pregnancy or one of those self-sacrificing deals for charity. Me? I lost a bet.

without coffee

I swore black and blue that my wedding anniversary was on the 15th October. My husband, who is much better at dates than I am, was keen to bet I was mistaken. And to wager a month without coffee. Despite the fact that it was highly unlikely he was wrong. Despite the fact that I have a terrible memory when it comes to dates. Despite the fact that I once had our wedding date engraved on a key ring and then promptly misplaced the key ring. Despite the fact that I REALLY love coffee, I took the bet. As you know, I lost.

But a girl has to honour her wager. I had a sneaking suspicion that I was becoming reliant on the heavenly brew anyways. I also figured it would be good blog content (I can admit it). So I went without coffee for a month (almost).

On average, I have a take away cappuccino every third day or so and two to three machine coffees every day. This is how it panned out when I went without coffee.

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Day One: Splitting headache by 3pm. 2 nurofen. Asleep by 8:30pm.

Day Two: Splitting headache by 2pm. 2 nurofen. Asleep by 8:00pm.

Day Three: Splitting headache by 1pm. 2 nurofen. Am I replacing one addition with another?  Can I go to bed at 7:30 pm? Should I google caffeine withdrawal just one more time?

Day Four: Oh good. No headache. Head may be too tired to bother with them.

Day Five: Leg muscle cramps. This is new. I talk to my sister who thinks I am likely to be magnesium deficient.  I wonder what other things my reliance on coffee has been covering up.

Day Six: Husband has lovely cafe bought coffee. Inhale deeply.

Day Seven: Tea is really quite lovely isn’t it?

Week Two: Headaches all but gone. Fatigue has set into my bones. The last time I was this tired I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. Was probably also the last time I gave up coffee. Co-incidence?

Day Fifteen: That’s it, I am having a coffee. I’ll have a decaf cappuccino. Maybe a half strength. Maybe just a small. Dammit if I’m going to cheat,  I am going to make it worthwhile.

Day Sixteen Onwards: The headaches have stopped and the tiredness is lessening.  I cheat occasionally but when I do, I actually feel the jittery effects of caffeine. Some thing I haven’t experienced in a long time. Interestingly, it is not when I wake up that I crave a coffee, but mid-afternoon. Just that little jolt to get me through dinner, bath and bed. I still go to bed almost directly after the kids, promising myself I’ll get up early in the morning to do all the things I would normally use my evenings for. I am morning person. Unfortunately,  so are my kids. This plan fails regularly.

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I actually didn’t notice when the month was up and I could go back to my caffeine guzzling ways. I am no longer buying a take away every other day. When I do, I savour it – truly enjoy it. It was the thing I missed most. The ritual of walking to our favorite local coffee shop as a family on the weekend and chatting over our matching take-away cups. (I have a keep cup but I’m quite terrible at remembering it)

I saved some money on take-away coffees that I have donated towards my Frocktober efforts. If you just want to donate the cost of a cup of coffee, I’d be ever so grateful. And so will the women in the future who will have an reliable early detection test for Ovarian Cancer. You can check out all the Frocktober lovelies here.

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Have you ever gone without coffee?
How did that pan out for you?

13 thoughts on “My (almost) 30 days without coffee

  1. cate says:

    I haven’t had coffee since my 8yo was 6 weeks old (after it gave me up during pregnancy) I sometimes wonder if I’m missing out on something from the healing properties of coffee, but tea is pretty good for me, so I’ll stick with it.
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    • Robyna says:

      I think the general consensus is tea has many more healing properties than coffee, so you are probably onto a winner! Coffee gave me up during my first pregnancy but stayed by my side ever since then (bets aside).

    • Robyna says:

      I have another friend who says the same thing – she hates coffee but wishes she could garner the alert side effects from something else!

  2. Carolyn says:

    Coffee gave me up in the first trimester of my first pregnancy but that was many years ago and I am now well and truly a part of cafe culture! I have tea with meals but coffee in between. And I do like the ritual of sipping on coffee at a cafe. Get a bit miffed when I pay for Hof water and a tea bag!

    • Robyna says:

      I know! That’s the biggest rip off – when a barrista checks the temperature and makes this very careful coffee and then hands over hot water and a tea bag and charges the same amount.

  3. The HIpsterette says:

    Robyna – I’m a fellow coffee lover but can sometimes use it as a procrastination crutch – easier to have a coffee than tackle a new challenge. As with most things, you can have too much of a good thing. My mother and godmother used to have old fashioned perculators which you put on the stove top. They used to catch the tram into the city go to the deli section in David Jones to buy the beans. The smell that emanated from that stove top coffee top was heavenly. Aged about four, I used to join them for a cup. I had my own special mini cup and saucer (made of real china) and used to put in two (sometimes three) sugar cubes. The taste never did live up to the aroma in my four-year-old head but all that changed at age 18 when re-discovered coffee.

    • Robyna says:

      Oh, I love that smell of percolated coffee! I think that very often with coffee it’s the anticipation more than the thing itself. You realised that very young 😉

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