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Bend, OR - October 27, 2012

I endured 35 days without coffee.

It seemed like an eternity…The longest 35 days of my life!

I did it to challenge myself.  I gave up coffee and chocolate for 30 days while some friends in the Vinnie Tortorich’s No Sugar No Grains Facebook group gave up dairy for 30 days.  My challenge lasted longer than 30 days because I (stupidly!) offered to start my challenge over when someone new joined the 30 day “No Dairy Challenge.”

I’ve always been a “one latte a day” coffee drinker.  Rarely would I have more than one.  I brew my espresso at home, enjoying my double shot with cinnamon, vanilla extract and a blend of non-dairy milks (soy, homemade nut/rice, and a splash of coconut).

I wanted to try going a full 30 days without coffee to see if I really missed it.  In the past, I’ve tried going a few days or even a week without it, but I always ended up going back to my daily habit.  I believe it does take at least 30 days to rid the body of addictive substances and establish new habits.

No– It’s not that I thought I had a caffeine addiction.  No one would consider my consumption excessive.  I do nothing to excess!  Balance is my middle name.  It’s my astrological sign:  Libra.

I may be different than some people.  I don’t use coffee to wake me up, or give me energy.  Actually– I enjoy my coffee the most when I can sit back and relax with it.  I really look forward to my coffee each day.  It calms me.  I’ve called it “my sweet elixir.”  (Read this previous post for proof!)

Even still– part of me wanted to find out if I would feel significantly better without the coffee in my system.  The people who give up coffee for good always seem to hype it up!  They feel soooo great, blah, blah, blah.  I always wondered if that would or could ever be “me.”

I also think that sometimes it’s good to not always get what we want, right when we want it.  It’s a form of discipline.  It builds mental toughness.  It rejects instant gratification…and entitlement.

(Nah!! It just sucks– let’s be honest!)

The verdict?

I gave up coffee and chocolate for 35 days.  The chocolate part wasn’t so bad.  Sure, I wanted a chocolate pick-me-up every so often.  But it wasn’t a big deal.

As for the coffee– I really, really missed it!

The first 4 days were a breeze.  No headaches.  No adverse physical symptoms.  I was not physically addicted to the caffeine, apparently.

On day 5 everything changed.  From that day, onward, I wanted my latte.  I longed for my latte.  I don’t believe I wanted the caffeine, but I did want the taste…and the comfort.

First, I substituted with various herbal teas.

Then, I discovered Teeccino.  I started off buying Teeccino Vanilla Nut Herbal Coffee Tee Bags.  They’re tasty, but in a full cup of hot water, they’re still very much like tea.  Too watery.

Next, I bought an 11 oz bag of Teeccino Maya French Roast Herbal Coffee.  I started brewing the Teeccino grounds in my espresso machine just like I’d brew espresso.  This was much better…more concentrated, more like coffee.  I made Teeccino lattes.  Not quite the same, but not bad at all.  Decent!

After the 21st day without coffee, I seriously had a dream about coffee.  Is that nuts, or what?

In my dream, I chugged a cup of black coffee.  (Funny, because I never drink black coffee!)  I was immediately pissed off at myself when I realized that I wasn’t supposed to drink it.  I’d ruined the whole challenge!  At that point in the dream, I was also getting ready to accept a latte that someone bought for me.  It occurred to me (in the dream) that I might get really buzzed from the caffeine of 2 coffee drinks, since I wasn’t used to drinking any.

I woke up glad it was only a dream!

After the first 20 days, I stopped counting every single day.  That made it easier because the days didn’t seem to pass as slowly as when I was counting each one.  I settled in.

Instead, I figured out the day I could have coffee again, and focused on it:

September 16, 2013

Tomorrow is that day.  I made it!  I survived without coffee.  Physically, I feel the same.  For me, there was nothing magical about giving up coffee.

Was it worth the deprivation?  NO!

I found out that my daily coffee really does keep me in my happy place.  It makes my good life even better.  It makes life’s frustrations a little more tolerable.  Coffee is soothing.  I just need it to feel…content.  Balanced.

I’m so glad I did this challenge because now I know without a doubt that I don’t EVER have to do it again.  I found out exactly what I wanted to find out.  Awesome!  That’s the payoff!

Coffee–>  I do declare:

You and I will never be separated again!

Coffee Cups - IMG_2383

On April 11, 2012, I made my first blog post. I was inspired by words from a podcast.

Now, one year later, this blog continues to be an enjoyable endeavor.  I appreciate every blog follower and visitor.

In this anniversary post, I’m still inspired by podcasts.  What can I say…I listen to lots of them!

The following quote, from Vinnie Tortorich’s Angriest Trainer podcast, really sums up the FREEHEEL VEGAN lifestyle.

“Put life into living, and do it with enthusiasm!”

FREE YOUR HEELS…

Elisa on Atomics

Elisa at Mission Ridge

Elisa at Long's Pass - May 2004

Elisa at Long’s Pass – May 2004

Can't tele?  Sucks to be you!

Can’t Telemark? Sucks to be you!

PLAY IN SNOW…

Eric at Mission Ridge - February 27, 2010

Eric at Mission Ridge – February 27, 2010

Mt Bachelor - December 26, 2009

Mt Bachelor – December 26, 2009

LIVE LIFE…

Eric's 1974 BMW - LIVE LIFE!

Eric’s 1974 BMW – LIVE LIFE!

Eric in Kauai - May 24, 2008

Eric in Kauai – May 24, 2008

Elisa at Lake Chelan Slidewaters - July 23, 2010

Elisa at Lake Chelan Slidewaters – July 23, 2010

Elisa at Galbraith - August 27, 2011

Elisa at Galbraith – August 27, 2011

BE SILLY & LAUGH…

Silly nephew - June 24, 2011

Silly nephew – June 24, 2011

Silly niece - December 24, 2012

Silly niece – December 24, 2012

APPRECIATE THE “LITTLE” THINGS…

Wenatchee, WA - July 29, 2011

Wenatchee, WA – July 29, 2011

Bend, OR - October 27, 2012

Bellatazza Coffee in Bend, OR – October 27, 2012

HANG OUT WITH A BUDDY…

New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary - April 16, 2010

Goats at New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary – April 16, 2010

New Moon Farm Goat Rescue - February 15, 2013

Roosters at New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary – February 15, 2013

Kauai - May 8, 2011

Eric makes a chicken friend in Kauai – May 8, 2011

LEND A HELPING HAND…

Member of the NMF Manure Management Team since Fall of 2008!

Member of the NMF Manure Management Team since Fall of 2008!

Eric gets some love from Opie while scooping the poop - March 19, 2010

Eric gets some love from Opie while scooping the poop – March 19, 2010

LOVE SOMEONE…

Millie - December 5, 2011

Millie – December 5, 2011

Love them all.  Eat plants!

Love them all. Eat plants!

FREE YOUR MIND.  FREE THE ANIMALS…

Think about the animals.

Think about the animals. Don’t eat them!

“Put life into living and do it with enthusiasm!”

I love that quote and I love Vinnie’s podcast.  But, I have a little more to add.

Yes- put living into your own life.  But- also allow others to live their own lives.

To the fellow listeners and fans of the Angriest Trainer podcast:

Don’t be a “carnivorous vegan,” be an actual vegan.  You can do NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) VEGAN style!

Adopt the FREEHEEL VEGAN lifestyle…and do it with enthusiasm!

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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