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UPDATE| 1 YEAR WITHOUT CAFFEINE


I've been anticipating this post for the longest time and am really excited to finally give this update.


For those of you who don't know, I set myself the challenge last year January to give up caffeine, initially for one month. (note: I know that other products contain caffeine, but my focus was always on the caffeine in drinks, coffee and tea being the most obvious caffeinated sources) 

Who would have thought that that challenge would stretch over an entire year! I'm so proud to say I made it - 2015 was entirely a coffee and tea-free year. Woop! And it feels great.

If you're thinking of setting yourself a similar challenge for this January or for the whole year if you're feeling ambitious, here's a few "heads up" tips and discoveries I'd love to share with you about going #caffeinefree

HEADS UP

1. EXPECT TO GO THROUGH WITHDRAWAL
If you're a die hard caffeine drinker, then prepare to really feel the punch when you give it up. Like nicotine and other drugs, caffeine is addictive and taking that stimulant out of your system is going to send your dependent body into a spin. The first few weeks was shockingly hard- just the smell of coffee would set off headaches and crazy cravings.
Tip: To ease your withdrawal and prevent temptations, take yourself for a walk, get some exercise or just keep busy. 

2. LOAD UP ON ALTERNATIVE DRINKS BEFORE YOU START
It helps if you've already planned what you'll drink in replacement of caffeinated drinks before you start the challenge. At a moment of weakness, it'd be easy to turn back to that cup of coffee if you can't grab something else quick enough.
Tip: Always keep hydrated! Water will never go out of fashion if you're not a fan of herbal or fruit drinks

3. EXPECT TO BE AN INCONVENIENCE
I remember the times when I'd be out with my friends and co workers and we'd hit up a restaurant or a cafe and they'd start ordering mochas and lattes and  I'd be there umming and ahhing over the menu. The time I strolled into Starbucks and ask them if they sold any non- caffeinated drinks, I got an array of blank looks :D
Tip: You may want to carry around your own replacement drinks, say if you're visiting people and they don't have a stash of non-caffeine drinks at hand. You don't want to fall off the bandwagon! And hopefully they won't think it rude if you produce your own drink #awks



DISCOVERIES

1. FOOD TASTES DIFFERENT
When I stopped having a cup of coffee or tea first thing in the morning, I realised that my breakfast would taste remarkably different. I'm guessing that this may be because the replacement herbal teas "cleansed" my mouth and tongue rather than coating it with the stronger lingering tastes of coffee and tea. I often enjoyed drinking teas containing lemon which is known for cleansing the palette.

2. BYE BYE COFFEE BREATH!

3. WHITER TEETH?
Personally, this is controversial. I had hoped that cutting out the staining drinks would instantly help to keep my teeth whiter. However surprisingly this was not always the case. I brush my teeth between 2-3 times a day and occasionally use whitening toothpastes throughout the year regardless. However when I visited the dentists a few months ago, he told me he was concerned by the amount of staining on my teeth! I was so shocked. It was as though the staining had actually increased. I suppose this may be due to other factors of my lifestyle (diet, etc) but you would think that I;d have a decent set of pearls by now. Maybe not...

4. ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY?
Another controversial one. Once the initial withdrawal had worn off, I found that I was much more alert especially in the mornings and motivated to do more, such as workouts. However, more recently, I've been suffering from mid morning fatigue, which is an absolute killer! I'm not lying when I say that at times I've fallen asleep at my desk and struggled to keep my eyes open. The "kick" of caffeine sure kept those symptoms away when I was a caffeine drinker.

5. HOT CHOCOLATE IS YOUR FRIEND
Not all hot chocolates are caffeinated. I've found that the better quality chocolates contain less caffeine than the cheaper or shop brought ones.

CAFFEINE FREE FOREVER?

Now, one year on from my initial caffeine #banuary the biggest question on everybodys lips is: Will I go coffee and tea- free forever? The answer is probably not. I do miss having a cup. ( And yes, I'm aware of DECAFFEINATED coffee, but what's the point of indulging in drinking coffee if the "kick"is absent)


Anyway, now that it's finally 2016, I want to challenge myself to do a different #banuary for this month. When I decide exactly what, I'll let you know!

Happy New Year, Happy New You


Until Next Time x



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