Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Relationship With Coffee

Hello Stalwart readers!  Sorry some time has gone by since my last post. We are in crazy season at the Salinas household (more on that in a later post).

Today I would just like to talk about my relationship with coffee. I've been reading and very much enjoying Kris Carr's Crazy, Sexy Diet. My vegan lifestyle, since February 11, 2010, is well established and easy to live at this point in my life, but Kris' perspective as someone, like me, living with a chronic illness, is valuable to me (she: an incurable, rare cancer, the name of which is very long and complicated and impossible for me to recall; me: Multiple Sclerosis diagnosed January 1996, in the good 'ole days when we were told a cure would be found within 5 years -- still no sign of a cure, only gobs of poisonous, brutal "disease modifying drugs" which produce symptoms worse than the disease, itself). Whew, sorry. Have you noticed I am prone to rants lately? I blame "crazy season" which, as I said earlier will be addressed in a later post. Back to coffee --

Yes, I crave Kris' insights from her relatively rare perspective, and I also crave her irreverent, positively jubilant attitude about her life -- "Life is too sweet to be bitter," she says. Just writing that brings tears to my eyes. Thank you, Kris, for your wisdom.  Off track again -- coffee -- from the pages of Crazy, Sexy Diet I resolved to fine tune my lifestyle even more. The coffee could go. I was only having half a cup a day anyway. The martinis, not so much. But I can have one instead of two or more. The green juice, still a work in progress. I need a juicer. We have medical bills out the ying-yang because of what we are going through with our son's migraines. But, the coffee --

As a young professional fresh out of college, making next to nothing, I was thrilled at the notion that the coffee in the office was free, and it was "all you can drink". It wasn't great coffee, but it was free -- sorta like the beer at the fraternity houses in college (for girls). I developed a pretty serious 8-cup-a-day habit. Later, as a real grown-up with kids, my habit dwindled to about 4-cups-a-day. Right before I went vegan I was still throwing back about 2-3 cups. A clean vegan body made that much coffee intolerable, but I was still sucking down 1/2-1 cup in the morning. Inspired by Kris, I gave up coffee altogether for a week. Oh, the sleep -- the blissful, restful sleep I was afforded without my morning jolt! But then I realized that life was tough. And it wasn't just because of "crazy season". It was because I was no longer smart. I'm serious. Without half a cup of java, my most cherished attribute was GONE! Paying bills: two hours, and full of errors. Reading: incomprehension resulting in re-reading the same passages over and over. Cooking dinner: panic attack-inducing. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

Why is my intelligence my most cherished attribute? My background, in a nutshell:  In high school, I was NOT popular. I was "the brain". In college, at William and Mary, I was not "the brain", in fact I was less brainy than most, but I was definitely in my element! It was finally cool to be smart! Smart folks are SOOOO much more interesting! Now, I'm not bragging that I am some brainiac, but I delight in what intelligence I have. Without it, without half a cup of coffee, I don't even know who I am, and life is really just too hard and ineffective. I'm sure Kris wouldn't judge me for that. She's cool that way.

Do you like the mug? My daughter did the artwork for it. She is awesome!


  1. I just wrote a super long comment, but Blogger erased it! Oh well...

    Cheryl - this is absolutely adorable - charming, humorous, full of candor and wit. Beautiful. I love it. And I myself and a HUGE coffee nut. So I completely understand your struggles and your ultimate decision to have it be a part of your life. Keep up the amazing blogging! :)

  2. Well, you need at least one small vice in your life, huh? A wee bit of coffee in the morning never hurt anyone! I agree with Lindsay.....such a fun playful post. And yes, I love the artwork. Your daughter is so talented!

    P.S. Sorry for your crazy season......

  3. Just found your blog through another one, thought id say hi. I recently did a post about coffee because I have been "in a relationship" with it since I was 18 years old.. And now I am finally free of coffee's chains! Although you mention feeling like you have no personality and get panic attacks without coffee, I feel the opposite. I have noticed more personality, less anxiety, more sleep, less anger, more calmness, less jittery, etc etc I could go on forever. I broke my addiction to coffee by drinking wheatgrass shots instead of coffee, and now I take wheatgrass pills. It gives me an even amount of sustained, natural energy. I didnt like "having" to have it or "needing" to have something to get me going. Anyways, thanks for posting & I look forward to reading more :)

  4. Thanks so much, ladies!

    Michele -- welcome! And to clarify: no, my personality was always intact, it's just my smarts which were AWOL. Without coffee I am just stupid, and life is very hard when we're stupid. Maybe, post-medical bills, when I can finally afford a juicer, I can give that wheatgrass a try! Until then, coffee it is!