Recently I did a 14-day liver cleanse. I figured it was spring and a good time to clean out the system. Part of the protocol included eliminating all sources of caffeine. When I weened myself off my daily cup of “joe” I thought it was a good time to quit coffee for good. I really don’t need it and there were other ways to get my “warm mug of something” in the morning.
I really didn’t crave the coffee during the cleanse and I was easily able to keep it off the menu. Today, however, was a different story. When I woke up this morning I wanted coffee. A great big mug of creamy coffee with some Lakanto in it (a gave up white sugar for good!). I struggled with this craving for a few hours. Went back and forth with my husband about what I was feeling, why I wanted it, and if it such a big deal if I had only one cup. I kept trying to tell myself no.
I decided to take my mind off of it for a bit. I headed to the kitchen – where I saw the coffee pot with coffee in it – and whipped up a batch of goat milk kefir (it will be ready by tomorrow morning!) and a great big Vitamix full of my favorite green smoothie. I told myself that if I got through these activities and still wanted that cup of coffee I would allow myself the treat – it was a holiday for goodness sake (Memorial Day).
I slid the two quart jars of the green smoothie into the fridge and I still wanted the coffee. I fixed myself a cup and sat down to drink it. I relished the warm mug in my hand. I breathed in the steam and smell of the Kona coffee. I sipped it slowly. I allowed myself to enjoy the aroma. It was blissful.
Why is this important? Living a life where things are “off limits” only creates stress and discomfort in life. Quitting coffee doesn’t mean it was forever prohibited. It simply meant I made a conscious decision NOT to drink coffee. When my body was telling me that it wanted coffee, I made a conscious decision to enjoy the coffee.
Life is about those little moments when you allow yourself the pleasures you deserve. Listening to your body and providing what it needs when it needs it creates an environment where you trust yourself. You trust yourself to do what is best for you, for your body, for your health. I enjoyed that cup of coffee with no guilt.
The truth is – I really didn’t enjoy it like I used to. While I sipped the warm beverage I realized that I can live without it. I can continue enjoying my Teeccino or matcha tea lattes, or cups of Darjeeling tea when something nice and warm is called for. I no longer need the coffee to satisfy a craving. If I had kept myself from indulging in the craving I never would have learned the lesson.
Long story short, listen to what your body is asking for. In this case, coffee was the answer for me. What is your body asking for right now? Listen carefully and provide it. This is part of deeply loving and trusting yourself.
Corrie Ann Gray is a writer, researcher, coach, and cookie enthusiast who lives in Los Angeles, CA. She started the Clean Body Project to share all of her knowledge and resources with others who are interested in running their own experiment into clean holistic living. She is the CEO and founder of Gray Ink Media.