Twenty-one days, and it’s getting harder.
Is it because the end is drawing near, so I can almost taste it?
I’ve begun the countdown to February 1st—day one of coffee consumption resumption. Someone asked me yesterday how it was going. I have to say, this experience yielded some surprising results. First, I’ve actually done the challenge, with no cheating whatsoever. Like I mentioned before, the last time I attempted this, I barely held off for an hour.
Second, I thought the beginning of the month would be the hardest. This did not prove to be true. The first two weeks I thought about coffee briefly every morning, before giving myself a congratulatory pat on the back and moving on.
“Look at you….Don’t even care…Who’s your daddy now, Rock Star?”
That might seem completely gratuitous and cheap on my part, but you have to understand, I really love coffee. So much so, I either travel with a percolator and all the accoutrements, or if that’s not possible, I do reconnaissance on the location, before traveling there, to isolate the best options available.
It is the one thing I don’t drive by the seat of my pants and leave to chance. I need to know the options.
After a couple of weeks and a bit this month, going without coffee started to get… harder. Walking past my favorite coffee shops while out on a crisp, weekend morning in the bright sun, yoga mat tucked under my arm like a total walking cliché, the coffee beckoned me, calling my name, begging me to come inside and just smell the fresh grounds….
This weekend was a huge challenge. It was very cold, and snowing, and we were waking up early to get a head start on our day of snowboarding. It begged for a hot cup of joe. I really wanted to be that smiling face in the commercial: “The best part of waking up, fa la la la…”
I settled for hot chocolate.
February 1st will be here before we know it and I can’t wait to take my first sip. However, it’s also the same day “No Sugar February” begins. As you can see, I didn’t dive into the Whole 30 like some of my brave (insane) friends. Not an early adopter of just about anything, I prefer…baby steps.
One thing at a time…
If it goes anything like January, I know the end of the month will be a lot harder than the beginning. Even more challenging, I already have dinner plans to celebrate a friend’s birthday the evening of the first. Developing a plan ahead of time, instead of celebrating with birthday cake, I will be toasting her with a vodka…and sparkling water.
There’s a reason I picked the shortest month for this challenge. I think it will be near impossible to go completely sugar-free, but I’m going to be as earnest as possible in my quest. So much so, I am also going to avoid any alternative sweeteners, natural or otherwise. This is a huge contingency to undertake voluntarily. I love maple syrup, specifically, almost as much as I love my coffee. (As of yet, these two have never met…but I’ve thought about it.) When I fix hot oatmeal for breakfast, it’s a coin toss to see what takes precedence in the bowl: the oatmeal or the syrup.
Russ wrinkles his nose in disgust every time he sees an atrocity such as this taking place in his kitchen. Like this weekend, when I repurposed his leftover broccoli cheese soup into a “spaghetti sauce” over noodles. These culinary makeovers happen a lot in Russ’ kitchen. He cooks, and I repurpose the meals when they start to show some signs of aging. It’s this moment, when deciding what to do with the puny ingredients, which becomes the bone of contention between us and incites a lengthy debate. In general, it ends with me eating the newly-revised (and obviously improved and resurrected) concoction, as Russ cooks something else from scratch or resorts to snacking as his meal.
Last night, as I heated up my broccoli-cheese-noodles for dinner, Russ just shook his head.
“That’s New Hampshire 2.0 waiting to happen right there,” he said.
He was referencing last year when I became violently ill on our trip to New Hampshire. We had eaten at a very nice restaurant with friends that evening, but I think the true culprit might have been the hot dog and the beer I had in the afternoon at the ski lodge, which was the one place no one else had patronized that day besides me. Anyway, it was damn ugly. I wasn’t sure I was going to get to fly home the next day.
Twirling my fork around the creamy, green concoction, I replied, “Well as long as I don’t get the Coronavirus, it’s all good.”
I shoved a forkful into my mouth.
And it was simply delicious.