Is it the Caffeine or the Ritual?

Is it the Caffeine or the Ritual?
February 24, 2014 Brian

Coming out of a 3 day REBOOT from Joe the Juicer, I have a clear mind and my daily energy is overflowing.  So I had a thought last night during my 75 min hot yoga practice (I know Jess, you should be in the now and just breathe), but with an open mind, thoughts filter in and out from a perspective you just wouldn’t have seen otherwise.  And that thought was, is the caffeine I’ve come so much to rely on actually helping me or is it blocking my inner creativity?  Do I wake up each morning because I NEED the caffeine, or because the ritual of having a cup of hot coffee is now engrained in my mind?

Back track to last Monday, where Jess and I decided to participate in a 3-Day Reboot (read about it here).  We were inspired by Joe Cross who produced Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead – a must see documentary on health, helping others and changing lives with a simple juice.  We made it through the 3 days on no caffeine or alcohol, and no actual chewing of food.  We literally juiced for 3 days.

I had a caffeine withdrawal headache on the first night, which I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at.  I was drinking quite a bit of coffee, daily.  Maybe 3 or more cups.  And in order to realize how much I was consuming, I needed this forced break.  Well, you can guess that come the 3rd night of the reboot, I was eager to have my cup of coffee that next morning.  And I did.  But something clicked with me, and I only had 1 cup before heading to the pool for the morning workout.  And then no other coffee that day.  Next day, drank half caf, half decaf.  Same the following day, and now the next.  Thanks to Jess is still on full decaf mode, which helped influence me to cut these down to half and half.

Now back to the question, is it the caffeine or the ritual?  Well, I can say after one week from starting the reboot, it is the ritual.  Why?  Because I’ve continued to train for an Ironman which requires 2 or more workouts a day, get up early and be active, and make it through a work day without craving coffee for that afternoon buzz.  I realize this is early in the process coming off a reboot, and workouts will only become longer and more intense, as well as earlier in the morning, day in and day out.  But as of now, I don’t need the overdose of caffeine.

A helpful alternative that I picked up from the REBOOT is to drink warm water in the morning with lemon, ginger and a dash of cayenne pepper.  I sometimes drink 2 of these.  And then again at work, mostly because it’s just been so cold here and I need to warm up, but it tastes spicy and is warming.  Again, realizing that the warm cocktail is what makes me like it so much – the ritual.

Next time you get in the morning and want a cup of coffee, just stop, pause and think about what your feeling.  It’s ok to go ahead and have the coffee, but just try and be aware in that moment what is driving you to grab that hot cup of steamy goodness.  You may realize that there may be more behind your morning ritual, and separating the two may just open up a whole new world for you and how you look at coffee, caffeine and the ritual.

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