I’ve never had such a dynamic relationship with food as I did with coffee. It’s like a rough romance that never ends. Ladies prepare yourself for some unusual love story.
About my coffee genes
I come from a coffee addict family. My father drank a few cups a day for sure. We didn’t have any special equipment or filters back then so our coffee was ground by hand and boiling water was poured over the grinds. The mixture was let sit in a cup for a few minutes till the water turned black, 100% black.
That coffee was strong, asphalt strong, but my father did not mind. He even seemed to enjoy the coffee grinds floating swollen at the bottom on of the cup. Caffeine did not bother him. He slept like a baby every night regardless of the amount or timing.
Lucky or not, his coffee genes got passed on to me, so for decades I enjoy heavy brews without any negative reactions. I indulged. Four to six espressos a day wasn’t unusual. Yet, I slept well and I wasn’t jittery.
When coffee addiction sneaks in
Eventually I came to my senses. I knew my coffee likeness turned into a coffee addiction and that discovery bothered me. Was I harming myself?
Since I didn’t want to risk my health, I decided to read everything I could on the benefits and harmful effects of coffee. If it is bad, I will stop.
Coffee is good for you
Surprisingly, the info I found did not lead to panic. The opposite, I learnt that the habit of drinking coffee was linked with a myriad of benefits and very few harms. Given occasionally popping in the media strongly convincing anti-coffee screams that load of positivity was a relief. To counteract those coffee haters I wrote a few articles on coffee benefits:
The pro-coffee studies convinced me that I should continue my coffee drinking habit, so I did. And everything would continue as normal if not that one thing messing up my romantic affair with the drink: the meat-only diet.
When love fades
Meat-only diet was an experiment that changed my relationship with coffee for good. After a few months on a pound of meat a day I started to develop a distaste for the aforementioned beverage. At the beginning I thought that’s impossible. I’ve been drinking coffee for 40 years without hesitation and now my taste buds don’t like it.
I thought maybe I’m just fed up of my coffee brand, so purposefully I tried coffee at friends and at various coffee shops. But the coffee aversion started to become undeniable. It was coffee, not my coffee brand.
When habits are strong.. talk to your hands
It took some time before my hand listened not to reach for a coffee cup when my body objected. Habits are though to break. Finally, after some tough talk, I persuaded both hands not to interfere with my body’s feelings. I convinced them that habitual automation must stop when counterproductive.
After turning off automatic hand moves an impossible happened. One day I completely forgot about coffee. I didn’t make it, I didn’t drink it and I didn’t even notice it! The same thing happened the next day, and then the next.
I don’t need you any more
How come I did not notice? How come I don’t have any withdrawal symptoms? My head scratching from the disbelief was so hard that I sure scared the neighbors with the weird noises.
How come with such a long-standing heavy addiction I felt nothing when I went cold turkey? Shouldn’t I have gotten at least a one-day migraine or leg-dragging fatigue, or some nuisance symptoms like excess bitchiness, but nothing, as if I never skipped a sip.
That was rather unusual, given that in the past every cessation of coffee gave me pounding headaches, a day off work, and such foul mood that even the dogs did not want to go for a walk with me.
Interesting, but there is more.
The coffee revenge
After a period of abstinence, I convinced myself that since I no longer felt addicted, I shall resume the habit for health reasons. So, I did, but it didn’t go that well. I developed hand numbness as if paresthesia, which was getting worse with each cup. I never had that before. Have I developed some sort of sensitivity on a meat-only diet?
To be sure that numbness and coffee went together, I experimented. And they sure did. A few days without coffee made the ants in the hands disappear. Yet the critters were coming back every time I restarted the art of brewing. I figured it is vitamin B2 deficiency and remedied it with a cheap health food store purchase. To my surprise the supplementation helped only in the first few weeks. After that the pills magically lost their healing powers, despite near-limitless expiry date on the bottle.
Filling the gap
What now? I hate herbal teas. I won’t drink bone broth. I dislike warm milk. Yet I crave warm beverages. If coffee is gone, what can I use in its place?
Suddenly a long-forgotten option emerged: tea with lemon juice. Tea with lemon juice is a tricky thing for me as I don’t tolerate citrus well. But due to lack of options, I decided to give it a try. Lemon tea was another surprise. Despite heavy tannins intercepted with citric acid, I not only tolerated the mix, but I also started to like it. Totally kooky.
One day a cup of coffee shows up on the table next to my steak. I took a sip and…. OMG!!! That awful taste! For the first time in my life my body shook from the deep coffee distaste!
Damn you, meat!
My taste buds totally changed. Damn you, meat! I think I developed a full-blown coffee aversion. But me? Aversion to coffee? Unthinkable! Didn’t my father lock coffee permanently in my genes?!
A few days passed and I wouldn’t touch coffee when served. I felt bittered out. And then someone gave me a sip of cappuccino. From politeness I did not refuse, but to my surprise the encounter did not send my body into convulsions. Hmm, here is an idea. Maybe I will try cream in my coffee.
I did. I don’t regret it.
Everything changes, even your BFF
It’s my new love-affair and it may be more functional than the previous one with the naked black. Why I think so? Because I don’t get any ants, spiders, or name-them critters crawling under my skin from the indulgence. But that’s not the weird part. The weird one is this: I never liked coffee with cream. Damn you, meat. You changed everything!
Going on meat-only diet? Warn your BFF, because everything may change! (including you health parameters)
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