My Joyful Addiction

I’m sure that by now you’ve figured out that I enjoy my coffee. For those who don’t know me, your mental image probably conjures up a vision of someone with mug in hand, who is always slightly hopped up on caffeine and talks a mile a minute. Would it surprise you to learn that I usually have only one or two cups of good coffee a day and that during four days in the past two weeks I didn’t drink any at all? Admittedly, I do love the taste and experience so much that if I had no inkling of the consequences to my health and lifestyle I’d drink it all day, every day. Water be damned. But the trouble is that I do know. For this, I can thank my Grandma Max. My Grandma was ahead of her time when it came to knowledge about healthy food. When I was a child in the 70’s she’d bake me carob chip cookies that I’d chase down with some kind of green juice that she made back when ‘Joe the Juicer’ was still a fat, little kid. She was reading books about raw food in the 80’s and forever had her nose in a Prevention magazine. I remember receiving great boxes of vitamins and supplements from Grandma that were presented like they were my dowry. And although she has since passed, I think Grandma would be proud now of my reverence for nutrition and how I am trying to pass the same information on to my kids. But the thing is, I never remember my grandma with a cup of coffee in her hand. Admittedly, like all thing scientific, there has and continues to be conflicting information on coffee and caffeine in particular. There are studies that show caffeine in moderation is good for you. There are some that show it’s bad. There are studies that show any amount of coffee, even decaf, is bad and some that show it can prolong your life. The one fact that remains the biggest black mark against coffee is that it is acidic. Acidity is opposite to alkalinity on the great, all important PH scale. Sway too far to the acidic side and your body becomes a breeding ground for illness and disease. All I know is that during a recent cellular cleanse that I was doing for the overall good of my health, there were four days that I was instructed not to drink coffee. So I didn’t. And I was in agony. About an hour after I would’ve normally had my first cup of the day, my body started to yell at me. I had a pounding headache. I was a total bitch. I felt achy and fatigued. In fact, I spent the entire day feeling as though I was walking under water. I understand that these side effects might not all be attributable to the missed coffee but also know I spent each day thinking how everything would be better if I could only just sip on a hot mug of java. Yes, I realized, I am addicted. Addiction is defined as, “being physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects.” Yep, that’s me. So, I should quit drinking coffee right? Wait a minute. Joy is defined as, “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” For me there is joy in drinking coffee, serving the perfect latte, roasting a bean to perfection, talking to people about coffee, and even writing about coffee in this blog. And everyone knows, scientists included, that living a happy life positively affects your health and your longevity, right? There are a handful of companies that claim to have created a ‘healthy’ coffee so I guess I could switch to them. There are even those that claim to have uncovered the fat burning powers of coffee. But are these really coffees? In my opinion, if it hasn’t come from the seed of the coffee fruit, it’s not coffee. It’s just some hot, dark, liquid that may or may not taste like coffee. ( I, admittedly, have not sampled any of these so-called healthy coffees. But I’m also not against doing so and drinking my words. Perhaps a future post?) So, I guess what I’m saying is, I have a problem and I know it. I am addicted to coffee. There, I said it. Am I going to stop? Barring an intervention from my loved ones, the answer is no. Drinking coffee may not the best thing for my health but we all make choices. After all, Grandma Max always had candy in her purse.