My 30 Days Without Caffeine or Alcohol
Have you ever seen the mom shirts that say, "Fueled by coffee. Sustained by wine"? Yeah, that very well could have been my motto. I've loved the taste of coffee since I was a kid and wine, well, do I really have to make a case for it? That being said, I have been on a journey to be the healthiest version of myself while also enjoying my life to the fullest for about a year and a half. I had lost about thirty pounds and was feeling a lot better and stronger, but still had that last little bit of belly fat hanging on. In May I was talking to a friend about my journey and my struggle to lose said belly fat and he mentioned that he was doing a liver cleanse and talked about how much better he felt. This meant cutting out caffeine and alcohol for thirty days. I'm not gonna lie, the thought that I may not be able to do it made me want to do it even more. I dreaded it, but I was also incredibly excited and intrigued as to what it would do for/to me. So I ordered my liver cleanse pills (thank you Amazon) and began my experiment.
The Alcohol- The first thing that I noticed was that I felt fidgety in the evening. It was like I had become so accustomed to having that glass of wine while I wound down that I felt like I couldn't wind down without it. I started making myself a cup of night time tea and quickly realized that it wasn't so much the actual alcohol that I was craving. It was just sipping on something that I was after. It's not like I didn't miss the wine, but the tea gave me the same sensation and relaxing affect.
The Caffeine- Ok...so I thought that I didn't consume much caffeine. I thought, "I just have a cup in the morning. No big deal." I switched to decaf because I actually love the taste of coffee and I mix my collagen powder in it in the morning so I thought the caffeine thing would be a breeze....not so much. Starting the second day and all the way into the end of the week, I had a massive headache. As I was lamenting to the friend who recommended the cleanse to me that I couldn't believe one cup of coffee in the morning could make that big of a difference, he reminded me that I very often would have an afternoon cold brew as a pick me up before teaching in the evening. I did not realize how much caffeine I was consuming and how it was affecting my body.
Positives- There really weren't many positives the first week. I felt exhausted and sometimes I felt sick. I also ended up having to have emergency dental surgery on Sunday after this week, so I'm sure that infected tooth wasn't helping and, let me tell you, the urge to have a drink when that pain was at it's peak was REAL, but resisting made me feel strong and like I could conquer the world, or at least the liquor aisle at the grocery store
The Alcohol- There were only a couple of times in week two that I wished I could have a drink, but for the most part I was staring to realize that I didn't really miss it like I thought I might. My night time tea was treating me well.
The Caffeine- The headaches were gone and I didn't notice any sort of withdrawal symptoms, but I was seriously struggling with fatigue mid-day.
In Other News- Something I didn't see coming was the purging that my skin started to do. I mean, it was epic! I have not had break outs like that since the beginning of my pregnancy. It was cystic and angry and very frustrating. I reminded myself that everything is temporary, but the struggle was real. During this time I was also continuing to eat as clean as possible. This wasn't a particularly new thing for me, but before, when I would cheat a little, I might have a little bloating and that's about it. Now, I was feeling extremely sick when I would eat anything remotely unhealthy. I even had a time where I ate fajitas at a restaurant with just chicken, tortilla and salsa and I was sweating and felt nauseous afterward.
The Alcohol- By this point, I really had no desire to drink. Occasionally on a night that I didn't have much to do I would find myself thinking that a glass of wine would be nice, but I was starting to be very fond of my night time tea.
The Caffeine- Caffeine was a none issue at this point.
In Other News- The break outs lingered, but by the end of the week, there were no new ones and I was starting to feel hope. I did a little research and found some articles suggesting that celery juice might help with digestion of the "cheat" foods as well as the break outs. I started drinking celery juice if I ate something that wasn't so clean and also just because it made me feel great and it made a huge difference with my digestion, hydration and skin. As a bonus, I was sleeping so much better. I was waking up feeling energized and felt like I could focus so much better.
The Alcohol- I have to say that at this point I was honestly afraid to have a drink again. I felt so good and felt like my body was so thankful to me for giving it a break that I was afraid of how it would affect me. I was also super proud of myself. I learned that I wanted to drink when I was bored or when I was winding down and just wanted something to sip on. I didn't need to have a drink socially and I most definitely didn't NEED it at all.
The Caffeine- I had decided I would never make caffeine a daily part of my life again. I didn't need it and I never wanted to go through that caffeine withdrawal again.
In Other News- My skin had totally cleared by the end of this week and it was glowing.
My body was still sensitive to things that weren't good for it, but I don't really consider that a bad thing. Also, the whites of my eyes looked super white. AND...My last bit of belly fat was totally gone and I was a happy girl.
THE TAKE AWAY
I've had so many people say something to me about this thirty days, from people saying that they want to do it, to people saying that they couldn't do it. What I say is that, not only can you do it, but you might surprise yourself in the process. You are stronger than you think. If it's something that you've been considering, if you have a last bit of fat to lose or you want to jump start your weight loss, I highly recommend it. I have not only proven so much to myself over the course of those thirty days, but my body thanked me. Since the cleanse I have not had caffeine, except for one day when I ran out of decaf and after drinking the regular coffee I felt shaky and sick the whole day. I do enjoy some wine occasionally and love some whiskey as a treat, but I've found a balance and I know that overindulgence isn't worth it because I know my body will let me have it if I do.
I have every intention to do this two or three times per year to keep me feeling at my best. I feel as if I never new how good my body and mind could feel and now I'm addicted to feeling that way. I am also learning that the most amazing thing I will ever own is my own body and I want to learn all I can about it and keep it feeling it's best.
**Below are the liver cleanse pills I took.**