Before last August, I disliked coffee. I refused to drink the brown, bitter liquid unless I was in the Coffee Mill Cafe in Jerusalem or another situation in which “going for coffee” was more about the “going” and less about the coffee. When it was socially unacceptable for me not to like coffee (like in an internship meeting, for example) I would order the drink that had the most foamed milk and sip it slowly, spoonful by spoonful, until I finished every last white drop. This process took fifteen minutes alone, and I was often spared from drinking the rest of the bitter sludge, as the meetings were usually well over by then, conveniently.
But then college happened.
We all know what they say: From of the options of working, sleeping and partying, while in college, you can only pick two to focus on, because doing all three well is just impossible.
So, being myself, I chose to make schoolwork and umm…socializing… (those who know me know that I’m not much of a partier haha) my top two priorities.
So: Exit sleep, enter coffee.
In terms of my coffee consumption, fall semester wasn’t so bad. I wouldn’t have more than a cup a week, if that, and I definitely wouldn’t have considered my then-self a coffee-addict. However, with spring semester and my 19-credit schedule, coffee became a must. Califia Farms cold brew coffee (highly recommend!) had a comfortable spot in my mini-fridge, which says a lot considering the size of that thing.
My need for coffee hit me full force during finals time. It wasn’t long before I was greeted with a “Good morning! Will it be a cappuccino or latte today?” after waiting on line at Footnotes, the cafe in the UMD library. For the first time in my life, I had a “usual.” They even knew that I took my coffee unsweetened with lots of skim milk.
It felt weird that other people knew what I wanted before I did, but kinda nice at the same time.
Before I get into why I’d like to kick my coffee addiction, I’d like to highlight some good things coffee can do for us. According to Monica Reinagel, RD, drinking coffee regularly can lower the risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer, gallstones, and Alzheimer’s disease – all great things! I find that having a cup of coffee in the morning keeps me alert throughout the day, which is a major help when it comes to studying effectively when running on little sleep (story of every college student’s life). The wonders coffee has done for me (and my GPA) are truly miraculous. The purpose of this blogpost is certainly not to deride coffee or caffeine.
However, the reason I want to stop being so reliant on coffee is because I want to be the one in control. The saying “wake up and smell the coffee” is currently too true in my life, as the two now seem to be a package deal. I do not like the feeling of “needing” my coffee to feel awake; I want to be able to feel awake myself, without a drink. Also, I certainly don’t enjoy the caffeine withdrawal headaches I experience when I’ve waited too long before hitting the Keurig in the morning. I want to be able to feel alert naturally; I want to rise with the sun and save the coffee for only those days when it’s absolutely necessary (like finals week, for example).
Now that I’ve completed freshman year and an organic chemistry I summer course (ew), I can’t make any more (valid) excuses to allow my coffee addiction to continue. I am drawing the line now, while writing this post. Hopefully by announcing my plan to kick caffeine to all of you reading this, I will be able to actually do it! Yay optimism! 😛
But, first, here’s a wonderful, refreshing, summer-y recipe that shows off all the good sides of coffee. I loved this drink well before my coffee addiction started. It’s sweet without being overpowering, with hints of dark chocolate, cinnamon, and almonds. It also happens to be vegan, though it can be made to be dairy as well. Oh, and it’s made with all clean ingredients, of course (as are most things on this blog). I’ll shut up now and tell you how to make this amazingness ❤
Classic Coffee Gets a Makeover
Makes enough for two
-1 small banana
-8 ounces of hot freshly brewed regular, hazelnut, or vanilla flavored coffee (I prefer hazelnut)
-2/3 cup Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk or to taste, depending on how strong you like your coffee. You can also use skim milk if you’d like to make it dairy.
-A very small sprinkling of dark chocolate chips (control yourself 😉 )
-2 generous teaspoons cinnamon
-3 tablespoons smooth natural almond butter (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
-18 ice cubes, added in shifts
Cut the banana into small sections. Brew the coffee. Place all the ingredients besides the ice cubes into a blender and blend well. Once everything is mixed evenly, add two or three ice cubes at a time, blend, and continue adding until desired temperature/consistency is reached. For me, this was after 18 ice cubes. Pour into 2 glasses and serve immediately.
Cheers to me ending my coffee addiction and you enjoying a cup of this delicious drink!
❤ In health,
*PS- Want to stay healthy in college? Subscribe to The Artsy Palate by entering your email address below so you can keep up with my latest tips!