Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coffee: Love it or Leave it

I really, really, really like coffee. I mean, I love my coffee. I guess you could say I feel pretty strongly about coffee...

I had my first sips of coffee when I was just 2 years old. Drinking the drops left by adults visiting my parents made this laid-back kid just a bit (!) more hyper.

I didn't start a coffee habit at two, but I do believe the groundwork was probably laid back then.

My first espresso machine was purchased in the 1970s while I was in college. At one point I was literally quite addicted to coffee. I could, it is more accurate to say I had to have...two large espressos (no little demi-tasse for me) before I went to sleep. Then in the morning two more to chase away the headache from lack of caffeine during the night.

I no longer drink such vast amounts of coffee. I have one cup...still, a very large one, not a "regular" mug...pretty much every morning. Occasionally I will have a second. As much as I love the flavor and the experience I know that my body doesn't react well if I have more than that so I resist the temptation to grab a third or fourth.

What has changed about my coffee habit is my consciousness--my mindset about coffee. I used to drink coffee all day long like it was water and as a fuel. Completely unconscious about the quantity I was consuming. It was a zero calorie drink...that was the excuse when I first started.

Of course that went out the window when I started adding milk to my coffee after a trip to Europe where I was exposed to cafe au lait, lattes and cappucinos.

The truth was I liked the flavor and I really liked the energy boost I got from the caffeine. I am still less than hyper and the jolt helped me feel more alive, more productive, more like everyone else in my family!

These days I savor my coffee much more. I don't just have coffee while I'm at my desk working. I enjoy the coffee in the morning. I may be reading...or watching a video...usually some positive affirmations or positive personal development time. It is not so much about caffeine...I drink a blend that is very low in caffeine...I enjoy the taste, the feel of the coffee in my mouth and the smell as it reaches my nose just before the liquid touches my tongue.


I know that coffee may not be "the best thing" for me to drink, but my philosophy is that there are no forbidden foods. I know that if I deprive myself then I will tend to go overboard and binge down the road. So I choose to have these treats.

Coffee for me is a treat and a ritual...and a very conscious decision.

You may not like coffee...but there is probably something that you have been told you "shouldn't" have (even if you just told yourself that) but that you get a lot of pleasure out of.

Instead of making that off-limits, consider making it a very special part of your day. Or maybe it is a special once a week treat. Make it a celebration and savor every moment of it. Enjoy the tastes, the smells, the well as the experience. What steps do you take to prepare it? Incorporate those steps into the enjoyment process. visualize yourself enjoying the experience and allow yourself to anticipate it.

By elevating some simple pleasures in this way we give ourselves a more complete experience. We allow all of our senses to experience the event as well as the food or beverage. This enables us to be more fully satisfied with less than we would if just grabbed it by rote.

Bottom line, my suggestion is to love what you are drinking or eating. Savor it. Celebrate it. Or leave it alone!

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