Only about a year or two ago I found myself not merely addicted to caffeine, but consuming copious amounts of it. My average day would go something like this:
In the neighborhood of 7-9 a.m. drinking approximately 4 cups of coffee (yes, that's 28 oz. of straight black joe) from one of these bad boys:
By the lunch hour I had a hankering for something sweet and chilly so I'd pick up one of these:
Or one of these:
Or one of these:
Which would make me feel like this...
...for all of about a millisecond.
Then, by the time I would get off work back in those 9-5 days, I would need another one of those 16 oz. heart stoppers pictured above for the ride home. Heaven forbid that I would ever have been caught stuck in traffic without one!
I finally realized that all I was doing was keeping the headaches at bay by ingesting some VERY questionable substances (except for the coffee, which I still think is a nectar from the gods). Quitting smoking gave me the tools to know how to kick an all-consuming addiction, which caffeine had become for me. I started by cutting out those mega-caffeinated drinks cold turkey but not limiting myself to any of those ordinary, merely highly caffeinated drinks such as Mountain Dew and good ol' Coca-Cola. Finally, even those were too much for my minor surge of health conscienciousness. I bit the bullet and have only been drinking diet for months and months now. I used to HATE diet anything. All I could taste was the aspartame (another questionable substance, I might add). Now, I can't stand the taste of high fructose corn syrup and much prefer the taste of diet anything. Yes, this coming from a girl who used to eat sugar by the spoonful. No, not just as a kid. We're talking only a few years ago.
Two miraculous things then happened simultaneously just this year. First, my darling husband accidentally broke my french press. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's that 4 person coffee brewer in that first picture at the top that I used to treat like a Big Gulp. He was absolutely frantic because he knew how much I relied on that damn thing. I reassured him that it was actually a good thing and that it would help me to take that next step to cut back even more. Then, at almost the exact same time, I discovered the wondrous wonder that is Caffeine Free Diet Coke. I will take any amount of raucous finger pointing, laughing and ridicule for saying that I like it, but by gum, I actually LOVE the stuff! Strange, but it actually DOES taste different than regular Diet Coke. It rests in a lovely place of sweetness right in between Classic and Diet Coke. Having been addicted to Coca-Cola since the tender age of 6 I have a very sensitive palate to the brand. However, there was still that nasty little caffeine monkey on my back.
With the ever rising popularity of my new favorite beverage, Caffeine Free Diet Greatness is now available in the fountains of most of the places I generally eat. Carl's Jr., Cafe Rio, even the convenience stores all have anywhere from 3 to 5 different kinds of Coke available. Costco, you'd better be next! This means that average consumers like me can now create their very own half-caf Diet Coke!!! For you non-coffee drinkers out there, I'm sure you were still able to deduce that it is a term for a cup of coffee with half regular and half decaf. Half-Caf!
At the fountains I now take something glorious...
mix it with something astonishingly resplendent...
Sometimes it's the little things. In this case, a very little thing.