What Happened After I Stopped Drinking Coffee

aha-moment

As I write today I am 44 days free from coffee.

I did it………I mean

I.AM.DOING.IT

I seriously can not believe it to be true.

Morning coffee, catch up coffee, let’s sit and talk about it coffee, one more before we go coffee, cake & coffee coffee!

Gone.

All.Gone!

I hear you having a little giggle at my expense.  I mean it is just coffee that I removed from my life, not something more serious like a “real” addiction, right ?!

Well, not so much.

Coffee was my real addiction for over twenty years and now after being free from it for almost six weeks it is amazing the things I am uncovering about myself.   Not only about coffee and its effects on my body and mind, but coffee in society and coffee within my community and how it has been ruling my head and steering me into making unconscious decision throughout my entire day.

It started like this….Milo

milo

then progressed to Mochaccino’s

mochaccino

then onto Cappuccino’s

cappuccino

over to Latte’s

latte

across to Starbucks Caramelatte (that was your fault Canada)

starbucks caramelatte

and finally I ended back at Cappuccinos and cake (the more decadent the slice of cake the better tasting my coffee was, so I thought)

coffee and cake

If you knew me when I was a coffee addict, you would realise just how far I have come to be 44 days along and not once allowed those brewed beans to cross my lips.

This is big.time.for.me.

Previously I associated everything I did around how I would “fit-in” a coffee to my day.  I mean it had to be good quality coffee that came with a relaxing ambience, in a great location, have a great coffee aroma, bitter free taste, free wi-fi and on it goes.

I guess it was fair to say I was a coffee snob.

Out shopping I would “need” to stop for a coffee.

Out exercising it was important to know I could “reward” myself with a great coffee when I was finished.

Catching up with Mum and Dad after church, it was “important” to have that coffee time to solve world problems and enjoy laughter together.

Coffee appeared to be the glue that made my day come together and I wasn’t happy until I stamped my day with a.good.coffee.break.

Relax, it’s just coffee I hear you say.

Surely I can not be the only one out there that is being affected like this.  I reckon the coffee corporations and their advertising campaigns may have a lot to answer to in the not to distant future.  You know, like the big cigarette companies and dare I say it Coca-Cola (back in the day)

I remember back to when Coca-Cola was big time in my life.  I slurped that brown stuff like it was medicine and convinced myself it made me feel good.

Their advertising campaigns were genius, they tapped into our social need to be accepted and of course drinking coke would make that come true….baaaahaaaaaa

I mean they told us so

coke adds life

can't beat it

share a coke with my bff

And have a look at these beauties, the ad campaigns, that told us how great it was to smoke cigarettes. ARGH REALLY !!!!

change to camels

I mean Physicians told us it’s OK

cigarettes it't toasted

Kirk Douglas got in on it

kirk_douglas_smoking

And former US President Ronald Reagan

cigarettes Ronald Regan

Just like there is no benefits (and major health risks) from drinking Coke and smoking Cigarettes, I am going to go out on a limb here and saying I am pretty sure coffee (in all it’s glory) is next on the list for sh*t that is killing us slowly, even when the world is telling us we “need” coffee in our day.

What I can see here is an advertising world that is getting better at tapping into our softer side and making us feel like we are making good choices, greener choices, fair-trade choices, and we are sophisticated if we choose coffee.

george-clooney-ad-campaign-for-nespresso-2013

Coffee-Ad.4

3506062070_ae091593ec

Mockup-Coffee-Noble-e1403693256865-300x297

It’s all good isn’t!!!!

Until 50 years later when the research tells us otherwise.

So I decided to opt out before the research supported my theory and I don’t care if I am wrong.  I know how I feel without having to chase my next cup of coffee.

It feels so bloody liberating.

You know I am not here to preach my findings.  Just share them!

If coffee is your thing, and you don’t have an issue with it all, then keep on keeping on.

From where I sit, I know how I feel and where I want to be in 50 years to come.

In the end whether I am right or wrong the biggest take away I have gained from this experience is that my convictions are stronger than my doubts.  I do have the will power, I am stronger than my controlling thoughts and I can do anything I put my mind to.

If you had asked me seven weeks ago to stop drinking coffee, I would have come to you with all the doubts and reasons why I couldn’t possibly succeed at that task.

Oh how wrong was I.

So proud of myself right.about.now and deservedly so.

Adios

 

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better”. 

~ Maya Angelou

 

 

Lucky Strike Cig AdLucky Strike Cig Ad

The Break Up Dance

It’s not you….it’s me!

The longer you are in my life, the harder it is to reach my full potential, I need you gone and gone for good!

I can’t live with you, and I can’t live without you! I know I have tried many times before and you always seem to creep back into my life!

I think about you all the time, yet when we are together my heart pumps faster, my head starts to hurt, not to mention the delayed reaction I get in my stomach after your gone.

It’s torture to be away from you! When I am out with friends, I love having you around, you make me laugh and I never want to leave the party when you’re near!

From the minute I wake up you are all I think about.  After we get together it’s a downward spiral until the next time we meet! That sort of up and down is never good for anyones health and wellbeing.

I can’t continue along like this, I feel like you are robbing me of my ‘good years’  and I need to take back the control.

For this to work and for me to be/stay in control, you can’t live with me, you can’t live near me, and you can never visit my place!

I must not visit you ever again!

It has to be like this, there is no other way, you are a health risk to me.

I will not substitute you!

I will remove you from my life once and for all, because everything I read tells me I will be 100% better off without you.

You are not my friend, you never were!

Your motives are all wrong.  To come into my life and allow me to believe you make me feel better, it’s all lies!

You bring all your sweet sweet friends with you to entice me further, but it’s too late, I am finally on to you now!

I realise it has taken me the best part of twenty years to discover how harmful and toxic you and I are together,  and that is what’s making it painfully embarrassing to admit to my family and friends that I must break up with you!

This time I have to do it differently, I have too!

Family and friends, when you see me in the street, just give me a nod that you recognise I am on a different path now, you don’t have to ask me how I am coping without my addiction in my life.  Perhaps you could make it a tiny bit easier by trying not to tempt me when we are together.  Can you please be my support network, keep me strong throughout my withdrawals and remind me, just like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz I have always had the power to be in control of my own destiny.

I will not surrender to my addiction anymore.

I will stop drinking coffee. Correction! I.have.stopped.drinking.coffee.

29th January, 2016  one day sober strong!

What’s your addiction? What/who do you need to do the break up dance with……

sugar,

alcohol,

gambling,

cigarettes,

prescription drugs,

soft drinks,

food….

….they are all real addictions and most likely killing you slowly.  Be strong take back the control and release yourself from your addiction once and for all.

Leave a comment, I would love to hear all about your addictions, struggles and/or triumphs to eliminate them from your life.

Bye for now,

“When you feel like quitting: think about why you started” ~ Author Unknown

Is it wrong to smile at a funeral?

Sadly we buried my mums eldest sister this week, my Aunty Pauline.

My hubby is on the other side of the globe and couldn’t attend the service, so later that evening he called to ask “how was the funeral?”

How do you rate a funeral?

I paused.

I really couldn’t answer his question.

I know I not on my own here when I say, funerals can be a really shitty thing to attend.  With my personality type I like to find the happy in most situations.  I like to smile and I like to banter with humour.  Funerals just are not the place for me to be walking around with a smile on my face, but I do.

Don’t mistake my smile for an insensitive person, oh no that’s not me – a little uncomfortable and very very sad for your loss (and mine) but somehow I feel it easier to hide sad and find the happy with my surroundings.

Remembering the person and feeling grateful for having had them in my life makes me all warm and fuzzy – it makes my memories of them so much stronger and richer moments in my mind.  This way of thinking gets me past the grief of knowing there will no more memory making moments directly with this person, no more photo’s, no more meals together, no more phone calls, or parties to attend together, no more laughter directly with this person.

It’s at a funeral I realise my relationship with that person has now changed.  It has progressed from an everyday physical, intellectual relationship onto a silent, softly spoken, magical & spiritual relationship, and just because I can’t touch them, it doesn’t mean my relationship with them is over. Never! It is just morphed into something new.

Yeah I am pissed off I didn’t get to agree on the date and time that these relationships of mine transitioned from one stage to another, but my happiness always wins out in the end and my smile get wider for I know I was lucky to have been given the chance to have and hold them for the time I did.

I will go on record right here and now and say – should my time come and I have to move onwards and upwards, please please please get a groove on at my funeral, play it loud, dance it off, wear it bright and smile smile smile, because I will be doing the same wherever I am.

Rest in Peace to my Aunty Pauline, a beautiful, caring, angelic, empathic soul inside and out.

Thank you for the memories.

Til we meet again,

 

“I am always saddened by the death of a good person. It is from this sadness that a feeling of gratitude emerges. I feel honored to have known them and blessed that their passing serves as a reminder to me that my time on this beautiful earth is limited and that I should seize the opportunity I have to forgive, share, explore, and love. I can think of no greater way to honor the deceased than to live this way.” 
~  Steve Maraboli

 

 

Jamie Oliver & Me

I can never get sick of this guy, even when living in the UK and finding his baby face noggin across British telly almost every day – I just wanted to take in more and more of whatever it is he was cooking.

I don’t have a lot of confidence in the kitchen – keeping it real, I don’t have any confidence in the kitchen.  I have said it before and I will say it again – I cook because family services will take my kids away if I don’t feed them EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!

I have no imagination, no idea, no creative juices, and no clue when bringing flavours and foods together.  I very rarely deviate from a recipe and always did a mad panic when I am missing an ingredient (never thought to substitute, it didn’t cross my mind)

As for entertaining, I would never ever consider it unless it involved the outdoors, a BBQ, warm weather, and an extremely casual atmosphere – happy to say that did begin to change when I was introduced to Jamie Oliver.

Happy Days CookbookI think it was his Happy Days cookbook when I had that “aha” moment .  I had bought the cookbook for my hubby back in 2008 thinking I would motivate him to take charge in the kitchen.  When that didn’t happen, I decided to flick through the pages and see what the Jamie hype was all about.

Oh My Goodness, someone had finally given me permission to make simple foods and simple cooking apart of my everyday meal rotation and incorporate that style of cooking when entertaining friends and hubby’s business associates.

For the longest time I thought I was suppose to be plating up restaurant quality meals. I could never achieve that and even if I tried I could never sustain it over and over again.  I am a ‘slap & see’ type of chick – you know, as in, slap something together and see what happens.

His recipes are mad, as in mad good – The ingredients he lists I.KNOW.WHAT.MOST.OF.THEM.ARE whoop whoop. When he talks measurements he says things like a sprinkle, a pinch, a dab, a handful, a shake – stuff that makes sense to me. He makes suggestions to try substitutes maybe you don’t have something on hand, or perhaps it’s not a food you or the family likes.  I know this sounds really basic for some, but to me I never thought to be creative with recipes – I figured a fancy television chef person had done all the hard work to tell me what went with what so that’s how it was suppose to be prepared. Sad I know.

Today I am still following along with many different recipes Jamie Oliver has published and I am absolutely loving his new approach to carrying on the conversation about reducing sugar from our food choices.

On telly here in Australia he has premiered a new cooking show called Jamie’s Super Food. I watched the first episode and couldn’t wait to make his Cheese & Corn Pancakes, with a side of bacon & banana YUM!

I have the recipe below (taken direct from his website) Give it a go when you can it will not disappoint. The pic below is how my first effort turned out. Not bad, hey!!!

Cheese Corn Pancakes


Ingredients

  • 1 x 340 g tin of sweetcorn
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 200 g cottage cheese
  • 150 g wholemeal self-raising flour (I used white – didn’t have wholemeal)
  • 50 ml semi-skimmed milk (I prefer full fat)
  • olive oil
  • 4 rashers of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
  • 4 small bananas
  • Tabasco jalapeño sauce , optional

Method

Tip the sweetcorn into a bowl, juice and all. Trim the spring onions and finely slice with the chilli (deseed if you like), then add to the bowl along with the eggs, cottage cheese and flour. Mix together, then gradually loosen with the milk to a thick but oozy batter. Lightly season with sea salt and black pepper.

I like to cook and serve 2 pancakes at a time so each person gets a lovely hot plate of food. Put a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and wipe with a piece of oiled kitchen paper. Place 1 rasher of bacon in the pan and as soon as it starts to release its smoky fat, wiggle that around the pan. Add 2 small ladles of batter to one side and flatten them slightly. Peel 1 banana and cut into four chunky slices at an angle. Add them to the pan to caramelise, turning when golden. Once the pancakes are golden on the bottom, flip them over to cook on the other side. Finessing your temperature control so that everything is ready at the same time is an art – just tweak the temperature to help you out until you get your groove.

Get your first lucky customer seated at the table and serve their pancakes with the banana, bacon and Tabasco (I’m loving the green jalapeño one here) for drizzling, if they fancy it, while you crack on with the next portion.

Good Luck!

 

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”– Albert Einstein

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Hi’ya, you right, you good ! ?

I picked up that little greeting when I was living in the UK, the mums from my daughters primary school would say it to me every morning (Hi Vanessa) – it caught me off guard every time I heard it, I never knew if it was a question or statement.

Six months ago hubby and I (really hubby) threw a curve ball at our daughters and caught them off guard too.

We were 10 months into what we thought was a 2year stint living in the UK.  Life was bloody good (except for the weather, which even the locals never get used to) Our girls had formed some absolutely wonderful friendships, I had a mix of local and expat women in my life supporting me through yet another transition, hubby had a spring in his step with work, Europe was next door, and things were humming along to a steady rhythm.

……and then,

hubby heard rumblings that changes in his business world were imminent and these changes would open up opportunities for him back home in Oz, so he/we made a family decision that life on the road would come to a close by end of 2015.

Well didn’t we get that timeline wrong!

Yup, really wrong, like 7 months wrong!

As of May 2015 we had about thirty something days to pack up and put it on a boat headed for Oz.  You can read all about it here. Logistically it is all really doable BUT we hadn’t even told the children yet.

Argh!

Would you believe packing up was easy compared to the thought of sharing the news with our girls.

I knew they were looking forward to returning home ‘someday’ but when it’s not a fixed date in our calendar we can easily joke, laugh, talk and daydream about how that ‘someday’ would look without giving it too much attention.

When it’s real, IT’S.REAL!

So when we decided to tell our girls I took along the camera, 1. I had no idea how this was about to go down and 2. to distract me from getting all upset in front of our girls.  I mean this is big time stuff, almost six years travelling around from country to country, life as they knew it was one big crazy adventure and now we are telling them that was all about to change.

Ok, nuff from me, over to the video so you can have a little peak inside our world and see how our girls took the news they are headed back home to Oz.  Special mention goes to our extremely talented and tech savvy daughter Liv who managed to make something hip and modern out of the footage I captured on the day.  Head across to Life As Liv and give her a thumbs up if you like her work.

Til next time,

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” 
~ Terry Pratchett