Hello, My Name is Rachel & I’m Addicted to Caffeine
I didn’t start drinking caffeine until I got married to my first husband. But I quickly became addicted. It fit so comfortably in with my snacking habits as I sat at my computer for 16 hours a day coding. I never viewed it as an issue until I was nearly 300 pounds and was drinking at least three 44-ounce sodas a day. And I couldn’t stand diet sodas – if I’m gonna be unhealthy, it is gonna be with real sugar. That’s what I used to say.
Then I had my weight loss surgery. I lost 145 pounds and was off of soda for over a year. I remember looking at the nutritional facts on a friend’s Mountain Dew and seeing the crapton of sugar it contained and thinking back to when I was drinking Mountain Dew and realizing what damage I was doing to my body. But I was done with it and had been cured of all my bad habits.
Old Habits Die Hard… Yippee Ki Yay Caffeine…
Then I started working back in web development. As I code I used to have a crunchy snack and an ice cold soda next to me. Within a few months, I was back to snacking and drinking soda. Sunflower seeds and Diet Coke. I mean, there’s no sugar, so it is okay – right? I lied to myself over and over that it was.
But soon I was drinking a lot of soda. The caffeine began to affect my anxiety, depression, and my body. I started dealing with anemia from the caffeine and most recently, I developed an actual allergy to caffeine. My throat begins to close, my skin breaks out in a rash, and worse. I even started getting constant yeast infections. (TMI, I know. Sorry.)
And even though I get super sick and risk horrible illness, I go in waves of not drinking and having “quit” and then breaking down and having a Coke Zero. Always with an excuse. But it always ends with me overdoing it and getting really sick.
Getting Honest With Myself About Caffeine
And so here I am. I had a Coke Zero today. I had a migraine and rationalized it, even though the caffeine brings other migraines on later. My throat feels like someone poured acid down it and I’m covered in an itchy rash. I always wonder why I did it to myself after the fact, but there’s no denying that I did.
The things that help me “quit” are replacements like my Cayenne Cranberry Lemonade, etc. But, this is going to take much bigger guns than just replacing the bad habit. I have to change my mindset. This will be changing my diet mindset – Mom makes a lot of “treats” that I just have to have because I don’t want to offend her and it is going to take me reminding myself and forcing myself to change each day. Just like my stepmom taught me to do.
Cayenne Cranberry Lemonade to the Rescue
I first had a Cayenne Cranberry Lemonade at a local healthy restaurant and fell instantly in love. It is tarte, sweet, and has a tiny kick in the back of your throat. Let’s not forget that the combination of cayenne & cranberry are insanely good for your digestive track, flushing toxins quickly from your body.
But the key is having something that tastes good to help you get over the hump of caffeine withdrawl and losing the flavor. I have found that what I miss most, initially is the bubbles, so using sparkling water in the cayenne cranberry lemonade helps with that. I deal with migraines a lot, so I’ve always been worried about the migraines. I’ve found that being super well hydrated helps me avoid the majority of those issues. I keep a lot of Powerade Zero’s on hand and if I can, I’ll sequester myself in my bedroom to avoid human contact.
But let’s face it, I’m a mom, that’s not always possible. So, instead – just do your best and give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You can do this! Who is in with me?Print
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice, alternative)
- 1 cup honey or 1 1/3 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 1 cup lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
- 7 cups still or sparkling water
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- Place the cranberries in a small pot with half of the sweetener and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until the cranberries are soft. Place in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Place a sieve over a glass bowl or jug. Strain cranberry syrup to remove solids, pressing the mash with the back of a spoon until you get all the liquid out.
- Add lemon juice and remaining 1/2 sweetener to cranberry syrup and stir to combine.
- Add water to cranberry lemon syrup and stir to combine.
- Chill and serve over ice.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
Keywords: detox, all natural, lemonade