Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

Caffeine is my vice. I drink far too much up to ten (huge…) mugs a day.

2012. Among my New Year resolutions, one is to stop drinking caffeine. A couple of years ago, I went on a, completely unbeknown to me, caffeine detox. My mother in law came to stay and kindly left me a box of tea bags. A couple of days after she left I started getting the most awful headaches. Nothing would shift the pain… then whilst I was waiting for the kettle to boil I idly read the tea bag box… decaffeinated… I didn’t even know decaffeinated tea existed. The penny dropped… tea was abandoned and I made the strongest pot of fresh caffeinated coffee known to man. The headache eased.

My mother in law is clearly concerned about this caffeine junkie who is supposed to be ‘looking after’ her son and bringing up her grandchildren.

Over the last two years I have briefly considered my short detox and up until then I had no idea that I was dependant… and I hate to use the word, addicted to caffeine. I’m not actually sure of the long term effects of caffeine but it is the dependency on the stuff that concerned me slightly.

So, 2012. Kick the habit.

I am slowly weaning myself off and am down to three or four caffeinated drinks a day. The real stuff is being alternated with decaffeinated tea and coffee which does not seem at all right. What process does tea and coffee have to go through to remove the caffeine? Is this chemically altered substance doing me more harm than the real stuff? Not really comfortable with decaffeinated drinks, I have been exploring other beverages… green tea isn’t bad.

Milky coffee in white cup and saucer

I saw Chantal in the pharmacy this afternoon, stocking up on childrens’ paracetamol, and whilst we queued I told her about my New Years resolution. She looked bewildered and slightly shocked.

‘You cannot ‘give up’ coffee Nicole, it is one of life’s pleasures like good food and wine. Everything in moderation Nicole, that is the answer.’ She said as she patted my hand.

‘Three good strong coffees a day, after breakfast, lunch and dinner, just a small demi-tasse (half a cup) is all you need but ALWAYS after food. Never drink coffee on an empty stomach, that is very bad pour la santé.’ She advised.

Now I am in a dilemma, do I stick with my original resolution and try to give up caffeine completely or take Chantal’s advice?

Please help us!

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