Not to sound all mushy, but I feel like this detox or cleanse or whatever you wanna call it, essentially this beginning of a gluten-free, caffeine-free lifestyle, is truly a renewal process for me. It's been really difficult for me, these past few weeks. For anyone who is concerned about the numbers, today marks my 18th day off caffeine and my 16th day off gluten. To be honest, I actually like to count the days since I started because it makes me feel like despite the lows I've experienced since the start, I'm making progress. I'm accomplishing something at least.
As far as my cravings, today I didn't really crave caffeine at all. I haven't had much of a yearning for glutenous foods either. However, earlier this week, I was feeling intense pangs of hunger for the coffee. Yes, I wrote hunger because I was ravenous for it. Every fiber of my being called out for it. Thanks be to God, I made it through. It arose the other day at work when I overheard a coworker commenting on how he had to review five hundred pages of medical documentation and needed the pick-me-up and he was asking a coworker to accompany him to my favorite coffee joint in the world --- Wawa. I listened and of course could not help but cue into his voiced need for coffee, which in turn triggered mine. The coworker with whom he was speaking asked him if he'd had any this morning and the guy who wanted to go to Wawa said he had some on the way to work but really needed some more to become motivated to review the medical documentation. As I was listening to their conversation, I realized how lethargic I felt and recognized my need for coffee. Just do it, I told myself.
However, then I thought further about it. In a frenzy, I sent an email to my friend begging him to save me from the calling of the cup of Jo. He didn't respond. It took me a while to work through it but ultimately I decided to push through the feeling of lethargy. When lunch came around, I figured it was too late, I wouldn't be able to savor it to the extent I would have had I bought it earlier, so I figured the following day I could always get it. However, last night, I researched 'how long it takes to regain energy after giving up caffeine' or something to that effect and was relieved to uncover that it can take three weeks or more. This provided me with the encouragement to press on as the rewards do not come instantly, but take time. Also, why give up now when I'm so close to the 30-day point? Who can't get to 30 days? I'll be damned if I can't.
What I've learned is that, I can do this, just as I did it before, and it will benefit me in the long run. Already, I've noticed I'm much more even-keel mood-wise than when I was consuming a cup to one and a half a day. For the first time in a while, I slept the whole night through, dreamed, and woke up only ten minutes before my alarm sounded. This is what I have so wanted, for a peaceful, lengthy slumber. At this point, I don't even see myself considering having coffee. Something about this 18th day has really solidified my decision to keep away from it. The cons of coffee, for me, far outweight the temporary goodness. That's not to say I won't indulge on the rare occasion. I just don't like to be addicted to things. It doesn't feel good. Add in the side effects, and that's enough to keep me from making it a habit once again.
As far as the negatives I've been experiencing, the most prominent negative aspect of this cleanse, aside from a purging of many unpleasant emotions, has been my skin. For some reason, every inch of my face is covered in a very pinkish/reddish rash and I can't seem to stop it from persisting. Each day I wake up to it and with certain foods, it seems to flare. For instance, tonight, I had a chicken and cauliflower dish along with brown rice pasta covered in tomato sauce. Then I followed this meal with a snack of Mary's Gone Crackers Black Pepper crackers, and I feel worse for the wear, complexion-wise. It just feels sooo freakin' irritated and rashy. I'm going with 'it's purifying itself,' although I'm sure it's that I've been stressed lately and certain foods exacerbate it (namely packaged items). Whatever it is, I hope it sorts itself out stat, because it's making me self-conscious.