I wake up and I don’t feel groggy. I already have energy rushing through my veins, I jump out of bed and take a cold shower. I do my meditation and I’m ready to start my day!
I don’t need coffee anymore to give me a boost, funnily I have found that with 4 months of no caffeine that I have more energy throughout the day than when I regularly drank coffee and tea. I find that mind-boggling, isn’t caffeine meant to give you the energy throughout the day?
In the beginning, when I first stopped caffeine it was like night and day in seeing the effect it had on me. When I was regularly consuming caffeine, I would feel low energy and I would be half asleep when I woke up. My body and mind were urging me to give it a shot of caffeine. It was like the ignition for a car, once I had that cup of coffee I was ready to go.
After my body got accustomed to not having caffeine, I was instantly energised in the morning. I had more energy throughout the day, it was the opposite of what I thought caffeine was meant to be. Isn’t caffeine meant to give you an energy booster?
Yes it does, but at least for me, I traded have consistent strong energy throughout the day with having highs and lows when I had caffeine in my body.
I have found my concentration and energy levels are far superior without it.
I’ve lost weight, mainly from cutting out meat from my diet and eating more healthily. I lost about 5 KGs with my diet change, and I feel much better physically.
Taking the meat out of my diet has allowed me to explore more veggie and vegan options. I started to eat foods I never really considered like chickpeas, squash, lentils, lots of different greens.
I had no idea there was so much variety, and with the internet, it is so easy to look up simple recipes and knock up amazing dishes. Take chickpeas for example, they are so versatile, I’ve made chickpea curry, hummus, vegan burgers with them. Bear in mind I’m no chef, I just follow simple recipes online and they all taste great!
My latest experimentation has led me to make soya milk and tofu. As a result of this exploration of food, I have realised how much is added to supermarket food.
When I look at the ingredients on supermarket soya milk, they add flavorings and 5 or 6 other ingredients with only 8% of the milk is actually soya beans. My homemade soya milk is just soya beans and water with about 40% of it being soya beans. This has led me to cook a lot more freshly and not rely on any processed foods.
Granted nothing can replace a juicy steak or a Sunday roast but I’m OK with that. I don’t need them anymore, I’ve had enough steaks and roasts in my lifetime to be OK with not having any more. I’m having fun exploring all the different ways vegetarians and vegans eat.
Having recently watched The Game Changers documentary on Netflix which details the amazing effects a plant-based diet has, especially for elite athletes, also leads me to believe this diet change must have also contributed to my increase in energy levels.
I definitely do not miss hangovers! Probably like many people I have a love-hate relationship with alcohol. Having a glass of wine or a pint of beer is soooo nice to destress or to celebrate an occasion. Smelling the wine, tasting all the aromas and flavors on the palette — its delightful… yet I haven’t had that delight for 4 months, and I’m OK with that :)
In the initial couple of weeks of craving a glass of wine or a pint of beer; I had to use some willpower to calm my desires. After that, I have become pretty comfortable with not drinking. My go-to drink at the pub now is lime and soda (some places don’t charge you for it!).
Rather than sleeping in and struggling in the morning with a hangover, I now can wake up and start my day earlier. I get more things done and can have enough time to kick back and relax too.
This year was the first time in a very long time where I didn’t have a drink on my birthday (nor eat meat for that matter) and I had a great time!
The Art of Detachment
Aside from the physical benefits, there have been psychological benefits too. One being absolutely annihilating my limiting beliefs.
One of my limiting beliefs was that I couldn’t quit alcohol for a month. Probably the longest I have not drunk booze is maybe a week, and those weeks were few and far between. My routines and social life always had an element of drinking in. That’s just the city life in London; you’re meeting friends for a drink or you’re having a drink at home to relax.
So to go teetotal as well as stopping meat and caffeine all at the same time, destroyed the mental blockers I had. These achievements have given me the belief that I really can achieve anything. Stopping to drink had been on my bucket list for a long time, and achieving it so effortlessly is amazing.
One of the principles of Taoism is detachment. Do not latch on to desires and illusory beliefs. This experience has made me realise how attached I was to the belief that I needed alcohol, meat, caffeine to have a ‘happy’ life.
It’s also opened my eyes to how society feeds us these beliefs as well. The documentary (The Game Changers) I mentioned earlier does a great job describing this about how we are indoctrinated into believing meat is imperative in our diet.
Less is More
Simplifying my life and removing different pieces has given me a better quality of life physically, mentally and spiritually.
Some examples of other things I have removed are:
Hot showers — I am following the Wim Hof Method and I take colder showers and expose myself to ice and cold when I can
Clothes — I have followed the KonMari Method to declutter my house and clothes
Friends — I only keep in contact with a select group of friends who bring joy into my life
Goals — I have removed any personal goals which are unrealistic or are driven by material desires
This might sound like a lot, I believe this is only because we overindulge and add so much into our lives. By removing I have more capacity and time to focus on the things I enjoy and love.
Ultimately, life is about finding balance, remove and add until the balance is right.