Thursday, May 21, 2015

Accepting Your Desperation and Enjoying Coffee


I'm going to step out of my resident reader role for a moment to tell you about what I thought was going to be my own personal hell. Trust me, it has something to do with both reading and writing. I recently had a lengthy visit with my integrative practitioner to talk about dietary and lifestyle choices that could have an impact on autoimmune stuff happening within my body. We decided it was time to try an elimination diet for three weeks- no corn, soy, gluten, or dairy. Some of that wasn't so bad. After all, we switched to a mostly paleo (think caveman) diet in March 2014. However, I still had a firm grasp on my beloved French vanilla coffee creamer, which is obviously dairy. Because coffee is necessary to my life. In fact, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to it (found here) and another for fun mugs I'd love to use with said coffee (found here). Imagine my horror when I realized this elimination diet would seize that creamer from my fist and strip it away. I mean, really. I need it to function. 

My first thought was to quit coffee altogether. I'm serious. How was I to drink it without dairy? I'd previously tried almond creamer and couldn't do it. Well, with the help of many Facebook friends who took pity on my new predicament, I tried a few different things, all involving organic vanilla coconut milk (not coconut creamer, which contains carrageenan). Cinnamon and vanilla extract with the coconut milk was disgusting. Excuse me while I scratch the memory from my tongue. Maple syrup with coconut milk was better, but still nothing like my beloved creamer. Then I tried organic, non-GMO pure cane sugar with the coconut milk. Well, a few things happened. First, I was able to finish my cup of coffee for the first time in days. Second, I realized there's a fine line between the shade of coffee and not being able to taste the coconut; darker is better. And third, I was desperate enough to enjoy it. 

Of course I had to post about this newfound glory on Facebook, to which a friend commented that it was impossible to enjoy dairy-free coffee. So, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation and you need to find a way to accept your desperation, I've outlined a few simple steps. I'm sure this translates easily to other things, so feel free to apply it elsewhere. 

First, become desperate. That's key. Second, realize your options: make dairy-free work or go without coffee. This should inspire some crazy images to pass before your eyes of what life without coffee would be like, thus making the dairy-free option clear. Third, go light on the vanilla coconut milk and add a bit of non-GMO pure cane sugar. Fourth, drink and appreciate the fact that you still have coffee in your life.

How does this apply to reading and writing, you ask? Well, considering my focus is no longer tied up in mourning my loss--and the fact that coffee and I are friends again--I'm able to enjoy the reading I do with my morning coffee and I have this strong urge to continue in the drawn-out process of revising my MS (by the way, I'm now accepting applications for a long-term CP). I even found a few writing groups in my area. I'm able to function and actually get stuff done because coffee equals productivity in my life. 

Have you accepted desperation anywhere in your life recently? How did that work out? I'm also curious to know how you take your coffee. 




--Brianna Lebrecht 

9 comments:

  1. I love coffee so much -- it's one of life's gifts. I take my coffee with half and half, no sugar. So does my husband, parents, inlaws. We all drink our coffee the same. Except my father in law likes to brew his with a hint of cinnamon. Blech.

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    1. I used French vanilla, no sugar. I lost my favorite stop out for coffee too because they don't offer non-dairy alternatives :/

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  2. I never could get used to coffee! Even the smell of it when my husband makes it - yuck! :-) However, I have been known to be desperate for chocolate...

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  3. I start each day with a cashew milk veggie smoothie, black walnuts, coconut, and cinnamon added for protein, fiber, and taste. Gave up coffee along time ago and at first just survived, then thrived.
    Then I read or write each morning and there is no morning fog.
    Sorry for creeping you all out with a no-coffee story. I'm a recurrent, advanced stage cancer survivor. I had to change to save myself.

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    1. Wow! I love that last line there, as that's why we've been making changes for the last year.

      Along with my morning coffee, I also have a green smoothie, though I do more of the fruits in the morning. Mango, berries, banana, pineapple, coconut oil, kale, cucumbers, and usually ground flax or something.

      I've contemplated going coffee-free for a while now, even before this change needed to be made. I cut back to just my morning cup. When I started running in the afternoon, the afternoon coffee no longer became necessary ;)

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

      Delete
    2. Wow! I love that last line there, as that's why we've been making changes for the last year.

      Along with my morning coffee, I also have a green smoothie, though I do more of the fruits in the morning. Mango, berries, banana, pineapple, coconut oil, kale, cucumbers, and usually ground flax or something.

      I've contemplated going coffee-free for a while now, even before this change needed to be made. I cut back to just my morning cup. When I started running in the afternoon, the afternoon coffee no longer became necessary ;)

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

      Delete
    3. Wow! I love that last line there, as that's why we've been making changes for the last year.

      Along with my morning coffee, I also have a green smoothie, though I do more of the fruits in the morning. Mango, berries, banana, pineapple, coconut oil, kale, cucumbers, and usually ground flax or something.

      I've contemplated going coffee-free for a while now, even before this change needed to be made. I cut back to just my morning cup. When I started running in the afternoon, the afternoon coffee no longer became necessary ;)

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for this post, Brianna. Sorry I'm a little late in reading it, but it definitely inspired me. I've been feeling really desperate when it comes to my writing lately. I too have an MS that needs some major edits and which I am dreading getting back to. I am at the point where it's either coffee or no coffee (and by coffee I mean writing...). I see that sometimes desperation isn't so bad... I'll let you know how it turns out! Thanks again!

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    1. I loathed revisions and the like, which is why it's taken me so long with my current project (I think I'm about four years in). But once you accept your desperation... Good luck with your edits!

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