Kicking a Habit

My daily routine usually involves a stop at Tim Horton’s for a “double double with milk”, a refreshing cold diet coke around noon and sometimes an orange pekoe tea after school with milk and sugar.  A tea in our house is serious business.  It involves four tea bags steeped in a “Brown Betty” wrapped in tea towels.  And a proper cuppa means adding the milk and sugar to your cup before the tea.  There’s a whole ritual in the preparation.

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The coffee gets me going, the diet coke revitalizes me at lunch and the tea is just post-work comfort.

But the truth is, I’ve got bad blood pressure and I need to get it in check.  First I’m tackling my caffeine habbit, next is salt.

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So a week last Monday, I stopped the coffee, all forms of tea and the diet coke!  And I’ll be honest.  I felt terrible for the first few days.  I had a terrible headache and was a bit irritable.  The headache was relentless actually – one of the ones that’s all around your eyes and that stabs when you move from sitting to standing.  But I stuck to it, sampling some herbal teas and decaf green teas with honey as a substitute.  I tried some sparkling water at noon with lemon instead of diet coke…

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I’ve also been following conversations on Twitter about self-regulation and that got me thinking about my caffeine habit.  Is this my way of “reenergizing” myself when I’m feeling tired or low energy?  If so, what else can I do to give myself a boost? How can I make myself more aware that I’m needing a boost and what can I do to give myself a lift?

And funny enough, excercise has been most helpful.  As a double bonus – it’s also good for my blood pressure.  I’ve been playing tennis and going for more walks and trying my best to get ten thousand steps in per day.  I’ve also had a few naps too (another habit I will have to kick when school resumes).

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There have been some close calls.  I actually ordered a “Mint Majesty Brewed Tea” instead of the “Grande Vanilla Latte” on the tip of my tongue.  My daughter informed me that my mint tea smelled like “relish” which, quite frankly, made me feel a little less royal!

I’ve been off caffeine for ten days and I feel great.  Nothing earth shattering.  I’m not sleeping better.  I just have a feeling of being more “well”.  And I’m less jittery and nervous.  This could also be the effects of summertime in general though.  The real test will be when school resumes.

What bad habit are you quitting this summer?  What good habits are you starting?  I would love to hear from you…

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