Coffee and wine. Coffee. Wine. That’s, like, our thing, right moms?
“After being up with the kids all night there is just not enough coffee in the world.”
“Is it too early for wine ‘cause I am ridiculously stressed right now.”
I think I say these exact phrases several times a week.
A few weeks ago, I got a facial (a Mother’s Day present to myself, it was fabulous, you should totally do it). The woman analyzed my skin and told me I was slightly dehydrated and that I should drink more water. She asked me about my caffeine and alcohol intake and of course I lied. “Oh no, not much of either.” She then explained how damaging caffeine and alcohol was to my skin. *insert guilty face emoji*
Later that night I came across an article about the benefits of replacing all your beverages with water.
So (gulp) I decided to do it.
For one week I gave up coffee and wine.
It went like this:
It was one of those really warm days a couple weeks ago and I took my boys down the street to play in their friends’ water slide. Their mom came out with two glasses of white wine for us. “Oh, no thank you, I’m doing this thing where….eh, nevermind, thankyouverymuch.”
So the next day….
I woke up and chugged a big glass of water. This part wasn’t hard for me because I love water. Good old fashioned tap water. Love it. But then it got a little more difficult. Normally I do one of three things after leaving my house in the morning:
- Stop at Starbucks* for a large coffee from their addictive bean to cup machines (Venti? Grande? I always forget. What can I say, I’m a Dunkin girl)
- Grab a large coffee from the cafeteria at work
- Make a pot of coffee at work…and drink almost the entire thing by myself.
*I have to tell you, the whole Starbucks thing has really done a number on me. Like I said, I’ve always been a Dunkin Donuts girl. Then one day, this bright, shiny Starbucks popped up right down the street and the new and exciting Venti (or Grande) Vanilla Skinny Latte entered my life and became my crack (although I have a feeling crack is a lot less expensive). After a couple weeks of doing this EVERY.DAY I realized this was just not in my budget. So this little experiment was going to benefit my wallet as much as it would my body.
I got to work and filled up my huge Nalgene bottle with Pratt & Whitney tap water. I thought maybe drinking something would be good enough to fill the void. Nope. I missed coffee. I missed the smell, the hot mug in my hand, and of course, the caffeine.
Somehow I made it through the day, and then for dinner, instead of a glass of pinot noir (that would have paired fabulously with the pasta I made that night) I had more water. More water. Boring old water. I gotta tell you, my affinity for the beverage was starting to wane.
But I stuck to it.
One week went by and here are the results:
I didn’t die. That first day was rough. It was touch and go there for a little while.
I didn’t miss either. It had become such a habit to drink coffee in the morning (and afternoon) and wine at night that I realized I missed the act – the warm cup in my hand, pouring wine into the glass – more than actual beverages themselves. Once I got over that, I didn’t miss either.
I slept better. Usually I would pass out from exhaustion after I put the boys to bed, but then I’d wake up a few hours later (even if it wasn’t from one of them climbing in my bed). This past week, if the boys didn’t wake me up, I slept right through the night and woke up feeling refreshed acceptable.
I wasn’t tired. I should re-phrase that: I wasn’t any more tired than normal. I was worried I might experience some withdrawals from caffeine but, luckily, there were none.
I saved money. This is no surprise. Without my $5/day coffee habit and more-than-I’d-like-to-admit wine habit, I saved some serious cash.
I gained two pounds. ..wait…what? I was writing this in my head, planning on triumphantly bragging about how this experiment was “not only a testament to my self-restraint it also was great for my waist line!” But, alas, that was not the case. As a side note, I should tell you I stopped weighing myself months ago after realizing the tone of my day would be set by the number on the scale that morning. But for this experiment, I weighed myself on Day 1, then again on Day 8. And the scale went up. *insert perplexed face emoji*
My skin looks the same. One of my initial motivations was the esthetician’s warning of the harmful effects of caffeine and alcohol but after a week of drinking basically nothing but water, my skin looked exactly the same. I’m assuming the benefits would take effect after a much longer period of time of abstaining from caffeine and alcohol and who are we kidding, that’s not gonna happen. Let’s not get crazy.
I’ll do it again. I’m not good at the whole self-control thing, so it felt good deciding to do something and actually doing it. And while I am happily drinking my Skinny Vanilla Latte and will very happily pour myself a glass of wine this evening, I think I’ll do so more sparingly and in a little more moderation, and once in a while take a break completely. And hopefully, when I get my next facial (which will likely be next Mother’s Day) she’ll praise my youthful, hydrated skin. *insert doubtful face emoji*