Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Need, for Speed....

It's twice now that this has happened to me: my apparent dependence on coffee has waned while going unrestricted Paleo. Normally, I would "need" at least two, sometimes 3 cups of coffee in the morning, to get myself going. One cup while making breakfast. Another while eating breakfast. An occasional third cup if I a slow to eat or just chilling out after I ate. I am not sure if this was a personal dependence on caffeine or just the fact that I LOVE the taste of good coffee - probably some associatively conditioned combination, actually - but, you probably wouldn't want to be around me for long if I didn't have coffee with breakfast. It's be like driving without a steering wheel. 

Well, a few months ago I went unrestricted Paleo and I noticed that my cravings for coffee dropped. So, as usual, I utilized myself as an experimental subject and stopped drinking as much, just to see what would happen. Turns out: nothing bad happened. I was fine. OK, neat effect. Then I was training for a competition and again experimenting on myself so I tried to dial in my fitness by combining a Zone-Paleo eating style. First off, this was utterly annoying - I am not a big fan - at all - of weighing and measuring our foods. I certainly understand the utility of doing so, but I am far from an elite athlete so it just frustrates me (not to mention those around me) and it makes me very irritable. Very irritable!  Additionally, while weighing and measuring I redeveloped the need for my morning coffee. In fact, within just a few short days of Zoning in, I was back to a solid, unwavering 3 cups a morning. I'd also add 1-3 cups throughout the day in the form of a coffee smoothie or iced coffee with coconut milk. Sure, tasty as hell, but I did notice I was drinking a lot more coffee again. (When I was a graduate student I peaked at about 12-13 cups per day during my third year.)

Immediately after the competition & after a long conversation with my gorgeous wife Austen I decided to switch back to unrestricted Paleo. Within just 2 short days I now am again feeling as though my dependence on coffee is loosening. In fact, I drink one small cup in the morning with my breakfast (not while cooking or while sitting afterward) simply because I like the taste of it. I wonder what would happen if I tried decaf?! Oh boy, I hear another self-experiment in the works. 

At any rate, I was wondering if anyone else doing Paleo has experienced a similar effect and if they'd like to share it here.


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