1 Month Without Coffee

Getting the Shivers

I don’t consider myself as a big coffee drinker. However, since I started working full time I’ve been having 1-2 coffees every day during the work week and maybe one during the weekend. I found that I would have slight shivers and a rather high pulse by the end of the workday. I also felt my skin getting very dry, particularly in my face. Moreover, felt that I was becoming more and more dependent on coffee to kick start my system in the morning and afternoon. Furthermore, my quality of sleep seemed somewhat reduced, but I didn’t think much into it. After all, everyone drinks coffee, right?

coffee4Before the Christmas holidays, one of my colleagues stopped his intake of caffeine for a bit. He would normally have 6-7 cups of coffee and a bottle or two of Pepsi Max per day. When he suddenly stopped feeding himself all the caffeine he claimed that he started having bad head aches, nausea and felt irritable. After staying away from it for a while he said the head aches and nausea faded away and his mood went back to normal. He also said he had better sleeps at night.

Hearing this, I thought I might try and hold off from coffee for a month and see if I could escape the shivers, high pulse and dryness at the end of my workdays. The first week I was really caving a big cup of coffee when getting in to work. I also felt very tired throughout the day. However, it slowly wore off, and by the second week I didn’t really think about coffee that much. Interestingly, I also felt that I had more restful sleeps every night.

Other Side Effects of Coffee

Most people have a lifestyle and diet that makes the body very acidic. With high levels of stress, the brain creates adrenaline and other chemicals that produce an acidic environment in the body. Unfortunately, the Western diet mainly consists of food and drinks that creates high acidic levels in the body. With a high intake of foods containing sugar, dairy, wheat, deep fried and other Fast foods, and then flushing it down with soft drinks, coffee or alcohol,  the pH levels develops way too far into the acidic side of the scale. As my main focus in this article is coffee, I will stick to the effect of this popular drink – I will be writing a post on the balance of alkaline and acidic levls in the body shortly, so stay tuned.

Coffee can result in:

  • More acidic body (leading to more inflammation)
  • Restless sleep
  • Leach precious minerals from our systems
  • Shivers and high pulse
  • Dehydrating the body
  • Caffeine dependence
  • Bad breath
  • Discoloring of the teeth

Alternatives to Coffee

coffee3I found that being in an office working in front of a computer the whole day makes you want to have little treats quite frequently – simply because it is stagnant work. I tend to want a snack or a drink because I’m actually a bit bored and want a distraction. Coffee is the most common drink to have, and makes you feel more awake and focused at the same time. However, as mentioned; after a while off the caffeine I didn’t reach the same levels of tiredness throughout the day. I found that drinking various types of tea (my favorites are green tea, chamomile tea and chai tea with organic soy milk), coffee alternatives such as Bambu Coffee Substitute (picture), and even water was just as good.

I found that reaching for the coffee is all a habit. When the body is dehydrated by 2% of normal levels, we can perform up to 20% poorer (read more about this in “Water“), so just by restoring those levels we automatically regain energy to continue on.


Results & Discoveries

As mentioned, during the month that I didn’t drink coffee I had no shivers or high pulse when leaving work. Neither did my face feel dry. Importantly, I also fell asleep faster and had better quality sleeps every night. Another side effect of this experiment that I did not expect was the feeling of cleanness. I actually felt that my body was somewhat more pure. I don’t know whether this was because of the acidity of my body going down or as a result of better sleep or even the absence of coffee itself. Either way it felt great! As much as I appreciate the taste, smell and feeling of coffee, I’ll be aiming at having it only occasionally and fully enjoy that treat.

Below is my first coffee after a month off; can’t remember last time I enjoyed it this much! ★



Right Motivation, Left Satisfied

The Beginning

Four years ago I spontaneously signed up for Run for a Reason, a 14 km run for charity. As I registered three days before the race took place I didn’t have much time to train for it. Furthermore, I had never ran more than 6 km in one go. I have done a lot of long distance cross country skiing, but long distance runs (read: more than 5km) were rather rare. I’m quite competitive towards myself and absolutely hammered my body during the event. I did the 14 kilometres in 1 hour and 10 minutes, and told myself I would never do that race again. The fright only lasted until the soreness of my muscles disappeared a few days after the run. It turned into a desire to pick up long distance running when I discovered the Nike+ app. This was the beginning of running being a big part of my everyday life.

In 2012 I did the HBF Run for a Reason again and raised money for Cystic Fibrosis. Again I ran it in 1 hour and 10 minutes, and again I was wondering why I would put myself through the pain of it. I found strength in thinking of all the people suffering from CF and how strong they are to cope with their condition every day.

Milestone Reached Today

Today I reached 1,000 km on my Nike+ GPS app! So I’m giving myself a big tap on the shoulder and celebrating with a massive green smoothie. Well, I suppose I’ve done more kilometers as I have travelled and used other phones when going for runs. But these are my first recorded 1000 kilometers.  I have developed a great appreciation for running and try and go for 4-5 runs per week. It is like meditation to me. I clear my head of all stress generated throughout the day and enjoy having quality me-time. If I’m ever angry or upset I’d go for a run, and by the time I’ve done the first 3km I have generally changed my mindset and come up with a solution. I don’t even feel that I’m running – its like my legs are on autopilot and my mind is unleashed and flies off wherever it desires to. This is also my most creative time. I enjoy painting, creating things as well as developing business ideas, and I always get my best insights when I’m out running.


Retired: Mr Right Motivation and Miss Left Satisfied

I have to admit I feel extra encouraged to go for a run when I’ve got nice and colourful apparel. My shoes, Mr Right Motivation and Miss Left Satisfied, have served me well in that respect.  However, after more than 1,000 km around the world in all kinds of weather and conditions it’s time to trade them in for a pair of newies. I’m so grateful for getting into running and encourage everyone to give it a chance! Even if you start with short distances and keep a slow pace – something is far better than nothing! ★

I’m so thankful for all the great times I’ve had out running, and can’t wait to hit up the 2,000 km mark!


Eat, Fast and Live Longer!

Dr Michael Mosley, the medical journalist for the BBC Horizon program, has been trying to find ways to keep his brain from aging and to maintain good health. After meeting with experts and undertaking a wide range of tests, he was told that continuing on with his current  lifestyle would almost certainly result in chronic disease. Mr Mosley then tried to find out how some people live a longer life and how they manage to maintain their health better than others.

How to Lose Weight Fast in a Healthy Way

After a lot of research Michael found that fasting actually does a whole lot of good for the body. As the blood goes to the tummy to digest the food when we eat, our energy is put into the metabolism. Conversely, when the body is given rest from the constant digestion, our energy is allowed to go other places and starts repairing and healing the body. There has been numerous studies on fasting with amazing results. Through the Eat, Fast, Live Longer documentary, Mr Mosley introduce the concept of the 5:2 diet. This diet involves eating 5 days per week and ‘fasting’ on two nonconsecutive days. On the fasting days women are to eat only 300-400 calories per day and male are to have 600 calories. After fasting, Michael had his tests done again and was amazed by the improvement of his halth condition.

Personal Experience with the 5:2 Diet

I have tried the 5:2 diet for a little while myself and am impressed by the effectiveness of it. I also have friends that have been on the 5:2 diet for 5 months and experiencing massive improvements on their health.

Please note that this is for people that have consulted with their doctor first and is NOT for people that have a low BMI (Body Mass Index).

Juice Fasting

The Truth About Exercise

Dr Michael Mosley discovers that what we thought we knew about exercise is not the full story. It’s not necessarily the longest and most intense training sessions that gives you the greatest results. This documentary shows that minimal efforts can, in fact, make a huge difference for your health. Research has found that people respond very differently to exercise. There are 11 genes that predict this, which can be identified through blood tests.

In my opinion, these tests should be undertaken in school. The students should make a physical education program based on their results and get marked on how well they can tailor it to their body type and as a result increase their fitness. This would be very beneficial for their health and be a great motivation to stay fit and healthy – a fantastic investment for the rest of their life.

Exercise and Diabetes

Dr Michael Mosley found that only as little as 3 times 20 seconds per day resulted in massive health benefits in terms of fat levels in the blood and how well the insulin could process sugar. This is awesome news for people with diabetes! The documentary also goes through how movement throughout the day switches on genes that burns fat and increase metabolic rate.

John Eales Medal 2013


Arriving in Sydney at 6:00am and realizing there were no dry cleaners able to sort out a suit by 4:00pm was a rather stressful start to the day. Luckily I remembered from my retail days that we always had to steam the clothing we received before placing them on the racks. We ended up finding someone kind enough to battle the creases for us. After that we chilled out at the beach for most of the day before getting back to the hotel to get dressed. I think the other girls were way more organized than me in getting ready. I used an old dress, did my own hair and didn’t even have time to fix my nails, hopefully no one noticed.

Gold Carpet & Media

As we entered the function we had to walk up the gold carpet. Nick had already told me what to say if they asked who I thought would win the John Eales Medal (as this was what I was asked last year). It didn’t quite go that way. The interviewer asked “Did you feel that the invitation to the John Eales Medal was something you simply could not turn down?” “Err…I don’t know anything about rugby, but I thought I’d do my best”, I managed to squeeze out. It would probably have been better if I said something along the lines of: “I’m from the Northern hemisphere, more accurately a few clicks from the North Pole, and don’t think I understand how big this is. But I’m very honored to be here”. Oh well,better luck next time haha. Luckily they didn’t include my answer on national TV.

The Dinner

After the somewhat awkward experience entering the function, Nick and I went inside to be seated. We were served delicious crab and caviar for starters. However, Nick managed to dip his tie in the crab meat and I launched my fork with black caviar into my lap (note: white dress) first thing sitting down. Can’t take us anywhere… I tried to not do too many clumsy stunts as most of the dinner was broadcasted live. Nick didn’t seem to care a great deal, but was rather focusing on getting as much food as possible while listening to the speeches.

The food was fantastic. The main, hereford beef tenderloin with chive-spiced goats curd mousseline, truffle potato galette and root vegetables looked very nice. However, I went for the vegetarian option as I’m not a huge fan of red meat. It was an asparagus, green pea and mint risotto with lemon mascarpone. The dessert was also really tasty; chocolate tart with raspberry cream, lemon meringue pie with raspberries, apple and sultana crumble square and vanilla & mango brulée. I tried all the different bits, so good! Nick also cleaned up, but in spite of having a starter, main and dessert, he still remained hungry.


Despite a few awkward moments, and me not knowing half of what the speeches were about, the night was really good, with awesome food and nice people  ★