I grew up in a family of coffee drinkers.. the kind that got up early and sat around the table talking and laughing over multiple pots of coffee... for hours. I still have memories of waking up at my grandparents.. the smell of coffee and all of my aunts and uncles laughing around the kitchen table. We all started drinking coffee at a young age. It was like an induction to the adult table at family gatherings. At first of course it was more like coffee (milk) with lots of sugar.. As I got older though I was able to ditch the sugar. Mostly because my diet changed and I cut sugar out of the other areas or my life. But NEVER the cream.
By this point I had convinced my husband ( not a coffee drinker) that he loved coffee and it was a great way to start our day. It became our little morning ritual. Coffee and a few minutes of talking before the morning hustle of waking kids up, packing lunches, and making breakfasts. All while still loading up on organic half and half ( I mean come'on .. it was organic.. how bad could it be!!!??)
Then one day.. Josh said.. "From now on, I'm drinking my coffee black! I literally laughed out loud. I almost choked.. on my creamy coffee. I told him he could never do it. What was the point. It wouldn't even be enjoyable. Whatever.. it was his coffee.. not mine. Not my delicious creamy coffee.
Aside from my coffee drinking.. I had been struggling with giving up dairy in general. I mean milk was out. The cashew or almond milk we used at home was fine. No biggie..
But.. I was really slipping up with dips, and sour cream. CHEESE... omg cheese you guys.. It was real. I would just find myself eating a slice of cheese out of the fridge .. (at the restaurant, I couldn't keep it at home!) Then I started thinking about why I might be having this real problem giving up dairy.. My coffee came to mind.. I was seriously addicted to that comfort I got out of my coffee... So.. that was it!
I decided about a month ago to start drinking my coffee black.. yep. Like a big girl. Let me tell you. It was hard! I loved that creamy goodness every morning. It was a cup comfort waiting for me in the kitchen. I went cold turkey. Those first few days were rough. I was seriously choking it down.. complaining the whole time. After about a week though it became enjoyable. Really enjoyable actually. For the first time I could say I was a black coffee drinker.
Then came the freedom. It is so small, and so strange.. How can you find freedom in a cup of coffee.
Well, let me tell you. You can just say NO. No to cream and no to sugar. No thank you, I'll just have my coffee black! So then I noticed I was able to give up the dairy completely. It was such a small (what I thought to be insignificant) change, that ended up having a huge impact on my plant-based lifestyle. I was finding freedom in the struggle of giving up cheese, and sour cream. Just being able to say NO was huge for me. I can't really explain it. But I'm not going back.. I know that. You know what they say... :)
So if you have something small that is holding you back.. Go for it. Give it up. Make the change. Maybe, just maybe it'll be the very thing to give you freedom!
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
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