Okay, I’ve been cheating.
A few years ago I gave up chemical sweeteners for the purposes of losing weight. Although my weight remained the same, my lifelong insomnia abruptly went away as a result. With a benefit like that it was well worth giving up my beloved Coke Zero in favor of flavored seltzer with my evening meal, and for the rest of the day I’ve learned to be content with water.
Then we got a Keurig at work, and Ted brought one home, and suddenly it became unbearably easy to have a cup of delicious, hot, flavored coffee in less than a minute. If I load up my coffee with as much creamer and sugar as I like it tops out at around 200 calories, which is usually as many calories I as I have for my entire breakfast.
Thus the cheating. If I put in three creamers and three packets of Splenda, my coffee is a very manageable 35 calories. It is also true (at least for me) that I can trick a hungry stomach into thinking its less hungry by consuming a hot beverage instead of food. So I started having that about three or four times a week.
And my entire digestive system went haywire.
I’ll spare you the grim details, but suffice it to say my stomach was not happy. Apparently over the past three years of avoiding chemical sweetener all of my tolerance for them has completely evaporated, so I was glumly assuming that I would once again have to give up hope of a morning cup of Joe.
Many times over the years I’ve stated that I absolutely, positively cannot drink coffee without a sweetening agent of some kind. Until yesterday, while saying just that to a co-worker, it suddenly occurred to me that I had never actually tried unsweetened coffee.
So today I tried it. Three creamers, and nothing sweet whatsoever.
The first sip induced a grimace because I just wasn’t used to the flavor, but a few sips later and I was enjoying my mug. I won’t pretend that I enjoyed it as much as I do when it’s got two or three heaping tablespoons of sugar in there (and yes, I did used to put in that much) but it was still rich, flavorful coffee. It was still good.
I realized I hadn’t ever given the taste of coffee all by itself a fair chance after all. Tomorrow I’ll see if I can wean down to two creamers instead of three.
So how do you take your morning mug?