My husband and I aren’t coffee drinkers. Hot tea is our caffeinated beverage of choice.
But at the beginning of winter, I started getting into a habit of making myself a cup of decaf coffee mid morning. It’s a nice way to warm up on a cold winter day, and let’s be honest. It’s more about using coffee to water down the cream, right?
Because I’m the only person who uses the coffee maker, and I only use it to make one cup of coffee every other day or so, I would usually forget to clean it. I would let the old coffee and coffee grounds sit there until the next time I made a cup. Then, I would have to rinse it out before brewing my single cup of coffee.
A few weeks ago, I had some extra space in the dishwasher and decided to actually wash the coffee maker. I know. Gasp! The next morning when I wanted some coffee, it was such a nice surprise to find a sparkling clean coffee pot and a filter basket that wasn’t full of old coffee grounds.
I smiled. It was like a gift I gave myself.
Since then, I’ve been putting the coffee pot in the dishwasher immediately after I use it. Each time, I think, “This is so nice of me to give myself the gift of a clean coffee pot.”
I was thinking about this concept the last few days as I’ve been learning more about nutrition and health. Since I changed the way I’ve been eating, I’ve become a little obsessed with the topic. I started listening to a Paleo podcast, and I have a long list of books I want to read on topics like fat, sugar and nutrition.
I’ve noticed that my mindset also has started to change about the food I eat. When I found out I had Celiac Disease last summer, I was really angry at this invisible force that had robbed me of my ability to eat gluten. How could all of my favorite foods just be taken from me without any warning?! I revolted by overindulging in chocolate, ice cream, candy, ANYTHING that I COULD eat.
I quickly found out that gaining almost a pound a month wasn’t going to be a good long-term solution for me. As January approached, I knew I had to make a change to my eating. I carefully researched several different options to determine which one I liked the best. “That one says I can’t have fruit…. This one lets me eat potatoes and caffeine,” I thought. “That sounds good to me.”
Now that I’ve been eating this way for almost 45 days, I can really tell how foods affect me. Certain foods make me feel really full. Others seem to make me crave something sweet. I started drinking milk and then decided to go back to almond milk because cow’s milk made me feel so heavy. Just because I CAN have something (like potatoes) on a certain diet, it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for me.
I’ve realized that my food choices are my own. I can’t just pick a diet because it gives me options that sound good to me. I have to make the choice based on how healthy I want to be and how I want to feel.
There’s not some unseen force that is making me give up certain foods or eat others. No one else has to live with my bloated stomach or my sugar cravings. It’s all up to me. I can choose to give myself that gift.
I’ve realized it’s great to wake up to a clean coffee pot. And it’s even better to take the time to chop some veggies and snack on protein. It’s the gift I give to myself.
So, what about you? I would love to hear your reaction in the comments. Have you made any lifestyle changes that feel like a gift to yourself?