Decaffeinating a coffee-aholic

Do you know what it’s like living with a grizzly bear? Growling, roaring, snarling and stomping around in an obvious huff. That pretty well describes my husband’s mood this week.

With the addition of a new medication, he discovered that he must decaffeinate himself. So it’s no more morning java, no espresso shots, no mocha lattes, energy drinks and – perhaps worst of all – no more Mountain Dew.

On the first day, I tried to be helpful and remind him that he’s got non-caffeine options with all of those favorite drinks. But he just grumbled something about being a purist and not wanting to settle for the weaker versions. What would he put in his brand new steel Thermos that he bought just so he could have hot coffee at work all-day long? I suggested hot soup for lunch, but as you might imagine, that idea fell short of the mark.

The second morning of his new caffeine-free lifestyle, getting out of bed proved to be difficult. He was dragging and his first thought was to head to the coffee maker in the kitchen. Thanks to a little advanced planning, I put the glass carafe away, and instead pulled out the blender and offered to make him a fruit smoothy for the road. He grudgingly agreed but muttered that it wouldn’t be the same as a piping hot dark-roasted brew.

The smoothy was actually a hit. I threw some frozen strawberries and a banana into the blender with a little milk, Greek yogurt and some ice. He seemed to like it and even gave me some suggestions for other flavor varieties.

While the smoothy seemed to give him a boost in the morning, by the time he arrived home after work, I could tell that Larry was suffering from more than just fatigue. The caffeine withdrawal headache had set in. A couple ibuprofen seemed to ease the pain. I surprised him with some caffeine-free soda and he was thrilled. He admitted that it did indeed taste the same as his much-loved fully-leaded favorite. We’ve now stocked up on pop which will hopefully keep His Nibs in better spirits.

I have to admit, that early morning cup of coffee is a real boost. I kind of depend on that, too, especially on days that promise to be long. My favorite way to have a cup of coffee is with a couple spoonfuls of peppermint mocha creamer. I know that there are better sources and better ways to find the energy to get through those long days, so I may have to join Larry and give up the caffeine.

The trouble is – and I hate to admit this – I think I might have just as much trouble as my husband giving up the caffeine buzz. But it would be the healthy, supportive thing to do … right after I finish this cuppa joe.