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About Chucking Espresso & How: A 40 Day Spiritual Cleanse

FE espresso grind

If you know nothing about me, know this: I am obsessed, addicted to, and inseparably in love with espresso. Like a girl-who-met-the-man-of-her-dreams kind of love. It’s the one thing that speaks poignantly to my passionate personality. I ritualize it and everyone around me knows.

But there are times in my life when I feel I need to go through a radical change; a change that could enhance my life and revive dormant elements.

A recent challenge at church to give up something for 40 days had me feeling some kind of way. I was immediately uneasy, but I knew why. I knew God was talking to me about coffee. There aren’t many other things I simply can’t and don’t live without. It’s my my morning glory. I don’t hide that.

I took the challenge on, but first contemplated what my “sacrifice” was going to be. And would I survive.

It was either coffee or jewelry. Or shopping. Or Facebook.

I finally settled on coffee. And jewelry.


Yes, cuarenta días

If you follow me on FB, you know I did a coffee challenge exactly one year ago, but only for 16 days. And for different reasons. That was hard. Everyone thought I had lost it. Why did I do it? Truthfully, nothing major. I wasn’t cleansing, fasting, or trying to shed some inches. I simply wanted to challenge myself to break a delicious but somewhat vicious cycle of drinking coffee most of the day. The crux of it all was to know I could live my life without being tied to and dependent on something. A liquid. A dark liquid that when had in excess, gives you the shakes and stains our pretty teeth.

Instagram Espresso filtered

(Morning glory, via my Instagram)

I did it successfully without losing my couth or passing out on my keyboard every day. I went 16 full days without taking sip of any form of coffee. I was mildly tempted to have instant coffee out of a pack since it’s mostly soluble, but even that counts. I was committed to it!

This time, the experience has been totally different. My mind hasn’t wandered off to coffee lushness wonderland, where most of my friends hang in the morning. I’ve not missed it, actually, and haven’t suffered from dangerous withdrawals. It could have everything to do with the spiritual element.  There’s something bigger in store for me after these 40 days.

A more liberated me. A healthier mind. A stronger sense of commitment.

It feels quite great, really. And I’m still nice. No roaring over here.

{MAKE: Espresso-Infused Dark Hot Cocoa}

If you’re toying with the idea of taking a break, if for nothing else, to see that you can actually live without something and know you don’t have an addictive personality, try these steps for ensuring a successful break. You’ll regain an exciting sense of ownership and might actually shed some inches. I did last year and I think I’m on to having a slimmer waistline this go ’round.

Find a partner in crime.
There was no way I’d be able to complete the challenge last year without an equally obsessed coffee drinker to support me.

My friend Mario drinks very standard American drip four times per day and more on the weekends. It was a challenge for him, too, but he stuck it out with me and never complained. It helps with staying focused when you know someone else is probably feeling miserable too.

Thankfully this time, because of the fasting nature, I’ve not recruited anyone. Didn’t have to, making this much more gratifying.

Drink green tea. Or a smoothie
Not just any tea, but green. Not only will you replace el cafécito with a warm caffeinated drink, but you’ll also start promoting some weight loss. After day two, you’ll start enjoying green tea more than ever. I suggest limiting it to three times a day.

Smoothies are also a great option. On the complete opposite end of the hot caffeinated beverage lane, a luscious blueberry and strawberry smoothie will kick tart your metabolism. And we all already know how important it is to break fast. This one right here will do that trick and is packed with nutrients we need daily.

Blueberry strawberry smoothie

Hide all coffee & coffee makers
This is key! Do you see my inventory below? That was in Atlanta a few years ago. It’s only grown. Okay, only by three, but three more I really don’t need but love.

If you have visuals or whiffs of the the very thing you’re trying to break free from, then you may not go through with it. If you drink coffee every morning, I’m certain it’s within hands reach. Get rid of it. Don’t chuck it, just put it away in the pantry you never open. Same thing with the coffee machine or stovetop espresso maker.

Out of sight, out of mind. Literally.

Espresso Maker Shelf
State of Affairs

I’ve been spared the temptation through prayer. I make coffee for my mother every single morning and not once have I snuck in a sip. You’d think something’s not right. But it’s all so good! But just in case you’re not where I am, hide them all!

If you stick to these three essential actions, you’ll see how easily you can win the challenge! Do not let a taza, no matter how delicious, keep you from owning yourself! When it’s all over, the reward of sipping your best ever beverage is golden!

Here’s a coffee alternative. Chai latte. Some friends say I’ve been cheating. Nahhhh. No way. It’s caffeine, yeah, but it’s not coffee. Nowhere near. Not even as good. It’s delicious, but not sultry, robust, and sexy like my morning café con leche. And I’m not addicted. That’s the point.

I’ve been swearing by a homemade cup just about every morning, just to awaken the senses. Let’s blame the need for a hot beverage on the ferocious winter weather we’re shoveling through.

Otherwise, it’d be espresso again before the 40 days were up.

But it’s day 30 and I’m solid as a rock. Won’t stop now. 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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65 thoughts on “About Chucking Espresso & How: A 40 Day Spiritual Cleanse

  1. Way to go! I know how hard it is to give up something that you feel you can’t live without… for me that would be chocolate! I’ve been cutting back, somewhat successfully the last few weeks. Not because of a challenge like yours, but because I feel I had let my adoration of become too much a part of my daily routine… it was a way of dealing with the afternoon “slump” or the mid-day stress… you get the idea. One day at a time, and we’ll both come out the other side feeling pretty good about making it through!

  2. Wow Bren! IO can’t believe you are doing this! You of all people, jajaja! Anyways, best of luck on your cleanse, I know you will do it and great tips if I ever need to do it. I agree with your friends, Chai Latte is kind of cheating but like you say it’s not as good as café con leche!

  3. I love coffee and cannot live without my Cezve (Turkish coffee “machine”)…

    Congratulations on your 30 days!



  4. I have two espresso makers; one stovetop and one electric…and I thought THAT was a lot!

    Very impressed but then I think most of us really can find the motivation to accomplish something that might seem radical; the key is WE have to want to, for ourselves. Doing it for others always seems a destiny with failure. Congrats…you go girl!

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