Tag Archives: caffeine

Life of a Tea Drinker, Chapter VI

Chapter, the Sixth

In which the author grieves for her senses and explores the woes of caffeine withdrawal…

I didn’t think I’d really miss caffeine that much. I wasn’t a coffee drinker (I’ve heard this is a nightmare withdrawal for pregnant women in love with these beans). I drank enough herbal tea that I knew I’d still drink tea. Decaf black tea was starting to grow on me.

Let me give you a picture of how my day has progressed.

I wake up, get ready for work, run some laundry upstairs, iron Mike’s shirt, eat breakfast, feed Words, pack a lunch, and run out the door. Everything’s fine and dandy, I don’t think twice about it when I’m bombarded with e-mails about changes and the need for details, the work stacking up on my desk, the meetings. Then 3:00 rolls around. Uh oh. CRASH! My eyes are heavy. I find myself dozing, red pen mid-air.  To prevent an alcohol rubbing, ink removal ceremony later this evening (already went through that a few weeks ago), I run to the break room to make myself a cup of decaf black tea.

Suddenly, decaf is a poor man’s Assam. Adding sugar is like adding a tiny drop of syrup to a dry stack of pancakes. Has anyone noticed how unsatisfying decaf black tea is when you’re tasting the caffeinated version in your imagination? There is actually a taste difference. Nothing satisfies!

Powdered caffeine. Looks a lot like an illegal substance, doesn't it? Appropriately so. (Image from en.wikipedia.org)

I’ve heard that caffeine in small doses is fine for the average pregnant woman. Coffee has a lot, but tea isn’t bad. Chocolate is minimal in moderate (what’s that?) doses. The people who spout this information obviously have no idea how much caffeine I drank in a day, pre-pregnancy. And even if I had one cup, it would be a gateway cup. I would have to have more. Withdrawal would start all over again with pangs and cravings. Am I being too dramatic? I’ve been told I have the urge to overdramatize in my gestational state. (Deal with it.)

Besides, if I use up my caffeine quota on black tea, do you really want to be the one to stand between me and my chocolate fix later? I also heard that one of the pharmacists at my company was known to chug 5 sodas (pop, Coke–for those with dialects, read a book) every day while she was pregnant. It was one of those high-caffeine brands. I’m sorry, but that can’t be right. I know several doctors (and pharmacists) who pour out their knowledge of nutrition, and then cram Twinkies down their throats after clinical hours. No offense to nutritionists and doctors who at least try.

So I’ve decided that a nap after work (even if dinner is waiting) is necessary for my sanity, the health of those around me, and the well-being of the world, in that order.

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Life of a Tea Drinker, Chapter V

Chapter, the Fifth
*Special Edition*

In which the author divulges her secret and makes excuses for her lack of blog material…

If there are any readers out there, you may or may not have been disappointed by my recent lapse in posting. (Can I call a 3-month gap a lapse?) OK, it’s more of a hiatus.

I’m pregnant!

Now you know the reason I’ve been cutting back on caffeine and not feeling up to writing new blog posts. Whether you deem this a good enough reason for a hiatus or decide to stop following a blog author this flaky is entirely up to you. However, if you’d like to continue on this tea journey with me, I’d love to start blogging again!

I’m due December 13th, so I’m offically in my second trimester.

I don't care what your baby looks like, this is the cutest profile I've ever seen!

When we discovered our pregnancy, Mike and I were already planning our trip to the Oregon coast, so we decided to keep our reservations, despite the nausea. We considered it an early babymoon.

Oregon is beautiful, and hotels love their Stash tea. Our hotel in Portland (not technically on the coast, that was in the days following) had complimentary continental breakfasts and afternoon tea and cookies. I knew this was the place for me.

I tried to cut out as much caffeine as possible during my first trimester, just to be safe, so I stuck to herbal teas during the trip. Stash, of course, has some delightful herbals, including Lemon Ginger, Peppermint, Orange Spice, and Wild Raspberry. Stash is famous for their variety packs, so check them out if you’re interested in a flavor extravaganza!

We spent the rest of our trip exploring the Oregon coast, spending a few nights each in Newport and Cannon Beach. Our stay in Newport took us to the Sylvia Beach Hotel (seriously recommended for book lovers!), which offered Stash tea at breakfast every morning as well.

Overall, I felt really good during our trip, so I’m thankful I didn’t spend the whole time curled up with nausea. The excercise was also helpful. We walked everywhere in Portland, so it was a nice change from driving half an hour to and from work every morning, as per our usual St. Louis routine.

So I’m back in the blogosphere and I have some great teas lined up: summer iced tea, an iced tea blind tasting test, hot tea that’s good for the tummy, and some great decaf. Look for my next review soon, and keep brewing!

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