Thursday, August 9, 2012
My parents have been coffee drinkers for as long as I can remember (although I'm sure the habit dates back much further than 23 years). I have awaken (woken? wow. I just stared at this word so long it has now lost all meaning) to the smell of coffee every morning spent in my parents' house, and I went on to brew my own cups of coffee every morning in my minuscule coffeemaker in my college dorm and then, in a slightly larger coffeemaker, every morning at my three different college apartments.
As a child my parents humored my desire to be like the 'big kids' and drink a cup with them every once in a while, granted it was always 3/4 cream and sugar, but I've been doing it ever since -- always with cream and sugar. My mom drinks hers with cream only and my dad drinks his with Equal only (I could write a whole post on how this is a metaphorical representation of their 29-year-strong-relationship and ideals of either party in general, but I'll skip the philosophical assumptions for now..)
I like to get the best of both worlds.
It wasn't until sophomore year of college that I actually accepted my severely lactose intolerance, but that didn't stop me from eating an everything bagel toasted with cream cheese and a medium iced coffee with cream and Splenda from Dunkin Donuts several times a week all four years. After graduation was actually the first time I decided to give up dairy all together (instead of just popping Lactaid pills with every meal).
This is when I learned that Dunkin Donuts has zero dairy-free cream products (fun fact: most Coffee Made creamers sold at grocery stores are dairy-free) at least here in Florida. Is it the same way at DDs in other states? It's very frustrating. And silly, really, considering if you tallied up the amount of money I've spent at that establishment I'm sure it would be enough to pay for a year's rent and several high-class cappuccino makers. (Nowadays if I'm really craving it, I order the bagel with no cream cheese and the coffee without cream and add my own dairy-free substitutes when I get home.)
Despite that little rant, this is not a Florida Dunkin Donuts call to action (vegans and lactose intolerants need coffee and donuts too!), this is actually just a post about my Whole30 dilemma. As I'm typing and feeling the nostalgia of delicious cups of coffee past, I've been searching my brain to see if it is, in fact, possible for me to enjoy a cup of coffee without sweetener.
With the detox plan I've committed to for the next 27 days (I'm on day 3) I am forbidden from consuming sugar or any sugar substitutes, including Splenda, Equal, Truvia, Honey and Agave Nectar -- all of which I had been consuming on a daily basis. My mom harvests her own honey for God's sake!
So here I am sipping on a now-room-temperature cup of bitter liquid with almond/cashew cream and wondering if I even actually like coffee. Considering I'm almost down to the the bottom of the cup and I finished a cup just like it yesterday, it seems that it's not repulsive enough to stop me from drinking it.. but I'd be lying if I said I haven't been searching my brain for some way around the no-sugar-substitute rule (but agave nectar is natural! Sugar in fruit is natural! Why is that allowed?!)
It's a constant battle. I know it would take a couple steps and a rip of two packets to make this drink taste 100% better than it currently does, but I won't do it. I think one of two things will happen from this experience: I will stop drinking coffee all together, or I will learn to love the actual taste of coffee instead of letting it be the backdrop for my love of all things creamy and sweet. Who knows, maybe I'll even learn to enjoy unsweet tea too (although I really can't imagine that ever happening...I think my southern is showing.)
So this is what happens when I go three days without carbs I suppose. I end up writing a novel about a cup of coffee. If you made it through this entire post, kudos to you and I strongly suggest you comment and let me know so I can give you a huge virtual hug and have a reason to smile the rest of the day.