Coffee- Friend or Foe?


It must be a sign of my age, but I’ve actually started to think about what I put into my body.  I’m talking fuel wise, not anything kinky.   I never used to give a second thought to how food was actually making my body “feel” (bleugh- cue fingers down throat in immature pretending to vomit action).  A younger me would have had background niggles that perhaps eating pizza three times a week at uni, interspersed with Spag Bol and the occasional chicken tikka pasta (oh, yes) wasn’t the healthiest of diets but given that it was quick easy and hardly any washing up or shopping, it worked for me and my flatmates.  These days I would take a week of lean, mean, carbless, feta sprinkled blandness over the above menu.  My stomach starts self performing crunches at the idea of it.  It would not be a happy bunny.

I’ve never been a body conscious dieter or fitness fanatic, mainly due to laziness and “canna be bothered”ness.  I’m semi-fit, can run for more than 10 minutes (if really required by an escaping pre-schooler) and have a scary inner beast of a “I’ll show you” complex when it comes to holding Pilates positions.  I’ve been fortunate enough to bump along steadily in the mid size range without too much effort, meaning the clothes I bought 5 years ago mostly fit.  It is true that since my early twenties, curves have increased and arm definition has been lost. My boobs have been put through an astonishing metamorphosis like some freaky science experiment and after the final triumphant flourish of bountiful milk fountain magnificentness, now have gradually all but disappeared into oblivion.  But I’m mostly happy with my lot, with how I’m stacked together,  in the knowledge that if my jeans do get a bit tight and I want to save a fortune by buying new ones (damn expensive jeans these days) then, I could just move my sloth-like bum and go for a run once a week until I’m back in them.  This just makes economic sense.

I’ve also become a bit of a fabric snoot, actually feeling the weight of a cloth before even deciding to try something on.  If it’s too light- I’m not going to like how it clings to me.  Not worth the effort of undressing… NEXT!  But that is a topic for another time.  Back to foods that make me feel rank…


It’s becoming clearer that one such food, or drink rather, is coffee.

I would have in the past always considered myself a tea drinker.  It’s refined, refreshing and comforting.  In short, I just loved a brew.  I think, as a parent, the cuppa represents to the children, to oneself, hell, to the whole goddamn world, even if it doesn’t get drunk, an intention to have 2 minutes peace.

“Mummy’s going to make a cup of tea now”,

“Mummy’s going to have a cup of tea”,

“Careful, no climbing on mummy, she’s got a hot cup of tea – ouchy, BURNY BURNY”

AKA Piss Off and let me be.


The healthy fag if you like. A moment to pause out and catch your breath.  To have a brief time out, without which, you may actually turn into a snarling dragon and turn your children to charcoal with your fiery snorts.

But, for some time now, I’ve been under the spell of Mistress Coffee.  I know that she is not good for me.  She doesn’t make me feel calm, or relaxed and quite often I end up feeling extra stressed and jittery.  She pinches at my cortisol levels, which although this keeps me alert, it can also make me feel like I’m on wide-eyed look out duty for my unit in case of covert soldiers making a night-time attack.   To avoid midnight mind operations, I’ve recently imposed the following embargo: no coffee after dinner, no more than 3 cups a day.

I also am a bit concerned it might give me the shakes.  This would be a disaster at work, so I’ve taken to only drinking hot water from the work mug.  Which is terrible to admit.  How old person crumbly is that?! But apparently it’s very good for the digestive system, and I’ve even convinced several others to take up the habit.  Along with milled flax-seed on  porridge.


Nor is it good for the old halitosis.  Coffee Breath is not a myth and the weans are always happy to point out when “Mummy has stinky breath”.   Charming.

I do try every now and then to give up the lattes, but I’m pulled back in.  I think because they are quicker to drink than tea- being slightly colder.  You’ve more of a chance of gulping down the dregs and have a slither of completed cuppa satisfaction with a coffee.

Maybe a vice to try to cut down on.  Maybe I should open my eyes to the rainbow coloured world of herbal teas.  Or maybe I should just quit my whining and return back to the good old builders brew that this fine country was built on.   I certainly think a high tea at Buckingham Palace with Betty would be more likely Darjeeling infused than roasted.   And she’s doing alright for her age!  You dinna see the silver-haired army supping doon americanos in steamy cafes.  No, on that basis it’s clear, I’m gonna hae to ditch the beans for the leaves.   During the week anyway, and save the crazy wired twitching for the weekend.

Wild Times, my friends, Wild Times!


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