Montreal Runner Mom

Mommy. Runner. Blogger. Writer


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Quitting Coffee Cold Turkey

Yes I did it. I quit coffee cold turkey. I hadn’t planned on it but it happened and I love it. I think I may be slightly drugged….

It has now been 2.5 weeks since I switched my morning coffee for room temperature lemon water and the changes in my body have been incredible. The only other times in my life I have quit coffee were during my two pregnancies and both those times I had awful withdrawal symptoms during the first week. This time it has been so easy!

So what brought this on? Well, I recently learned about the body’s levels of acidity versus alkalinity and a lot of the information made sense to me. I had never really thought about this before and didn’t know much, if anything about it. The most striking information to me was about energy. I always seemed to be tired. The more tired I felt, the more coffee I drank. It helped for a while but never really made a difference other than just continuing the circle of fatigue. So I decided to make the change and see for myself.

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Previously I had about 4-6 coffees a day. At least 2 in the early morning, then again around midday and a few in the late afternoon were always must. I would also always order a coffee after dinner out in a restaurant. That adds up to a lot of caffeine!

However I was eager to try something that reportedly would give me more energy. So I figured why not at least try!

On the first morning, I prepared a large jug of water infused with fresh lemons and left it on my kitchen counter. My husband had no desire to quit coffee so this made it a little harder…..I could still smell his coffee brewing as I poured my water. I will admit it was very hard not to pour myself a cup too!

The first glass was refreshing and surprisingly easy to drink despite the smell of coffee in the house. I made sure to discard the remaining coffee as I poured glass #2 of lemon water. I didn’t want to be tempted. Before long I realized that I was on glass 3. I had been awake for almost 3 hours, had zero coffee and no sign of the withdrawal headache. I continued drinking water all day, not really counting how much but simply always having a glass by my side and sipping throughout the day. I was amazed that by late afternoon, at my typical coffee “pick me up” time, I wasn’t tired at all! This water thing was magical.

Day 2 -Again in the morning it was a bit rough smelling the freshly brewed coffee. However I stuck to the plan and began to drink my water. I realized in that moment that my brain liked the smell of the coffee but that my body wasn’t really craving it. I was simply reacting to an appealing smell. I did consider pouring a cup but then as I thought of the coffee taste versus the taste of the refreshing and energizing (!) lemon water, I actually surprised myself by wanting the lemon water more.

By the third day, it was a piece of cake. I was drinking 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning before eating and continuing all day long. I felt refreshed and energized throughout the day. After a week I noticed my skin felt smoother and my face seemed to look more rested. I also had less cravings for unhealthy food choices. I have always had what I like to call an “addiction” problem with BBQ chips. Yet all of a sudden I had no desire to eat them. It was as if the water was steering me into a path of better food choices as well. Seems crazy I know!

Now 2.5 weeks into this new lifestyle change I can truthfully say that I have no need for coffee at all. The smell doesn’t phase me and I don’t crave it. I have not had one headache and I have actually felt more energized than ever before.

It has also helped my running. I used to have to drink a lot of water before a run and try to time it properly so I would not have to find a bathroom along the way. It was a complicated balance of drinking enough and being able to make it through a run without a full bladder. Now that I drink regularly, I don’t need to stock up before a run. I am simply well hydrated at all times.

I have also experimented with different tastes. Sometimes I infuse with lemons only, other times I add lime or oranges to the mix. Each version has a slightly different taste but all have the same results.

You can do the research yourself…

  • Learn how lemon water gets your metabolism going first thing in the morning
  • How it is immune boosting and anti-aging,
  • How it detoxifies the body
  • The anti-inflammatory benefits of lemon water
  • How it is a great option for post workout recovery

And so much more…..but for me it has been more simple. By replacing coffee with lemon water, I have seen my energy levels rise and stay high all day long, it has helped me make better and fresher food choices and ultimately has had a positive impact on my running. For these reasons alone, it is so worth it!

Cut up some lemons and pour yourself a glass today! I guarantee you will see the difference for yourself!

Lemon Water blog post

#GoRunnerGo  🙂


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Get Into The Zone

The Zone….I feel like it’s eluded me for most of my life but now….now…I’ve finally seen it, experienced it and it feels like the fog has lifted! It’s happened enough times that I now feel confident trying to harness at will rather than stumble across it by accident. It’s a curious thing The Zone, I’ve certainly heard of it hundreds of times before but I don’t think I ever really understood it until now.

A little while ago I came to the realization that there’s a point in my run where I literally zone out of all conscious thoughts and enter essentially the Twilight Zone. It’s a bit unnerving and amazing all at the same time!

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When this happens, I no longer notice things or people around me, I tend to focus in and stare at something in particular like the road in front of me or the numbers flashing on the treadmill. It tends to come on slowly and builds quietly until I am full on in it. Then, I no longer even notice that I’m running, it becomes more like gliding or flying!  It is effortless and beautiful and it is in this space that I can feel my body growing stronger and faster.

The Zone tends to come on after a particularly difficult section of the run, usually after I get passed the voices telling me to quit. Then the most irritating thing occurs. Often, as soon I realize I’m there, I lose it and fall back into the incessant noise and conversations in my head.

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After experiencing The Zone during a run, I can see that there is a method and secret to this madness. I just need to harness it.

Similarly, I have been aiming to lengthen the focus periods that I have in other areas of my life. Whether it’s when I’m writing, learning a new skill, working on tedious administrative work or even creating routines for my dance students, I have been timing my focus periods with a stopwatch. Sounds a little crazy I know….

I defined a focus period as the amount of time I spent on the chosen activity without any interruption. Interruptions included the obvious like breaking for snacks, social media, answering the phone etc…to the obscure and much more difficult to measure, deviation in thought process on the assigned task.

When I first began timing my focus periods, I was at an embarrassing 5-10 minutes limit. No wonder it was sometimes taking me forever to complete a task from start to finish! I was constantly thinking of other things and doing other things at the same time. Slowly by slowly and literally minute by minute on the stopwatch, I have been able to extend these focus periods. The results have been amazing. I have been able to cut in half the time it takes me to do almost everything. Tasks I naturally enjoy literally take no time at all and tasks that are more tedious to me take half the time they used to and don’t seem so bad any more. Now I actually enjoy trying to complete a task and beat previous time records. This doesn’t mean I am rushing thought my work but rather I consciously block out all distractions and force my mind to only think about what I am doing. Much easier said than done for sure! Each time it require great mental effort. However I must credit yoga for being a great help in this area too. Yoga has taught me how to quiet the constant chatter in my head and really focus in on the thoughts that are central to what’s necessary.

All to say that The Zone during a run is very similar. It’s all mental. Training myself to get to The Zone and stay there longer all while knowing I’m in it, is the magical key to running further, faster and longer. Not to mention it feels amazing!!!

Even though I already ran this morning, just writing this makes me want to go out again and find The ZONE!!

How do you get to The Zone? Have any secrets to share?

#GoRunnerGo  🙂