Coffee Break


Every wardrobe must be properly accessorized, which is why I am usually found sporting a coffee cup.

I love coffee: I love the smell of it; I love the feel of my favorite mug in my hand; I love lighting my scented candle before dawn and brewing coffee while the house is quiet; I would live at Starbucks if they would let me bring my husband, kids & dog–and if we could get rid of all those strangers who wander in; yet despite these things, I never thought of myself as an addict.

However, by the end of day one on the Daniel fast, when I had the urge to actually eat coffee grounds to help my headache (which I did NOT do…as far as you know), I realized I was probably addicted to coffee.

But I didn’t care.

I have always taken my coffee black, so there was no reason to banish coffee for calorie reduction. Besides, there were worse things I could alter my body chemistry with–and so weaning myself off coffee, merely for the sake of doing it, was NOT on my priority list.

Even after reading Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live, where he recommends ditching the java, I decided it was one of those bits of advice I could ignore. So I did ignore it. Happily.

And then something strange happened–I completely lost my cravings for coffee.


When our Daniel Fast was completed, my husband and I continued to eat a plant-based diet, low in fats and high in veggies; and we added juice to our daily routine. I’m not talking kiddie faux juice that comes in a box. I donned my apron and began experimenting with a variety of veggies & fruits that would be palatable.

I also decided that in no way would I give up coffee (though my husband did).

Day one was horrible but not tragic. I went to bed feeling sad and kind of hungry.

Day two didn’t get any better. I was a breath away from snarfing down a pice of tofu that had fallen out of the pan while I was cooking the kids’ dinner.

Day three I was ready to give up this ridiculous idea when I stepped on the scale. I was 5 pounds lighter.

Then somewhere around days 4 and 5, other strange things began to happen: I could fit into my skinny jeans without writhing on the floor to button them. Then I spotted ribs that have not been seen since my last marathon. And even though my husband & I both caught colds, we actually felt energetic. By day 5 I had lost 11 pounds and my husband had lost 20 (which puts him at a 40 pound total loss since January 1st).

On the night of day 6, we broke our fast with a light miso soup. We had decided not to juice on day 7, supposedly in honor of our anniversary, but really so I could have some chocolate cake.

Big mistake.

I felt horrible the entire day. The cold bug began to win the war against my immune system, and I ended up taking a two-hour nap in the middle of the day. I didn’t want to get out of bed–not even for ‘real’ food. When it came time for me to actually make the chocolate cake, I looked at the box, looked at my husband and asked, “Can I make some lean green instead?”


I made our favorite variation of spinach juice, and after drinking it, we both began to feel better. Maybe there was some placebo action going on, but my head felt clearer, and I had more energy.

All through the juice fast, I was still making coffee in the morning. But as time went on, the more I juiced, the less coffee I drank.

I still binged on enjoyed my lactose-free cappuccino at Art Class Mama Coffee, but my daily intake of coffee has gone down with each day of juicing.

Yesterday, for the first time in recorded history, I could not finish a large coffee at a restaurant–I was too full from the pineapple-mango-carrot juice I’d just had.

This morning, I had half a cup at breakfast, mostly from habit.

This is all very strange for me: I don’t crave coffee like I used to, and I’m not having any withdrawals (or panic attacks) from not having it. I feel more energetic than when I’m drinking it straight up.

I will always love coffee; and I will always drink coffee; but at this point, I don’t feel I NEED coffee, or at least, I don’t NEED coffee CONSTANTLY, which is a real miracle for me.

Running Update: During a juice fast, where you only drink juice and eat no meals, it is recommended that while you should remain active, you probably shouldn’t be running long distances. So when the Siberian weather hit central Europe, (and everyone got sick) it seemed the perfect time to do a juice fast (since my one encounter with running made my eyes burn). I have been exercising with the kids (between illnesses), lifting light weights and doing stuff inside, like running through the house with spray bleach and a wad of paper towels.

I can’t wait to get back outside on those lovely frozen Franconian trails!

Recipe of the Week: Vegetable Miso Soup

I stole this recipe from Whole Living magazine, a Martha Stewart publication, which I don’t normally buy since I fall into the Non-Martha category of woman. However, I found this publication helpful compared to other magazines such as Clean Eating, where 9 out of 10 recipes called for meat, dairy, gluten or all of the above. So, in this case, I decided to trust the convicted felon & attempt miso soup. After googling ‘miso’ I began my search for the ingredients.

The Raw Materials

1/2 chopped onion

2 minced garlic cloves

2 diced stalks of celery

2 carrots, diced & peeled

1 cup chopped broccoli

1 cup garbanzo beans (rinsed)

White Miso (I used the only gluten-free miso I could find at the organic market–it didn’t look white, but it tasted great)

*note: when cooking for a large family, add more veggies & more water. I used an entire can of garbanzos, 2 heads of broccoli (no stems) & 6-8 cups water.

The Method

Heat a smidge of olive oil in a dutch oven (or a pot…but I use my d.o. for everything); cook onion garlic, celery, and carrots until tender (6-8 minutes). Stir in broccoli and garbanzo beans, cooking for about 2 minutes. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender (apx 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Dissolve 2 Tbsp miso in 2 Tbsp cool water, and stir into soup.


*note: this was my first experience with miso, and there are a lot of types out there. Mine was gluten-free and soy based. It came in a clear plastic bag with a little spout and looked HORRENDOUS when I squished it out–think, something you pay other people to pick up in your back yard.

However, it had an excellent flavor and made the soup very filling. It is also ‘macrobiotic,’ which means I need to do some more googling…but I’m sure it must mean something good!


One response »

  1. I love your blog and I just wanted to add something helpful!
    Breville Juicer is the best – I highly recommend it. I suggest getting it from Amazon as well, you will get for the best price

    This is my third juicing machine. My first was a Champion which served without problems for years. On the plus side it was powerful and durable. On the down side it was rather noisy, vibrated a lot and left a lot of juice in the pulp and was hard to clean. My second juicer was the omega screw machine which I still have. I bought it because it also did wheat grass. On the plus side it is quiet and juices anything, makes nut butter and extracts a lot of juice leaving very dry pulp. On the down side it is slow and worst of all the feed tube is really small. You have to do a lot of cutting to get things small enough to get into the feed tube. I pretty much only use it for wheatgrass now. The Breville is the best juicer I have had. It is an example of good product design in that it is simple, practical and attractive. It is powerful, has a feed tube large enough to take large whole carrots, beets and small apples. It is quiet, comes apart easy and cleans up quickly. The capture pitcher which nests into the machine has a nice cover so you can store the juice for later. If making juice is a hassle you’re going to put off doing it. This juicer makes juicing easy and not a hassle.

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