Perking up without the perk |

Perking up without the perk

Janet Urquhart

A day without coffee is like a week of raging PMS, which is why I’m a little worried about going a week without coffee.I gave up coffee on Tuesday as part of a “cleanse,” but have yet to actually go a day without sipping some, which I figure is still a vast improvement over downing a half-gallon of it on a daily basis.I fear it will take a higher power to force my abstention from the bean, sort of like the one that took away spinach. I never thought I’d go through withdrawal over a leafy green, but salad hasn’t been the same since it was yanked from my grocer’s shelves.Too bad, since spinach would be allowed on the cleanse diet, which is supposed to detoxify my liver, perk up my colon and God knows what else. It’s very high in fiber. I wish I was high on fiber. Instead I’m fighting off a chronic headache as a result of caffeine withdrawal. That’s why I’m self-medicating with small doses of coffee.At first, I was simply sneaking it early in the morning at the office, when no one would see me with my incriminating cup in hand. (At least I didn’t put the cup in a paper bag.) But one day this week, I broke down at home and suggested brewing up a couple of cups – one for me and one for the co-cleanser in my household. I didn’t get a lot of argument, probably because, as I’ve been told, I’m a lot nicer when I’ve had a cup of coffee.Add some booze and chocolate back into my daily routine and I’d be downright giddy. Instead, I’m just hungry, crabby and flatulent. The consumption of vast quantities of fiber and hummus is generating a gaseous atmosphere at my house that has everybody – dogs and humans – eyeing each other suspiciously. I’m blaming mine on the dogs, not the celery.Two days into the cleanse, a friend of mine suggested margaritas at my favorite watering hole. I was sorely tempted to cave. I was, at least, willing to drink water and sniff the tortilla chips, but she wanted no part in my company, sans alcohol. Apparently, I’m no fun when I’m not drinking. As far as I’m concerned, no one else is, either.Cravings aside, I’m surprised by how hungry I am when I’m eating “healthy foods.” It’s not like I don’t get plenty to eat – lean meat, vegetables and fruits, basically, but processed foods are out. I miss them. OK, I’ll just say it: The other night, I almost licked a windmill cookie.At the outset, I was thinking about doing the cleanse thing for a month, which is pretty standard. I did the week-long thing last spring and figured I could do better this time.Instead, I’m so lethargic, all I want to do is nap, and drink coffee. I don’t think all this healthy food is good for me.Janet Urquhart chewed a piece of sugarless gum. It was the highlight of her day. Console her at

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