A day without coffee a night with cauliflower tacos

Today started without a cup of coffee. I stuck with the plan. Day one without any coffee was challenging. Day two was a true challenge. Our evening plans got canceled. That created an opportunity. I had enough time to make something for dinner. Dinner happened to consist of roasted beer and lime cauliflower tacos with a cilantro and carrot slaw for dinner. The recipe was adapted from epicurious after watching an episode of television about tacos on the food network. Sometimes you can recreate a dish you see on television. Other times that effort goes without any real reward.

roasted beer and lime cauliflower tacos with a cilantro and carrot slaw
roasted beer and lime cauliflower tacos with a cilantro and carrot slaw

A November Coffee Resolution

Today is November 1, 2015. The month of November always seems to sneak up on you. Before we know it 2015 will be gone and 2016 will have started. Sometimes you just have to see if you can adapt. In an effort to adapt my routine, I am giving up coffee today. That may not be my brightest idea ever. It may not even be a very good idea, but now is the time for a change. That is the first part of my November coffee resolution. Depending on how well that resolution goes today, I might even make an effort to give up coffee this week. Instead of drinking coffee (or green tea) my focus will be on consuming a liter of water in the morning and a liter of water in the afternoon. The second part of my November coffee resolution involves trying to give up coffee for an entire week. That is the plan. The plan will be the plan until the plan changes. That is how it goes.

My Coca-Cola Life Review

Buying a 6 pack of Coca-Cola glass bottles conjures up pleasant memories of years past. That positive nostalgia was enough to trigger an impulse purchase at the grocery store of a 6 pack of Coca-Cola Life glass bottles. The green bottles of soda apparently include a mix of real sugar and stevia. I poured some into a glass and was ready to enjoy a refreshing beverage. I have not had any soda products in over 180 days. I was ready to enjoy a few ounces of soda and watch some NBA playoff basketball. Unfortunately, the Coca-Cola Life beverage has a bitter and off-putting aftertaste. The taste lingered for a few minutes and I poured the rest of the glass out in the sink.

Coca-Cola Life bottle
Coca-Cola Life bottle

Pancakes and a night at the DMNS

Today just might involve a family trip to the Denver Zoo. This week has been very Denver themed. That happens sometimes. It has been happening more and more. Yesterday, I picked up a couple tickets to the “Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, and Mermaids VIP Night” at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS).

Joni made some type of red velvet pancakes this morning. It seemed like a holiday themed gimmick. They were a decent change of pace vs. my usual organic whole wheat pancakes. I’m guessing red velvet pancakes will not be back in our household for about another year.

I have a serious block of time set aside on Sunday to work on a project. A truly serious block of time. On Sunday a 4 hour writing session may happen. That amount of sustained writing has not happened in a long time. Writing sessions like that just do not happen organically anymore. That amount of continuous work generally just does not happen. It does not happen on a schedule or from a spontaneous moment of inspiration. Life happens. Meetings, phone calls, and the pressure of competing challenges generally derail any attempt at a 4 hour writing session. Someday I may be able to devote an entire day to working on a project again. It feels like has been years since that has happened.

Denver Zoo Adventure Round 2

Our trip to the Denver Zoo will be more successful today. Today just feels like a better day. It could be I have been emboldened by the cup of Dark Magic coffee sitting in front of me. My bold change to yogurt and granola for breakfast everyday (except some Saturday/Sunday pancakes) has been a success. Breakfast was a real problem point within my diet. I was not making smart choices. The obstacles related to making poor breakfast choices were removed. Everyday a cup of granola goes into a bowl and a cup of yogurt covers it. I mix up the yogurt flavors, but it is pretty repetitive. When I’m traveling I try to locate an Einstein Bro’s Bagel store. That search usually culminates in the acquisition of a power protein bagel with some type of schmear.

My Starbucks card did not automatically reload yesterday. That has not happened before. I ended up having to trigger the reload manually. The grocery store near the house has a Starbucks in the store. That scenario provides the perfect opportunity for a doppio espresso.

Joni and John Paul at the Zoo
Joni and John Paul at the Zoo

30 Day Diet Soda Moratorium Update

On December 10, 2014 my personal diet soda moratorium went into effect. Over a month has passed. The moratorium is still in effect. I have not seen any adverse effects. My process for selecting drinks with meals has changed. I have to make the conscious choice to order water or coffee at restaurants.

For the most part, I now only drink pure juice (nothing with any sugar added), black coffee, espresso, green tea, and water. Sometimes, I accidently consume a juice with some sugar added. Overall, I have lost weight and had more energy. Both of those things could be attributed to my increase in exercise.

I do not miss drinking diet soda or regular soda. Obviously, the diet soda moratorium was expanded to include all soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks. At the same time the diet soda moratorium went into place, I also made an effort to give up all candy except dark chocolate. I’m sure my lingering interest in dark chocolate developed after reading a bunch of articles about a looming chocolate shortage.

Plans do not always work. This plan mostly worked. The diet soda moratorium plan is still in place indefinitely. My plan to switch to coffee in the morning and green tea in the afternoon was for the most part successful. I just started drinking coffee throughout the day vs. drinking green tea in the afternoon. This month I will focus on adding more green tea to my diet.

I’m still unclear on the ultimate scientific answers related to diet soda. However, that ambiguity is enough of a cautionary tale to support my change in diet. Overall, I still believe that, “I do not need to consume diet soda.”

Coffee on the Road

A couple hours today were spent on the road. I was able to transverse the City of Denver and make my way to Greeley. This morning my commute included facing a truly winter mix. That happens in Colorado. The phrase “Wintery Mix” did not mean very much to me before today. It was not really snowing or ice. A combination of sleet and fog slowed down traffic to a crawl. The weather conditions definitely extended my morning commute. I did provide me with the opportunity to listen to some Sirius XM satellite radio. My station of choice for the drive was something called Octane. That station always seems to help keep me awake.

At the end of the first leg of my road trip some coffee was acquired. That acquisition was probably the best decision that was made today. I ended up at a Starbucks. They had a new coffee on the shelf that looked promising. I tried the single source Starbucks Guatemala Casi Cielo coffee today. As a blend it really does have hints of lemon and dark cocoa. It was pretty fantastic. I was pretty happy with the 2014 Christmas Blend coffee. The Guatemala Casi Cielo is decent, but not as good as the Christmas blend.

Every day the espresso shots seem to remain the same. The flavor does not really very day to day from different Starbucks locations. Not only am I willing to accept the same type of espresso every day, but also I am keenly aware of my search for the perfect blend. For better or worse the search continues. Perhaps during the course of 2015, the perfect cup of coffee will be discovered.

A cup of Guatemala Casi Cielo coffee was brewed during the University of Kansas vs. Baylor University basketball game tonight. Even a great cup of coffee could not offset an 18 point first half in a college basketball game.

On Taco Sauce

Things have been changing recently. Work has consumed a large amount of my focus. I learned an important lesson yesterday. Something went terribly wrong. During my working lunch I reached for a sauce packet. It was an innocent act. I have done it probably a thousand times. A few packets were sitting in a bowl on my desk. Both of the tacos sitting on my desk were about to be sauced. The first bite tested a bit off. That packet I thought was hot sauce was off brand ketchup. There is a reason that ketchup is not an appropriate taco condiment.

On Coffee

My plan to clean my home office appears to have failed. Peppercorn the dog barely has enough room to nap. That dog takes napping very seriously. Only one thing has succeeded this morning. I have coffee. In fact, I have a fantastic cup of The Roasterie’s Sporting Blend coffee this morning. They make K-Cup pods. I received some as a gift. My Keurig coffee maker is pretty old. I’m going to have to look at it to try to figure out the model number. At some point, an upgrade is going to be required. The new Keurig 2.0 system looks decent, but I have not been willing to buy one. Moving between the original Keurig and the Keurig 2.0 systems will probably only happy after the first one breaks.