A realization + Bon bout d'an in English
The Lazy Man's French Cake & faire son beurre

Bonne Année! Dependency and what I gave up

Sunrise here at our vineyard, and a new day. Make that a new year!

TODAY'S WORD: la bienveillance

     : goodwill, kindness, loving-kindness

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Développe en toi l'indépendance à tout moment, avec bienveillance, simplicité et modestie. - Marc-Aurèle
Develop at every moment in yourself independence, loving-kindness, simplicity and modesty.


"Independence in the Land of Coffee and Wine"

    by Kristin Espinasse

This may very well be my first coffee-free edition. I had not planned on this one-day-at-a-time coffee quittance--it just happened, surreptitiously (I admit I had to look up that word after first misspelling it).  

    surreptitious: done, made, or acquired by stealth.  

I won't look up "stealth", but it sounds very much like what I thought giving up coffee would entail. Then again, all my preconceived notions about giving up coffee have been proved wrong--ever since writing a pseudo vow in my new agenda on December 31st at 1:46 pm. It was easy at the time (as it is easy to swear off booze having drank one too many).

The difference between giving up alcohol (this February 3rd marks 13 years!) is that I have no plans to give up coffee forever. I mean I'd like to, but I no longer see coffee abstinence as vital for me.  In four days sans café, I've had no shakes, no irritability, no depression, no visions of coffee beans swirling around my head.  Maybe those 4 cups a day (the last before bedtime) didn't equal dependence after all?

Dependence being key. I do not want to be dependent on anything, least of all a piddly cup of coffee! I don't want to be a slave to "I have to drive to the store for a pack of cigarettes at 11 pm" or "I can't make it through the morning without a pastry"--or a box of pastries (been there!).

Thinking about it, it is clear the "all" in my "all or nothing" personality is tied to my emotions. (And, thinking a little further, probably my "nothing" is equally tied to those same emotions.)

What gives me hope is what I have learned from experience: that the chains of dependency (on things or people) are not worth the temporary freedom that they manufacture. And that it IS possible to give up an addiction and to find "normalcy" again. Said in a different way, it is possible to give up a strong dependence on something and enjoy a newfound peace. The tricky part is knowing what to give up for good, what to give up for a time, and what to cut back on. 

I don't know when I will have my next cup of coffee. Maybe after lunch? Nah! Maybe next time I see my sister... (coffee time with my sister!).... But reading a list of what coffee does to me (aggravated teeth grinding, increased anxiety, exaggerated gestures, edginess, and palpitations), gives me pause. And such awareness is one thing I told you I wish for more of in the new year.

This, and the courage to continue tweaking the things inside that need tweaking.

Thank you for reading, and warmest wishes,




A walk along the coastline with dear Smokey.


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Suzanne Dunaway

Well, it's great not to be dependent on such things, but coffee has wonderful side effects, too, and they could be considered along with the other things. Moderation is the key with coffee for me. I love my little espresso in the morn, and my 4pm pick-me-up tiny espresso again. Then I don't want any after that and I can do without the 4 o'clock too. But I think we need to enjoy a little of everything we enjoy (booze is not included) and get on with it. Coffee is great for the brain!!!


Try Decaf!

Bruce in Northwest Connecticut

Habit is different from dependence. Giving up a habit, even temporarily, can prevent it from becoming a dependence. Dependency. Whatever.

Bonne chance. Et bonne année!

Kristin Espinasse

I have read about the many positive effects of coffee,  especially in staving off skin cancer. If only this one were true!

Kristin Espinasse

Yes,  but then no coffee buzz! I think that is part of it!

Kristin Espinasse

Good point,  Bruce!


How about half & half? It works for me.

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

I thought of giving up coffee until I learned now there are health benefits, too. However, I am tweaking ... a cup of green tea now and then, and turning to herbal infusions (tea aficionados will say they are not tea) such as chamomile in the evening with the hopes that I sleep better.

Lovely places you have there for strolls with Smokey. Oh, to live in the country with loved ones ... yet have access to a city (such as Paris) by train. Bliss!

Kristin Espinasse

Ron, that is worth considering! Thanks!

Kristin Espinasse

Trina,  that is helping me,  too : herbal teas... And hot chocolate for the velvety goodness! The tea replaces the morning coffee and the hot chocolate replaces the afternoon coffee.


Bonne Année Kristin!

I'm mostly a tea drinker, but I do like a vanilla latte once a week or so! I have a nice hot tea right now while I am reading your blog!

There are great benefits to coffee: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee/

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks,  Eileen.  A vanilla latte sounds awfully good right now.  Re benefits, sometimes the bad outweighs the good. But I am not giving up (and look forward to enjoying a latte with you one day!)

lou bogue

self control is the key Kristin, I have been drinking 4 to 5 cups a day since I began at 14, but never after 3 in the afternoon, that cup you had before bedtime was the culprit, one glass of wine with dinner and you know that I am 88 and looking forward to well past 100 and planning on having a cup with you in 2017 when I visit you and other friends in Europe to celebrate #90, there is no reason to give up coffee, it is a healthy drink, just not in the evening, Best to you and yours, Lou


Like you, Kristi, I think of myself as an all-or-nothing person, and my dependency on food/drink relates to my emotions. I became truly aware of this fact several years ago and have been working to be more mindful of *why* I experience those pesky cravings. After reading Gretchen Rubin's Better than Before, I learned that there are abstainers and moderators. Some people can say that 'everything in moderation' is the way to go, but the challenge for some is in the actual moderation part. It appears I'm an abstainer. I do better when I give up sugar entirely than when I try to moderate my consumption of sweets. And yet, I enjoy dessert from time to time. I also gave up coffee twice, both times suffering from withdrawal headaches. I know that for me, two cups of coffee or black tea per day contribute to some anxiety and heart palpitations. So, I'm trying to only consume one cup of coffee/tea in the morning because I enjoy the ritual and the flavour. I have learned that the more I connect with how I want to feel, the more mindful I can be toward random cravings. So, I agree with you: awareness is the key.

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Katia.  Good info about abstainers/moderators. First time Ive heard it put that way.

Kristin Espinasse

Lou,  looking forward to seeing in in 2017. I so enjoy your comments. Thanks.

Libby Wilkie

I gave up coffee almost thirty years ago!! I had to: it did terrible things to my stomach and digestion. So I took up strong black tea (Assam…) It took, oh, almost ten years to outgrow the desire but now? Well, I don't even like the smell. Give me a lovely cuppa' any day, with sugar and cream thank you. Let us know how you do!

Lin Powell

Replacing and moderating for healthy alternatives is always a good thing. I did not think we ate poorly, yet when my husband got diabetes I looked at our diet and made major changes in quality and quantity of food and found that not only did we control his blood sugar readings, but we both lost weight and feel so much healthier. It is always good to evaluate (or re-evaluate) your life style choices from time to time in order to stay as healthy as possible. Congratulations to you for limiting your coffee intake if it does not make you feel healthy. It is always good to listen to what your body is trying to tell you.


I, also, drink half- caff.

Patty Cargill

Happy New Year, Kristin. May 2016 be full of all those delights--both edible, drinkable and otherwise--and in a semi-balanced way so as to enjoy life without the guilt and dependence that plague us. I am afraid a cold-turkey approach is the only way I can deal with SWEETS, my drug of choice. And I probably should abstain from alcohol and cheeseburgers as well, want them too much.

I just watched Michael Pollan's latest documentary on PBS which inspired me to eat better in general.

Why You Should Be Excited About Michael Pollan's New Documentary

Best wishes to la famille Espinasse in 2016 and many mercis for your blog. Big hugs to dear Smokey R Dokey. xxoo

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks,  Libby! Good to hear your story. Sometimes tea really hits the spot.  I like mine with milk and honey.

Kristin Espinasse

Lin, so good to read about your families healthy changes. Yes,  we need to listen to our bodies.

Robin Wyatt

Hi Kristi,

Like you, I suffered from some of the same side effects from coffee... increased anxiety, edginess, and heart palpitations. As well, coffee made me talk too much and listen too little, which does not endear you to folks! It also affected my sleep if I had it after 2:00 in the afternoon. I have learned that many do no metabolize coffee/caffeine as well after the age of 40 so I have been successful with stopping regular coffee by replacing it with a lovely fermented black tea called Pu-Erh. Pu-Erh has lots of wonderful healing properties that you can read about online. Numi makes an organic Chocolate and Cardamom Pu-Erh that I like... I even often mix the two by steeping a bag of each for only 1-2 minutes. You can then make a second cup by infusing the bags again if you wish. This tea is caffeinated but I do not experience any of the unwanted side-effects that coffee had on me... only a gentle alertness and warmed comfort that I enjoy each morning. I drink my tea black so I'm also not getting the added calories from sweetener or cream that I used in coffee. I still enjoy a mocha infrequently (

May your New Year be filled with love and blessings,


Kristin Espinasse

Karen,  I wonder if café-au-lait is the same as half caffeine? That is what I did,  times 4 ;-)


Nutrition is a very important issue with me, eating and drinking better but not as well as my knowledge tells me. I eat too much while fully aware of the emotions behind such a habit (and food is so enjoyable!) Re coffee, it has OFTEN been reported that regular is healthier than decaf. I believe it is true. May you and JM be richly and abundantly blessed as our earth makes still another cruise around our closest star. Affectueusement

Kristin Espinasse

Patty,  glad you mentioned sweets.  So many are hooked on candy.  Best wishes tweaking your intake. And thanks for the link!

Janine Burge

I loved your writing today. But more than the coffee story, although again part of loving your message was reading about your wisdom: of what to give up quickly, easily, and even randomly as if you are running a great experiment with a personal hypothesis for your health and well being only. So one thing that I absolutely need in my life is getting closer to the earth. By this I mean gardening. Gardening helps me process great amounts of information sometimes quickly, slowly, or even randomly, but having to give up my gardens would be very difficult, at least for now, but I know that your move was successful leaving behind beauty only to attain a different version of beauty somewhere else. In ending, I would love to know the names of both flowers that were included in your caffeine free post…I would be grateful!
Janine Burge


I gave up tea due to heart palpitations. And I have also noted that chocolate can contribute to my heart palpitations so I only indulge sparingly. As a young person I never has these sensitivities to caffeine. Now water is my choice of drink but I still miss my tea.

Jeanne in Oregon

Dearest Kristin,

I'm chuckling over my second cup of coffee as I read your missive. I was very ill a couple of days ago and unable to keep anything down -- not water or water that had first poured over ground coffee beans. As a result, I had a terrible caffeine-withdrawal headache. What a blessing to once again brew up a cup (and keep it down).

I want to share my resolution for the new year with you. I'm sure you have seen the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." The stark contrast between Bedford Falls and Pottersville recently came home to me as I drove through the neighborhood where I lived and went to school as a young teen. Gone are the lovely little houses, the brick Baptist church, the corner mom & pop grocery, and the drive thru dairy (yes, there really was such a thing). They have been replaced by shops selling sex toys, others selling marijuana and related paraphernalia, sleazy-looking motels advertising hourly rates, and lots of run down or abandoned buildings. It broke my heart.

So, my resolution is to do everything I can to turn Pottersville back into Bedford Falls. Now George Bailey didn't create or destroy his home town, but it was how he lived his life that made the difference. He didn't take the easy road, but always did the right thing. For instance, instead of taking his bride on their honeymoon, he used the money to save the old building and loan. Even when Mr. Potter tempted him to do wrong, he did right -- to his own detriment.

So that's my resolution ... to be a George Bailey in a world of Mr. Potters.

I love you, my sweet friend. So proud of all you do in your own part of the world (and worldwide through your blog) to be surrounded by Bedford Falls.

Nyla Witmore

I love your attitude. Some of my best growth...cleaning up my act...has been happening in my early 70s. Too many say, "I am too old to change." Like you, I am also an "all or nothing" kind of person. Lucky you, that you asked the question of dependency earlier in life and you have the 13 years of success without alcohol to confirm that you can do coffee or whatever you set your mind to. We make "little gods" out of small things...so never stop asking about anything you think you HAVE TO HAVE. Those little thngs love to be pesky "can't live with outs" Break up the habits and rituals....you will discover new thngs that may satisfy as much or more.

Patricia Sands

Bonne année, Kristin! May this be the best year yet for you and your family! Boring as it sounds, I try to live by the "everything in moderation" mantra ... except laughter. When you feel you are ready for that coffee, go ahead and enjoy it! Perhaps we will make that visit happen in 2016 while I'm in France. I'm talking to Jacquie M. about it! :-)


Loved your essay today. So important a reminder to everyone. I'm working on my food dependency, also tied to emotional stuff. Thanks

Kristin Espinasse

Janine, the bougainvillea was a gift from Max. And the heather, at the end of the post, was seen yesterday, along the coastline.


Try half espresso and half decaf. Espresso has less caffeine . And listen to your body. I was never a huge coffee drinker, but one cup a day in the am works just fine. And make the cups smaller, not a huge mug. I already have the small plate for food(I need it, you don't!). I think one might call it discipline.

Kristin Espinasse

Jackie, interesting to read about tea and chocolate in relation to palpitations, as I have used these to replace coffee. I can still feel the effects of caffeine. Sorry you had to go to water, mostly! There are some good herbal teas out there.

Kristin Espinasse

Robin, thanks for the Pu–erh tea info! And I smiled about your Talks more Listens less response to coffee. I am guilty of that too, when wired! All the more reason to cut back.

Kristin Espinasse

Fred, I agree with you about decaf. I have heard that the way it is processed contributes to this. Thanks for the wonderful New Years  wishes. Hugs to you and Nancy.

Kristin Espinasse

Mrs. George Bailey--I mean Jeanne--I love your new years resolution! A toast to you!

David Navarre


You might try using the sound-alike option of "benevolence" as a translation for "la bienveillance", as it will be easier for some of us to remember.

We gave one of your books to our niece for Christmas as she is considering taking French starting in the 6th grade next year!

Happy new year!

Lanier Cordell

In your search for greater awareness, I highly recommend "Waking Up To What You Do" by Diane Eshin Rizzetto. It's a lovely book that is full of wisdom and help in drawing greater awareness to all the things we do in our lives.

Wishing you a glorious new year filled with joy and peace,

Richard Swarb

Ms. Kristin

An American friend is studying in Bordeaux for French Level One fluency certification, he will enjoy your carpenter's story. Thank you. (looked up subrepticement almost too many syllables for an Oklahoman)



You have so much self-awareness, Kristi--it's really admirable.

First, you decide to give up a habit, not mainly because it's bad for you, but because you don't want to be a slave to the habit. Then you realize that creating an all-or-nothing rule would make you a slave to the RULE. So you take Aristotle's sensible middle ground of moderation.

But you don't stop there, as most people would. You have the insight to realize that moderation itself can become a hard-and-fast rule, and that for some habits (in your case, alcohol), it's better to give them up entirely.

All your actions and your words show you to be a wise woman, and all your posts show your exceptional humility and compassion. May God bless you and your family and bring you a peaceful and prosperous 2016.

Kristin Espinasse

Dave,  Thank you for the benevolence translation. And mille mercis for giving my book to your niece. I hope she falls in love with the language and with France!

Kristin Espinasse

Lanier,  looks like an interesting book!  I will check it out. And thank you for the thoughtful wishes!

Joanne Ablan

Hi, Kristi,
Thank you for being so vulnerable. It is very kind of you to share your reflections.This is a wonderful means of encouragement to others. I limit my coffee to about two small cups of black coffee in the morning. Once in awhile I will indulge in some Mariage Frères Paris Breakfast or French Blue tea as a special treat. Last July a coffee drinking friend visited and brought with her some organic coffee which I tried and liked so I've switched to that.
I thought I would mention that in Berkeley, CA there is a group called The Berkeley Path Wanderers' Assn., BPWA, If you really want to celebrate an occasional coffee, look at the description of their "Coffee Constitutional" walk which they will
do this month. It is on their website.
For me, morning coffee or tea is a celebration of retirement since for many years I had to get up and get out the door to a job and the time for a leisurely cup of morning coffee just wasn't de rigueur, or so I thought.
Bonne Année!
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, USA.

Kristin Espinasse

Hi Joie, I have heard espresso has less caffeine. This is good! Last year we switched to an Italian stove top coffeemaker,  called a Moka pot: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moka_pot

Hi Kristin Espinasse,
joie ([email protected]) has left you a comment:

Try half espresso and half decaf. Espresso has less caffeine . And listen to your body. I was never a huge coffee drinker, but one cup a day in the am works just fine. And make the cups smaller, not a huge mug. I already have the small plate for food(I need it, you dont!). I think one might call it discipline.

Status: Published


Kristin Espinasse

Richard,  thanks for sharing the carpenters story!  And thanks for the smile re subrepticement =-)

Kristin Espinasse

Teresa,  you give me too much credit! I am so touched by your thoughts,  as always. Thank you 💛

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks,  Joanne! I wonder what brand of organic coffee your friend brought you?  I am glad you can enjoy a leisurely cup these days. Off to check out that walk you mentioned....

Susan Strick

Haven't commented in a while, but as a faithful reader, this post of yours necessitated that I tell you that you are a very inspiring person! This post, obviously, but the whole flavor of what you do -- sharing very openly as you do, being so present not only with events but with our thinking process. You have earned the friendship and love of your readers by sharing with us, trusting us as friends. And we all become your friends. Thank you, dear Kristin!
susan in seattle


Have to add my "two bits worth " here. I have never been much of a drinker (alcohol_ due to not liking that "out of control " feeling (and indigestion) effects. (although , there have been problems with alcoholism in my family ) I was however a heavy smoker from age 15 (pack a day plus) and FINALLY managed to give it up at the age of 62 !(when i realized I may be pushing my luck with my otherwise good health)It was a horrendous time for both myself and my husband but after a few months life got back to normal (though I still feel the desire at times and love the smell )(almost 15 yrs later) Last yr my Dr suggested I give up coffee for a digestive problem ...I have been a coffee drinker exclusively for the past 20 yrs (after realizing that tea actually made me feel ill (tannins ) I only drink instant as I find the real thing too strong...and I also use sugar and milk to its rather diluted) Well after a week I was feeling quite awful ..headache and even flu like symptoms. I persevered for a further 6 weeks and it made no difference to my digestive issues ...so started back slowly . I drink about 5 cups per day (the last one being decaf)and feel "normal" again. I have been reading so much positive stuff lately about the benefits of coffee (including warding off dementia) that I now drink with no guilt whatsoever....

Cynthia Lewis

Dear Kristin,

My wishes for a very Happy and Healthy New Year ... to you and to all of your family and those whom you hold dear.

All the discussion about beverages made me think of a little jingle called "Coffee and Tea" from the 1940's, I think. A cup of hot water into which you squeeze fresh lemon juice makes a refreshing drink any time of day. I remember my great grandmother drinking this with breakfast out of a very thin glass.

I enjoyed your photos, especially the one taken at sunrise with your clothes already on the line!! Please tell me that you hung them out the evening before;)

Best wishes always,

Stacy - Sweet Life Farm

Happy New Year Kristi! “Develop at every moment in yourself independence, loving-kindness, simplicity and modesty.” words to live by! It is good to hit the refresh button from time to time, especially when our well-being is concerned and with the opportunity of a new year, why not!? So thankful that your body is giving you encouragement to support your decision to refrain from coffee. I find moderation the trickiest practice in life. I can now maintain moderation with coffee after cutting back to one cup a day three years ago. I’m going to have to drink my words as I’ve fallen into the comfort of a peppermint breve a few times a week during the cold and cheer of December.

Best wishes, my friend, finding what works for you as one person's potato chip is another person's macaroon...ha ha or something like that! May the year hold much sweetness, inspiration, courage, and loving-kindness for you. You're off to a great start!


Our dear Kristi,
What a(nother) wonderful,thought provoking post!
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on 13 years of being alcohol free!SO proud of you,Kristi,and really grateful for the example you set for so many who need someone to look up to who has done this!
MANY times your words are a beacon for us,your readers.
You also lead us in other ways to discovering what we need to tweak up(and out) within ourselves.
Dependency(real or potential) is an awful burden to carry around,no matter what the substance is.
And then if moderation is part of the question,is this forever?(people my age,more days behind than ahead).
For years I have been a heart patient;ditto for the diabetes we have in our family.
NO caffeine(goes for ANYTHING,including chocolate),and limited sugar and carbs(among other things).Not choices we would've made voluntarily at the time,but certainly not Promethian,either because we were directed on this path and guided what to do.
More grateful to still be around to be making those choices.
We each have our path,and must do what's best for us and our family.
Blessings always in this New Year (and always!)
Natalia XO

John Bell Smithback

Congratulations on your 13th!
Instead of coffee, I like ROMA, a barley drink. Or a good cup of either jasmine or Earl Grey tea. Postum isn't made anymore or I'd like that. Years ago, I managed a coffeehouse in Greenwich Village and at that time I didn't like or drink coffee. Today I limit myself to one cup in the morning. Earl Grey the rest of the day, Roma before bed. All the very best for the New Year!

Betty Gleason

Sometimes we just get in a routine because it felt so good last time, until it doesn't make us feel good anymore. All lives need to be tweaked so that we can be the best we can be. Happy wise new year!

Bette Goode

Hi Kristin, Happy New Year to you and your family.
I'm surprised that you didn't get a headache as you withdrew from coffee. A few years ago, I was having daily tummy troubles and my doctor suggested switching to half decaf and half full strength coffee. It worked for me, but I must be careful not to drink coffee or even strong tea much later than 6 in the evening or I won't sleep well. If you enjoy your coffee, it might be worth a try to switch from full strength to decaf or a mixture of the two.

I almost cannot believe the photos of the flowers there this time of the year. I have covered my flower beds to protect them from our freezing nights. It must be lovely there all year round.

Bette Goode

Have you tried half decaf and half full strength brew? When I had tummy troubles a while back, my doctor recommended that mix and it worked for me. No tummy ache, no palpitations and no withdrawl from caffeine headache. However, I must avoid all caffeinated drinks after 7 or 8 in the evening.
I love the photos of flowers there this time of year! It's well and truly winter here and I'm wondering if my azalea bushes will recover in the spring. I didn't get out there to cover them soon enough, I fear.
Happy New Year to you and your family!

Jill Switzenberg

I just want to say thank you for your continued insight and self-awareness--but most of all your bravery for sharing it with the rest of us. No wonder that you have so many fans and followers. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Linda Karber

Dear Kristi,

Thank you for sharing your life with us. You are beautiful both inside and out. Sending you a hug for 2016! Bonne Année !


Kristin Espinasse

Cynthia,  enjoyed the image of your grandmother drinking the lemon water out of a tall thin cup. As for the laundry,  I hung it out the day before (maybe even the day before that... Time to bring it in!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you,  Natalia!  I feel for you for having to give up all caffeine - and sugar and carbs too. So true what you say about dependency being an awful burden to carry. Off to look up Promethian...

Jennifer Ann Gordon

Merci, Kristin! Une telle sagesse! Et,d'accord. I gave up -- or, rather, LET GO OF--coffee about five months ago. I was feeling anxious and asked myself what the problem was. A gentle idea wafted in...coffee is not good for you. My natural sleep cycle is back. I am not edgy and squichy (I think I made that world up).You are lovely and brave and sweet to share your journey with all of us. Thank you in every language.

gerry o

Happy new year and happy birthday coming up on 13 years.
I know for me that when I relinquished my dependency on Alcohol, other addictions came to the surface, food, sex and gambling. And it took a few years to get those straightened out.
Of course the one addiction I haven't lost is my coffee. I do enjoy hearing the perculator bubble away at 5 and the smell going through the house.
Your strong feelings about being "dependent" and yet you know that we are dependent on each other and nature fro our existence. I still have a independent attitude that sometimes doesn't serve me well. I
The beauty of all of this sobriety is that I am still willing to learn and can better assess when my dependency no longer serves me.
Congrats, I have a b'day coming up at the end of this month, 27 years.
To you and your family happy and prosperous New Year.

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,

What an inciteful and thought provoking conversation you have had with your readers! Once again you have found a common thread that brings us all together. We all have our stories, so many of them the same. The open honesty with which everyone is willing to address the good, the bad, the ugly...and the beautiful, is refreshing and it is your own honesty that leads the way.

On those days when you are wondering what to write about or struggling with an idea, go with your heart, knowing that you will ultimately inspire...


A very large study of coffee drinking and its effects actually proved that moderate consumption is very healthy. Esp. the cup after lunch; counteracts CA of the pancreas.....Anyway.....I agree with you entirely about giving up dependencies. That was my driving force in quitting tobacco....not wanting to be dependent. My motto was: "Not smoking makes me free".... NÓW however a new addiction has got me in its tangles: SCRABBLE!! Online Scrabble is my downfall.....I Forget everything......LOVE it!

Cynthia Lewis

Bravo! The sun will brighten the whites and they will all have the lovely fresh scent of Provence.

Kristin Espinasse

LOL! Wish I was hooked on Scrabble!

Kristin Espinasse

Susan,  so happy to know you are still receiving this journal since meeting you all those years ago! Thanks for such lovely words about my writing. I appreciate the friendships I have made here. 💞

Kristin Espinasse

Anne,  giving up cigarettes after all those years--that is inspiring to read! And I was interested in your severance story,  and experience with tea. Glad you are enjoying coffee again!

Kristin Espinasse

What a treat to read your words,  my dear Stacy. Loved your new years wishes. Thank you. The same and more to you 😘💞

Kristin Espinasse

Bette,  Thanks for sharing what works for you. I am getting some good ideas for when I return to coffee =-)   The flowers continue to blossom here, and the blueberry bush is budding....

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you,  Jill! Happy New Year.

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you,  Linda, and thanks for the hug! (((Here is one for you)))

Kristin Espinasse

Good to hear of your restored sleep,  Jennifer. Thats motivating! And thank you for your sweet words.

Kristin Espinasse

Happy 27, Gerry! So true what you say about other addictions coming to the surface, and it taking time to straighten those out. Bon courage to all who try to do so! P. S. The smell of coffee wafting through the house in the early morning hours is one of my favorite things!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you,  chère Chris! And your writing encouragement is so helpful. I will try to remember this.

Stacy - Sweet Life Farm

P.s. I fulfilled any longing for a second cup with teas. I'm enjoying all kinds of wonderful blends. Now it's a pleasure to try a different tea (Smith Teas last year inspired by you and Max!)each day depending on what I'm feeling and add new goodness to my life ;)Oh, and organic hot cocoa from time to time! xoxo


Wonderful post, wonderful comments! This is your blog at its best, when it unites us in our commonalities and draws out the compassion that lies within us.
Interestingly, migraine medication contains caffeine.
In earlier times I got migraines when having to go without coffee.
Curriously, these days I don't crave it anymore and fully enjoy my ritual 3 mugs of Fair Trade black coffee every morning.
Not so with munching nuts in the evening! (My digestive downfall!)
A wonderful version of tea for after dinner is the traditional Indian chai.... but with a lot less sweetening! Easy to brew on the stovetop, half water half milk, lots of spices and some black tea and honey.
Sugar, it now seems, is a far bigger villain. Considered a poison by some scientists. This brings me to your recipe for yoghurt cake; at least 3 times too much sugar! (IMHO).
I like baking and my friends like my baking (!); for over 10 years now I have halved the sweetener in most recipes and replaced white sugar by brown.... Once you are used to this, you end up really tasting what's in the cake.
Of course, I only write this as 'food for thought'.. :)
Much love, Jacq

Kristin Espinasse

Hello,  Jacq, I woke up thinking about you,  and then had the joy of reading your comment, which is full of goodies! Re thinking about you,  I was appreciating the edits you have sent in,  and,  as in here in this comment,  your helpful thoughts on this journal.  Thank you! I am interested in learning more about Indian Chai tea,  and will be trying more of it.  Glad you mentioned sugar. I just made a yogurt cake yesterday and halved the sugar.  Normally,  I would use brown sugar or honey,  but did not have enough. For those reading,  please check out my latest yogurt cake.  It was so so good https://www.instagram.com/p/BAKB20UJE9u/?taken-by=kristinespinasse

Hi Kristin Espinasse,
Jacqueline ([email protected]) has left you a comment:

Wonderful post, wonderful comments! This is your blog at its best, when it unites us in our commonalities and draws out the compassion that lies within us.
Interestingly, migraine medication contains caffeine.
In earlier times I got migraines when having to go without coffee.
Curriously, these days I dont crave it anymore and fully enjoy my ritual 3 mugs of Fair Trade black coffee every morning.
Not so with munching nuts in the evening! (My digestive downfall!)
A wonderful version of tea for after dinner is the traditional Indian chai.... but with a lot less sweetening! Easy to brew on the stovetop, half water half milk, lots of spices and some black tea and honey.
Sugar, it now seems, is a far bigger villain. Considered a poison by some scientists. This brings me to your recipe for yoghurt cake; at least 3 times too much sugar! (IMHO).
I like baking and my friends like my baking (!); for over 10 years now I have halved the sweetener in most recipes and replaced white sugar by brown.... Once you are used to this, you end up really tasting whats in the cake.
Of course, I only write this as food for thought.. :)
Much love, Jacq

Status: Published


Kristin Espinasse

I enjoy all the different teas too,  and have a new ritual of taking out my tea coffret (box)  and opening it up to so many colorful possibilities. Love what you say: each tea adds a new goodness to my life. Right now I am having darjeeling.  I think Ill  look it up on the Internet,  and so have an even better appreciation of it.

Donna (Denyer) Walker

Chère Kristin, I am a long-time reader (starting originally with your first book!) who has never felt comfortable commenting. But this post's topic spoke to me. For many years I had my daily mugs (no more than two) of "Joe" to start my day, as well as an occasional evening Espresso (aprés le dessert). Sometime last year, despite my protestations that coffee did not affect my sleep, I discovered that eliminating the post-prandial espresso as well as the morning coffee gave me much better night-time sleep. I love coffee ... but good rest is more important. I allow myself a coffee treat each Sunday morning and find that this has not adversely affected my sleep. Though my coffee brewing habits are unchanged, I swear that Sunday morning cup of coffee tastes better than any I had before! Amicalement, Donna

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