I know what you're thinking... it's pumpkin spice season, why would you ever choose this season to abstain from drinking coffee? As an avid pumpkin spice lover, I have asked myself that question a lot this month too, but somehow I was able to get through thirty days without any caffeine. And because I was so happy with the results, I've decided to continue my abstinence from coffee, hopefully through the rest of the year- but we'll see what happens. Here are some things that I noticed about myself during the first month of giving up coffee:

1. I saved a total of $100 at Starbucks.

My Starbucks habits were addicting and expensive. I usually averaged about $5 a day on a latte, which totals to $25 a week, since I usually didn't buy from Starbucks on the weekends. Multiply $25 a week by 4 weeks, and there is $100 blown on just coffee.

2. I lost 7 lbs.

I went home this weekend for the first time since the beginning of my coffee break, and one of the first things my mom says to me when she greets me, "You've lost weight!" Sure enough stepping on the scale and seeing a decrease in my weight (a certain goal in weight loss) also reassured me that taking a break from coffee was the right decision for me.

3. I discovered that I don't need caffeine to wake me up in the morning.

I was really worried that once I stopped consuming caffeine, I would fall asleep in class. I've learned that the caffeine isn't the problem- it's that I needed to have started going to bed at an earlier hour (something else I changed this month). Going to sleep earlier as well as having an ice cold glass of water in the morning gives me just enough of the boost I need- especially for my Monday morning 8AM Business Calculus class. If I'm falling asleep in class, I've learned it's because I either did not get enough sleep the night before, or because I am bored in the class- not because there is a lack of coffee in me.

4. Less coffee equals less stomach problems.

A number of years ago, I discovered I have a lactose sensitivity, so I always prefer the non-dairy creamers in my coffee to prevent those stomach aches. However, a lot of times even with the dairy substitutes or the days I chose to just have my coffee black, I still found that I was getting stomach aches from the coffee. Observing myself and my body's reactions over the course of the month have proven that much of the stomach aches were due to the coffee, another indicator that it was time to give my body a break from it. I've learned that a cup of decaffeinated tea in the morning and "Sleepy Time" tea at night is lighter on my stomach and still provides me with the taste that I am looking for- especially because there are so many different kinds of teas.

As much as I love coffee- and I don't think a break from it will make my love weaken. I am glad to have experimented in this time with how going without it can effect me. In the future, when I do start to drink coffee again, I am hoping to keep some of the healthier habits I picked up in my time without it- such as detoxing with a glass of cold water in the morning, and relaxing with a mug of hot tea in the evening.