Thursday, September 07, 2006

Going Cold Turkey

I've kicked my Starbucks habit and substituted green tea without sugar. Not only am I saving $2.59 a day, I no longer have that morning jolt that only goes downhill as the day progresses. It's been only 3 days, but I really think I can do this.

This time of the year I always think about weaning myself off of caffeine altogether so I can fast on Yom Kippur without the caffeine withdrawal headache. It worked last year, so I thought I would get started a little earlier.

I calculate that I will be well over $100 richer by the time I go to France just from giving up my daily latte that I had grown to love so much. I will miss those wonderful Starbucks employees, who had come to know me so well that the started my order as I walked in the door.

And about the origin of that expression "going cold turkey" – Google provides the following:

Cold Turkey Origin:

By 1922, cold turkey was not always a leftover from Thanksgiving dinner. For an addict, it was quite the opposite. "This method of sudden withdrawal," explained a writer that year, "is described in the jargon of the jail as 'the cold turkey' treatment." It meant "to immediately and completely give up a substance, such as narcotics or alcohol, to which one was addicted."The shock to the system was such that few addicts voluntarily chose it.

"Mention of the 'cold turkey treatment' gives a chill of horror to a drug addict," said Newsweek in 1933. "It means being thrown in jail with his drug supply completely cut off." And Mickey Spillane wrote in I, the Jury (1947), "I doubt if you can comprehend what it means to one addicted to narcotics to go 'cold turkey' as they call it."

This use of cold turkey is an outgrowth of a previous sense, attested as early as 1910, meaning "extreme plainness and directness," going back to talk turkey, attested in 1830. Carl Sandburg used the term this way in a 1922 letter: "I'm going to talk cold turkey with the booksellers about the hot gravy in the stories." Nowadays going cold turkey is not restricted to narcotics and alcohol addiction. We speak of it as an extreme means of quitting any attachment or habit that we find hazardous to our health: cigarettes, chocolate, a television show, sex--perhaps even a sports team.

What have you given up lately? Do you miss it?


Blogger Richard said...

I have not given up anything lately. Over the years I have weaned myself (mostly) off stuff like (but I still indulge) cakes and candies and chips and cookies and chocolate and cashews.

At first it is hard to modify ones habits, but after a while, you start to notice that you are feeling better - more alert, less bloated - then you fall off the boat and indulge.

I was musing how picture insertion seemed to be working so well the past few days (although I did not use it today). I did notice that commenting in blogger these past two days has been frustrating.

The picture is uploaded, all you need to do is manually insert the code for it - just copy and paste from a previous image.

Replace the [ with less-than-symbols and ] with greater-than-symbols (there are 3 of each).

Replace teh 2 candle.jpg with whatever the name of the image is that you want to post. If blogger said it uploaded, it should be there, but blogger is being a pain at automatically pasting it into your blog.

[a href=""][img style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="" border="0" /][/a]

12:39 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Nah, I've given up so many things during my life that were supposed to help or prevent weight gain and heart attack to no result. I got fat and had a heart attack so I said to hell with it. I think not doing things in excess is the key, and maintain balance.

Blogger has been bitchy lately, this is my second attempt at posting a comment.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Sweet said...

Good for you. I'm slowly trying to wean myself off caffeine. I tried going cold turkey, but the headaches were nuts!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Guess I could say I've given up my teaching job for this year - cold turkey!! HA! I do miss it but I'm not suffering at all!

I thought Old lady was going to say, "I'm giving up giving up things!"

And Richard, you are so preciously funny! Today's and yesterday's answer to what you get when the 2 candles burn themselves out! I'm wondering if you were laughing as you typed those comments?

(I agree with you though, there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to if Blogger will upload pics or not! I'm just amazed that I figured it out at all and how to find pics on the web and upload them!)

4:28 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks to WaPo Express for picking this up. It looks like all I have to do is talk about Starbucks to get mentioned!

Richard -- You are so disciplined to be able to give up chocolate and cashews. I ration myself one little square of chocolate a day and I really look forward to it. But what in the world is wrong with cashews, especially if they are unsalted?

OL -- You've got the right attitude. Nothing to excess is a good watchword for life. When I hear (really) old people giving up things they obviously would like, I always say WHY?

Sweet -- Notice that I didn't give up caffeine entirely, just switched to unsweetened green tea. But I definitely feel better. Don't know if it's the lack of caffeine or refined sugar or simply my imagination. But hey, I have to have some justification for my sacrifice!

MOI -- It sounds like your sabbatical from teaching is just what the doctor ordered. The good thing is that you can still pitch in when you want to!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Berry-licious said...

Congrats on "kicking the habit". Reward yourself by having a 'Latte Pishka'. Every day throw that $2.60 your not spending at Starbucks into a jar. By the end of the year when you add up the jar, it'll be like winning the lottery!

1:33 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Berry-licious -- What a great idea! Unfortunately I can already think of 5 ways to spend my savings. I was never too good at the "saving for a rainy day" thing...

2:55 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Cashews are a problem when you eat them by the pound.

3:32 PM  

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