The Experiment: Day 32 ~ The Struggle Is Real — When Morning Coffee Bliss Is No More…

Yes, that used to be me, every morning, or rather that’s how I felt taking that first sip of coffee. Sigh. The keto diet is a grand thing, I’m glad to be on it, I’m happy to have given up sugar and I don’t crave sweets except for the sugar in my morning coffee. See Julie Andrews, above, singing with a heart full of joy? That’s how that first sip always made me feel. I am sitting here, sipping my keto/bulletproof sort of coffee, and it’s drinkable, but I am not singing, I am not excited and thrilled to be sitting here, having that first sip, and ready to conquer the day. In fact during months of debilitating depression the thought of that creamy coffee with sugar was a big impetus to get up at all. I am simply bereft. I am keto all the way, I am going to stay on it, I am not going to put sugar in my coffee, but I am sad every single morning when I take that first sip. The struggle is real, and I don’t know how to get past it.

Stevia/Truvia is positively DREADFUL in coffee. And I am not the only one who thinks so. My dear friend Noni says it makes her gag. We both agreed that we could do stevia in tea but in coffee? Oh HELL no. I bought the sweetener called Swerve that is mainly erythritol. Nope. No can do. Strange aftertaste that made me feel like I had ruined my cup of coffee, rendering it undrinkable, and I didn’t have the energy to make another French Press of coffee. I have asked everyone, some people like the things that I can’t tolerate, and most just eliminated sugar in their coffee and got used to it. I have studied all the sweeteners used/or to avoid on the keto diet. There really aren’t many alternatives and there are, almost with all substitutes, down sides or actual warnings. What’s a girl to do? I want to SING in the morning. I want to feel like the hills are alive with possibility. Oh groan, shudder, HELP!

You see, here’s the thing, for me with my bipolary, mental quirkiness I have a pretty rigid way of doing things. I have always said to people that my days were like climbing a ladder, a tall ladder with many rungs. And if I missed part of my routine it was like missing a rung on my climb up the ladder. I could fall to my death! I know how extreme that sounds, but if you know people who live with mental health issues that are really hard (and many others who don’t but are also rigid about their routines for other reasons) you will know that this rigid routine that actually keeps me afloat in an uncertain world is absolutely essential. It is crucial. And it has always started, after I got the dogs out and fed, with morning coffee. With half and half and sugar in the raw. And now I am lost. I am looking at this half drunk cup of coffee with disdain. There is a very un-lovely taste in my mouth. I won’t finish drinking it. I feel lost.

I am sipping seltzer water, and also my big cup of water with electrolytes. That helps me feel better physically, but it does nothing for the pure melancholy I am feeling. I am truly lost, I am asking for your advice, what should I do?

All comments and suggestions are very much appreciated. I’m sure the hills are still alive with the sound of music, but I just can’t find it anymore. I want to sing again…


The Experiment ~A 365 Day Search For Truth, Beauty &
Day 1 ~ Introduction To The Project
“Do or do not. There is no try.”

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  1. I looked through the list of sweeteners you linked Maitri. I wonder about Inulin, how easy to get or affordable it might be and whether it might take away the aftertaste when combined with erythritol as they say.

    Other than that, it seems we can only hope that over time you will come to enjoy the taste of unsweetened coffee.

    I’m sorry your morning ritual feels spoiled by this! I imagine your body will miss the caffeine you have come to rely on to start your day.

    • Oh dear Joan it’s all such a muddle and I know I’ll figure it out one way or t’other. I’ve decided that tomorrow I am going to make a latte with my espresso machine, using cream and skipping the other bulletproof ingredients. You know, it’s a very funny thing. From my 20’s on till ONLY a year or so ago I ONLY drank coffee with half and half. I never sweetened it. But about a year ago, when the holidays came and you could get a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks I’d get one now and again for a treat. And then when I saw the Pumpkin Spice Latte creamer in the grocery store I thought, “I can just put this in my coffee at home, I don’t need to pay the high prices at Starbucks.” BOOM! My whole life changed. I went from Pumpkin Spice creamers until they didn’t have them any more — they’re seasonal — to another flavor and so on. THEN I thought they were too expensive and I could just use my half and half and add sugar in the raw AND I FELL IN LOVE with the taste. And I got addicted. Soon I couldn’t bear coffee without the sweetener, morning coffee became a whole new experience, and I sang inside like Maria in the Sound Of Music when I took that first sip. After a lifetime of coffee with no sweetener I became so addicted to sugar in my coffee that I looked forward to morning coffee like a junkie about to go on a drug trip (I’m not sure how to say that, I’ve never done drugs, but you take my point!). This time last year I wasn’t putting any sweetener in my coffee and hadn’t for 40 years. That’s how insidious sugar is, and you get hooked, and the whole country has obesity crises because of sugar. So I have to beat this, I have to figure it out. I’m 63, there’s no more time to waste.

      Lordy, I WENT ON! So sorry, I guess I just had to say all of that! This will be the big battle for me with the keto challenge, but I will win the battle. I’m just not sure how I’ll get past this hump… (Thanks for listening!)

      • I’m glad to hear that cinnamon is helping! When we still drank decaf coffee in the evening I sometimes put cinnamon in with the grounds too and it was delicious.

        I hear you about sugar/no sugar in coffee. In the distant past when I drank regular coffee every day and often, I had both milk and sugar in it. I honestly can’t even remember when I stopped putting sugar in – probably when I was on some diet or other and then eventually I went to black coffee, maybe for the same reason. But yes, sugar is SO addictive, and the hardest addictions to break are the ones that give us the biggest hit of comfort, as your morning coffee does for you. So I do understand that it is a big hump to get over. 🙂

        • Joan, you are exactly right, I have realized this even more deeply the last two mornings when my coffee has tasted, well, almost good to me! And what I’m putting in my coffee is pretty much the same as what I have been doing, my keto/bulletproof concoction with coconut oil, butter, and heavy cream, but I think what’s making the biggest difference is that I have hit a tipping point, the sugar addiction is easing up, even going away. It’s amazing. I imagine a few weeks from now I won’t even have a strong memory of sugar IN my coffee. Everything is changing for me. Today is the beginning of my third week on keto. I am now down 16.6 pounds in 2 weeks and I’m feeling good in a way I almost can’t describe. This all makes me remember that in Weight Watchers they always said, “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” Well sugar never tasted as good as the way I feel about myself today. I’ve got a long road ahead but just knowing that I am firmly set on the path, close to losing 20 pounds, and the way my brain feels clearer and my body lighter because of the drastic dietary changes, well, it’s very exciting.

          I so appreciate having you to talk to along the way. Thank you so much honey… 🙂

  2. Would it be so bad to go keto on everything else but keep making your coffee the way you’ve always enjoyed it? At least for now until you get used to your new diet? You have all my sympathy, you describe it so well I feel as if I’m right there looking at your cup of coffee with you. Hugs! x

    • Alas Jenny it would be bad. When you go keto the FIRST thing you do is eliminate all sugar and it’s just about the most important thing you do. You are trying to get your body to a state of ketosis and you will never get there if you even just have sugar in your coffee. It’s very hard for me right now, I get depressed about it every morning when I sit down with my coffee and kind of cringe with the first sip, but that is because of the sugar addiction and breaking this addiction is going to be life-changing for me.

      I wrote above, to Joan, the whole long thing about how I NEVER put sugar in my coffee for 40 years, this time last year I was still only putting cream in my coffee, but the holidays came and… You can read that above if you’d like. And I’m so delighted to see you and have you here on this journey with me. It means so much. I hope you are well…. 🙂

  3. I had trouble with the different brands of Stevia too. I had found Utopia and then they stopped selling it– Skinny Girl Stevia. So search started all over again–all I can say is a found a close proximity to this and the only place I can purchase it is at Walmart– Pyure organic stevia in a bottle or powder. But all of our tastebuds are unique so this may not work for you. I too am so sorry you have lost that glorious moment of waking up to a fabulous cup of coffee. Sending you love, love, love.

    • Thank you so much Shelly, it IS a challenge isn’t it. And the thing is it seems like the only things people on keto really do is stevia or erythritol and I don’t like either. I’m going to just have to get used to coffee without sugar but oy vey it’s hard. I’m glad you found something that works for you honey, I’m still on the quest for the Holy Grail, a cup of coffee I love in the morning. If I can have that I can do anything! Onwards and Upwards! 😀

  4. Victoria SkyDancer says:

    I agree with Jenny. I don’t think your new dietary lifestyle would suffer that much if you had a bit of sugar in your coffee. If it’s important to get rid of all the sugar, though, start with your normal amount, then gradually reduce it and perhaps replace it with a different sweetener. This, too, is figureoutable. 🙂

    • Ah Victoria, the thing is it WOULD matter even if I just had sugar in my coffee. See my responses to Joan and Jenny above. But you are exactly right, as Marie Forleo says, “Everything is figureoutable.” And I intend to figure it out. Buy OY, it’s hard. Sugar addiction is NO JOKE.

      I hope things are well with you and Himself and The Queen Mother. You are often in my thoughts… 🙂

  5. Bring on the sugar in your coffee. It’s a small “guilty pleasure” and a whole lot better than losing forward momentum over such a small thing. We all need something to give us joy when we arise. For me it’s a warm shower and a cup of French press black coffee. I used to drink it with half & half but lost the taste for it. So black it is, and good it is. And if a coffee ban were on my list for leading a healthy, happy life, I’d still give myself a free pass on my one cup of morning coffee. Years ago I heard something that’s repeated in many cultures: Only the gods are perfect. They get pissed off if we do something perfectly. That’s their prerogative. Imperfection is ours.

    • Oh Cathryn, I understand completely what you are saying, I really do and I appreciate it, but you see it’s a dodgy strategy for me. If you read my responses to Joan and Jenny above you will understand. And along with everything I said above is the fact that for my bipolary self IF I start out “cheating” I will soon be completely off of keto and at my age and weight it is crucial that I make this huge change. It’s a house of cards, break one rule and the rest come tumbling down. I’m NOT saying this should be how any one else should approach it. It’s just how it works for me.

      I appreciate your input so much. I shall just have to soldier on and figure this thing out… Much love to you dearheart….

      • You will do what you need to, Maitri, and you will find a comforting ritual to start the day. My heart is with you.

        • Thank you so much Cathryn. I am just now having my coffee late today, it’s been that kind of day! 🙂 I am having it with heavy cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s okay. Not perfect but better. The search for the Holy Grail continues on, but today we’re getting closer. Onwards and upwards!

  6. I love the above comments- I sympathize with you but am afraid I have no solution. The idea of using less and less each day seems like it could work. I will have to try that for myself. Your description of the pleasure derived from the morning cup of coffee is so true for me as well- and I didn’t even drink coffee til I was 45!! Keep us posted if yo find something that works for you. Many blessings!!

    • Thanks Lorraine, and the very best to you on your journey. It isn’t easy, and oh, you SO know just how I feel. I have said so much in my responses to people in these comments about how all of this came to pass and why it wouldn’t be okay for me to “just have a little sugar in my coffee,” that I will not repeat it all here except to say that I have to stay off sugar, I’m working hard to figure it all out, and one day I’ll work it out. Until then my quest for The Holy Grail, a perfect cup of morning coffee, continues!

  7. Hmm, my solution isn’t that different than others, I suppose, but I’ll suggest liquid sucralose.

    Evil, I know, but supposedly the liquid form isn’t glycemic-inducing like the powdered form (according to some keto diet list that you linked to).

    I quite like sucralose in the powered form myself. A late morning cup of coffee (decaf) with Splenda — quite nice. No glycemic issues for me (and I’m sensitive), no nasty tastes as with the Stevia, etc., so…. it might be worth a try if you’re not averse to an altered “natural” product.

    I have coffee with milk first thing in the morning that’s not sweetened, but I totally get how delicious it is sweetened.

    We had Vietnamese coffee traveling years ago; boy was that good. It’s made with sweetened condensed milk. Yum. That stopped after I saw the numbers for sweetened condensed milk after coming home. Not good.

    • Ah Lisa, I have tried Splenda, over the summer in iced coffee or tea, and to me — we’re all so individual — it does have an aftertaste that I don’t care for. And yes, you’ll see my friend Katya below talks about sweetened condensed milk in coffee as in Colombia, but I surely can’t have that. I appreciate your suggestion honey but for me the search is still on…

      BTW today I was going to use my espresso machine and make a latte with heavy cream, I can have that. It’s what I always did and I never put sugar in it. I tried. The machine won’t work! Aiyiyiyiyi, I was too low to even try to make a French Press so I’m just sitting here sipping seltzer water. The Quest for the Holy Grail continues on!

      • Sending all good thoughts! The “natural” sweeteners all taste bitter to me, and sugar messes with my blood sugar, although delicious…. Coffee with cream is actually quite nice.

        • Thanks so much Lisa, and yes, sweeteners can be pretty funky. I’ve actually ordered one more that people rave about from a company called Lakanto that has monk fruit in it, they even make a “maple syrup” which Noni loves in her coffee and I had a 50% off coupon so I tried some small things just to try but I tell you I’m beginning to think that it’s a matter of coming away from the addiction of sugar. Today my coffee has coconut oil, butter and cream. It’s good. I’m not singing, but it’s good. I think there is probably a tipping point when you go from being sugar addicted to being able to go comfortably without it. I may just be getting close. Onwards and upwards! I am steadfast on my journey.

          And Lisa, I bet your fall garden is beautiful! 🙂

  8. Morning coffee bliss
    a ritual stimulant
    sipping to savor

    I love my morning coffee deep dark full throated even bitter, with warmed up half and half. but for my afternoon cup i add a small amount of con leche (sweetened condensed milk) very small, just enough to ah – do the job. i learned this from alana’s old colombian boyfriend.

    one drop may be enough.

    if you bless the coffee, if you truly savor it as you sip, if you love yourself just as you are, you will be fine.

    in my humble opinion…

    Experiment, be a pioneer spirit with this….


    • Thank you so much sweet Ka, and your coffee sounds divine with that condensed milk, I know it is divine, but I just can’t have any sugar at all. Not now. I will find the perfect cup and it will probably be my French Roast in the French Press and cream. I’m working on it. I will find my way. Pioneer indeed! That’s exactly what it FEELS like! 😀

  9. p.s. a small amount of con leche along WITH the half and half


  10. I say…drink your coffee the way you love. But…. Cut back on the amount of coffee you drink. Reduce by a quarter each week. OR Cut back on the sweetener in the same way.
    Or just let yourself have this one thing. But be uncompromising in all other choices. Perhaps you can try another time later to change it.

    • Thanks so much for your input Sherri. I only have one cup or mug in the morning, I don’t drink any other coffee so there’s really not much to cut back! But the thing is I have been sugar free for 2 weeks now and going back to even just a little in my coffee would really halt what I am trying to achieve with this diet. You are trying to achieve ketosis so your body burns your own fat for fuel instead of carbs and sugar, and I won’t reach that goal even having a little sugar in my coffee. As I said The Struggle Is Real! But I am determined to find my way with this. Onwards and upwards! 🙂

  11. I think Sherri is right. On the other hand I have two cups of coffee per day with Coffeemate plain light liquid and NO sugar. For me the Coffeemate is the sweetener. Try what works for you, dear Maitri. Hugs, Marge

    • Marge, I’m working hard to find out what works for me and I’m sure I will find my way. It’s a challenge and frustrating but I won’t give up. I’m glad you’ve found what works for you. That’s what matters. Have a lovely day honey… 🙂

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