I don’t even like coffee. it tastes like dirt from a baseball field mixed with water, and in my case non-fat milk. Mine also has ice in it. So why am I drinking coffee when it makes me wince? Because dirt tastes better than a headache that feels like all of my brain muscles are fighting to see who can emerge as The Hulk.

See, I accidentally became a caffeine addict about five years ago when I was spending my summers as a camp counselor. I started every morning with a wild strawberry crystal light packet and it made children climbing on me and throwing dodgeballs at my head much more bearable. (Aside from that, honestly the best job ever).

Then I started drinking another packet everyday around 4 p.m. as an afternoon flavor treat that gave me the jolt to workout after the kids were picked up. About six weeks into camp I was running low and stuck to just my morning CL, when all of the sudden, for three days in a row I got a pounding headache right about 4 o’clock, which is when we would come in from the pool and start signing out and running around, which led to lots of chaos. Not a good time for blood vessels to swell. After the third day I realized what happened and that I had become a caffeine addict, without a drop of coffee.

In the age of energy drinks, I don’t think this is too abnormal, but I still was interested in the fact that I had no idea I was addicted til it was too late to prevent. After that I continued my love for strawberry CL and also added a few other caffeinated drinks to the list: Sugar Free Amp, Target brand Grapefruit/Green Tea energy, Enviga (which was awesome til I couldn’t find it anymore), the occasional Diet Coke, and my favorite, Rockstar Recovery – introduced to me by Jessica in Vegas when I was getting a cold. It’s loaded with Vitamin B’s, but also mostly caffeine. The only coffee things I like are frappaccinos, which I REALLY like, and I drink the light ones with no whip, so calorically fine, but the issue that I didn’t want to see in all of these drinks is the mass amounts of weird crap I’m putting in my body. I think I researched the Rockstar’s and they are pretty much natural, as much as that can be in an energy drink, but they are ridiculously expensive.

The caffeine issue got to be super necessary when I was going to school, interning and working every minute of my life and waking and sleeping at completely different times of the day for six months. I needed that and continued all summer because it’s hard to cut out when you need to be awake and as pleasant as possible to wait your tables.

But now, I’m out of all the packets I brought with me to LA and since I’m trying to be healthier, I want to cut out the crap. Coffee will be cheaper, once I figure out what kind to buy and how our coffee pot works, but for now, my mom sent me a Starbucks card. I’m trying to make it last by buying Grande Unsweetened Iced Coffee with Nonfat milk (I think I ordered it right), which is a lot cheaper than the fancy drinks and seems to be healthier. Maybe I can acquire this taste, but it’s a drastic taste swap from the artificial flavors my body really enjoys. I wonder how long this will last considering the Crystal Light packets are about $2 for 10, and this dirt juice was $2.50 for one.