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AN INVERNESSIAN IN AMERICA: Diane Knox on how she will be giving up alcohol and caffeine for a good cause

By Contributor

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The time to joyfully declare “Happy New Year!” to everyone you see has probably passed… but Happy New Year. I’d feel rude if I didn’t say it.

Americans start saying Happy New Year basically as soon as Christmas is over, and they really ride it out for weeks. But they’ve also never heard of ‘Hogmanay’ so…

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I do every single year, and to be honest I have no idea what the appeal is. I feel as though I make resolutions every month of the year, and I really do set myself up for failure. But the intention is there as I turn the first page of my 2022 planner, writing them all down in my neatest handwriting with a brand new pen. It’s a tradition I have to uphold.

I do always feel rejuvenated at the start of the year. Golf is coming off a nice break, my home office is all spick and span, my goals have been set for the year and I feel my motivation is at an optimum. But I really shot myself in the foot with one of my resolutions, and it’s already wearing thin six days in. I’m cutting out caffeine and, oh my gosh, I wouldn’t want to be around me by the time 2pm rolls around.

The alarm goes off daily at the disgusting hour of 5am, I drag myself out of bed and squeeze myself into my gym clothes – which is really the worst part of the whole ordeal. Half a bowl of cereal, a green wellness shot of what can only be described as sour grass and I’m off to the gym.

Now, the OLD me of 2021 would have included a blast of caffeinated charge in the form of pre-workout. If you’ve never used a pre-workout, don’t start… but it’s a caffeine-packed powder so strong that it sends tingles throughout your body.


The one I would take everyday was blue raspberry flavoured and tasted exactly like the 10p blue ice poles you used to get from the ice cream van. Delightful pre-6am.

It was brilliant for an early morning workout, but terrible when the crash came around noon. And even worse when I saw that one teeny scoop contained 250mg of caffeine. And I’d top up my levels with a cold brew later in the morning!

I have loved my coffee for years, so why stop now? Well, it probably comes as no great surprise following our wedding last year, but husband and I are hoping to grow our little family in 2022 and high levels of caffeine aren’t great for the ol’ fertility.

And at 38 I’m allowed to use the word “old”.

That was my main motivation, but I’ve already noticed I feel way more level headed throughout my work day, and the odd bout of anxiety seems to have disappeared.

Oh, and joining the elimination of caffeine in the quest for Baby Balas is the cutting of alcohol, so I’m just a barrel of fun right now…!

Two resolutions I really will stick to for the cause, but I’m not so sure I can say the same for “immediately fold and put away the washing”. That one is a work in progress.

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