Coffee rehab

My life as a consultant is pretty hectic.  There are weeks when I’m at a different client each day, often combined with a public training or a speaking engagement.  It was not until last year since my body started to feel the toll of this lifestyle.  I could still compensate the fatigue by sleeping in and relaxing during the weekend.  But I started to get stomach aches, more often.   I thought this was probably just related to the stress, until I saw some patterns.  My stomach was most upset after the days where I drank more coffee than average.


As of the Christmas holiday, I decided to stop drinking coffee for a while.  Just to try and prove my genius insight.  And yes, after just a few days, my stomach ache had disappeared miraculously.   But just to make sure that this was not related to the lack of stress during Christmas holiday, I persevered and didn’t touch any espresso, macchiato or Irish coffee.  So I started the new year coffee free, which was harder than I thought.  My body felt like it was having withdrawal symptoms, especially in the mornings when the urge for a cup of freshly brewed java was the biggest.

I remember it well, one day at a client’s office, I had mistakenly ordered a coffee.   Since my parents raised me to be polite and finish everything you order, I drank the coffee.  Oh boy, what a mistake!  Instantaneously, the next day, my stomach ache returned.   From that point on, I decided to quit all together.

After a while, I started to look for alternatives, because I missed a hot drink in the mornings.  So I started to explore the world of Tea, one I had never noticed before.  Is it normal that coffee drinkers don’t know that there are so many varieties and flavors of tea?   Maybe that’s a Belgian thing, but I also didn’t understand the hassle of tea drinkers, with their little bags and steaming hot water.   To me, it looked like too much effort for a cup of mildly flavored water.


Now, I’ve become a regular tea drinker, enjoying  the ritual and flavor of tea.  Nevertheless, I try to keep it to a minimum because tea also contains some caffeine.  So far, I’ve got rid of my stomach problems, and discovered a whole new world of tea.  I’m not a doctor, so if you try this yourself, don’t sue me for any physical of mental diseases you might develop!

You might ask yourself, what does this have to do with Agile or Kanban?  Well nothing really, I’m going to blog more often about other topics, tea related or not!


photo credits: Kuzeytac (will be back soon) Renée S. daniellemharms cc

About Nick Oostvogels

Hi, I'm an independent management consultant. My biggest strengths are located in the fields of teamwork, motivation, leadership and continuous improvement. In the IT industry you find a lot of these values in the agile movement, in which I often act as a project leader, product owner or coach. My interests go a lot further, into other industries where we find these values in lean production. Besides that, I try to broaden my horizon as much as possible, always looking for better ways of doing business.


  1. Body chemistry is amazing – food is so much more complicated than we think! Hot water with lemon or lime in is also quite refreshing 🙂

  2. WimVH

    I completely agree with Nick. I stopped drinking coffee several years ago when having stomac complains and being stressed. The stomac complains dissapeared. A latte machiatto during the sunday morning breakfast is the only coffee on my diet.

  3. pawelwrzeszcz

    I know what you are talking about, Nick. Not being a coffee drinker I got myself used to strong black tea and recently discovered the world of green tea – healthier and coming in the variety of flavours 🙂

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