Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Got ahead, order that cup o' joe!

As I sit here glaring into my coffee cup - thinking it's been too long since I've blogged but trying to determine what I'd like to share today - it hit me.  Coffee and how to keep it as a part of your daily healthy lifestyle.


1. Drink a big glass of water first thing.
It's simple fact that our body is made up of mostly water - 60% of it as a matter of fact. A hydrated body is a happy, efficient body. You might think that cup of coffee is what gets your juices flowing in the morning, but you will be much better served by starting your day with water. This can be a cool glass from the refrigerator or a nice warm mug of water with lemon (or maybe even a little Apple Cider Vinegar).

2. Opt for full-fat creamer or milk..
Non-dairy & flavored creamers are a big no-no if you're looking for healthy coffee options. Besides containing uber processed ingredients (high fructose corn syrup, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglycerides and sodium caseinate) most brands also contain partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which is very high in trans fat.

3. Use stevia to sweeten.
Everywhere I turn, people are opening packets of sugar or other artificial sweeteners and dumping them in their coffee cups. Sugar, which has a high amount of fructose, leads to diseases like obesity and diabetes. While no controlled studies have been completed, it has been observed that those using Artificial Sweeteners had the same increased risk as those using sugar. Avoid both - turn to Stevia, a healthy, natural sweetener which also has 0 calories.

4. Add cinnamon or cocoa powder.
Both add flavor and have surprising health benefits. Cinnamon has been linked to lowering blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetics. Cocoa powder (raw, unsweetened) is full of antioxidants and is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

5. Refrain from your 2:00 coffee break.   
I know a lot of us enjoy a cup of coffee in the afternoon or after a meal. Cutting this habit (and kicking all caffeine after 2:00) will help you sleep better at night and keep you from having the crash that follows the high that often accompanies an influx in caffeine. Instead of reaching for the coffee pot during an afternoon slump, take a walk around the building or the neighborhood.

Me? I enjoy my coffee black. No added flavors, no cream, no sweetener. I started drinking coffee because I loved the smell, and then the taste, of it. 

If you are adding all those extras to mask the taste, though, maybe it’s time to switch to a new morning brew.   Some of my best at-home coffee cost $7 a pound – some of the worst has cost $20.  Like anything else, you have to shop around to find what you like. 

And if all that taste testing still leaves you eager to cover up the taste, you might just want to look into finding a new morning beverage.  Just a thought.

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