Make 2019 YOUR Year

close up of text

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, you’ve officially decided that 2019 is going to be YOUR year – the year where you achieve all of your health and wellness dreams, the year where you get in shape, eat right, and prosper! I commend you and I know you can do it – but where to begin? Getting started is always the toughest part because there are so many directions you can take for a healthy lifestyle, it can be overwhelming. The first step to figuring out your healthy lifestyle is to go in with a plan, broken down into the main aspects of your health goals!

Physical Fitness
If you are already physically active, figure out your goals; are you training to compete? Do you want to be able to do a pull up? What about improving your speed and endurance? If you are not already physically active, there’s no better time to start than today. No more “I’ll do it when the holidays are over,” or “well I’ll get back into my routine when my family leaves this weekend.” No more “I’ll do it whens.” Vow to do it now. If even for just 20 minutes every day, get moving – not only will it help you achieve your fitness goals, but it will also boost your mood during these dreary winter months. (If you’re in need of ideas, comment on this post and we’ll be in touch 🙂 )

2

Choose a workout you love. If you’re into sports, do that! If you’re a dancer in retirement, come out to play and strap on those shoes. If you don’t have a particular niche, I’m confident that you’ll fall in love with lifting weights – it just feels good and when results start showing, you’ll never look back. Explore different classes to figure out what brings out the fire in you; exercise shouldn’t be a chore and should never be something you dread doing. If you love what you do, it will never seem like work – it will become one of the highlights of your day.

Nutrition
This might be the step you’ve been most worried about conquering because A) you’re unsure where to start, or B) dieting just seems impossible. Well, stop right there because you should never think of proper nutrition as a diet! I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle,” but that still makes it seem like you’re doomed to fail because of restriction. Give up all notion of ever restricting yourself to achieve your health goals, because restriction leads to binging and the circle goes ever on.

3

Jump into this with a plan (just like this plan….you see a pattern?) with your 3 macronutrients in mind: protein, carbs, fat. If you’re new to proper nutrition and just want a base point to jump from, keep these 3 simple things in mind:

  1. Always base your meal around your protein We are made of protein, it is essential – it doesn’t matter as much where you’re getting it, as long as you’re getting it (ie: fish, lean meats like turkey and chicken, lean beef, tofu, etc.). When it comes down to it, supplementing with protein powder may be necessary or convenient depending on your personal goals, but try to stick to food for nutrients over supplements.
  2. Choose slow digesting carbs, especially I don’t even like to think of veggies as carbs (which, they are) because we should just be eating as much and as many varieties as possible for our nutrient/vitamin/mineral intake in a day. Carbs, despite what you may be reading in popular media these days, are essential to a healthy and properly functioning brain (unless you have a special case where they hurt more than help, but that’s the minority here). Choose carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice (if not gluten intolerant), Jasmine rice, quinoa, couscous, oatmeal, and beans. Beware of breads as they are commonly over processed (fresh baked for the win) and fast food is just equivalent to doom.
  3. Fat is your friend. Period. Okay, maybe not that simple, but anything labeled lowfat, I am skeptical of (lowfat mayonnaise, what is that when mayo is literally all fat?!). Healthy fats help our digestive tract absorb the nutrients in our food – so foods like avocado, nuts, salmon, butter (in moderation, and never margarine), olive oil, and sharp cheeses are A-okay. This is particularly true for women too, as healthy fats have an excellent effect on the female digestive system, hair, skin, nails, and overall organ health.

Key takeaway here: never restrict what you eat, but everything in moderation. Except veggies, just eat those all the time forever and never stop.

Mental Health
When we think about our overall health and wellness, mental health is normally pushed to the bottom of the priority list and I’ve never understood why. Success in all that we do as humans begins and ends with mindset! Do you really think you’re going to achieve your fitness goals, live a happier life, or get that promotion with the mindset of “I can’t?” You sure as heck can and that’s the first step toward doing anything.

Self care is different for everyone, and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean spending $30 at the nail salon to get new winter colors (I myself, am not a nail polish gal). If it means waking up a little earlier to set your intentions for the day, have some quality time with your own mind in solitude, or take 15 minutes in the evening to meditate, do it. All work and no play makes for a very unhappy person, and that unhappiness will in turn affect everything else you do in your life. Pursue the hobbies you enjoy that are both mentally stimulating and relaxing. Enjoy the teas you’ve been saving in the cupboard and forgetting about. Try that new face mask and scare the crap out of your kids.

As an introverted extrovert, unwinding for me has many faces. Sure, I like the application of a face mask, watching Netflix, while coloring method. But I also enjoy the sitting in the sunlight, going on long hikes with friends, or visiting the local winery with family. Most days of the week after work and the gym, you can find me zombie-ing out with a video game controller in my hand not speaking to my significant other as he zombies out on Diablo. It’s just the way I am and that’s something I’m completely okay with. Something I do recommend fully for both mental and physical health though, is yoga. Novice or expert poses, they’re all beneficial for the body in their own special way. I have actually felt my body healing simply through stretching and mindful breathing; but that is a post for another day, my friends.

4

So, make 2019 your year to shine! Come up with a plan, a method of execution (that can always be tailored to your liking as you go), and start now. You will never know your true potential until you try, so give yourself a shot. See how it goes. You may just change your life.

Advertisements

Deprivation Leads to Binging: Finding Your Food Balance

photo of a toast

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I am always one to practice what I preach, but I have done an injustice to myself and my lovely blog readers by doing just the opposite when it comes to my diet. I am a certified nutritionist, but I specialize in fitness nutrition; I can help you achieve your fitness goals, no problem! But I have learned something far more important over the last year of being certified; I have learned the beauty of balance and truly understanding what it means to accept yourself at all stages of life.

I have transitioned from what I call the “Macro Queen Stage” into something a bit more tolerable. When I learned everything I know now, I wanted to take all of that information and spew it to the universe as quickly and as efficiently as I could. What this turned into was actually me turning into the food police to everyone around me and robbing them of the fun that exists in eating a delicious and healthy meal. One example that comes to mind was my poor mother eating Greek yogurt and blueberries as an evening snack. What an awesome choice! Not to newly certified me, who lived by the strict meal time schedule and macro count. I scolded her for it and I’ll never forget it because that moment almost made her quit her health journey entirely – and it would have been my fault!

Over time I have learned that there is a little bit more to life than just tracking your food. Of course, I want to inspire people to achieve their goals and overcome their obstacles! But there is such a thing as a happy balance. If you want to enjoy the dessert, don’t say no, and don’t beat yourself up for saying yes. Listen to the queues your body is signaling off to you – if you really want that chocolate cake, then it’s missing something.

Deprivation leads to binging, and nobody wants that.

food man person eating

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

I told myself I was going to quit drinking alcohol completely, and even went public with this decision on my social platforms to hold myself accountable. It was a while after I did that, but I noticed when I did drink and was supposed to have “one glass of red wine,” I would consume an entire 12 pack of blue moon and lay on my sister’s pool table in a sorry heap.

Deprivation leads to binging.

Do not say no to food because you are afraid of being overwhelmed by guilt. Do not feel guilty for choosing to eat something you wanted. It’s the holiday season, indulge a little! Stay active and try to keep up on eating enough of your veggies, but at the end of the day just understand that you are more than your pants size. You are more than a product of weight loss or weight gain.

Deprivation leads to binging; just enjoy life every second and don’t look back.

Why Fad Dieting Doesn’t Work

adult bowl cute daylight

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

With so many resources available on the internet, information overload is pretty much inevitable. It leaves you questioning should I be gluten free? IS dairy the issue? Should I try keto? This is where things get complex.

When it comes to general health, your #1 goal should be optimized gut health. When you have a happy and healthy gut, everything else will fall into place. If you have dietary restrictions (like Celiac) then this post defffinitely doesn’t apply to you and you should do you so your body doesn’t shut down! 🙂 But for the rest of us…

Why You Should Start by Making Healthier Choices
While I have my specialization in fitness nutrition, I’ve fallen victim to the realm of fad dieting within the last 6 months. I was convinced that because I have an autoimmune disease, I was automatically doomed to leaky gut and everything else. I believed this fully, even though I never exhibited any type of symptom whatsoever, just because scholarly articles told me that everyone who has MS automatically has 100 other things going on with them. I have never had any issues, including in the bathroom (sorry, but it’s true 😀 ).

If you start your health journey by simply making healthier choices (your protein, healthy fats, and slow digesting carbohydrates) and stick to it for long enough, you will more than likely experience results you want and better health. What I DID find, however, is that I am definitely somewhat intolerant to dairy! Depends on the dairy though – for example, I’m totally good eating cheddar cheese (minimal lactose) and Greek yogurt, but cream cheese does not work out well for me. Everyone is different, everyone’s gut microbiome is composed differently, so safe experimentation is the way to go.

assorted sliced fruits

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

I’ve made Healthier Choices, but I’m still not where I want to be
Okay, this is where things get a little tricky. You may be tempted to completely cut gluten or go on the keto diet, and those things are perfectly fine! Our bodies weren’t really meant to digest gluten, but you can read more about that in my other post here, so making a choice like that won’t steer you down the wrong path, but may lead to more binge eating because you are restricting foods you formerly enjoyed (like pizza…dude, come on you’re gonna give up PIZZA?!). In all seriousness, I support people who choose to go gluten free because it definitely optimizes gut health in a way that you wouldn’t realize it could. But remember just because an expert says you should doesn’t mean you must. It may not be the best option for YOU. So pay better attention to yourself and your digestive health before making any major decisions.

Keto on the other hand….. 🙄

I can’t lie, I’m extremely biased against the keto diet because when you do it for longer than about a 3 month period you put yourself at risk for a world of hurt. Yes, it can lead to exponential weightloss in the beginning. Yes, it can train your body to burn fat for energy as opposed to carbohydrates. BUT this diet should always be done under the supervision of a physician, nutritionist, or dietician because many things can go wrong, such as higher cholesterol, decrease in brain functionality as the brain needs the sugar from carbs to function properly, and more. Commonly used in a medical setting to treat various illnesses, such as Epilepsy, I am a fan of Keto being a natural treatment for these patients; I am not a fan of people fad dieting with the Keto diet because it is dangerous, no matter how “experienced” someone may be – but that’s just my single professional opinion. Read more about my thoughts on Keto in my blog all about it.

bowl of salad

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

At the end of the day, it’s really just an experiment to see what works for you! It’s why I always recommend the guidance of a health professional for figuring out your food intolerances, allergies, etc. so that you can experiment safely. The best place to start is just by choosing whole foods with pure ingredients. The less ingredients and processed junk on your label, the better. Fad dieting doesn’t work because they are rarely practical for the long term and once you give up on your strict meal plan, the weight normally comes right back. By just learning to make healthier choices, you eliminate a ton of stress and never have to worry about restriction. Do your best and never quit even when things can become overwhelming! You got this 😀

Looking to work with me to get you to your goals? Fill out the application here and I’ll get in touch with you! Looking for a meal plan specific to your needs? Fill out this application and we can get started!

Stevia: What You Need to Know

So, it’s become common knowledge in the health food world that sugar substitutes should be avoided due to harmful chemicals and a high dosage of sucralose. With this, there’s a new craze on the market – Stevia.

Stevia
What is Stevia?
Stevia is derived from a plant! The plan Stevia rebaudiana to be precise, and unlike many other sugar substitutes, it contains 0 calories. When you think about it, calories come from the micro-nutrients in the foods we eat, so if there’s not even a single carb, then what the heck is in Stevia?! Well, it comes down to how the body digests it; Stevia quickly passes through the digestive tract and is eliminated before the body can truly even process that it was there. Sweeeeeeeeeeet.

Does it really Work as a Sugar Substitute?
The short answer is yes. Stevia is actually 200x sweeter than sugar when in the raw, and has been consumed by the native Guarani population as a treat for centuries. Many believe that Stevia contains many health benefits and can even be used to treat diseases such as Type II Diabetes and Hypertension, but there is not enough supporting research that exists on the subject right now. Studies have been done, however, as a test to how Stevia affects the body and how food is processed after a meal. The people in question had lower blood sugar after consuming a meal made with Stevia as opposed to sugar, and eating foods with Stevia resulted in lower insulin levels than those with sucrose.[1]

person holding cup with coffee latte with spoon inside

Photo by Beata Dudová on Pexels.com

So the #1 question I’m sure you all have, is it safe? The long answer is, there truly isn’t enough research behind the subject to 100% know. There has been some evidence of Stevia causing low blood pressure, which could actively affect individuals taking blood pressure medication. There is also research being done to dive deeper into how Stevia interacts with other drugs out there, such as anti-microbials and drugs used to treat Cancer. At the end of the day, one should always discuss concerns with their physician, dietician, or nutritionist in order to figure out the best course of action for them.

If you are interested in further exploring the possible health benefits of Stevia or looking to use it as a sugar substitute, by all means go for it! It comes down to the #1 rule in any “diet” (I like to call it a quest for the best food for YOU): Moderation. Keeping anything in moderation is key because anything in excess isn’t good for the body (did you know that there’s such thing as TOO MUCH SPINACH? There is, and it can be detrimental to your health if you eat too much ^^’), and a well-balanced diet is the way to go.

Peep my recipe section for a tasty Fall inspired treat including Stevia you won’t want to miss!
Stay hungry my friends

[1] Cox, Lauren. What is Stevia? LiveScience. 26 April 2018. Web. Accessed 17 October 2018.

IMG_1566

The Truth about Gluten & Autoimmune Diseases

1Fall is finally heeeere! I love summertime, and believe me, it’s been amazing since moving down to sunny Richmond, but bring on the cool breezes, sweater weather, and pumpkin everythang. 😎 But it’s been a crazy month for this nutrition warrior as I’ve been learning more and more about food and how it can help us, but also how it can harm us.

I used to scoff at the people who got super into fad dieting just because they read that it would work in an article (and still do when it isn’t justified), but I recently made a transition I can totally get behind.

2

Having an autoimmune disease, I am more prone to experiencing “Leaky Gut” syndrome, where there are micro-tears in my digestive tract that harmful substances can leak through (and cause the dreaded bloat I cannot seem to get rid of!). After doing hefty amounts of research, I decided to go gluten-free; it was impossible to ignore the science behind how harmful gluten can be to even the average person, but for someone with MS it can be catastrophic.

Initially, I had a hard time justifying to myself why gluten could be a problem. I preach that everyone should be eating whole wheat everything because it’s got a lower glycemic index than white everything (I have my specialization in fitness nutrition, so for the average athlete this still holds true 90% of the time), so why the heck would it be hurting me?

3

Think of it this way: gluten was only introduced to the western diet in the 15th century, so when it comes down to what our bodies need to sustain their health, it’s not entirely necessary. Gluten is the general name for binding proteins found in wheat substances – basically, it just helps them hold their shape together. BUTTTT I only speak from the standpoint of someone who has 1,000 food sensitivities because my body attacks my digestive tract when I eat almost everything, the normal person can eat all the gluten they want and experience no consequences (lucky ducks). SO some conclusions I’ve come to since becoming gluten free for about 3 weeks now:

Less Gas
We’ve all been there, and if you’re eating a diet rich in vegetables you’ve been there more often than not. I laugh all the time because my boyfriend, Justin, has literally never farted in front of me in the almost 3 years we’ve been dating – we even live under the same roof and not a peep of flatulence comes from him. Then there’s me…I eat a lot of broccoli, beans, etc. and when I was also still eating gluten, you can only imagine the catastrophe coming out of me. Justin is not amused by my gas issues, so you can only imagine what that was doing to my brain! After eliminating gluten, I only experience serious gas after eating broccoli or if I eat too fast. Huzzah!

4

Destroy the Bloat!
As someone who goes to the gym every single day and pays close attention to my nutrition, you can imagine the frustration of having a permanent pregnant belly when I know I’m doing all the right things. When I chose to eliminate gluten, about a week later my pregnant belly…was smaller? Ohhhhh? Forward to today and it’s GAWN *mic drop*. I feel like myself again and I can actually see some progress in the shape of my body. Exhilarating!

Decreased Fatigue
For those of you out there with an autoimmune disease, you understand just how debilitating fatigue can get sometimes. I’m talking I crawl to the coffee pot in the morning, drink the entire thing, and STILL can’t open my eyes and think about napping for hours after.

5 Thanks to MS I still experience fatigue on the daily (my eyes are literally burning as I type this…I also just sat in front of a computer for an 8 hours work day beforehand…le sigh), but it’s a lot more manageable. I wake up easier and I’ve stopped falling asleep in the middle of QT with Justin (…most of the time)!

Manageable Symptoms
After doing even MORE research, I was able to figure out that gluten consumption can actually cause or exacerbate symptoms for neurological disorders. Hmm, fancy that. So, while I was initially blessed to live my life fairly symptom free before, I’m now down to only the occasional pain and shakiness. I’m looking forward to my next MRI just because I’m curious to see if this change has any impact on my lesions, call me crazy if you will, but I think I’m onto something guys…maybe.

6

When it comes down to it, giving up gluten really wasn’t that hard to do. There are so many places and products out there now that accommodate this lifestyle that I can still enjoy pasta (of the chickpea variety), bread (of the tortilla variety), and my personal baked goods using GF flour! It’s not so bad when it comes down to it, and for those of us who developed MS unexpectedly, there may be some answers hiding in your pizza. I must warn you though, read your nutrition labels carefully because something may be labeled GF but still be full of horrific ingredients, or even binding agents that function in the same way as gluten.

7 ( GF peanut butter swirl brownies anyoneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee? 😉 )

Gluten is not the devil, and is fine to consume for the average person. I am not a clinical nutritionist (YETTTTTTTTTT) and I am not a physician. I cannot tell you to eliminate gluten from your diet and it will make all of your gut health issues disappear, I can only give you my recommendations and suggest an elimination diet if you suspect you have gluten sensitivities or exacerbated issues because of it. Life is meant for living, not going bananas over the food you eat – though you should always eat mindfully and choose real food over processed junk.

If you’re interested in learning more about gluten or eliminations diets to help you achieve your health goals, fill out my application to get started on working toward better nutrition! Enjoy the food photos you see here or looking for fitness inspiration? Follow me on Intagram! Happy eating friends, and stay hungry! 😛

8

Finding the Willpower to make Healthier Choices

silver display shelf on brown sectional table

Photo by Caio Resende on Pexels.com

One of the most common struggles I see in my field of nutrition, is simply getting started and “finding the willpower” to make healthier choices. This is actually something easier to do than you may think! When you are HUNGRY and standing in the super market (or sitting in your favorite restaurant), of course you’re going to want to eat the place out of house and home (and I’m so guilty of doing this lol). When you’re left with the choice of “I know I should get the salad…but I really want the burger” why deprive yourself? The art of making better choices for your health comes down to knowing enough about the food we eat to do so! If you really want that burger, build it yourself (and don’t add the fried onions, as tempting as they are) and skip the top bun to lower your carb intake. Load it with veggies like onions and tomato, and skip the fries on the side – this is a tough one, but after a while, you won’t even miss them. Opt for a side of the house salad or one of your favorite veggies (or even rice)!

When it comes down to it, food is fuel. Food can be healing. Food is essential for our existence, it is the gas that keeps our engines rolling; would you put diesel in a car that takes regular? I don’t think so, not only is it not the most optimal choice, but it’s expensive too. When you start to think of food for what it really is and what it is doing for our bodies, making healthier choices becomes significantly easier. For example, if you’re craving a slice of that chocolate cake but you know it’s made 100% out of carbohydrates and sugar, you’re going to be less inclined to satiate that craving WITH cake. To counteract a craving like this, try mixing up a protein shake with some almond milk and peanut butter, or even enjoying a serving of dark chocolate and a piece of fruit. It sounds a lot less enticing, but I promise you won’t be craving it as intensely.

assorted sliced fruits in white ceramic bowl

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

Another example would be a food almost everyone LOVES: pizza. Say you choose to eat the pizza, and you love every single bite of it…how does it make you feel after you’re finished? Aside from satiated, do you feel bloated? Over-full? Regretful because you feel you should have made a better choice? When it comes down to it, food should always be prepared in a way that we can enjoy, but it doesn’t have to be terrible for our health to be tasty!

Finding your willpower comes down to basic knowledge; if you know it’s good for you, you’re going to be more inclined to choose it (and no, I’m not going to recommend you just eat salads…which can be tasty if you want them to be). What you are looking to balance properly to get on the right track are your Macro Nutrients. These include your protein, fat, and carb. intake! Ideally, you want to be consuming more protein than any of the other two macros, but knowing more about them will aid you in your health adventure and making better choices. I am going to list out some of the more ideal choices to make in each category for the next time you hit the grocery store below:

Protein: You are going to want to look for lean proteins. I will also provide some vegetarian/vegan options here too as it’s essential everyone meets their daily protein intake!
– Chicken
– Fish such as salmon, tuna, bass, mahi mahi, swai, flounder, fluke
– Turkey
– Pork
– Lean ground beef (93% or higher)
– Quinoa
– Eggs
– Cottage cheese
– Greek yogurt
– Lentils
– Tofu
– Nuts and nut butters (though these are better fats)
– Peas
– Buckwheat

This should be the central piece to any meal. We are made of protein and consuming enough of it will assist the generation of new cells, muscle recovery, curbing hunger, and virtually all activities that go on throughout your body. Next time you visit the grocery store, be sure to base your next meal plan/prep/in general around the protein.

Carbohydrates: This is always everyone’s favorite part of the meal (in the beginning!), so the ultimate decision comes down to: choosing the right type of carb. There are two types of carbohydrates:
Slow Digesting: These are “complex carbs” that our body takes longer to digest,    uses for energy longer, and keeps us fuller for longer. These are the ideal types of carbs you want to be eating with your meals.
Quick Digesting: These are “simple carbs” that we all love to eat. These are the ones that our body uses for a quick burst of energy, but often turns to sugar once digested. These are good for a treat, but should not be consumed in excess.

Example of slow digesting carbs you want to include regularly in your diet:
– Sweet potatoes
– Brown rice
– Quinoa
– Whole grain breads
– Whole grain pastas
– Oats
– Beans

While it may seem obvious, here are some examples of fast digesting carbs you want to save for a post workout meal:
– Ice cream
– Pizza
– White bread
– Regular pasta
– Sugar
– Cereals (aside from whole grain)

Fats: A common ideal in western culture is that fat is evil and should be avoided at all cost – this could not be farther from the truth. Healthier fats are essential to the body as it helps to coat our organs, absorb nutrients more efficiently, and provide more energy than either protein or carbohydrates. While eating any type of fat in excess will have negative consequences, getting the right amount of fat in the diet will put you on the path to a healthier and well-balanced life. Examples of healthy fats to include in your diet include:
– Avocado
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Fatty fish like salmon or sardines
– Nuts and seeds
– Nut butters
– Cheese
– Dark chocolate (sorry milk chocolate lovers)
– Whole eggs

appetizer avocado bread breakfast

Photo by Foodie Factor on Pexels.com

Macronutrients are the building blocks to any successful nutrition plan, and the macronutrient ratio is different for everyone’s particular body type (I’ll get more into that in another post, though!).

At the end of the day, knowing what foods do what for us is the ultimate key to making better choices. When in doubt, VEGGIE OUT! Veggies are essential as they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals and F I B E R! Fiber keeps us fuller longer and helps with the digestive process immensely. When you are planning a meal, focus on what your protein source is going to be, getting your full serving of veggies, and worry about the carbohydrate last! Prep your food with tons of seasonings to pack it with flavor (fajita seasoning is my go-to for most things, including on my roasted vegetables) and make it interesting. Healthy doesn’t mean boring, so don’t feel like you need to live on boiled chicken and Brussels sprouts to get to where you want to be.

Check out the recipe section of my blog page to see one of my favorite go-to meal preps that is loaded with flavor, protein, veggies, and that extra umph of flavor to give it that flavor kick!

bowl of vegetable salad and fruits

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

When making better and healthier choices, opt for natural foods with less ingredients. The less ingredients on your nutrition label, the better it usually is for you. Choose whole, real foods and you will be on the right path. Just imagine how clean your body is going to feel when you choose to fuel it with greens, lean meats, fresh fruits, and whole grains. You HAVE the willpower to start, so let’s do this together!

In need of some guidance or direction for getting started? Leave a comment on this post and I’ll reach out to help you with meal planning/prepping/grocery shopping and more!

Java Lovers Unite!

six white ceramic mugs

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

It’s been quite a while my lovely readers, I am proud to say that my hiatus was due to relocation. I am now a proud resident of the state of Virginia! Adieu, New York, we had a time and now it has passed.

As requested, I am focusing this post on the magic inside of those little coffee beans! Coffee is a major aspect of my diet as it’s gotten me through many, many years with a sane mind. Thankfully, I don’t particularly like my coffee sweet, so the less sugar and cream, the better it is. Here, I am going to lay out some interesting fun facts about coffee, and why you should be drinking it (or green tea, that is also a great addition to your diet!)

While there is a lot of mixed media when it comes to coffee (caffeine will make you live longer; caffeine will kill you; coffee is great for the heart; coffee is horrible for the joints; etc.), I personally feel that if my time comes to an end from my 2 cups of coffee a day, let it be (LOL). So, let’s discuss the reasons why you should never feel guilty over that morning cup of Joe.

1 Cup of Brewed Coffee Contains 1.8g of Fiber
The daily recommendation of fiber for the average human being is about 20-38g. Why not start your day with a little bit of fiber boost in the morning to get you rolling? If you’re looking for those extra fiber boosts to add to your mildly fibrous coffee, try some of these:
Cardamom: Giving coffee an exotic flavor (something close to ginger), Cardamom also contains additional health benefits, such as Cancer fighting elements and is also loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon does not have to be limited to the winter time to get that fuzzy feeling inside! Loaded with antioxidants, Cinnamon is a great addition to your coffee for the flavor and ability to naturally reduce inflammation.
Cocoa Powder: The easiest way to create that at-home mocha latte, Cocoa Powder is packed with flavor, while also containing flavanols, which help to reduce blood pressure and aid in fighting off cardiovascular diseases – woohoo!
Vanilla Extract: Another great way to boost the flavor of your morning coffee, vanilla extract is a “spice” which is also considered a super food! Not only is it yummy, but also acts as a natural mood booster, stress reliever, and helps with cognitive function (sign me up!)

Coffee Decreases Your Risk of Developing Type II Diabetes
Due to minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants abundantly present in coffee, there are a multitude of health benefits hiding in this popular morning beverage. While there are many ongoing studies about the health benefits to consuming coffee and other caffeinated beverages, researchers have not figured out the main disease fighting ingredient! With a formula rich in antioxidants, magnesium, chlorogenic acid (a compound that aids in giving coffee its flavor), this combo of ingredients has been shown to improve the body’s sensitivity to Insulin, and therefore decreasing the risk of developing Type II Diabetes. This is not a cure by any means, and like all research, there are still drawbacks to consuming too much coffee – drink safely and enjoy!

blur business coffee commerce

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Drinking Coffee Reduces Your Risk of Developing Depression
With all of the healthy ingredients packed into those little coffee beans, drinking coffee can act as a natural mood booster (add some vanilla extract in there and you’ll be singing and dancing in no time!). Coffee has been shown to have a minor effect on the central nervous system, and therefore having an impact on your mood. Next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, treat yourself to a cup of coffee. 🙂 Studies have shown that those who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing depression, and therefore a lower rate of suicide. I do not have the exact numbers, so take my statistics with a grain of salt, this is something I learned many moons ago.

Black Coffee Encourages Dental Health
For some reason, when you think about drinking coffee in its natural state, you would imagine the bitter flavor rotting off your tooth enamel…or is that just me? It isn’t the case! Coffee, when drank in its natural state, kills harmful bacteria on the teeth that cause tooth decay and other ailments within the mouth. Adding milk and sugar will negate this health benefit, unless done at the bare minimum. Fun fact: Coffee consumed post workout can actually help avoid the dreaded DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that many active people face!

And last but not least…

Drinking Coffee can Reduce the Risk of Developing Multiple Sclerosis…or having Recurring Flares
While there is research actively going on with this subject, I am personally skeptical. Suffering from MS myself and being a very active coffee drinker, I have no idea if it’s doing anything for me! True, I have been fortunate enough not to experience a remission period, but whether this is related to medication, lifestyle, or over caffeinating, I couldn’t tell ya. Coffee is a natural anti-inflammatory beverage, and therefore has been shown to protect against developing other types of Neurological diseases, so truly we never really know! Just another reason to stop for that extra cup in the afternoon.

Untitled

(I’m only a little addicted to my coffee…)

Are you avid coffee drinkers? Do you feel that you experience a lift in mood or health from consuming it? Let me know in the comments!