Posts filed under ‘mindful eating’

The Great Coffee Conundrum: Good or Bad for You?

Today, a workshop participant of mine asked a great question and I wanted to share it as it may help some of you, my blog readers, as well.

The Question

“I haven’t always been a coffee drinker but I do enjoy it now though not every day. I’m very specific in my tastes (organic soy lattes with high quality espresso) and when I have it (not before breakfast, not after noon). Espresso has much less caffeine than drip coffee although a bit more than black tea but I find that the milk really helps even out its impact on my body. I rarely ever feel like I get a sharp spike- it’s more of a even keeled pick up- nor do I experience coffee headaches, cold sweats or any of the other common side effects coffee drinkers report. So I’m curious what you think about my coffee choice. Still totally horrible?”

My Answer

You are obviously a discerning coffee drinker who uses it as a culinary accessory =) rather than a daily, mindless crutch, so I say go for it and enjoy it when you do choose to have it. However, I would switch to decaf just to try it out… then switch back to caffeine as an experiment. You may find that the seemingly benign lift you think you’re getting now THEN feels like a total “WHOA!”…  Sugary foods / pastries / bagels / and other simple carbs don’t count – they make the overall impact on your body (on your stress hormones) even worse.

You can switch cold turkey and may experience withdrawal symptoms fror 5-7 days (day 2 into 3 usually is the worst), or you could slowly wean off (half/caf).

And you’re right about the milk (organic, whole / not skim) in this case. Any whole food will lessen the impact of caffeine to some extent, as it’s a type of buffer. S

Read an earlier blog post on the “Coffee Crutch” factor, here:

NOTE: This is of particular importance to those of you who feel wiped out, constantly tired and dragging, as well as those of you living with an autoimmune condition – in particular fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Your adrenal health is key here – coffee and other stimulants may make you feel better in the short-run, but they continue chipping away at your health to where recovery gets more and more difficult.

So let me know YOUR thoughts: do you feel that your coffee habit is “benign” or even good for your health? What are some of your common questions about coffee?

June 11, 2009 at 11:47 AM Leave a comment

The Proof is in the Pudding! EAT SLOW, CHEW WELL.

A former client of mine sent me this FANTASTIC chart that plots time spent eating per day vs. the national obesity rate in several countries. It’s so very telling. Notice where the U.S. falls in this chart. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Click here for the Chart (Economix, NY Times Blog)

We tend to wolf our food down, barely chewing or realizing what we’re really eating, and then wonder why we crave sweets, why we crash at 3-4pm, why we’re sick, and why we’re fat.

I go over the principles and practices of chewing and mindful eating with my clients. You’d be amazed at what you find you like and are satiated by if you eat this way. Or how natural fat-fighting mechanisms are activated by the simple act of chewing. Or how all of a sudden you don’t have heartburn anymore.

I, myself, am probably the slowest eater you’ll ever find (perhaps apart from my dear friend Erick). I’ve always been that way, but you can learn how to slow down, too.

So… MASTICATE! MASTICATE! And slow down. Life is better slow.

May 19, 2009 at 7:08 PM Leave a comment

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