First thing’s first: you all seriously blow me away! Thank you for the amazing responses to yesterday’s post. Coincidentally, Gena and JL mentioned a new study from Appetite that reported veganism “could actually serve as a protective factor against developing disordered eating.” Pretty amazing, huh?
Onto the day! It is a sunny and gorgeous 80 degrees and I’ve been stuck inside attending classes and studying. Despite this, the bright sun and the cheerful birds bring me so much hope. The semester ends in less than seven weeks!
Today, I decided to switch things up a bit and do strength before cardio. I completed a biceps/shoulders/back workout before going through two rounds of the Tone It Up Lean Body Pyramid on the spin bike. The upper body circuit looked like this:
Like my Wizard of Oz reference? On a more serious note, this circuit really did make me think, “Oh my!” If you use a set of challenging dumbbells, you will be thinking the same thing…or maybe a few curse words. Or both. Whatever floats your boat!
After the above workout, I mosied on over to class while listening to the birds. I love the chickadees’ song – it makes me think of fresh, sunny Summer mornings – and that just makes my heart happy! The rest of the morning was spent in class (eating chocolate protein pudding oats and fruit of course) and studying. During my second class, I broke into my lunch!
This lunch was fabulous! I munched on a big Tupperware salad with the usual veggie suspects, avocado and Trader Joe’s Peanut Vinaigrette. A Tone It Up black bean pattie topped with an organic ketchup heart (of course!) was also enjoyed. This meal fueled everything but my brain, which I am convinced is permanently fried from studying. Sigh.
After a couple hours of more studying, I met Kristen for dinner at the dining commons. Tonight’s meal featured one of my favorite new dishes served in my school’s cafeteria: sesame-pecan patties!
The patties were topped with a soy sauce-based glaze.While I had high hopes, it failed to deliver. The patties are so delicious on their own – I wish they would have let them be! I ate about half, alongside roasted Brussels sprouts and agave and cumin-glazed carrots.
These were divine! I went back for thirds and now have a fiber belly. It happens.
Coffee: The Angel or the Devil?
Raise your hand if you have read about fifteen different studies on coffee, all of which contain conflicting evidence on whether the good ol’ fashioned cup o’ Joe is good for your health or will kill you tomorrow? <*Raises hand*> Well, a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition just might have our final answer.
According to the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer and Nutrition study, coffee does not increase the risk of heart disease and may actually reduce our risk for diabetes by up to 30%. Study participants who drank 4 cups of coffee per day were 23 – 30% less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank less than one cup of coffee per day, according to the study. Pretty interesting stuff, huh?
My Two Cents
I love coffee and drink a medium-sized cup (16 oz.) every morning with my breakfast. It is a ritual I genuinely look forward to every day.
I love the taste of coffee, I love the smell of coffee – I even love the odor it leaves on people’s breath. Yes, I know that is weird and creepy but it’s true. I love the taste of coffee (preferably strong) so much that I drink it stark black. Mmm mmm good.
While I don’t drink coffee for its nutritive properties, there is a perk: the presence of cancer-fighting antioxidants and phenolic acids, which help prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer. The thing is, in order to reap the ultimate benefits, we often have to drink a lot of coffee, like the four cups mentioned above. This is where the caffeine comes into play. Many people are sensitive to caffeine’s tendency to induce headaches, nausea and fatigue. Also, key to note, caffeine does not cause osteoporosis unless it is consumed in very high amounts. If you are eating a diet adequate in calcium and consuming less than or equal two three cups a day, studies show no significant decline in calcium levels, particularly in young women.
In the end, we should all listen to our bodies. The thing about caffeine (and coffee in particular) is that we are all different. We all tolerate caffeine differently. Personally, I am not highly affected by caffeine. In fact, I could drink a cup or two of coffee before bed if I so chose and get to sleep just fine. And because my dietary choices are about 80% nutrient dense on most days, I see no problem treating myself to a piping hot cup of deliciousness every morning.
Question of the Day: Are you a coffee drinker? Do you enjoy the taste or the “caffeine buzz?”