Say no to Coffee like I do.

Hey guys… so I don’t drink coffee. Not a lick of it. Mainly because I find coffee to be disgusting, but also because I know it isn’t good for me.

I just recently (this morning) read an article that said coffee is the main source of antioxidant consumption for the average American. Now please let me specify that this is not because coffee is so unbelievably good for you, no it’s because the Standard American Diet lacks antioxidants. So what benefit then does coffee serve us? Long term, if you have high blood pressure or heart disease, it is often recommended by doctors that you stop drinking coffee. If you are a diabetic, the same happens since most people add cream and sugar to their coffee. If you think putting artificial sweetener in your coffee takes care of this problem, you are terribly wrong and you can read more about that issue here.

Oh, and we forgot to talk about the fact that coffee is a stimulant, and like all stimulants, your body gets used to the amount consumed and needs more to have the same result. Therefore, what starts off as one cup in the morning usually (and statistically speaking) become more and more over the years.

My fiancé doesn’t feel the same way that I do about coffee. No, no… my gorgeous man is instead highly addicted to coffee. Last week however, he decided to give it up. He has been kind enough to write up a bit of how this detox of his has been going. 

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I decided to give up caffeine for lent this year. That means ALL types of caffeine all together, for 40 days and 40 nights. No soda, no coffee, no Starbucks, no chocolate, no caffeine!


This was very difficult to do as by day one that I gave up caffeine, the headaches began and it hurt really badly. By day number two, I began to have migraine like pains in my head along with body aches all together. I couldn’t take the regular migraine medicine like Excedrin because it has caffeine in the ingredients. I had to rely on ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaphetamine (Tylenol). This helped calm the pains down, but not really take them away and they seemed to only calm the pain down for 30-40 minutes, and the shooting pains would begin again.

During this time, I wasn’t eating very healthy either, from quick fix dinners from the box, to Chinese food and cereal in the morning. This did not help my cause, so my beautiful and well knowledged fiance told me to change my eating habits. I did just that by going to Turnip Truck (an all organic health food store in Nashville) and buying myself nothing but healthy and organic foods. I also supplemented juicing to my diet and juiced once a day, adding on a fruit smoothie made from scratch, daily.
The results were amazing! By day number 5, my headaches are going away, and as I am eating healthy, the headaches don’t last as long and now I only get them once or twice a day.

I know that this will go away because eventually I will have detoxified my body of caffeine entirely; however, adding on proper nutrition helped the process and helped my overall well being’s and helped me feel good.

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I have to tell you guys, caffeine is the real gate way drug. And the longer you wait to kick the habit, the harder it is to do so. Say good bye to this little but dangerous bad guy and be thankful later!

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Energy Drinks

energy drink

A few years ago I worked at a gym on top of my current job and I was also going to school full time. At this time, I also went once a month to Sam’s Club and bought a giant pack of Monster Energy Drinks. You know those blue ones, because they are low carb (because my weight was my biggest concern). My day generally looked something like this… wake up and be to school by 8 a.m., drive immediately to job number 1 after class, then after job number one, drive to job number two until 11p.m. when I would go home for the first time all day.

It was on my way from job number one, to job number two that I would pop open that Monster and depending on the time either sip or chug it. This was mainly because when I would get home at 11 p.m., I often had a few hours of homework to do. Then I would fall asleep around 3 in the morning and after sleeping for a whopping 4-5 hours, do it all over again.

Most people are aware that energy drinks are not good for you. Clearly I was one of the people who knew but blatantly ignored. Quite frankly, at that time I would have done anything to keep life happening considering the details. However I now look at the statement of “energy drinks are not good for you” with a bit of wonder and question.

Why are energy drinks bad for you?

I know plenty of people who drink coffee almost all day long?

Is that just as unhealthy?

How about the energy drinks that are sugar and caffeine free?

How about the ones that are all natural?

Amazingly all of those questions can be answered, so today I will do exactly that. If not for anyone else, at least for me!

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that energy drinks must contain something pretty hefty if they can make you get through a day that other wise would not happen without much more sleep. But what is it that is making the magic happen?

For the energy drinks that do contain caffeine, it’s radical doses of caffeine. A regular cup of coffee usually has about 100mg of caffeine in it. Some energy drinks have as much as 500mg of caffeine in them (source).  That is a Sh*t load of caffeine! And as an individual who gets emotionally wrecked (if you don’t believe me as my fiance) when drinking anything more than 75mg of caffeine in it, well I don’t really understand how I managed any sort of life while downing those monsters.

If you don’t already know, caffeine in large doses has some pretty hefty side effects that include high heart rate, spiking of blood pressure, severe dehydration, anxiety, the preventing of sleep patterns and in extreme cases seizures. They should put that on the commercial, huh?

Then there are the energy drinks that do not contain caffeine. Instead they contain legal stimulants such as guarana and ginseng. These stimulants are natural however just like all other stimulants, there are side effects for these as well.

Guarana is a plant whose seeds contains 2x as much caffeine as the seeds coffee (source). This is the most common used stimulant in energy drinks labeled “caffeine free”. Another ingredient commonly used is ginseng, which is also a seed containing caffeine. Ginseng is a bit more dangerous as its side effects include headache, decreased appetite and bleeding (source).

The last of the symptoms listed above is the one that concerns me the most… bleeding. If you are continuously using an energy drink containing ginseng, you run the risk ultimately of suffering from stomach bleeding. This is because the acid combined with the ginseng can disturb your stomach and intestinal lining which can eventually lead to bleeding.

When the effects of energy drinks do ware off, you risk for poor health does not. Once the stimulants are free from your body, your risk of vomiting and respiratory depression sky rocket. In fact, in 2008 there were 16,000 E.R. visit that were documented as due to energy drink consumption (source). This confirms that although the side effects seem extreme and not likely, they are in fact taking place.

All in all, energy drinks are a big no-no. They confuse your brain by tricking it into sending out signals to your body that say you are awake, alert and highly functioning, and then cause you to crash when the stimulants ware off. The chemicals used in the drinks can reek havoc on your digestive system as well, as they suppress your appetite which means you are getting less of the nutrients your body needs even more now that your are pumping it with stimulants. And then there are the many organ system side effects that happen despite you not even realizing they are taking place.

By getting a few extra hours a sleep every week, improving your nutrition by 10 – 15% and drinking more water, you can have the same energy benefits of energy drinks without any of the awful side effects.