ahhhh…coffee. That morning smell, the sharp tinge on your tongue, and that “feeling” you get when you hold that warm cup in your hands on a cool Fall day.
Alright, I confess that I may have a problem…I’m not gonna lie to you. I wish I could say “HEY! I’m a FITNESS Instructor and I am PERFECT and I eat and drink perfectly perfect things my body needs to be perfect and I never, I repeat, NEVER ingest anything remotely not-perfect for me!”…Well, sorry to say, but I can’t really say that. I love food. Good food. Who doesn’t? But what I really love more than anything is that warm cup of goodness, that friend on a cold day, that silent partner that sits with me at the table while I write this blog. My coffee.
It’s weird, this obsession, considering that when I was younger I hated coffee. I really did! I loved the smell of it, but I never drank it, I thought it tasted like the bottom of a sewer (not that I know what that tastes like). I was a “tea granny”. I carried on the traditions of my grandmother who practically only drank tea. But then a weird thing happened. I got pregnant with my first son. All of a sudden, I could not drink a “cuppa” tea without feeling nauseous and what I craved more than anything was a Tim Horton’s double double (decaf!). Is it any wonder that my now 11 year old has always loved the smell of my coffee and I have caught him on numerous occasions stealing some sips of this delicious brew. No doubt that I am witnessing a coffee guru in the making. After the pregnancy I thought I would go back to being my old tea granny self…but, alas I turned into a tea AND coffee drinker.
What is it about that taste, that feeling, that sense of “comfort” you get from holding a coffee in my hand? I don’t know, I wish I could tell you. Does anyone else feel this way?? Is it a weird Canadian ‘I must get a Timmies before doing any activity’ cultural thing? I don’t think so, afterall, in many cultures, especially in Europe, their schedule revolves around that most important cafe visit.
Maybe, just maybe, it could be called simply…an addiction. Yes, it sounds harsh, but look at it! Coffee drinkers “crave” their next “hit”, they (and when I say they, I totally mean me) are very cranky when they don’t get it, they go through “withdrawal” when they stop drinking it. Hello?? Sounds like an addiction to me. Yikes.
The sad, albeit tasty truth is, I am not alone. On average, 88% of Canadians get their coffee fix on a daily basis (http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5016).I suppose thatis the reason that there is always a line up at the Tim’s drive thru, no matter how many Tim’s there are in the town or even on that street! And yes, I guess it also accounts for the popularity of that signature little green mermaid where you can get a double shot, soy, no foam, skinny caramel macchiato blah blah blah any time of day.
So why DO we love it so? And is it a friend? Or is it a foe? Well, like most things in life, there is the good side and the bad side. For starters,everyone knows the fact that caffiene is in coffee. But do you REALLY know what caffeine is? According to Health Canada:Caffeine is the most popular and widely used drug in the world. It is a substance found in the leaves, seeds or fruit of a number of plant species, such as coffee and tea plants. Caffeine is a stimulant which acts on the central nervous system to speed up the messages to and from the brain. http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/drug-facts/caffeine.
That’s definitely not good news. There is also that little thing that coffee is an acid-forming beverage. As we talked about in my last blog, when we have a build up of acidity in our body, we create a perfect environment for sickness to reign supreme. Caffeine can also increase anxiety, interfere with our sleep patterns and give us an upset stomach. When our sleep is not sound, we become more fatigued feeling, thusly perpetuating our want of more caffeine to stimulate us. Unfortunately, this feeling of stimulation is really just a stimulation of our nervous system. It basically is giving us a fake feeling of “awakeness” and alertness. So, we get into a cycle of “Hey! Look at me! I am soooo awake! I feel so energized!”…then an hour later we crash and get into “I am soooooo tired. Man, I need a coffee!”
I am happy to say that coffee does have a bright side though! For instance, coffee is very high in antioxidants, which may be partly the reason for the research that says coffee drinkers are less prone to Type 2 Diabetes, some heart diseases, dementia and more. http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/coffee-new-health-food
So, drinking coffee just might help me remember my name when I getolder? Well, that is good enough for me. With a double whammy of Alzheimers in my family, order me up that good ole double double.
Love in a cup. mmmmmmmmmm.