Kim Hynes Health & Wellness
Nourish Your Life

Kim Hynes Health & Wellness Blog

Welcome to my blog! Here you will find tips, ideas, recipes, my thoughts on products, ways to feed and nourish your soul, and many ways to make your transition to optimal health and wellness more obtainable, fun, and delicious. 

I can smell the coffee: my habit, my evolution and my love for coffee

I can smell the coffee now. I can’t even remember when my real love affair with coffee began.  It was definitely an evolution. I do remember watching my grandparents drink weak, black coffee all day when I was a kid and thinking there was no way I could do that.

Then came the all nighters in college.  Sanka and Nescafe instant coffee was what most of us drank with powdered CoffeeMate which now seems toxic to me.  I loved that creamy richness and had no idea or didn’t care what was in it. In a pinch, we just bypassed coffee and had Vivarin or NoDoze. Unfortunately, there is no coffee “experience” with those. I even did a marketing paper on CoffeeMate and why it was so popular.

When I learned about the ingredients, I switched to milk thinking I was “doing a body good”.  This is long before I knew about how dairy was affecting me. I never put sugar in my coffee which is interesting considering how addicted to sugar I have felt all my life.

When I was a single mom and Mike and I started dating, I was still buying whatever was on sale.  Maxwell House, Folgers…..whatever. I wasn’t a big fancy coffee drink fan, but I would occasionally go to Starbucks and enjoy their coffee, but still thought it was strong at the time.  He was so polite and drank it, but I knew something was up when he started bringing me higher quality coffee as a “gift”. In actuality, he didn’t want to drink my coffee. I have to give him full credit for making me a coffee snob.

I used to love using the can opener and smelling that first whiff of coffee as I opened the can.  Now I love the smell of opening the package of coffee beans. Yes, Mike has converted me to grinding our coffee daily.  I used to set my coffee up at night and now I love the freshness of it.

As I started studying more about food and nutrition, I started to realize what pesticides were doing to our bodies.  I was really getting careful with my food, but never even considered coffee a risk. I only worried about the caffeine.  It turns out coffee crops are some of the most heavily sprayed with pesticides.

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Even though higher quality and organic coffees are expensive, it is so worth it if you drink coffee every day.  I also have dropped dairy for many reasons and drink my coffee black unless I feel like the occasional iced coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon.  I have a weird aversion to iced coffee in the morning, but can drink it later in the day. That’s rare because I will be awake longer in the evening. I love a hot cup of coffee in the morning regardless of the weather.

Coffee has become a symbol for so much more than waking up in the morning.  It has really become a social and relationship situation. We are now saying “let’s meet for coffee”.  Coffee shops are more than just coffee...they have different atmospheres that invite people to stay awhile and enjoy their coffee and their company.

I even have a meeting every 2 weeks with my friend and accountability partner and we are online and virtual, but we share a cup of coffee together during this time.  We are even venturing into a project together and of course it will have to do with coffee. That’s your sneak peek and we will keep you posted on that adventure.

So let’s talk about ups and downs of coffee. I always to end on a positive note so let’s talk about the downside.

Coffee can be habit forming.

If you have withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue when you stop drinking it or feel like you can hardly function when you don’t have it, you are definitely in the habit.  If you decide to cut down, it may be more comfortable to cut it down slowly over time. If you have a “crash” when you come down from coffee, you may want to consume less.

Honestly, I don’t even want to see what would happen.  Because bloodwork, colonoscopy and other forced withdrawals, I know I have a coffee habit that is hard to break.

Too much coffee can cause jitters and symptoms of anxiety

There have been many times I have no reason to feel anxious and on edge, but I do.  I realized after the fact that I had too much coffee. There is an interesting line for each person.  For me, it is at 2 cups. Trust me, you will know when you have too much. 

Drinking non-organic coffee may be toxic to your health

It’s amazing to me how coffee is such a widely traded commodity throughout the world.  There is a lot of demand to meet.

With organic coffee,there are no synthetic fertilizers and chemicals used.  Unfortunately, when pesticides are used, not only can it be ingested by us, but neighboring communities around the crops are affected.

Caffeine can have a negative effect on the body.

This could depend on how much and time of day.  For most, it seems the half life for coffee is usually 4-6 hours.  For me, it’s closer to 8 hours so I need to be sure I am done with coffee in the morning.  Having coffee in the afternoon is playing Russian Roulette with my sleep. Everyone is different with their sensitivity and like I said, you will know if you have too much and at the wrong times.

We tend to use caffeine to get energy in the afternoon, but there is a cost to our sleep later.  It can become a vicious cycle. It doesn’t really give us energy, but it can mask tiredness.

Sugar and toxic creamers are harmful to our health and make it hard to lose weight. Check out the ingredients on your creamers. There are some preservatives and chemicals that are just not healthy. If you must have dairy creamer, consider using an organic half and half.

Now the GOOD STUFF.  Why I love coffee!

Coffee is full of antioxidants.

The great thing about antioxidants is they fight inflammation.  Inflammation causes so many issues with arthritis, heart disease and cancer. 

Caffeine can help you go to the bathroom.

As a former long distance runner, I would get up early, stretch and have coffee to get my bathroom needs done before hitting the road.  It was a big joke among runners because we really didn’t want to be on mile 5 of a 10 miler and needing to squat in the woods. Don’t get me wrong, you do what you have to do, but it can be avoided with coffee and time.

Coffee can help with a short term memory boost.

Some research shows that we get a boost to our memory from coffee.  That’s probably why so many students drink it before tests.

It is a great pre-workout drink.

I find, if I don’t overdo it, coffee is a better pre-workout drink than the commercial pre workout drinks.  It’s natural, cheaper and I would drink it anyway. I work out in the morning so it is a perfect fit. It may help reduce fatigue and increase endurance.

Getting coffee is a social thing.

I do enjoy meeting up for coffee with friends.  It’s such a great alternative to meeting at a bar and drinking alcohol.  It’s also cheaper than having dinner. Coffee shops have become fun, offer WiFi and encourage people to stay.

I even love my “coffee time” with Mike every morning.  It’s a way for us to have time together and connect before the day gets going.  It’s a ritual to grind the beans, brew the coffee and sit and enjoy it together.  There is nothing like the smell of fresh coffee beans in the package and fresh brewed coffee. 

Many positive medical claims

Articles and research I have read claim positive effects from coffee on depression, curbing gout, reducing Type 2 diabetes risk and may curb certain cancers and improve liver health.  

People play well with others.

Just kidding…maybe.  I know I am a happier person when I have my coffee.  It seems to be true for those around me, too. They are much happier when I have it.

To all my coffee loving friends, Cheers!

Be well,

XOXOXO

Kim