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Coffee ~ Friend Or Foe? June 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor, Life Balance.
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Coffee is the beverage we love to love . . . despite its occasional bad press.

Pour me a cup of Joe
Java juice to jump-start my day
Fragrant beans to fill my cup
Earthy elixir to light my way

So . . . is coffee our friend our foe?

Well, it depends on who you ask and when you ask them.

But, lately, more and more evidence suggests that downing a few cups of coffee each morning is a great way to start the day!

According to the Harvard Health Letter (Harvard Medical School), coffee,  chocolate, and alcohol have been cleared of much negative press and are now garnering recognition for health benefits when used “in moderation.”

Here’s some of the mostly good news about coffee:

Blood pressure. Results from long-term studies are showing that coffee may not increase the risk for high blood pressure over time, as previously thought.  Study findings for other cardiovascular effects are a mixed bag.

Cancer. Coffee might have anti-cancer properties.  Last year, researchers found that coffee drinkers were 50% less likely to get liver cancer than nondrinkers. A few studies have found ties to lower rates of colon, breast, and rectal cancers.

Cholesterol. Two substances in coffee — kahweol and cafestol — raise cholesterol levels. Paper filters capture these substances, but that doesn’t help the many people who now drink non-filtered coffee drinks, such as lattes. Researchers have also found a link between cholesterol increases and decaffeinated coffee, possibly because of the type of bean used to make certain decaffeinated coffees.

Diabetes. Heavy coffee drinkers may be half as likely to get diabetes as light drinkers or nondrinkers. Coffee may contain chemicals that lower blood sugar. A coffee habit may also increase your resting metabolism rate, which could help keep diabetes at bay.

Parkinson’s disease. Coffee seems to protect men, but not women, against Parkinson’s disease. One possible explanation for the sex difference may be that estrogen and caffeine need the same enzymes to be metabolized, and estrogen captures those enzymes.

A related article, Coffee: The New Health Food?, from WebMD states:

Want a drug that could lower your risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and colon cancer? That could lift your mood and treat headaches? That could lower your risk of cavities?

If it sounds too good to be true, think again.

Coffee, the much maligned but undoubtedly beloved beverage, just made headlines for possibly cutting the risk of the latest disease epidemic, type 2 diabetes. And the real news seems to be that the more you drink, the better.

“Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful,” says Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies, which conducts its own medical research and tracks coffee studies from around the world. “For most people, very little bad comes from drinking it, but a lot of good.”

But, wait, there’s more!

Coffee even offsets some of the damage caused by other vices, some research indicates. “People who smoke and are heavy drinkers have less heart disease and liver damage when they regularly consume large amounts of coffee compared to those who don’t,” says DePaulis.

Awesome!  A vice that’s nice . . . and negates other vices!

Bottoms up, fill your cup ~ dive into your day
Harvard says that coffee is more than okay
Wake up, world, and savor that café au lait
Our friendly morning beverage is here to stay

Related post:  One Mind, One Muse

Advice From Erma June 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, People.
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If I Had My Life To Live Over ~ by Erma Bombeck

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s” . . . 

More “I’m sorrys” . . .

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . . look at it and really see it . . . live it . . . and never give it back.

© Erma Bombeck

Sources:  If I Had My Life To Live Over * If I Had My Life To Live Over

Related posts:  Dare To Make Mistakes * Good Enough * Progress, Not Perfection * Water Over The Dam *  Getting to Good Enough (Dustin Wax) * Follow The Thread (GretchensPianos)

Good Enough June 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Music & Dance.
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We don’t have time to pursue all desires to the extreme, but we have plenty of time to dip our toes in the water and decide where to focus our talents . . .

Unless we get caught in the dreaded trap of perfection.

We’ve been programmed to not make mistakes, which may be the biggest mistake we can make.

Instead of expending energy to perfect daily minutiae that won’t matter a year (or even a week!) from now . . . learn to recognize when something is good enough:

Progress, rather than perfection
Is good enough for me
Unless the action in question
Is a high priority

Music, Art, Writing, Life . . . it’s all a wonderful dance.

Even if we step on toes or stumble along the way!

Related posts:  Progress, Not Perfection * Water Over The Dam *  Getting to Good Enough (Dustin Wax) * Follow The Thread (GretchensPianos)