Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 2: Don't talk to me until I've had my coffee.

The author of The Quantum Wellness Cleanse, Kathy Freston, spends Day 2 focused on the adverse effects of caffeine on the body. I have definitely had my share of caffeine withdrawal headaches, so I know that my body has become dependent on the caffeine it gets from my love of coffee. If anything, it holds me over between breakfast and lunch. Those are some of the longest hours of my life.

I guess Kathy Freston must be healthy all the time, because if she's ever used WebMD for it's symptom checker, she might have seen this article they wrote about the health benefits to consuming caffeinated coffee. Apparently this bean can help reduce the risk for diabetes, Parkinson's disease, colon cancer and a few other diseases. For me, the biggest benefit is joy. I love coffee. Did I mention that before?

So aside from coffee, people get their caffeine fix from tea. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong are the soda and energy drinks. "Currently, Americans consume more than 53 gallons of carbonated soft drinks per person per year; the amount surpassed all other beverages, including milk, beer, coffee and water." (You can read the full report here.) I think what's worse than the caffeine in soda and energy drinks are the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and a huge variety of other processed and lab-manufactured ingredients.

Let's take a look at Red Bull.

I love that on its website, it proudly announces that Red Bull is "gluten free, vegan, wheat free, dairy free!" How health conscious of you, Red Bull. If you continue reading the FAQs, the last question asks about the ingredient, taurine, in Red Bull. They say taurine "is a purely synthetic substance produced by pharmaceutical companies and is not derived from animals or animal materials. All ingredients for Red Bull Energy Drink are synthetically produced by pharmaceutical companies. This guarantees the highest quality."

Wasn't it a pharmaceutical company that produced Fen-Phen?

All I'm saying is that people don't have bad side effects or start addictions from eating a handful of almonds or a banana (unless you have allergies or OCD). Good food won't deform your heart or give you the shakes. Not only is it delicious, it also didn't come out of a lab.

For me, I think what it boils down to is this: Are there choices you make in your eating that have created an unhealthy dependency? Like the times I feel sad or bored and all I crave is a box of glazed Krispy Kremes, or when I've had a stressful day and I down a glass or three of wine.

Often times we are selling ourselves short when we feel like we need certain substances to get us through the day. We are strong, capable men and women in this world. If I don't have my coffee in the morning, it's okay. But I still don't want to talk to you. (jk!)

My lunch for today: brown rice, potatoes, carrots, snap peas and zucchini. 

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