Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Caffeine Question

Here's a post I didn't think I'd be writing ever.

If there's one thing you all have learned about me by reading my blog, it's that I



I love the smell, the taste, the way it warms me up and makes me feel all toasty inside. 

And the way it perfectly compliments anything chocolate flavored, c'mon on now!!!!!! Shut the front door.

 Caffeine has never really been a concern for me, because for some reason in my brain I just think, "Oh psh, I don't really get all that affected by caffeine - what's the problem?"

(Okay, before I go on I feel the need to write a disclaimer: I'm not an RD, nor am I certified to give out any sort of nutrition/medical counseling - this info is based from my own experience, research from credible sources, and info from my own nutritionist.)

Meh. The sad truth is friends, I think caffeine is just doing me no good. And while there are other sources of caffeine, pretty much the main form I ingest it in is the perfectly beautiful nectar of Java.

Let's go science/medical mode real quick. It's a pretty controversial topic in the medical/nutritional world, and here's the facts I found whilst researching.

The good news: there is definitely evidence that caffeine does indeed have health benefits, such as:

-Lower risk of diabetes
-Lower risk of Parkinson's/Alzheimer's Disease
 -Lower risk of gallstones
-Contains antioxidants
 -Stimulates the brain
-Enhances athletic performance
-Just plain gives ya the morning/afternoon pick-me-up you need

However, there is extensive evidence of health hazards caused by caffeine consumption. Among the most concerning to me:

-Higher risk of mood/mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety (esp. in adolescents/youths)
-Acceleration of bone loss and disruption of mineral absorption
-Blood sugar and insulin problems (probably from the burst of energy you get)
-Cardiovascular stress
-Increased stomach acid 
-Disruption in the normal sleep cycle 
-Fertility, pregnancy, and female problems
-Decline in production of hormones 

My take: I don't really have a concern about these medical problems for myself, but there's one thing that I've really been noticing - caffeine just doesn't make me feel all that good. TMI, but I really do get some major bellyaches from it (er...who doesn't?....), and it often ruins my appetite. No bueno! Along with that, I know for sure that it "disrupts my normal sleep cycle" - I'm a night owl/early bird, but 3 am isn't normal for me.

Soooooooooooo. Am I going to give up the cup o' Joe once and for all?

Nope. I believe that a lot of the health problems form because of excessive caffeine intake (as in, 4-5+ cups of caffeinated beverages) - just like all things we put in our body. Also, a lot of these things occur in people who are sensitive to caffeine, already have conditions, so on and so forth. I'm not a professional, but I really believe it is just a personal choice depending on your lifestyle or circumstances.

I'm just gonna stick to a cup mug full in the morning, ditch the afternoon cup for some tea to see if it helps with the appetite and sleep probs, and take it from there. Not to say I won't have some in the afternoon ever again (that would be highly unlikely), but I'm thinking it would be a good idea to cut down the amount when I do. There's also always the decaf option so I just get the flavor I love, but Mom and Dad might not be on that boat quite yet. :)

So there you go. Also, I couldn't imagine waking up in the morning without the aroma of coffee wafting towards me - that's just the way of life in mi casa.

 What's your opinion on the caffeine question?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I've gotten a bit of a late start, because with school work and the bro's birthday celebration, I lost track of time!! But hey, better late than never, right?

Let's hop right to it! (Thanks Jenn!)


This is a somewhat crumbled oatmeal pancake, apple pie style. (Just Kath's recipe w/ 
applesauce). De-lic-ious.

On-the-go one morning: plain greek yogurt + honey + banana, topped w/ blueberries, Sunbutter, and granolaaaaa. Eaten app. 4 minutes - gotta love those 7:30 study-sessions. 


This is what your pic looks like when you remember you have no lunch pics yet! - tuna salad, toasted english muffin w/ smashed avocado on the left slice -( just being thorough!), carrots+peppers, and an apple w/ a chunk sliced out of it and in mah belly!


The musical fruit in soup form that I amped up with sauteed onions, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, and a dollop of greek yogurt. On the side was an unpictured homemade dinner roll that was divine. 


For realz, these muffins are the meaning of life.

This bar had an impressive ingredient list (dried raspberries, soynuts, gluten-free rolled oats, almonds, coconut, almond butter, among other things...) but I thought it tasted gross! So disappointing - not sure if it was the soy protein isolate or just that particular flavor, but it was just wonky-tasting in my mouth. 

Best smoothie eveerrr - it tasted like a Frosty! The trick is almond milk and ripe banana, which add some natural sweetness, a blob of peanut butter, and just a touch of cacao so you get that subtle yet distinct chocolate flavor. MMMM.

Happy 8th 11th birthday to the best little brother!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Snapshots

One of my favorite parts about reading blogs is all of the gorgeous pictures that I get to scroll through. Picture explosions are my favorite!

You can tell a lot about a person by the pictures on their camera. I am definitely nowhere near pro-level, but I take pictures. of. everything. If it's pretty, entertaining, etc, it gets a place on my SD card.

For instance, you'd know that I thoroughly enjoy snapping pics of my two kitties....

......and that I love bright colors, no matter what form they're in.

I hang out with this gorgeous chick a lot....

....and I'm loving #SheReadsTruth.

You'd know that I'm quite entertained by the chickens who've gotten a home next door.....

.....or that I love oats.....

...a lot. 

Fruits and veggies make frequent appearances..... does coffee. <3

I paint my nails on a regular basis.....

and I'm a hard-working student (most of the time). 

You'd see I love blue skies and sunshine on my face...

....and that I love my awesome, quirky family. 

Dad like sammich!

I'd say that about sums me up indeed. :)

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIAW - Eating for Balance

True story bro: I've written like 4 WIAW posts, and this is the first one I've gotten up in quite a bit. I'm giving you twice the fun this week! ;) 

Luckily, it's still going strong, and growing (you go Jenn!), so I can still jump in whenever I have the time. Or actually have a post completed. 

So, without further ado:

Breakfast, my ever favorite meal. I need to break out of the oats box, but they are so, so easy for my simple-loving self. This was oats with a really ripe pear, almond-coconut milk, Chai spices, and gloriously melty Sunbutter. I need some chia seeds, stat!


Mi almuerzo, stuffed peppers.

Another lunch that was too yummy not to share - snack plate with crackers, cheddar cheese, turkey, with a side of spinach + strawberry salad with balsamic vinaigrette. I was snacking less than two hours later, but it still made my taste buds happy! 

Snacks, couldn't live without 'em. 

Dinner from a few nights ago - grilled shrimp in Cajun buttah, a whole wheat roll, and a voluminous side salad. A light but filling summer meal. 

Let's be honest, here. Nobody is a perfect eater. I would never never ever claim to be - I'm far from it. These past couple of weeks, I've really been struggling for balance in my eating, because, well, sometimes I tend to over-analyze - it happens. In the days of food logs (bleh!), that's what kept me on track, but I now need to own up to it, and take it into my own hands. 

Snack plates, like the lunch from the other day, help me break it down into food's simplest forms if I feel I'm having trouble. 

But the main thing for me, is not to stress about it and trust your body's cues. I don't want to get back into the crap of old habits, which unfortunately can creep up on me sometimes! I definitely believe that old habits are a result of stress and anxiety, so the first thing for me is relieving that stress...daily. For me, that's exercise, however light or vigorous (endorphin burst for the win!), writing in a journal, praying, doing She Reads Truth, and reading. Basically distracting myself. And lastly, eat what you feel your body wants and needs. Your body is programmed to be intuitive - you just have to teach your mind to line up with that!  

Hope you all have a fantabulous, stress-free Wednesday! :))

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lack of Words

The only words I seem to have at the heart and prayers go out to Boston.
Two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon
Lord, be with them. 

Delightfully Doughy

Hope you're all feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! The first day back at school (from spring break) was pretty much same thing, different day. I'm bracing myself to be smacked with EOCT/AP Test reviews (no SAT/ACT for me yet!!), and will thoroughly enjoy the coffee that will no doubt get me through some study sessions.

I finally squeezed in a short lil' jog because it was so dang pretty out and I was feeling some school stress. I quite enjoyed my alone/God time and I worked up a little sweat!

Me like.

I came home to homemade piiizzaaasss on the menu!! Thanks Mom! Mine + Rebekah's were just fresh pizza dough, tomato sauce, fresh mozz (YES), and fresh basil. Side of veggies for me!

Goodness I love me some carbs. The crust was chewy and doughy without being too thick - a fab vehicle for the gooey mozzarella.

It was, however, no bueno as a pre-run meal (which I knew already but couldn't resist) and it left me with a wicked bellyache. You live and you learn.

Have a teeerrific Tuesday!