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Health and Fitness information to improve your quality of life


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I’m writing this at 4 am due to the fact that I’ve been up most of the night with a “splitting headache.”  I’ve had a headache the last day and a half that wouldn’t go away even with my occasional ibuprofen.

As a fitness professional, I hate taking medicine and use it as a last resort. I’m healthy, eat a clean diet, and get plenty of exercise.  At age 57, I take no medication and feel better than I did in my thirties.

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I developed my headache a day and a half ago and attributed it to allergies.  I was occasionally sneezing and had “teary eyes.”  However, after taking ibuprofen at bedtime and applying ice packs to my forehead, I still had no relief.  I woke up several times during the night and finally at 3:45 am decided to get up.

I have 3 fitness classes to teach this morning and it wasn’t going to be pretty; simply getting up and moving around made me feel like I  had a horrible hangover.  So how was I going to teach?  I decided I’d try to drink some water and eat something to see if that would make a difference.  I had already increased my water intake when my head started throbbing;  I know dehydration can cause headaches.  But that didn’t seem to help.  I walked downstairs to make some “bulletproof coffee” which is simply coffee with grass-fed butter and coconut oil hoping that would help.

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I have two vices coffee and peanut butter!  I mean that’s not bad….right??

 

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Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats. Here are some additional benefits of consumption: Health Benefits of Peanut Butter.  Be careful and buy a healthy brand though; you can find more info in my article: Are There Dangers Lurking In Your Peanut Butter?

However my number one vice, coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine to help boost physical performance and muscle recovery.

Health benefits of coffee

Therefore my two little vices can’t be that bad- right??  Unless it’s caffeine withdrawal.

I tend to get into trouble when I get off schedule and that’s what happened to bring about my misery.  I suddenly remembered as I walked into the kitchen at 4 am and  gazed at my coffee maker that I drank instant decaf coffee the morning this all started.  Which meant NO CAFFEINE FOR AN ENTIRE DAY AND A HALF!  BINGO- I had a headache that only caffeine would cure.  Sure enough after drinking my first cup I began to feel better.  This made me realize the need to cut down on my caffeine consumption.   The article –Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
points out:

Caffeine withdrawal is no laughing matter and can be very debilitating for those who are suddenly without caffeine.

This made me realize how truly tormenting it must be to have an addiction to something more serious such as alcohol, cigarettes, painkillers, cocaine, etc.  I mean even with my simple caffeine withdrawal headache, I was desperate to get some caffeine to see if it would make me feel better. A good but painful lesson. Now hopefully I can get more sleep and be refreshed to teach my classes. Wish me luck 🙂

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Bullet Proof Coffee- My New Love

I’ve known about bullet proof coffee for the last several years. I’ve tried it a couple of times and thought it was good but too much trouble to make. I recently purchased some organic coconut oil and thought I would give it another try.  I brewed my usual two cups of coffee in the coffee maker and decided to try to blend the bullet proof concoction in my Nutribullet.  (You can use a regular blender)

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Recipe:

2 cups of brewed coffee

1 tbsp of organic coconut oil

1 tbsp of grass-fed butter

1 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in the blender- Blend until frothy and pour

DELICIOUS!


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Coffee And No Cow Bar

 

Awww my favorite way to start my day.

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Just tried these this morning: The peanut butter cookie dough was DELICIOUS!!

D’s Naturals plant-based protein No Cow Bars

D’s Naturals plant-based protein No Cow Bars

No Cow Bars are described as ‘a one-of-a-kind high-protein bar made with cutting-edge ingredients, including plant-based organic brown rice and pea proteins, prebiotic fibre, and natural sweeteners like monk fruit.  Ideal for a protein boost on-the-go, each bar has 20-21 grams of protein, 1-2 grams of sugar, 1-3 grams net carbs and only 160-180 calories.

 

CHECK THIS OUT:  They are…..


High Fiber and Non-GMO

All Natural and Vegan

Gluten Free, No Sugar Added and Soy Free

Lactose Free, Soy Free and Dairy Free

21g Plant Protein, 4g Net Carbs, 1g Sugar

Dairy Free

Soy Free

Gluten Free

Vegan


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Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

These bars are easy to make and NO BAKE! How cool is that???proteinspark

Recipe Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

And with 15 grams of protein per bar, they are made with all natural ingredients such as honey, cocoa, and oats. Add an organic, all natural protein powder to the mix and these are a great alternative to expensive, unhealthy store bought brands.

 


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Is Your Coffee A Healthy Brew?

I have to admit I’m a coffee addict. What do I love about coffee? I LOVE the sensory aspect of it;  the sound of the coffee brewing, the aroma, the steam rising from my cup, and the very first sip. It’s comforting to me; like a warm blanket on a cold day. Since I drink so much coffee, I wanted to make sure that what I was drinking was a good quality, healthy brew. I also found interesting research regarding paper filters.

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I typically start my day with two to three cups. I have to admit, I would drink more throughout the day, but alas, caffeine affects my sleep. Also, did you know that coffee brewed without a paper filter can raise your cholesterol? I found that interesting since I discovered my cholesterol was elevated during my last physical. This really surprised me since I’ve always considered myself to be healthy. I eat clean and I teach 7-8 fitness classes per week. Therefore, since I’ve been using a reusable filter, I’ve decided to switch to paper and am curious to see what my levels will be during my follow-up visit.

Four Tips For A Healthier Brew:  Health benefits of coffee

  • Choose Organic-  Authority Nutrition points out that “coffee beans tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and various toxins that were never intended for human consumption. For this reason, I recommend that you choose organic coffee whenever possible”.
  • Avoid Artificial Sweeteners- Most everyone has heard of the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners.  Dr. Mercola, a well-known osteopathic and alternative medicine physician, points out that “research over the last 30 years—including several large scale prospective cohort studies—have shown that artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and produce a variety of metabolic dysfunctions that promote fat storage and weight gain.” Truthfully, once you get in the habit of drinking coffee black or with cream, you will actually be able to enjoy the true flavor of the brew rather than the additives.
  • Use Milk or REAL Cream–  Have you looked at the ingredients in most coffee creamers? Believe it or not, many of them contain partially hydrogenated oils, “ a trans fat”.  The FDA reports that “eating trans fat raises the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol in the blood.  An elevated LDL blood cholesterol level can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease” Try coconut milk or almond milk instead. 

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Brew Your Coffee With A Paper Filterhealthyeating.sfgate.com  reports that a 2007 Science Daily article suggests that “drinking five cups of unfiltered coffee every day for four weeks could increase cholesterol levels by 6 to 8 percent” Furthermore,  coffee filters trap  substances in coffee called diterpenes. These  substances escape into your  coffee grounds floating in the coffee or oily droplets floating on the surface. These  compounds are known to  block a cholesterol-regulating receptor in the intestines. Additionally, Harvard Health Publications reports that paper filters are more effective at eliminating diterpenes than permanent or cloth filters. 

So start your morning by brewing a healthier cup of coffee. And you may want to consider these add-ins to try something new Dessert Coffee Flavor Add-Ins. Enjoy your day!