Thursday, November 19, 2015

How Can I Serve You Better?

This fall I've been inspired with new plans and dreams. I feel that the dawning of a new season is coming soon! I'm excited about what God has in store for me in the near future.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity I've had to serve you through this blog. I'm always encouraged when I hear from people who've been helped by it. That makes the time and emotional investment so worth it! =)

As I think about the changes I want to make in my goals and plans for the future, I'd love to hear from you about how I can serve you better.

Would you do me a favor and take a few minutes to reply to the following questions? You can post your answers in the comments or email them to me. It'll help me know how to move forward more effectively.

Thanks so much!

1. What is the most helpful/enjoyable thing for you about this blog?

2. Are there certain topics you'd like me to write more about? Or less about?

3. How often would you like to receive new posts...
 every other week, once a week, more than once a week...?

4. Is the blog mobile-friendly? Do you like the appearance/format of it?

5. How often do you recommend this blog to others or share specific blog posts? What prompts you to share or not share?

6. What suggestions do you have for me to improve the blog to meet your current needs?

7. What are you thankful for today?
(Ok, this one's just for fun.) =)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Great Coffee Debate

For years people have debated whether coffee is bad for your health or good for your health. Personally I'm not a coffee drinker, don't even like the smell of it. But I know that many people view coffee as necessary to life. =)

So I did some research for you. I found this article from 2010 which lists 8 reasons not to drink coffee, and I think they are valid reasons.

Then I found this article from 2015 that says coffee can be good for your heart, brain, etc.

Both articles cite studies to back up their claims. Clearly there's conflicting "data" on this topic. I'm sure it's hard to get accurate studies only about coffee when people's lifestyles are so varied and results of drinking coffee can be different from person to person.

However, there are some important, agreed-upon, facts about coffee that can guide your decision:

1) Coffee is a heavily sprayed crop (97% of it according to Dr. Mercola).
Unless you buy certified organic coffee from a trusted source, you need to know that what you're drinking contains several dangerous toxins - including pesticides, herbicides, toxic fertilizers, and sometimes mycotoxins (toxins from mold, which are even more poisonous than many heavy metals).

These poisonous chemicals are linked to all kinds of health problems including various cancers, Parkinson's, miscarriages, endocrine problems, etc. So saying coffee is good for your heart or brain is not true of non-organic coffee because of the toxins it contains, which are actually quite damaging to the heart, brain and the rest of the body.

2) Adding sugar, dairy and/or non-dairy creamers to your coffee is definitely unhealthy.
Sugar, especially first thing in the morning, spikes insulin levels and over time contributes to insulin resistance - a major indicator of disease and health decline. (For more info on that, here's a great article.)

While I think organic, raw dairy products can be healthy for many people, conventional dairy has many problems. And research indicates that putting dairy in your coffee interferes with the body's absorption of the healthy antioxidants in the coffee. So any benefit is basically cancelled.

Finally, non-dairy creamers are highly unhealthy. Just read the list of ingredients: partially hydrogenated soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors (which can include things like MSG - which is very toxic), etc. For more details on the dangers of non-dairy creamers, check out this article.

3) Caffeine is bad for pregnant women.
Some doctors say it's ok to drink coffee in moderation while pregnant. However, Dr. Mercola advises never to drink coffee while pregnant, because caffeine easily passes through the placenta to the baby, who does not have the ability to detox it. I would think that erring on the side of caution is always best in this situation.

4) If you do drink coffee, be sure to use non-bleached filters. 
The bright white filters are bleached with chlorine and contain dangerous disinfection byproducts such as dioxin. These toxins then leach into the coffee during brewing.

I realize it's sad that in today's world you can't just drink a cup of coffee that's free of toxins. But I hope this information is helpful for you in finding a healthy form of coffee, or in encouraging you to wean yourself off of it and find better, healthier sources of energy and antioxidants. Because if you can't function in the morning without a cup of coffee, then your body is trying to tell you something.