Showing posts from December, 2008

The World is Our Village---Coffee is the Elixir of Joy and Prosperity---Happy New Year

Where would we be without coffee? There’s a reason that it’s a cultural icon. During the winter months, coffee takes on an even more vital role. It energizes us, warms us, and can even decrease inflammation in the body---that’s because of its ability to decrease insulin and uric acid levels in the body over the short-term, according to an article published in Arthritis and Rheumatism . That’s why we all take it so seriously. Turns out that folks at Villa Vosilla in the Catskill Mountains are very serous about coffee consumption, as is Maggie, owner of the Krooked Café in Tannersville. While hanging out at Villa Vosilla, I experienced coffee-related kindness around the clock. In the morning, we were offered a carafe full of coffee to take back to our rooms while we dressed for a day on the slopes. Later, during the après-ski, pre-dinner, post-appetizer phase of the day, I requested darker coffee than I originally got—and to my utter delight Bart the waiter showed up with dark, ste

Blogging Against Hunger

I would like to use this post today not to talk about coffee, but to talk about hunger---or rather to use this as yet another forum to participate in a blogging against hunger campaign. Everyone deserves a good, nutritious meal. Please see below: Hillside, N.J., Nov. 11, 2008 – Legendary music icon Bruce Springsteen will be lending his voice to the fight against hunger in New Jersey by appearing in a major advertising campaign for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey – the largest food bank in the state. With bare shelves and demand for food among state residents far outpacing supply, the FoodBank is in danger of being unable to meet the needs of New Jersey’s hungry. Consumers are encouraged to visit or call 908-355-FOOD (3663) to learn how they can help Also, here is a really cool fact sheet giving us every bit of info we need to know about what is going on with the foodbanks in NJ. Please check it out and help if you can. Community FoodBank of New Jersey Fact Shee

Highbrow, Lowbrow and Points In Between: Coffee Connects Us All

Comfort, reassurance, respite…all of those lovely words represent the very best things. These much sought-after states assume that many, many things are ok. But does that assumption hold? How about the dynamic minute-to-minute quality that life can have? Life can be simultaneously dynamic and restful. Things can be ok, even when they are not. No where is that tension as evident as when people are sitting down together over a cup of coffee. Coffee is the common creature comfort that unites everyone across all divides. Two examples: a scene from the New Yorker and a small snippet of dialogue from an episode of E.R., a long-windy program that is finally wrapping up after 10 years (or is it 11) of relentless, hospital-based drama on NBC. Writing in the 12/08/08 issue of the New Yorker, Jenny Allen fixates on coffee during her trip to someone's country house as a guest. Her Shouts & Murmurs piece entitled "I Have to Go Now" captures the panic of being in someone's hom

Wake Me Up! Caffeine, Creativity, and Chocolate...

Part of the romance of winter is seeking respite in warm places with warm drinks. It's the cold/warm contrast that makes it so exciting. Think apres-ski mocha latte. Think late-night decaf cappuccino with a hint of cocoa on the low-fat whip-cream topping. Think coffee in the winter, sitting by the fireplace and watching frost gather on the panes, while traffic lights beckon, sirens wail, and passersby chat just on the other side of your window. It's very energizing. One reason we crave coffee during the winter is that the caffeine helps us stay motivated, even as the sun sets early. Caffeine has gotten a bad rap. But a comprehensive review of clinical data shows that healthy adults can consume 400 mg of caffeine per day without negative side effects---including no general toxicity, no cardiovascular effects, and no bone problems. Caffeine is also not associated with an increased risk of cancer. Caffeine works: It is a powerful antidote to morning fogginess. One sip of caffeinat

Calling All Coffee Superheroes

I am a coffee superhero. Mornings find me bleary-eyed, with a slumping spirit. But the first sip of coffee is transformative. Brightened eyes, tightened muscles, and a new-found vigor: that is the daily promise of coffee. November 2008 Consumer Health Reports have weighed in on coffee’s health benefits. Decreased risk of type 2 diabetes Better gallbladder function---decreased risk of developing gallstones Prevention of Parkinson’s disease due to increased dopamine supply in the brain And, we already know that coffee improves mood and enhances concentration and function. Got a test? Drink coffee. Feeling down? Drink coffee. Need a boost before kick-boxing? Drink coffee. The standard researcher response to the question “Why does coffee prevent so many diseases and how does it improve health?” is “We’re not exactly sure, but we have some ideas.” Some of the elements in coffee that improve health: Cholorogenic acids—an antioxidant that is foun