Friday, November 18, 2011

Drinking Coffee in North Creek, Decreasing the Risk of Prostate Cancer, Enjoying a Warm Brew in the Fall--and Guess Who Got Married?

North Creek, New York is a small town nestled in the Adirondacks. We recently visited North Creek for a friend's wedding. A few of us went out and spent an afternoon exploring the town, hiking on the creek-side trails and going to the community art center. Along the way, we ended up at Sarah's Cafe and Bakery, which offers not only coffee and espresso drinks, but also handmade pastries, hearty oatmeal scones, savory soups, and specialty cakes, the coffee was smooth, well brewed, and not too hot or too cold, and it was served with a smile. Not only did it energize me for the hike, but I ended up going back the next day. I felt healthy and happy---not only for myself, but for my friends, Maddi and Reubena, who got married!

Speaking of health….according to research from the Harvard School of Public Health,published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, drinking coffee decreases the risk of dying from prostate cancer. In a study of 47,911 men who drank both regular and decaffeinated coffee, drinking at least 6 cups of coffee a day lowers the risk of developing prostate cancer by 20%. Even more important, this level of coffee consumption reduces the rate of lethal prostate cancer by 60%.

We all want the same things…to be happy and healthy and engaged meaningfully in life. Many of us want really good coffee—and some of us want it all the time.

Happy Thanksgiving and wishes for good health to all!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Coffee plus Jobs is a Good Thing, As is Good Health

I've seen my 3rd grader wearing lots of rubber and elastic bracelets on her wrists. Some say things like "Life!" or "boogie bash 2011"while others are associated with her various affiliations, like School of Rock. Some are hair bands to tie back her hair on the days she does gymnastics. Others are simply for decoration---a bit of glitter here, neon glow for that special nighttime effect. Well now, I have my own bracelet. It says "Indivisible." I got it at Starbucks for $5.00. Starbucks has teamed up with the Opportunity Finance Network to provide financing for community businesses. The goal is simple and straightforward: to create and sustain jobs.

The impulse to do good is a strong one. Sometimes the time and effort seems daunting, but there are avenues to do good and to effect change. Starbucks, which contributed $5 million to jumpstart this project, is at the epicenter of many creative activities and social interactions that lead to solid output and sustained friendships. Why not launch a "grass roots" jobs program harnessing the collective power of the millions and millions of people who go to Starbucks every week, or in some cases every day, or in certain cases, several times a day.

One thing I am learning is that life is fickle. I choose to move through my days being active and alert and alive, but as humans we all contend with the threat of poor health and the randomness of the world around us. Coffee, in my opinion, helps buffer against the stress of that reality. It makes us happier---and healthier.