Blueberry power to attain my goals

This is a healthy snacking secret. When I want something delicious, filling and refreshing for my 3:00 p.m. snack, I reach for Blueberry Attain with revolutionary, natural CraveBlocker®. This simple shake helps stop cravings at both critical sources, putting me back in control. I have been able to manage and lose weight without feeling irritable or hungry all the time—and I don’t deprive myself of the nutrition I need. Controlling my cravings is an essential part of losingand keeping  weight off for good. Since it is blueberry month, I blended in a few fresh blueberrys for an added jolt of antioxidants.

Beyond Empty Calories: Curbing sugar intake

When it comes to weight management, refined sugar in all its forms — high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, rice syrup, sucrose and many others — is certainly one of the top items to get knocked off an eating list.

Harvard University’s School of Public Health suggests that to achieve a healthy weight, you should limit “lower-quality foods” including sugar-sweetened beverages, refined sugar and highly processed snacks. But your waistline isn’t the only thing affected by excess sugar consumption. Overindulgence on the sweet stuff can affect you in some other surprising ways:

1. Sleep Interuption. According to the National Sleep Foundation, an after-dinner dessert is a great way to get a terrible night of sleep. In fact, the organization notes, the more sugar you eat during the day, the more likely it is you’ll wake up during the night. That’s because sugar lowers the activity of orexin cells, a neuropeptide that regulates how wakeful you are. More bad news: These cells also help control appetite, so if they’re feeling off-kilter, you’re more likely to eat more.

2. Increased Colds and Flu. When it comes to an effective immune response — your system needs to be on high alert during cold and flu season — sugar could be defeating your white-blood-cell army. When you eat a big dose of sugar, like a soda or a candy bar, you temporarily suppress your immune system’s ability to respond to invaders. If that happens occasionally, it may be no big deal, but since the effect lasts for a few hours, you could be consistently sabotaging your immune syste if you eat sugary food regularly.

3. Increased Risk of Heart Disease. Sugar can affect your weight goals, but it affects your heart even more. A major study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggested a sugar-packed diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease, even if you aren’t overweight. In the 15 year-long study, participants who ingested 25% or more of their daily calories from added sugar were more than twice as likely to die of heart disease than those who consumed less than 10% of added sugar.

4. Potential Depression. Although much is made of the mind-body connection when it comes to health and wellness, less attention has been put on the mood-food link. But sugar can be notorious for causing emotional fluctuations, including anxiety, frustration and even depression, according to Dr. Elson Haas, author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition. He notes that refined sugar has been shown to deplete important nutrients, such as protein, vitamin B, zinc, chromium and manganese—deficiencies can lead to lower levels of emotional and mental functioning. When these nutrients remain in the immune system, individuals notice a marked difference in their moods and emotional states.

5. Skin Problems. Refined sugar and many other high-glycemic foods raise insulin levels in the body and that increases inflammation. When that happens, the inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, the structural building blocks of skin. The digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation, which results in sagging skin and wrinkles. Glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Plus, the more sugar you eat, the more likely it is you’ll develop insulin resistance, possibly leading to excess hair growth on the skin, as well as dark patches on the neck and other areas.

With side-effects like these, you might be tempted to swear off sweets forever. You really don’t need to cut out refined sugar products completely to see benefits and lower your health risks, instead, focus on mindful eating and awareness — in other words, make a sugary treat into exactly that, so it’s a sometime occasion and not a regular habit. Start by eating your next sugary snack very slowly, and notice how it smells as well as tastes. You don’t need to become a mealtime snail, but doing this a few times can help you “reset” when it comes to sugar—and helps to reduce sugar cravings. Being more mindful when you eat, especially when it comes to sugar, can keep you off autopilot and change your eating habits.

April 4 is Vitamin C Day

So why do we “celebrate” Vitamin C day on April 4th? Well, according to the American Institute of Nutrition, it goes all the way back to 1932, when Vitamin C was isolated and identified.

The all-important vitamin helps heal wounds, acts as an antioxidant, can help delay or prevent developing  diseases like cancer or cardiovascular disease, and is good for your immune system (to name a few perks).  Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and potatoes are a high source of Vitamin C, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Click here to see other Vitamin C-rich foods.

The NIH suggests that people at different ages or phases of life need different amounts of Vitamin C.  Click here to see the full chart

The art of coffee perfection

Mountain House Premium Coffee

Mountain Cabin Coffee has a unique coffee-crafting process is a careful combination of age-old artistry and state-of-the-art quality control. Their unique coffee-crafting process is a careful combination of age-old artistry and state-of-the-art quality control.
Here are six reasons why this coffee is so darn good!

  1. SOURCING: The exact location of the small, specialty farms that grow this coffee is a treasured secret, guarded so you can experience the most prized characteristics of each premium bean.
  2. SELECTION: To ensure the flavor and integrity of every bean, quality is monitored every step of the way from farm to roastery. Master cuppers continuously test the coffee for superior flavor, body, and aroma.
  3. ROASTING: Under the careful guidance of master roasters, this small-batch roasting process provides consistent, rich flavor and robust aroma in every roast, no matter the season.
  4. GRINDING: Mouontain Cabin uses water-cooled roller mill grinders to achieve the perfect grind without heating or re-roasting the beans.
  5. FLAVORING: The proprietary ribbon blending system ensures consistent flavor in each successive batch.
  6. PACKAGING: Special bagging technique preserves freshness and flavor by keeping oxygen levels at a minimum.

Here’s a list of some of the coffee styles that you can get with Mountain Cabin:

100% Hand Selected Arabica Beans
  • HAZELNUT | Roast:LIGHT
    A mild-bodied, mellow blend with a brilliantly rich hazelnut aroma and nutty flavor.—Mild body, mellow, hints of hazelnut Also comes in Decaf
  • VANILLA | Roast:LIGHT
    A mild-bodied, mellow, and smooth-flavored blend with a creamy, buttery vanilla flavor.—Mild body, mellow, sweet vanilla
  • COLOMBIAN DECAF | Roast: LIGHT MEDIUM
    A creamy-bodied, smooth, complex coffee with gentle acidity, made with 100% Colombian coffee naturally decaffeinated to retain its full flavor.—Creamy body, smooth, complex
  • KONA BLEND | Roast: MEDIUM
    A medium-bodied, balanced, and mellow blend of the finest Kona beans and other premium Arabica beans.—Medium body, balanced, mellow, complex
  • COLOMBIAN | Roast: MEDIUM
    100% supremo Arabica beans grown in the fertile Columbian highlands.—Medium body, complex, thin finish
  • ORGANIC SIGNATURE BLEND | Roast: MEDIUM DARK
    A full-bodied, balanced, complex coffee with gentle acidity, made with 100% organic beans from specialty selected growing regions.—Full body, balanced, complex
  • ORGANIC RAINFOREST BLEND | Roast: MEDIUM DARK
    A medium-bodied, smooth, complex coffee with lively acidic notes, made with 100% organic Arabica beans grown under a lush rain forest canopy.—Medium body, smooth, complex
  • ORGANICBREAKFAST BLEND | Roast: DARK
    A wakeful, inspiring blend of the finest Central and South American beans.—Balanced body, complex, smooth
  • ORGANIC SUMATRA | Roast: DARK
    Shade-grown, triple-picked beans from Sumatra’s Gayo Mountain region.—Full body, complex, smoky, dark

One taste of this and it is so easy to see why I love this brand!

Great news for coffee fans!

You can now justify every cup of coffee you drink because of its official health benefits. On average, coffee drinkers live longer than those who don’t.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “how?” Well, new data has the answer for us! Coffee has several effects which directly improve our chances of living longer, including reducing the risk of certain dangerous conditions. Find out what coffee can do for you—and how much of it you should be drinking—so you can be a healthy, long-lived coffee drinker!

The National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University teamed up to analyze data on coffee-drinkers as well as the long-term study of half a million people in the United Kingdom, ranging in age from 38 to 74 by UK Biobank tp determine health benefits.

Keep in mind that the research shows a noted correlation, rather than a direct causal connection. But due to the broad spectrum of people and other evidence provided by the study, we can still say that coffee is a good thing for the following reasons.

  • Cut the Pain: Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%. From the Journal of Pain, March 2007 (link)
  • Increase your fiber intake: A cup of brewed coffee represents a contribution of up to 1.8 grams of fiber of the recommended intake of 20-38 grams. From the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (link).
  • Protection against cirrhosis of the liver: This is a good on, of course, you could just cut down on the alcohol intake. From the Archives of Internal Medicine (link). Another more recent study also showed coffee’s liver protecting benefits. link. Yet another study showed that both coffee and decaffeinated coffee lowered the liver enzyme levels of coffee drinkers. This study was published in the Hepatology Journal.
  • Lowers risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Those who consumed six or more cups per day had a 22% lower risk of diabetes. From the Archives of Internal Medicine (link). A recent review of research conducted by Harvard’s Dr. Frank Hu showed that the risk of type II diabetes decreases by 9% for each daily cup of coffee consumed. Decaf coffee decreased risk by 6% per cup.
    Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease: There is considerable evidence that caffeine may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. From the European Journal of Neurology (link). A recent study also isolated the compounds in roasted coffee that may be responsible for preventing the build-up of the brain plaque believed to cause the disease. 
  • Reduces suicide risk and Depression: A 10-year study of 86,000 female nurses shows a reduced risk of suicide in the coffee drinkers. From the Archives of Internal Medicine (link). Another study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drink four or more cups of coffee were 20% less likely to suffer from depression. Study link.
  • Protection against Parkinson’s: People with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to be smokers and coffee drinkers than their healthy siblings. From the Archives of Neurology (link). Research out of Sweden revealed that drinking coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s even when genetic factors come into play. link. Yet another study (published here) found that caffeine combined with EHT (a compound found in coffee beans) provided protective benefits to rats that were genetically predisposed to developing Parkinson’s.
  • Coffee drinkers have lowered risk of heart disease: Korean researchers found that study participants who consumed three to five cups of coffee a day were less likely to show the beginning signs of heart disease. The studyOther dietary factors should also be noted as Koreans typically have a different diet than do Westerners. A more recent study conducted in Brazil found that those that consume at least three cups of coffee a day tend to develop less calcification in their coronary arteries.
  • Coffee drinkers have stronger DNA: A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that coffee drinkers have DNA with stronger integrity since the white blood cells of coffee drinkers had far fewer instances of spontaneous DNA strand breakage. Study abstract.
  • Lower Risk of Multiple Sclerosis: Recent research showed that at least four cups of coffee a day may help protect against the development and reoccurrence of MS. It is believed that the coffee prevents the neural inflammation that possibly leads to the disease developing. The study was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
  • Coffee reduces colorectal cancer risk: Even moderate consumption of coffee can reduce the odds of developing colorectal cancer by 26%. This protective benefit increases with more consumption. The study is described in detail here.

So it’s a safe bet to stick with coffee.

Welcome to my happy place

If you know me you know I love coffee and will normally drink it black, why would I want to hide that rich aroma and coffee flavor? Lately, there have been lots of studies touting the health benefits of coffee and how it is almost a cuure-all for all that ails you.

Personally, I drink an organic brand of coffee, Mountain Cabin Premium Coffee, it’s made from100% Arabica beans which I’m told are hand-selected and small-batch roasted with masterful precision to maximize the flavor, body, and aroma of every bean. All I know is that I love the rich flavor.

Mountain Cabin coffee makers only buy their beans from farmers that meet their strict requirements for quality and fairness. Farm workers must be fairly compensated for their labor and expertise. Farm practices must be environmentally sustainable. They believe that their relationship with the coffee growers is one of the most valuable investments a manufacturer can make. Each coffee batch is packaged within minutes of roasting to maintain freshness and it shows.

BENEFITS OF COFFEE

Mountain House Premium Coffee
  • Naturally occurring antioxidants 
  • Makes you more alert and attentive 
  • May improve energy levels 
  • Can help boost your body’s metabolic rate 
  • Boost physical performance 
  • Awakens your senses & lifts your spirits 
  • Contains essential micronutrients 

My current go-to morning brew is the Kona blend and it is available in single-serve Keurig® 2.0 pods that make it so much easier when you’re in a rush in the morning!

What is your favorite brand?.

Living longer with coffee?

Feel free to pour yourself a cup of coffee before reading this — even if you’ve already had some today.

A study of half a million people found more evidence that drinking coffee is associated with a longer life


Yet another study has found that drinking coffee is associated with a longer life and lower risk of an early death. This adds to a significant body of research indicating that coffee has positive effects on the heart, liver, brain, and more.

The latest study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, reveals that people who drink more coffee have a lower risk of death even if they drink eight or more cups per day. The study, also found that even people who metabolize caffeine slowly are less likely to die early if they drink more coffee.

The study looked at 500,000 people in the UK for three decades., of whom 387,494 were coffee drinkers. The group studied was 54% female and had an average age of 57. Ten years after the start of the study, 14,225 people had died. The results suggested that people who drank two to five cups of coffee in a day were about 12% less likely to die than non-coffee-drinkers over the 10-year time period in the study. People who drank six to seven cups were 16% less likely to die, and people who drank eight or more cups were about 14% less likely to die.

In this study, coffee drinkers seem to gain health benefits from the habit. The study results showed coffee drinkers had a lower risk of death overall, just as many other studies have found.

It didn’t matter whether the coffee was decaf or regular, ground or instant — all were beneficial (though the connection to lower risk of death was weaker for instant coffee).

As with all studies like this in which researchers observe a group of people over time, this study can’t prove that coffee is the cause of the reduced risk of death. It can just say that people who drink coffee are less likely to die early.

Another large study of 500,000 people in Europe showed similar results to the recent UK research: men who drank three cups of coffee per day were 12% less likely to die over a 16-year period than coffee abstainers, and women who drank that much coffee were 7% less likely to die.

Another study of 185,855 multi-ethnic Americans confirmed that result, too. People who drank one cup per day were 12% less likely to die. Consuming two to three daily cups was associated with an 18% decrease in risk for early death. That study is particularly important, as it shows these benefits apply to African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and white people. (People of color are not always as well represented in these types of studies.)

Other research has indicated that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop various forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia, liver cirrhosis, and heart disease.

In many studies, it hasn’t mattered whether coffee was caffeinated or not, which indicates that many benefits may not be connected to caffeine — there are all kinds of other antioxidant-rich compounds in coffee that could have an effect. Still, at least one recent study attributed the lower risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke to caffeine, though those researchers still cautioned that overdoing it with caffeine was possible.

As all this data shows, coffee is likely beneficial for most of us, and at the very least not harmful. So the next time someone says they’re trying to limit their coffee consumption, you can tell them not to worry about it.

My favorite brand of coffee is Mountain Cabin what’s yours?