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By: Rhea Cortado

A few months ago, I quit coffee.

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I love the scent of coffee and the community of coffee shop lingering with a friend. I love the focused tunnel vision and mental efficiency it gave me. It jolted me awake to focus on the day’s tasks and while on deadline, I re-upped after lunch to stay in the air.

One day when I didn’t feel like refilling, I became useless the rest of the afternoon. My mind wandered down internet rabbit holes, nothing was crossed off my To-Do list and it ended in me taking a nap. At 3pm. Even with the most delicious cake, inevitable sugar coma forces you put the fork down. It was time to detox from my dependency on the liquid motivation.

I started on a weekend. You need a couple of days off to sweat it out. It feels like being hungover without the fun of the night before. You’re going to get headaches. Drink a lot of water.

Substituting tea helps taper down through the transition. One cup of black tea or Yerba Mate tea is something like ¼ cup of coffee. For all you coffee drinkers, that’s like eating a bite of Hershey Kiss. Not even close to satisfying.

But after a few weeks, my body adjusted. I embraced the variety of tea flavors: spiced decaf chai with extra cinnamon and almond milk and floral green teas. My energy was more even throughout the whole day instead of big high and low swings. If I hit a creative block and need an extra energy jolt, I take my dog out for a quick walk to clear the mind.

It’s not that coffee is totally bad for you (unless you’re drinking calorie rich lattes with a lot of syrup). Similar to juice cleansing, it’s refreshing to reset and recalibrate the body from caffeine excess once in a while. Plus, my worst coffee benders were intensifying high-strung deadline stress, and that’s a no-no for keeping skin clear of breakouts.

I started up drinking coffee again slowly, with strictly half a cup a day. It’s not only much more potently effective, it becomes a special treat to really savor a quality roast.

Who doesn’t like a glass or two of wine? Over 330 million cases of wine is purchased yearly in America and the average person consumes 267oz yearly. White wine, specifically Chardonnay, is the favorite just beating out Cabernet by a slim margin. But how healthy is wine for your diet, skin, allergies and overall health?

aaIf you’re watching your diet, wine is high in calories and you need to consider that before guzzling away. The average glass of wine has around 125 calories, 3.5 grams of sugar and 5 grams of carbs. So, one or two glasses are fine but more than that and you are blowing your calorie intake for the day.

Wine can both aid and age your skin depending on the amount consumed.  Red wine contains Flavonoids, antioxidants and Resveratrol. Resveratrol comes from grapes and works it’s magic by not allowing the telomere (ends of DNA strand) to shorten, thus causing the aging process. However, consuming too much wine/alcohol can have the reverse affect. For example it you look at a heavy drinker’s skin they tend to be blotchy, red and dehydrated. Unfortunately for me and many people, wine can cause allergies. Many people are allergic or become allergic to tannins, sulfites and histamines. All of these can cause hives, redness, itching or congestion. Personally red wine is worse that white for me, but neither make me feel great, so I am trying to stay away, it’s so hard!

Red wine tends to be a tiny bit healthier than white wine. Remember anything in nature that is dark in the colors blue, red and green is beneficial for our health. Think blueberries, spinach and red wine. Red wine is also particularly good for the ‘good cholesterol‘. Red wine is considered heart healthy! So the moral of the story is, if you don’t have allergies to wine-drink up, in moderation of course…….just look at the Italians!

 

We know vitamins are crucial to good health but there are quite a few that are extremely beneficial for your heart! You may be surprised-we were!

If you want to ensure your ticker stays healthy and your cholesterol stays low, you have to exercise, know your numbers and watch your diet. However, add these non-traditional supplements into your daily regimen for extra heart health. The Omega’s are the most popular of the heart healthy vitamins. Try and look for fish oils that contain Omega 3-6-and 9! Niacin or B-3 and Green Tea Extract have been shown to treat high cholesterol. Another interesting and relatively unknown supplement for a healthy heart is Red Yeast Rice, which lowers LDL and triglycerides. Add in some Coenzyme Q10 to reduce chest pain, so exercise is easier, and you have a pretty strong heart cocktail. Ginger and Turmeric are well known when treating the heart and the body in general, not to mention they’re yummy in edible form. Last but not least is a plant, Policosanol, which is extracts of plant wax and very beneficial in lowering cholesterol.

If you are concerned about your heart health, get your numbers checked. Try some exercise, cut out the smoking and add some exercise into your daily routine.  A healthy heart is a happy heart!