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Self-Care Interview Series: Ally Walsh

October 29 2017 Golubka Kitchen 

Self-Care Interview Series: Ally Walsh Ally Walsh is a model and co-founder of Los Angeles-based organic coffee company, Canyon Coffee. Though we’ve never met, we love Ally’s easy-going approach to wellness, her beautiful instagram, and what her and her partner are doing over at Canyon. It’s an all-around girl crush :) In this interview, Ally tells us about her transition from a vegetarian diet to a feel-good, intuitive diet, the tonic she always takes before bed, the books she’s found to be instrumental to her well-being, exercise, beauty, and much more. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? I love routine, but that probably has a lot do to with the fact that my schedule is constantly changing! I really enjoy my morning routine, waking up early and making coffee at home. But its always nice to switch things up and come back to that. -- What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning.  I definitely try to ease into my morning. I used to grab my phone first thing when I woke up--now I keep it out of the bedroom. Instead, the first thing I do when I wake up (on a good day!) is sit upright and do a 20 minute meditation. To me, theres no better way to start off the day. Meditation is always followed by some Canyon Coffee. At home, I typically make a pour-over, which is another little opportunity to be mindful as I start my day. On a day off its so nice to sit outside on the porch with some friends and read and have coffee together. We get the New York Times delivered to our house on Sunday mornings and I could spend the whole day reading and relaxing outside in the sun. Its honestly one of my favorites things to do. If I’m shooting though, or out of town for a job, most days start early and end late. The schedule for modeling is often last minute--I sometimes dont know my schedule until the day or night before. In contrast, its nice to have Canyon, where I make my own schedule. -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? I make a glass of calm/­­magnesium before bed every night! I take that with me wherever I go--security always pull me aside at the airport to ask about what this white powder is ha :) Aside from magnesium, Ill sometimes make a warm tonic with some ashwaganda. And reading always helps me to fall asleep. I guess I wouldn’t call it a ritual, but I do love watching a show or movie before sleep, too. Sustenance -- Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these: Breakfast: I have a cup of black coffee and almond butter or avocado toast with gluten-free bread every morning. Im a creature of habit... I have my favorite go-tos, and Im happy eating them every day. If I have to work super early sometimes i like to make overnight chia seed oatmeal. Ill mix in some oats, chia seeds, almond milk, maca and flax seeds, and then in the morning top it off with some fruit and almond butter. Lunch:  Usually a salad with quinoa, avocado, kimchi, roasted seasonal vegetables, seeds, lemon and different oils like grapeseed, olive, and white wine vinegar. I would also be very happy with just roasted kabocha squash and pesto :) Snack: Cashews, pumpkin seeds, Dates and almond butter, green juice, avocado toast, and currently addicted to Honey Mamas Chocolate! -- Do you partake in caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? Well, it kind of comes with starting a coffee company ;) Some people are surprised to learn, though, that I only drink one cup of black coffee in the morning! Thats pretty much it. I cant do too much caffeine. Only on rare occasions, like when Im on vacation, will I have an afternoon espresso or cortado. I was in Copenhagen and Stockholm recently, and fell in love with oatmilk cortados! Definitely pushed my caffeine limit there! -- Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, how do you keep it in check? I honestly don’t! I love raw chocolate, but Im really sensitive to sugar! So Im kind of weird in that I really dont love sweets. -- Are there any particular supplements, herbs, or tinctures/­­tonics that you take regularly and find to be helpful with your energy level and general wellness? In addition to magnesium at night (for sleep), Ill take ashwaganda at any time of the day for my adrenals, and probiotics daily. I feel such a difference when I take b12, too. Exercise -- Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly?  Yes. Yoga has been such an important practice to me, for years. I usually go to a class a couple times a week. I intersperse that with hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and walks on the beach. -- Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset in order to keep up with it? I actually look forward to exercise. I dont really partake in any forms of exercise that arent enjoyable. For example, Ive never really gotten into spinning or boot camp-style workouts. I love getting out in nature for hikes, and I find an hour-and-a-half in the yoga studio to be very meditative. After a long work day, I really look forward to being able to do something nice for my body. Beauty -- What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both? I really think the most beautiful people are those that feel confident in their skin and are who they want to be--not what society expects them to be. Someone thats naturally comfortable in any setting. As a model, so much emphasis is put on the external, and thats important for a photograph or video. But in person, beauty really does come from within. -- What is your skincare approach – face and body? I think the most important thing for healthy skin is to eat and drink clean. Especially drinking lots of water. As for products, I use the most natural that I can find. I love Earth tu Face, True Botanicals, Osea and Linne! I use oils for moisturizing and just use water to wash my face in the morning. I love using Bodha and CAP Beauty rose water spray, too. Ill try to do a face mask once a week from Wildcare while taking a bath! Its very relaxing :) -- Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/­­hair/­­general glow? Water! I also think getting a good night of sleep is just as important! -- Do you have any beauty tips/­­tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Family heirlooms are very much welcome. Stay hydrated. My mom is 59 & has the most beautiful skin – not one wrinklel! And she swears by drinking lots of water! Stress, etc. -- Do you practice any consistent routines in order to avoid stress? Im trying to get better at this, but acupuncture has been a life saver! Its a place to relax and reset. I see Maria at Elysia Life Care and she is life-changing! I think getting into a regular routine of acupuncture and meditation can help so much with stress. After having a consistent routine with both, you start to notice things that used to stress you or make you upset no longer have the same power or effect on you. You can laugh it off, or just observe it and not be affected by it. -- If stress cannot be avoided, what are your ways of dealing with it? Going on a walk always helps. -- What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? Lycopene vitamin C packets, lots of ginger and tea tree oil (usually just put it in my water!) -- Do you strive to maintain a healthy work/­­life balance or do those things overlap for you? What is your approach? This has been a learning process for me, how to balance everything. Modeling, Canyon Coffee, relationship with my partner, my friends, and time for myself. Especially with starting a company with your partner, that start-up grind can be all-consuming because theres always more work you can do! So weve had to learn how to turn off- and make sure to make time for a date night! Motivation -- Describe the actions you take or mindset you try to tap into in order to stay on track with your self-care practice and being nice to yourself? My goal is to maintain a state of love (as opposed to state of stress, or lack, or anger, etc.). I was lucky to learn from a qi gong master named George Falcon for a couple years before he passed, and I feel like his teachings provided me with tools to help stay in this mindset throughout the stressors and obstacles of daily life. One of the big ones is to take responsibility for our actions and state of being. Its easy for us to blame, to say he, she, or it made me feel this way. But really its our decision. Of course, we sometimes fall out of that consciousness of love. When Im not feeling well, my first step is to take a break. To meditate, listen to a recorded guided meditation of George, go on a walk or a hike. -- What do you consider to be the single most important change youve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness? Ive made different changes throughout my life that have been substantial in terms of my wellness. I stopped eating meat when I was 19, then introduced fish (mainly salmon!) back in years later. Acupuncture has perhaps been the most substantial in helping me maintain balance and wellness. All of these changes or decisions are really informed by just listening to my body. You can get caught up in the mindset and identity of, say, Im vegan. But its important to check in with yourself and ask, Am I feeling good? Is this helping live a balanced and vibrant life? If not, then its important to make a change! -- A book/­­movie/­­class that influenced your view of self-nourishment or self-care. So many books! If I had to pick two, Id say Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Anatomy really opened me to the power of our bodies to heal and self-nourishment. It helped me connect my mental and spiritual state to my health and well-being. Its a book you can go back to, re-read and continue to learn from over time. Big Magic was instrumental in motivating me to start Canyon Coffee. It made me feel like I had more to give, creatively, and pushed me to start something with a greater purpose. It brought clarity to the creative process for me, breaking it down in a way that makes it approachable and applicable to my own life. Its one of those books that really inspires you to follow your dreams, and what could be more important for self-nourishment? Knowlegde -- You run Canyon Coffee together with your boyfriend, Casey. What was your path to starting your own coffee company? Personally, I was feeling uninspired. I felt like I wasnt making the most of my creativity and talents. Ive always been grateful for my modeling career, but I had also always wanted to start something of my own, and I was feeling that itch. Casey and I had both fallen in love with coffee over the years... through making it at home together and visiting coffee shops in our travels and around LA. Casey actually started working in the coffee industry, and we became friends with a roaster, James. Eventually, our passion for it grew to the point that we had the thought: why not start our own company? It really was a natural culmination. The moment we decided we wanted to do it, we just never looked back. -- What is your process when choosing beans for Canyon Coffee? Are there certain growing practices, flavor profiles, or geographical locations that are important to you? The universal practice of tasting different beans is called cupping. It involves preparing small roasted samples of different beans exactly the same way and trying them at the same time. For Canyon, our parameters narrow down our options. We usually decide on a country first, and then see what organic, seasonal beans grown at high altitudes are available through the network of importers near us in California. Then we order samples, cup, and choose the bean that smells and tastes best to us. High altitude is important because the elevation makes the coffee plant grow slower and put more energy into producing cherries. The slow growth results in cherries (and coffee beans) that are much more flavorful and vibrant. To start Canyon, we focused on Latin American coffees and wanted to find amazing-tasting beans in the chocolatey /­­ caramel flavor profile. We went with beans from Guatemala and Colombia first, because theyre known for these flavor profiles and they have great infrastructure for small coffee producers to process and export their beans. Fun and Inspiration -- What do you do to unwind or treat yourself? I love going to the movies :) And a nice dinner out before or after. -- A book/­­song/­­movie/­­piece of art to feed the soul: Book – Anatomy of the Spirit .. anything from Krishnamurti & Ram Dass Song/­­Album – Paul Simon – Graceland, Feist – Let it Die, Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams Movie – Beginners Piece of Art – Robert Lango Men In the Cities, Alfred Stieglitz’ Portraits of Georgia OKeeffe -- What are your favorite places to eat in LA? Gjusta/­­ Gjelina, Honey Hi, Amara Kitchen, Pace, Botanica, Necco, Destroyer, Erewhon -- We are captivated by Joan Didion’s compact travel packing list. What are some essential objects that would be in yours? Im actually in the process of moving out of my house right now! Were taking advantage of the end of our lease to do some traveling and try out living in some new neighborhoods. As a result, Im having to put a lot of my stuff in storage. Its been really nice to get rid of a lot of things and simplify to the essentials. But as far as traveling goes, I always have with me.. – new book and magazines – headphones – Jesse Kamm pants – Nikes – journal – Bodha rose water spray – probiotics – magnesium and ashwaganda  – sparkling water – ursa major rings – eye mask – almond butter packets -- Is there anyone you would like to hear from next in this interview series? Emily LAmi of Bodha, and Lacy Phillips at Free & Native! Both these women are a constant inspiration! You might also like... Self-Care Interview Series: Amy Chaplin Self-Care Interview Series: Lauren Spencer King Self-Care Interview Series: Renee Byrd Self-Care Interview Series: Pauline Chardin .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Self-Care Interview Series: Ally Walsh appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

10 Top Health Benefits of Coffee

February 1 2017 VegKitchen 

10 Top Health Benefits of Coffee Coffee is actually very healthy. Its loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that can improve your health. Studies show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of several serious diseases.The post 10 Top Health Benefits of Coffee appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Lavender Ice Cream with Chocolate Tahini Bits -- Ice Cream Sunday

June 5 2016 Golubka Kitchen 

Lavender Ice Cream with Chocolate Tahini Bits -- Ice Cream Sunday This Sunday’s flavors are lavender, chocolate and tahini. I’ve talked about my love for lavender on this blog quite a lot, and it’s hard not to sound like a bit of a broken record, but this small flower really does hold a special place in my heart (I cannot wait to make this milkshake and tart sometime this summer). I’m sharing my go-to vegan lavender ice cream recipe with the addition of rich and decadent chocolate-tahini bits. It has a creamy, luxurious texture, which combines so well with the refreshing flavors of lavender and chewy, bittersweet pieces of chocolate. Read on for some weekend links + a few more snaps, and enjoy your Sunday. Rachel Roddy’s Instagram – author of the Five Quarters cookbook shares snaps from her very Italian kitchen. Love the ‘real’ photography style and all the beautiful produce/­­dishes (also, her recipes at The Guardian). Aquafaba – have you tried cooking with it yet? I haven’t, but gearing up to. Olafur Eliasson – loved this feature on him and cannot wait to check out his cookbook, Food is more important than art. You die from not having food. You die from not having art, too--just not as fast. Ingredients in an all natural banana do not sound as natural as one would think – a fun infographic, plus blueberry and coffee bean Claire Cottrell on Apiece Apart Woman – enjoyed this interview and photos (love her Instagram as well) I found this to the point Q&A about antibiotic resistance to be very clear and helpful Things the world’s most and least privileged people say – for some perspective Blog Love – turmeric honey almond butter, vegan onigiri, white chocolate mousse with strawberry compote Lavender Ice Cream with Chocolate Tahini Bits   Print Serves: 6-8 Ingredients for the chocolate tahini bits ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate ¼ cup tahini pinch of salt for the lavender ice cream 2 cans full fat Thai coconut milk ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers ¼ cup maple syrup ½ teaspoon xanthan gum or 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder handful blueberries - for color (optional) Instructions to make the chocolate tahini bits In a double boiler, combine chocolate, tahini and salt. Gently heat to melt and stir to achieve a smooth mixture. Prepare a parchment paper-covered tray or cutting board. Spread the chocolate over the parchment in a thin layer. Place in the freezer to harden until ready to use. to make the ice cream In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk and ¼ cup lavender. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool to a room temperature and strain. In a blender, combine the lavender milk with the remaining 1 teaspoon of lavender flowers, maple syrup xanthan/­­arrowroot, blueberries if using, and blend until smooth. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and let cool thoroughly, preferably overnight. Process in an ice cream maker for 20 minutes or according to the manufacturers instructions. When the ice cream is almost done, remove the hardened chocolate out of the freezer and chop. Add to ice cream machine with the motor still running. Spoon ice cream into a container. Serve immediately as soft serve or place the ice cream in the freezer for 4 hours/­­overnight to harden. Remove from freezer 5-10 minutes before serving to let soften. 3.5.3208 You might also like... Melon Basil Summer Rolls Raw Summer Fruit Samosas and a Guest Post for My Sweet Faery Kohlrabi Avocado Salad Raw Chocolate Layer Cakes with Black Cherry and Orange .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Lavender Ice Cream with Chocolate Tahini Bits -- Ice Cream Sunday appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

INTRODUCING: STOOKER ROASTING CO. + CHEMEX BREWING GUIDE | LIFE IS WAY TOO SHORT FOR BAD COFFEE.

January 30 2015 That's Food Darling 

INTRODUCING: STOOKER ROASTING CO. + CHEMEX BREWING GUIDE | LIFE IS WAY TOO SHORT FOR BAD COFFEE. LIFE IS WAY TOO SHORT FOR BAD COFFEE! Hey folks, today is all about good coffee. I'm such a coffee lover and always hunting for high quality, fresh coffee beans. This is where Stooker Roasting Co. comes in. Stooker is a specialty coffee roaster in Amsterdam. They hunt for the most tasteful beans from all over the world. Their goal is to roast delicious coffee while making sure that the entire supply chain from the grower to exporter are fairly and properly paid. Thumbs up! This is exactly why I wanna introduce them to you, folks. I am absolutely impressed by the packaging itself. Stooker coffee appeals to both design and coffee lovers like you and me. Freshly roasted beans lose their flavour over time. Therefor Stooker supplies us with the freshest beans possible. They manage this by roasting on demand. This time I have chosen #6 Costa Rica filter coffee and placed my order online at Hello Frankie Store. After that Stooker roasted the Costa Rica beans on the following Thursday. Hello Frankie Store send the beans before the weekend, so I could start my week with fresh Stooker coffee. The smell when I opened my package of freshly roasted coffee beans on Monday was awesome. Ground coffee or even stored roasted coffee beans cannot match up to freshly roasted beans. What kind of brewing method do you prefer? While doing my A-levels, I was used to brewing with the french press. When I was sharing a flat with other students, we're using a conventional filter machine. As I discovered an old Melitta filter on the flea market, I started grounding fresh coffee beans with a hand mill and brewing coffee with that cute little porcelain hand filter. Last Christmas I got a little Chemex and now I drink next level shit coffee each morning. I can fully recommend you investing money in this filter-drip coffee maker as your resulting cup coffee will be light, bright and delicately nuanced - simply beyond delicious. What's more, I admit I'm drawn to the Chemex as it is one of the most beautiful design objects with its charming wood handle and leather cord. Here's a little Chemex brew-it-yourself guide for you. All measurements are referring to the small Chemex brewer (1-3 cups).  CHEMEX BREWING WHAT YOU NEED Chemex brewer Chemex filter freshly roasted coffee beans  grinder coffee mug INGREDIENTS 19g freshly roasted coffee beans 300ml water + more for rinsing your paper filter HOW TO BREW 1.   Weigh and grind 19g coffee, medium-coarse grind setting. 2. Boil water. 3. Fold and place the filter into the Chemex with the three layer side facing the spout. Rinse with hot water to remove any paper flavor and preheat the Chemex. Pour away the water. 4. Add your ground coffee. Wet the grounds with a small amount of your pre-measured hot water (75ml), pouring it in a circular motion to wet all the grounds. The coffee will begin to "bloom". Wait 30 seconds. 5. Add the rest of your water in a steady circular motion starting from the center and working your way out. 6. Once the coffee finishes dripping through (3-4 minutes), remove the filter, serve and enjoy your cup of coffee!   I like coffee beans that are slightly roasted, as it gives the flavours in the coffee more of a chance to shine. As to Stooker Roasting's Costa Rica coffee, this whole thing has a juicy mouthfeel and citrus flavours, then comes the sweet milk chocolate finish which rounds of the taste profile perfectly! #6 Costa Rica convinces me with its milk chocolate finish for the simple reason that I prefer coffee beans with a subtle chocolate flavour. Some of you guys asked me where the grey porcelain cups are from. The answer is Amsterdam design studio De Intu?tiefabriek. These espresso cups, I'm serving our coffee in, are from their project 'SUM' - a colourful collection of porcelain cups, bowl and plates. Their tableware is modern, urban and timelessly beautiful. I got two of their grey porcelain cups online, just as Stooker coffee, at Hello Frankie Store: | #6 Costa Rica filter coffee by Stooker Roasting Co. | SUM espresso cup G5 by De Intu?tiefabriek I hope you enjoyed my little coffee series about Chemex brewing, high quality coffee and the introduction of Stooker, the Amsterdam coffee roaster. Cheers, Lisa! 

Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?

August 11 2014 VegKitchen 

Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?Contributed by Kris Gunnars, originally printed on  Authority Nutrition , adapted and reprinted with permission.  The health effects of coffee are controversial. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a super healthy beverage or incredibly harmful. But despite what you may have heard, there are actually plenty of good things to be said about coffee. For example, it is high in antioxidants and linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. However... it also contains caffeine, a stimulant that can cause problems in some people and disrupt sleep. This article takes a detailed look at coffee and its health effects, examining both the pros and cons. Coffee Contains Some Essential Nutrients and is High in Antioxidants Coffee is more than just dark brown water... many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the drink. A typical 8oz (240 ml) cup of coffee contains (1): - Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 11% of the RDA. - Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 6% of the RDA. - Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 2% of the RDA. - Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 2% of the RDA. - Folate: 1% of the RDA. - Manganese: 3% of the RDA. - Potassium: 3% of the RDA. - Magnesium: 2% of the RDA. - Phosphorus: 1% of the RDA. This may not seem like a lot, but try multiplying with 3, 4, or however many cups you drink per day. It can add up to a significant portion of your daily nutrient intake. But where coffee really shines is in its high content of antioxidants. The average person who eats a typical Western diet actually gets more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables... combined (2, 3). Bottom Line: Coffee contains a small amount of some vitamins and minerals, which add up if you drink many cups per day. It is also high in antioxidants. Coffee Contains Caffeine, A Stimulant That Can Enhance Brain Function and Boost Metabolism Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world (4). Soft drinks, tea and chocolate all contain caffeine, but coffee is the biggest source. The caffeine content of a single cup can range from 30-300 mg, but the average cup is somewhere around 90-100 mg. Caffeine is a known stimulant. In the brain, it blocks the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter (brain hormone) called Adenosine. By blocking adenosine, caffeine actually increases activity in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. This reduces tiredness and makes us feel more alert (5, 6). There are numerous studies showing that caffeine can lead to a short-term boost in brain function... including improved mood, reaction time, vigilance and general cognitive function (7, 8). Caffeine can also boost metabolism (calories burned) by 3-11% and even increase exercise performance by 11-12%, on average (9, 10, 11, 12). However... some of these effects are likely to be short-term. If you drink coffee every day, then you will build a tolerance to it and the effects will be less powerful (13). There are also some downsides to caffeine, which Ill get to in a bit. Bottom Line: The main active compound in coffee is the stimulant caffeine. It can cause a short-term boost in energy levels, brain function, metabolic rate and exercise performance. Coffee May Help Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Leading to Reduced Risk of Alzheimers and Parkinsons Alzheimers disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia. Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimers disease (14, 15, 16). Parkinsons is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and caused by the death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain. Coffee drinkers have a 32-60% lower risk of Parkinsons disease. The more coffee people drink, the lower the risk (17, 18, 19, 20). Bottom Line: Several studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of dementia, Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease in old age. Coffee Drinkers Have a Much Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugars due to resistance to the effects of insulin. This is a very common disease... it has increased 10-fold in a few decades and now afflicts over 300 million people. Interestingly, coffee drinkers appear to have a significantly reduced risk of developing this disease, some studies showing that coffee drinkers are up to 23-67% less likely to become diabetic (21, 22, 23, 24). In one large review study that looked at 18 studies with 457,922 individuals, each daily cup of coffee was linked to a 7% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (25). Bottom Line: Numerous studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Liver Diseases The liver is an incredibly important organ that has hundreds of different functions in the body. It is very sensitive to modern insults like excess alcohol and fructose intake. The end stage of liver damage is called Cirrhosis, and involves most of the liver being replaced with scar tissue. Coffee drinkers have up to an 84% lower risk of developing cirrhosis, with the strongest effect for those who drink 4 or more cups per day (26, 27, 28). Liver cancer is also common... it is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer (29, 30). Bottom Line: Coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The more coffee they drink, the lower the risk. Caffeine Can Cause Anxiety and Disrupt Sleep It wouldnt be right to only talk about the good stuff without mentioning the bad. The truth is... there are some important negative aspects to coffee as well (although this depends on the individual). Consuming too much caffeine can lead to jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations and may even exacerbate panic attacks (34). If you are sensitive to caffeine and tend to become overstimulated, then perhaps you shouldnt be drinking coffee. Another unwanted side effect is that it can disrupt sleep (35). If coffee reduces the quality of your sleep, then try avoiding coffee late in the day, such as after 2pm. Caffeine can also have some diuretic and blood pressure raising effects, but this usually goes away with regular use. However, an increase in blood pressure of 1-2 mm/­­Hg may persist (36, 37, 38). Bottom Line: Caffeine can have various negative effects, such as causing anxiety and disrupting sleep, but this depends greatly on the individual. Caffeine is Addictive and Missing a Few Cups Can Lead to Withdrawal One issue with caffeine, is that it can lead to addiction in many people. When people consume caffeine regularly, they become tolerant to it. It either stops working as it used to, or a larger dose is needed to get the same effects (39). When people abstain from caffeine, they get withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness, brain fog and irritability. This can last for a few days (40, 41). Tolerance and withdrawal are the hallmarks of physical addiction. A lot of people (understandably) dont like the idea of being literally dependant on a chemical substance in order to function properly. Bottom Line: Caffeine is an addictive substance. It can lead to tolerance and well documented withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness and irritability. The Difference Between Regular and Decaf Some people opt for decaffeinated coffee instead of regular. The way decaffeinated coffee is usually made, is by rinsing the coffee beans with solvent chemicals. Each time this is done, some percentage of the caffeine dissolves in the solvent and this process is repeated until most of the caffeine has been removed. However, its important to keep in mind that even decaffeinated coffee does containsome caffeine, just much less than regular coffee. Unfortunately, not all of the health benefits of regular coffee apply to decaffeinated coffee. For example, some studies show no reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinsons or liver diseases for people who drink decaffeinated coffee. Bottom Line: Decaffeinated coffee is made by extracting caffeine from the coffee beans using solvents. Decaf does not have all of the same health benefits as regular coffee. Things to Keep in Mind in Order to Maximize The Health Benefits There are some things you can do in order to maximize the beneficial health effects you get from coffee. The most important is to NOT add anything unhealthy to it. This includes sugar and any sort of artificial, chemical-laden creamer. Another important thing is to brew coffee with a paper filter. Unfiltered coffee (such as Turkish or French press) contains cafestol, a substance that can increase cholesterol levels (42, 43). Also keep in mind that some of the coffee drinks at places like Starbucks can contain hundreds of calories and a whole bunch of sugar. These drinks are NOT healthy. Bottom Line: It is important not to put sugar or a chemical-laden creamer in your coffee. Brewing with a paper filter can get rid of a cholesterol-raising compound called Cafestol. Should You be Drinking Coffee? There are some people who would definitely want to avoid or severely limit coffee consumption, especially pregnant women. People with anxiety issues, high blood pressure or insomnia might also want to try limiting coffee for a while to see if it helps. There is also some evidence that people who metabolize caffeine slowly have an increased risk of heart attacks from drinking coffee (44). All that being said... it does seem clear that for the average person, coffee can have important beneficial effects on health. If you dont already drink coffee, then I dont think these benefits are a compelling reason to start doing it. There are downsides as well. But if you already drink coffee and you enjoy it, then the benefits appear to far outweigh the negatives. Take Home Message Its important to keep in mind that many of the studies in the article are observational studies, which can not prove that coffee caused the beneficial effects. But given that the effects are strong and consistent among studies, it is a fairly strong indicator that coffee does in fact play a role. Despite having been demonized in the past, the evidence points to coffee being healthy ... at least for the majority of people. This article was originally printed on Authority Nutrition -- Coffee: Good or Bad? - Here are lots more natural health topics on VegKitchens Nutrition  page.

Movie on a Mission: A Small Section of the World

December 17 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: A Small Section of the WorldPhoto: Greenlight Media & Marketing Co-producer of An Inconvenient Truth Lesley Chilcott says learning that coffee comes from a cherry growing on trees, and that of all the friends and colleagues she polled, only one of them knew this, showed her “how disconnected weve become from our food and drink, and how this disconnection has really changed us, and not for the better.” The realization prompted her to produce and direct the documentary film A Small Section of the World, about the Asociacion de Mujeres Organizadas de Biolley (ASOMOBI), a group of women coffee suppliers in Costa Rica. Here, Chilcott--whos veg!--answers questions about the film. How much is coffee a part of the culture of Costa Rica? A huge part. Costa Rica has eight coffee regions, most of them run by small-farm holders. The government distributed free coffee plants and also gave some land to farmers in the 19th century, and its always been a driver of development and the economy. Many prominent people today in Costa Rica worked in coffee, or picked it over their summer vacations. How would you explain the involvement of the younger generation of women, such as Ariana and Samanta, in ASOMOBI? Both are daughters of founding associates and grew up either at ASOMOBI or next door. Ariana went to college to study administration, and she now runs the office. She could have moved to the city, and yet she wanted to raise her son in Biolley and work at the mill. Samanta grew up next door; she likes to say ASOMOBI was her backyard.  She used to get up before school and pick coffee, not because she was asked to, but because she loved the whole process. And after playing at ASOMOBI as a kid, she got used to the smell of coffee in her hair. She just graduated from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology and only wanted to work one place, ASOMOBI. So here you have the original founders, whose goal was to make a better life for their kids and send them to college. And in less than one generation they achieved this, and its a real tribute to these women that the daughters have come back and work at the mill. How are the members of ASOMOBI thinking about the future of the coffee crop in the face of global climate change? Coffee is already a very risky business due to the threat of disease, frost, drought, too much rain, etc., all made worse by global warming.  Combine this with the fact that coffee takes four years to mature once its planted, and you have constantly changing demand and supply. So ASOMOBI is trying to buy coffee from more farmers in the area and increase their output. The coffee season is only four to five months each year, so they also have to think about complementary crops and diversifying by producing other things as well, like honey from the bees that pollinate the coffee trees. Additionally, they offer tours of the area and teach sustainability locally in the schools. But to be clear, all coffee farmers and producers are aware and concerned about the negative impacts of climate change on coffee, especially the overall reduction in available land due to higher temperatures. A visiting agronomist from the Italian coffee company Illy--which is a producer on the film--makes the point that coffee connects people of different cultures and different countries. How can we make sure that connection isnt exploitative for the suppliers? The point made by Luca Turello [the Illy agronomist] that coffee connects is absolutely true. And I can tell you now after hanging out with so many coffee people, they are connected for life! What the women at ASOMOBI were able to accomplish--building a coffee mill on top of a hill and creating a better life for themselves and their community--this quiet revolution is happening in other places and villages as well. Globally, 70 percent of the work in coffee is done by women, and yet only 15 percent own the land, any of the facilities, or the product. Once women get leadership and technical training, things change drastically. As the saying goes, a promotion for a woman is a promotion for the whole family. Women tend to invest 90 percent of their earnings into their family and community. The International Womens Coffee Alliance, which is featured in the film, has been making incredible progress, opening chapters all over the world. And now they are talking about creating a Womens Harvest brand, which would be incredible. Next time you have your cup coffee, ask yourself how many hands it took to make that cup. And how many of those hands were womens? If we continue to learn more about how our coffee is made and about the people behind it, then we can help guarantee that a fair price is paid to them.    

What Do I Do With ... Vanilla Beans?

April 28 2014 Vegetarian Times 

What Do I Do With ... Vanilla Beans?   A friend came back from a Tahitian vacation bearing some unexpected travel souvenirs: vanilla beans. The spindly, black pods are actually the fruit of the vanilla orchid, which grows in tropical climates around the world. Vanilla bean’s flavor, as youve likely experienced, is rich, sweet, and fragrant. Im a big fan, but have always turned to the tiny bottles of liquid extract on those rare occasions when I actually bake. So, whats a non-baker to do with a few prized pods? Turns out vanilla is surprisingly versatile, and adaptable not only to sweet recipes, but savory ones, too. When using the actual bean, the vanilla flavor is remarkably complex and rich, and a little goes a long way. After trimming off the very ends, split the bean in half lengthwise using a small, sharp knife, then scrape out the teeny-tiny black seeds with the back of the knife or a spoon. One vanilla bean yields about 1/­­2 teaspoon, which is roughly equivalent to 2 teaspoons of liquid extract. Try adding a dab or two to your next smoothie, or stirring a bit into your morning yogurt bowl or hot oatmeal as it cooks. This fruit salad recipe calls for a syrup-style dressing made with fresh vanilla bean, and its delicious. To experience vanillas savory side, add some of the seedy pulp to the pot when making a pumpkin or squash soup. Vanilla rounds out the flavor of the gourds and adds a tasty element of intrigue. Dont throw out the pods once youve scooped out the seeds; when tucked into a jar of sugar, the vanilla flavor permeates the crystals and gives your sweet stuff extra oomph. You could also add a pod to a bag of loose black tea leaves or coffee beans for a decadent effect, or toss one into a simmering pot of hot chocolate or mulled cider. And if you enjoy an adult beverage from time to time, try plunking a pod into a bottle of vodka or rum and experimenting with different vanilla-infused cocktail recipes.   —— Aurelia dAndreas passion for travel is deeply intertwined with her love of food. Whether in Perth, Prague, or Phnom Penh, she always gravitates toward local markets in search of edible treasures, and takes pleasure in re-creating tasty travel memories at home in her tiny Parisian kitchen.  


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