Healthy Eating/Recipes

A cup of coffee a day

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of touring a local coffee roaster Utopian Coffee Company.

Hosted by one of its founders, our group heard the story of travel and “relationship sourcing” their coffee beans (which to me sounded synonymous with danger – Rwanda and Columbia anyone?). But, by knowing the growers, Utopian strives to make people’s lives better through a living wage.

While we did not talk nutrition that afternoon, this coffee guzzler would like to.

Most interesting, in my mind, is that coffee is the largest supplier of antioxidants in the diet! Recall antioxidants protect cells’ health so we like them a lot. Typically we push berries, dark green and deep yellow colored veggies, nuts…but today, let’s focus on coffee.

A couple caveats: if you’re young, pregnant or a slow caffeine metabolizer, coffee’s not a great antioxidant plan. If you need to load up black coffee with sugar and fat (cream), you’ll negate the health effects. And finally if you can’t moderate your intake, you could have an issue.

But for the rest of us…

A UCLA study suggests coffee drinking may protect against Type 2 diabetes. Italian researchers found liver cancer incidence was lower in coffee drinkers. Kaiser Permanente published a study showing a lowered incidence of liver cirrhosis among coffee drinkers. A McGill U study suggests Parkinson’s movement control could be improved with coffee.

A Portugal study shows coffee has a protective effect against Alzheimer’s disease. Numerous studies explain coffee enhances brain neuron function, gives you a feeling of energy, generally improves cognitive function and reaction times.

Further, a Beth Israel Deaconess and Harvard study showed lowered risk of heart failure among coffee drinkers. Current Vascular Pharmacology says all-cause mortality is reduced by coffee consumption. Wow.

While I don’t think coffee will afford the drinker immortality, drink it with pleasure to be well,


PS Yes, all you tea-totallers, tea is a great source of antioxidants as well!

PPS Find Utopian here

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Evoke the Okra

So, the Mr. is growing okra this year. He harvested one pod and suggested we have it for dinner. Seeing as we do not live in Whoville, I needed to find more!

Shopping at the store, I ran into an old friend, explained my search for fresh okra to which she asked, “What are you going to do with it?”

Good question but my answer wasn’t entirely inspiring. “Not much,” I said.

After trimming the pods, I dry sautéed them but thought about oven roasting them because that’s what we do for most of our veggies. You could probably put them on the grill but then you’ve got the grill pan to clean…I know you’re seeing a pattern. We eat very simply – probably too simply for many of you.

If we had frozen okra I’d add some tomatoes; once in awhile, we’ll make a Louisiana seafood gumbo but this was fresh okra, so why get out a second ingredient? “Lazy” is probably also crossing your mind. But honestly, when you have fresh produce from your own garden (and the market) it truly doesn’t need much enhancement.

Nutritionally, okra is like most veggies. Minimal calories, fat and sodium. It’s a nice fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K source.

And, for those of you cringing, there is no slime with fresh okra that meets up with a sharp knife.

Try a new veggie to be well,


PS  I would love to hear what you do with okra or another “different” vegetable. Sadly, I don’t know where your comments go on this blog, so I’d love it if you write me at on this or ANY subject.

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