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A love story

19 October 2011

I love you and I hate you.  You can make me nervous and jittery, and you can fill me with delight.  My toes curl with pleasure at the thought of having you on a crisp fall morning.  Your warmpth is contagious; you always wake me up and make me grin.

It’s you, coffee, whom I adore so dearly.  What, where did you think I was going with that?

I know that coffee has gotten a bad rap with some health experts.  But why?  Because it’s caffeinated and acidic?  Because it has potential to be a calorie-bomb?  Beacause it’s an addiction that the American public just can’t shake?

One of the most common pieces of wellness advice I read on the web is this gem: Don’t drink your calories!  Granted, if one were to order a double-shot mocha frappuchino with extra whipped cream every morning, it might become a problem.  But what about us black-coffee lovin’ folks?  Black coffee contains 5-10 calories per cup.  Sometimes, I add a tiny splash of unsweetened almond or coconut milk (remember when I went dairy-free?) and I’m good to go.

I’ve heard stories of people who get headaches if they don’t have their morning coffee.  It’s true that caffeine is technically a drug, and that it is possible for its daily consumption to result in an addiction.  But isn’t it possible to become addicted to anything?  Sugar?  Picking your nose?  Bad rap music?  (Endorphins?!?  I know I’m an addict.)

Besides, even green tea, a beverage that is touted as extreme healthy, contains caffeine as well (albeit in a smaller amount than coffee).  I’m not trying to justify an excessive consumption of caffeine, but I don’t think that a tiny daily jolt will do much harm.

This fall, I have unabashadly consumed coffee almost every morning that I’ve had classes (which is 5 days a week).  I don’t need it to wake me up (I have early-morning sports practices for that), but I drink it because I like it.  I find it extremely pleasureable to snuggle into my favorite mug each morning.  The aroma and flavor of coffee is delicious to me, and the extra kick of caffeine keeps me revved for the morning’s classes and workload.

My final thought on the subject is a somewhat broad one: Do what makes you happy!  I think it’s important to treat yourself every day.  If waking up to a cup (or two!) of coffee in the morning is your thing, then do it.

I know you’re waiting for me to add the quick disclaimer in moderation, of course, but I won’t.  Because what makes you happy is usually also what makes you healthy and feel good.  Chances are eating junky foods isn’t going to make you feel good – it might make you feel adequate, but everyone I know wants to feel and look their best.  Eating an entire pack of Oreos every day for a week isn’t going to make you happy in the long-term (unless you really, really like Oreos).

It seems to me that many people lose sight of the fact that we are on this planet for such a remarkably limited amount of time.  Why spend your life denying yourself the things that you consider to make every day special and awesome?  I think that everyone has a little bit of a different rhythm to them, but in all, it’s the same pattern: if you eat healthily and move regularly, you’re going to feel good.  If having a cup of coffee in the morning makes you feel good too, then do it!  If your favorite style of shoes are out of fashion for the season, why stop wearing them?  And if belting out your favorite song in the shower pumps you up for the day, then what’s holding you back?  =)

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