Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cutting Caffeine - A Busy Mother's Guide

The only form my caffeine comes in is chocolate and the occasional Diet Dr. Pepper with strawberry and vanilla from Sonic (Have you tried that one, it is to die for!) so I was thrilled when Paige Taylor sent me an article for my blog about healthy caffeine intake as it is not a subject I am an expert on. Read on for better health!

Cutting Caffeine:  A Busy Mother’s Guide


We hear it all the time:  “I need my morning cup of coffee.”  As mothers, it makes sense that we sometimes rely on coffee to wake up and get everyone moving, including ourselves.  But even though coffee can be a great pick-me-up, it’s important not to get addicted.  If you’re like me and have already started to feel your body tolerating caffeine more and more, now is a good time to kick that caffeine addiction before that bitter cold comes and makes you grab another cup.


Think about your total caffeine intake—not just coffee.  Do you drink soda often?  Do you consistently take a painkiller with caffeine?  Can you still feel the effects of a cup of coffee, or can you drink a cup and go to bed with no problems? 


If you feel like caffeine is becoming too much of a crutch, it might be time to consider ways to cut back on your intake, while still being able to enjoy your morning cup of coffee.  If you’ve ever researched the effects and health benefits of caffeine, you know there’s a huge range of information, and the topic is still up for debate.  But I’m a big believer that moderation is key to balanced health and happiness.


A professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at John Hopkins explained how caffeine is the world’s most commonly used stimulant, and when people don’t get their usual dose, they can suffer a range of withdraw symptoms including headache, fatigue, and they may have difficulty concentrating.  He went on to describe that it may feel like they have “the flu with nausea and muscle pain.”  Yikes.


But there are several ways to help you overcome a dependence on caffeine, without experiencing as many of the withdrawal symptoms:


·         Try sticking to caffeinated beverages you love and substitute the others with decaffeinated options.  Staying hydrated is a key to keeping the body healthy.

·         Chose beverages with lower caffeine content such as teas.  Black tea has the highest caffeine content, following with green, white, and herbal teas.  Beware, though!  Some herbal teas do have caffeine in them, depending on what herbs go into them.  Research the caffeine content beforehand.

·         Still want that coffee taste?  Try a shot of espresso or an Americano (espresso and hot water).  These options actually have less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee.

·         It’s all in the timing:  John Hopkins Medical Center found that symptoms generally appear within 12 to 24 hours of stopping routine caffeine use, and they peak within 20 to 48 hours.  Effects can persist for two days to an entire week.

·         Substituting light exercise and fitness with that extra caffeine jolt has also been a common way to conquer withdrawal symptoms.  Exercise unleashes endorphins, which helps curb headaches.


Remember that like all kinds of habits and addictions, change comes with time.  Don’t go all out and cut out caffeine completely if you’re used to a drinking coffee throughout the day.  It’s probably not going to work and you’ll feel the effects.  Listen to your body, and if you cut caffeine out slowly, you’ll feel the difference. Your body and mind will thank you.

Paige Taylor writes for Treatment Centers to help raise awareness of the dangers of addiction.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

38 miles

I finished my 38 miles this morning with a beautiful 14-mile run. Actually, the end was beautiful, I felt strong and fast and the temperature was perfect. The beginning was a little scary, I left when it was still dark and very cold and couldn't find my glow sticks (doesn't everyone use their kid's glow sticks for early-morning runs?) so I had to dive into the weeds whenever a car came and I kept tripping on the nothingness I couldn't see! I'm just happy to have met my goal. Hope you all have a healthy, happy day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

38th bday

I decided I wanted to run 38 miles on my 38th bday. This brilliant idea stayed in my head until I ran the Top of Utah Half Marathon and had a fabulous race but also remembered how much it hurts to run 13 miles let alone 38! I also started to wonder if I really wanted to devote that many hours of my birthday to running instead of enjoying my family.
I decided to run 38 miles within my birthday week - 8 yesterday, 12 tomorrow, 4 Monday, and 14 on Tuesday. I hope you're not all disappointed in me but give me a break, I'm getting old! 
So what do you think - smart plan or I wimped out?