I was never much of a coffee drinker. Even in college, I treated coffee as a "special occasion" drink, like when my roommate and I went to The Percolator to hear music and chat about life. I never even went into a Starbucks until my businessman brother came into town and dragged me there, claiming that if he didn't get his "venti skinny mocha latte with three extra shots and room for cream" right then, he just might pass out. I never wanted to be like that. I never wanted to rely on some liquid to get me through the day. I felt like it was comparable to being an alcoholic. I mean, I've seen some of my friends get real testy when they couldn't get their coffee. Not good. But then, I turned thirty, and everything changed.
I don't know what happened on the second of May, 2009 (other than getting engaged, of course!), but some wire must have gotten tripped inside my newly thirty-year-old brain. Over the next year, the coffee was sneaking into my daily routine more and more. I even heard that it could help me lose weight if I drank it before a workout...so what do you think that little tidbit of info did to me?
Since starting my job as deli manager at the Natural Marketplace late last year, I've been constantly surrounded by the latest news and information regarding health and wellness. From my customers' chit chat, to books we carry, or articles I read in the morning when updating our facebook page's healthy tip of the day. I've heard a ton of info about coffee, none of it consistent. On one hand, it has wonderful antioxidants and is fine in moderation. On the other hand, it does a real number on your adrenal glands and sets up your system for all sorts of problems throughout the day. Regardless, at 6 a.m., my body wanted that coffee, good or bad. I don't know if it was the caffeine necessarily, but there was definitely something about the ritual of the brewing, the smell, and of course that taste. And once you get your lips on a cup of organic, fair trade, extra bold goodness, it's easy to see why it becomes even more of a habit.
There I was, relying on the very thing I once saw as a bad habit. I knew I had to quit, especially after Billy's MMA coach told me that the acid levels in coffee cause your body to store fat in order to protect itself. Now, I don't know if that's true or not, but it was a good enough rumor to get me thinking. Soon after that conversation, I began hearing more and more about coconut oil. This once feared "tropical oil" is now coming out in the holistic community as a miracle worker. I've been using it in my cooking for a while as a healthier alternative to other oils. Then last week, one of my regulars (a well respected chiropractor) came in for lunch and happened to mention that he had been eating coconut oil to stay healthy and to combat belly fat. Eureka!! He said the magic words. That night, I went home and read everything I could find on the matter. Everything I read said basically the same thing...that coconut oil is amazing stuff. The benefits are countless. It is said to be antimicrobial, antiviral, helpful in killing bad bacteria such as candida (yeast), a great moisturizer (both internally and when used topically), aid in boosting energy, and best of all, it helps to increase metabolism, thyroid function, and burn stored fat. And contrary to popular belief, it does not cause any weight gain.
I knew I had struck a goldmine. The next day, I immediately purchased a jar of organic, cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil. That night, I took my first tablespoon and felt a pleasant warming sensation within. I slept well and when I awoke, I took another tablespoon and headed into work. Normally, when I get up the stairs, I tend to drag my feet, dreading the many tasks ahead. But not that morning. I was thrilled to realize that I had a ton of energy and actually jumped right into my work without an ounce of fatigue. I glanced at the coffee maker before deciding to go with some chai green tea instead, and I really enjoyed it. My energy lasted throughout the day, which was big surprise since I normally feel crashed-out around two and go for the second cup of coffee. The next day was the same, and although I feel like I need to give the experiment more time before I come to any definitive conclusions, I'm quietly cheering myself on. Kicking the coffee is just one small victory but it's good to know it's possible to control at least that, even amidst all the other cravings in my world. And if the coconut oil provides me with some more benefits, (especially reduced belly fat!) then it will be even better. I'm looking forward to getting back to the gym and seeing how the newfound energy may help to maximize my workouts.
Published On: June 23, 2010