Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (6/13-6/19)

This is so me.

I will never give up coffee, especially now that it’s been determined that drinking four cups of coffee a day can possibly extend your life. Current meta-studies are showing that drinking coffee, either with caffeine or without, can potentially extend men’s lives by 12% and women’s by 16%. Four cups a day seems to be the ideal, with anything after that providing little to no benefit.

What’s so great about coffee (besides being delicious)? Coffee, it turns out, is loaded with antioxidants. While fruits and vegetables contain more, the amount of coffee consumed by Americans ends up providing the greatest amount of antioxidants each day. Beyond living longer and providing antioxidants, coffee drinking also provides several other potential health benefits:

  • better processing of glucose or sugar
  • decreases the risk of developing heart failure
  • decreases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
  • decreases the risk for liver cancer and other liver diseases
  • decreases breakage in DNA strands
  • decreases the odds for colon cancer
  • decreases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease
  • decreases the risk for strokes
  • decreases the risk for Type-2 diabetes

The secret to receiving all these benefits it seems, is drinking the right amount. As with Goldilocks, there can be too little or too much, but the sweet spot seems to be three to five cups a day. I currently drink two cups of half-caff in the morning, one cup of decaffeinated most afternoons, and then share a cup of half-caff with Brett in the evenings. The downsides for coffee for me is that it can irritate my stomach, and also affect my sleep, but my current consumption does not seem to affect either of those, so I am going keep it up! I have tried giving up coffee, or going 100% caffeine free, but both of those have made for a very miserable Laura.

Below is what we ate for dinner this past week. I did not get a picture of our dinner at Japanese Grandma’s Cafe last Sunday, but you can see below that I devoured it all LOL. It was healthy and delicious!

Sunday: Vegetable futamaki (sushi); Cucumber & seaweed sunomono (salad); seared tofu & vegetables; matcha cheesecake (shared with Brett)

Monday: Chicken tikka masala with peas; steamed jasmine rice

Tuesday: Cheese white bean bake; toasted baguette; steamed artichoke

Wednesday: Mezze plate (tabouli salad, baba ganoush, hummus, whole wheat pita)

Thursday: Italian sausage sandwich with sautéed peppers and onions; roasted cauliflower

Friday: Cheese board

Saturday: Mini pizzas w/leftover Italian sausage, sautéed peppers and onion, & roasted cauliflower

Our desserts this past week were apple pie baked oatmeal and vegan arroz con leche (rice pudding).

There are only two, possibly three, meals with meat planned for next week because we’re finding the meatless meals much more enjoyable these days. However, once again all the meatless meals contain cheese. We love cheese but are trying hard not to go overboard.

  • Panzanella with chickpeas and feta
  • Guadalajara quesadillas
  • Egg roll in a bowl
  • Pork & pepper stir fry
  • Mini pizzas
  • Cheese board
  • Avocado pasta salad

We had a week of varied walks: four days of perimeter walks at the park, a day of shopping (which wears us out more than anything), and a hike at Barking Sands. It was hot, hot, hot the day we walked there, with little to no shade, but we slathered ourselves with sunscreen, stayed hydrated, and did OK, although we were more than ready to get under our umbrella on the beach afterwards. Our golf ball hunt yielded 11 this past week! Looking for them has become a game and made the perimeter walk a lot of fun.

The Waiokapua Trail starts out looking green and inviting, but a few hundred feet ahead it dumps you out into the hot sun for the rest of the way. Shady areas are small, and few and far between.

The way our apartments are set up, when our neighbor comes up the stairs to his front door he can look right into our living room. No big deal, but every time I see him (and he sees me) I am sitting on the sofa working on my computer or reading. He must think I never get off the sofa! It has made me think about how sedentary I am outside of our daily walks. I do move around a lot, but also think I sit around too much as well. I work a lot on the blog each day, and now as I set up my shop on Etsy, and those two things take time, but I’m more conscious these days of making sure I get up and move around more frequently versus planting myself on the sofa for the day.

10 thoughts on “Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (6/13-6/19)

  1. Blurgh to coffee. Can’t drink it at all. Tea for me.

    I know I am too sedentary outside my designated exercise. And when I’ve been extra-sedentary, my lower back starts aching. Maybe I will make myself get up every 20 minutes.

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    1. I understand your dislike of coffee – it’s definitely one of those things you either like or don’t – there’s no in-between. I got hooked at a young age. I like tea, but coffee does it for me.

      Hurt my back this morning and have had trouble walking around the house – am stuck on the sofa with a pillow behind my back for support. Hopefully it will leave soon, so I don’t end up sitting so much.

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  2. I wholeheartedly agree about coffee! It gives me a feeling of well-being which I think is not just the caffeine but the antioxidants and phytochemicals, plus the ritual.

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  3. Sorry to hear about your back…hope it is better soon! I HATE when my back gets tweaked. And it seems to do that more as I get older. 😩

    Coffee is the reason to wake up for me, too. 🤣 I wasn’t a coffee drinker when I was young, but now I love it in the morning. I rarely drink it during the day because it disturbs my sleep, but I do love a frosty Frappucino once in a while. If I drink more than two cups in the morning, it starts to create stomach/acid issues for me. And I also coffee flavored ice cream – with or without chocolate covered almonds. Ha!

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    1. I am right there with you on the coffee ice cream. 31 Flavors’ Jamocha Almond Fudge has been my favorite ice cream since I was about 12 years old!

      Two cups of half-caff in the morning is my limit, but it does the trick these days. I’m not sure why, but a few sips in the evening as well don’t bother my sleep any more. I enjoy sharing a cup with Brett when we have our dessert at night.

      I know exactly how I tweaked my back (bending over to take pictures for my Etsy shop) and am about to go back to it tomorrow but with a few changes that will hopefully keep it from getting any worse. I’ve skipped walking for the past two days as well as it’s hard being erect for so long.

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