Monday, April 23, 2012

WSG:10 Caffeine Alternative by Jennifer Shirk

Writer's Survival Guide 10: Caffeine Alternative by Jennifer Shirk

This week's writer's survival guide post is from one of my favorite writers/bloggers--the lovely Jennifer Shirk. I asked Jennifer to share one of her health tips with us today because she's very open about her commitment to fitness. I want her secrets! When I exercise 4-5 times a week and make an effort to eat plenty of fruits and veggies, I stay at my healthy weight. But more often than not, I slip into old habits and find five extra pounds creeping on.

Jennifer has found a really cool way to get her coffee fix and add nutrients to her diet, and I'm excited she's sharing it with us today. So here goes!

Coffee 8
Photo by kurisuuu

***
Hi, all! Jennifer here.
I’m so excited to be part of my friend Jill’s new blog segment today!

I’ve been on a health kick now for well over two years. (I guess it’s moved beyond just being a “kick”) LOL

But recently, I’ve cut down my use of caffeine. Yep, that means COFFEE too, for all you coffee addicts—er, lovers out there!

I had gotten myself to a point where two cups of coffee were not enough and was even becoming sluggish in the afternoons, needing a little cup or even a cup of tea to get me through the day. Not only that, but if I didn’t have that cup of coffee in the morning, I would get a migraine by late morning. Ugh! I didn’t like the “dependence” I had on it at all.
Did you know?

Caffeine is the most commonly used mood-altering drug in the world
Caffeine use can be associated with several distinct psychiatric syndromes: caffeine intoxication, caffeine withdrawal, caffeine dependence, caffeine-induced sleep disorder, and caffeine-induced anxiety disorder

With regard to cardiovascular health, caffeine produces modest increases in blood pressure, and concerns have been raised about a role of caffeine in cardiovascular disease
Large caffeine doses (200 mg or greater) may produce negative mood effects. Although generally mild and brief, these effects include increased anxiety, nervousness, jitteriness, and upset stomach

**more info from the John Hopkins School of Medicine

I know. Doom and gloom. But don’t get me wrong. I still drink coffee and enjoy it. However, I’ve modified it a bit by adding an herbal organic coffee to it called Teeccino.

Energy is the reason why many people drink coffee. With Teeccino, people experience an energy boost that comes from nutrients, not stimulants like caffeine. It’s a blend of Mediterranean herbs, grains, fruits, and nuts that are ground and brewed to taste like coffee.

Cool, huh?

I really enjoy it. Right now, when I make a pot of coffee, I blend coffee with Teeccino in about equal parts, so I’m only getting half the amount of caffeine I would normally be drinking. And I don’t feel tired at all. In fact, I have more energy now than I ever did—which is way better for me and my writing. J

Thanks for having me, Jill!! It’s nice to get healthy together!

***

Thank YOU, Jennifer, for sharing this with us. I can't wait to try it! I have had trouble with the jitters and the afternoon energy crash. When I cut down on my caffeine, I notice a difference, but even when I switch to decaf, I'm not getting the health benefits of a product like Teeccino. Love this!

Everyone, Jennifer has a new book, Sunny Days for Sam, out right now, and not only has she graciously offered to give a copy to one lucky reader, she's also throwing in a package of Teeccino! To enter the contest, simply include your e-mail address in a comment below. I'll announce the lucky winner on Friday (winner will be alerted by e-mail also.)!

Sunny Days for Sam released April 6, 2012 through Avalon Books. Available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble and a library near you! Also, be sure to check out Jennifer's fun blog, Me,  My Muse, and I.


Sunnyva “Sunny” Fletcher is a firm believer in fairy tales. With the recent debt she’s acquired, the hope of something magical happening in her life is the only thing keeping her going. She needs a job fast. So when Sunny learns the sexy new vacationer in town is looking for a nanny, she starts to believe she just may have a fairy godmother after all!

Internet guru Sam Calloway is only in town for the summer and needs a nanny for his two small children. However, the beautiful and inexperienced Sunny is not exactly the kind of caregiver Sam has in mind. It doesn’t take long for Sunny’s tenderhearted and bubble-blowing ways to soon have the children—and Sam—enamored with her. She’s a dream come true. But after what Sam’s been through, he’s stopped believing in fairy tales long ago.

Sunny manages to work her way into Sam’s closed-off heart, but at the end of the summer, will the workaholic dad go back to his life in New York City, or will he decide his days are much sunnier here with Sunny?

 ***

Thanks again, Jennifer!

Are you addicted to caffeine? Or do you try to avoid the stuff? I'd like to hear your tips!

Have a wonderful Monday!

78 comments:

  1. Interesting! I'll have to look into this. I'm a HUGE coffee drinker. Oy!

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    1. You and me both, Jessica. You and me both. :)

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  2. I'm not a coffee drinker, but hubby is. Do you notice the difference between your regular coffee and this blend?

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    1. Maria, if you drink it straight, you probably would--although not by much. But when you blend it with the coffee, not at all and it gives the coffee a nice flavor. I used "Mocha" today!

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  3. I need to have one good strong properly made big cup of coffee a day - then I am happy! :-) Take care
    x

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    1. First of all, Old Kitty, I LOVE your name! And your picture. I melt at the sight of adorable kittens. :)

      Secondly, one good strong properly made big cup of coffee sounds quite reasonable to me. :)

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  4. I never drank coffee so I don't have that issue--mine was sugar but have kicked that now for 7 months!!

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  5. Wow! That's cool! I don't drink coffee, but I am a fan of Diet Coke, which is actually pretty horrible for a person. I need to scale back to one a day (I've crept up to two a day)

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    1. Diet Coke was a huge addiction for me too!!
      But I gave up all augar-free products and soda, about 10 years ago.

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  6. I've heard of Teecino, but never tried it. Maybe I'll have to give it a try now! I'm not a huge coffee drinker (one cup a day is my limit), but I drink black tea all. day. long. My energy levels have been somewhere in the negative zone these days - anything to help boost them in a healthy way would be awesome!

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    1. I drink a ton of black tea, too, Louise. It's soooo yummy. And good for you!

      I've tried a few different things to fight the afternoon energy slump. One is drinking a large glass of ice water. It helps a lot. The other is to just sit and either meditate or look out the window or have a little easy prayer time for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes my brain just needs a rest. :)

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  7. I'm going to have to give that Teecino a try -- it sounds like a great alternative to coffee.

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  8. I'm not a coffee girl. Pepsi, now that is a drink I can't kick - yet! I'm working on it, though.

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    1. Is Pepsi something you should kick, though? It's really tasty...just saying. :)

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  9. Ahh, interesting. I drink coffee. Scratch that. I drink A LOT of coffee. And then I chase it with a can of pop (soda to be geographically inclusive!) in the afternoon. Sooo...I think I need to check out this Teecino. :)

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    1. Yeah, I'm nodding all over your comment, Melissa. This is me. I need to check out Teeccino too. :)

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    2. Whoa, I think I'm getting a caffeine high just reading that! LOL!

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  10. Hi, Jennifer. Nice to meet you! Your book cover is just fabulous!! Looks fun.

    And I hate coffee. Blah. But I have started to have too much Coke Zero. I know, I know, aspartame is bad for you. Plus, when I don't have one, I get headaches in the afternoon like you mentioned...not sure what to do about that though!

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    1. I LOVE Coke Zero! But aspartame is bad. It's a quandary. I wish I could help. :(

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    2. Yeah, I cut aspartame and artifical sweetners out. That's a tough one. You might have to start slowly subsituting water for Coke. I had light headaches the first few days when I was cutting my coffee with Teeccino, but now even if I miss a day and have no coffee, I'm not affected at all.

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  11. Must learn more! Excellent. I'm a tea girl unless I'm out & about. But I spoon WAY too much sugar in my tea.

    Wish we could all go for a beverage right now. Jill, Jennifer, and me, the tea girl (yes, strange Monday mood).
    ~ Wendy

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    1. Wendy, I would drink tea with you. I love it! And I think we should make a big blogger coffee/tea date. Wouldn't that be fun?

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    2. The tea girls! Love that! I smell a new book title there. LOL
      A little treat for me at night is English Breakfast(naturally decaffeinated) tea with honey.

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  12. The caffeine headaches are the only reason I don't give up my diet cola. I want to give it up badly, but that pain is killer. I wonder if I could use that in soda...

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    1. I gave up caffeine and sugar for about three months a few years ago (Currently, I'm fully caffeinated and sugared). I had terrible headaches too, but they went away after about a week. I wonder if those vitamin waters would be a good filler until the caffeine withdrawls stopped? Hmm...

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  13. I never did get into coffee (I know, I know. I'm weird). But I can't drink to much soda pop either because a lot of caffeine in my system makes me feel jittery and strange. Can you put Teeccino in something other than coffee? Just curious.

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    1. I wonder if it could be brewed and poured over ice, like an iced tea/coffee? That might be a good option?

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    2. Well, you can drink it straight and even iced.

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    3. Ooh, an iced coffee thingy sounds good. Now I'm all thirsty!

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  14. Oh, this giveaway was meant for me... lol I love coffee and reading! Because of gallbladder issues, I'm in the process of slowly switching to decaf, and believe me the loss of caffeine is taking its toll. I am already dependent on thyroid meds, I don't want to be dependent on caffeine too (to avoid migraines!) Teeccino is something new to me. I'd love to try it. :)

    Jennifer's book, Sunny Days for Sam, sounds like a fabulous love story and I am drawn in by the sweet cover. :) Thanks for the info on Teccino and for the opportunity to win it and the book!

    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. C.E., I just read a fantastic book called The Migraine Brain by Carolyn Bernstein. I strongly recommend reading it if you deal with Migraines. It's amazing! And I'm sooooo with you on Jennifer's book--isn't that a great cover? Oo-la-la!

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    2. I have to say, I love my cover too. LOL

      And yes, Teeccino is not acidic like caffeine products so it's perfect for people with health issues.

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  15. Hi Jennifer! Good to see you here! I'm going to try Teeccino ASAP! I've been working on cutting back on my daily coffee drinking, but I fall woefully into the really, really addicted category! Thanks for the suggestion and the great info.

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    1. Same here, Ayda. It's what I look forward to when I wake up!

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  16. I'm addicted to caffeine. Hubz and I are doing half caff now.

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    1. Good for you! I really don't notice any taste difference when I drink decaf, but that's just me. :)

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  17. Ah the caffeine. I try to avoid it. It makes me feel a little crazy, so it's just better for me to stay away. ;)

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  18. I drink it more socially than for the caffeine. It is yummy but not essential to me it seems. Great tips! :O)

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    1. There's nothing better than getting together with a group of friends over coffee. I'm with you!!

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  19. I'm a huge fan of coffee, especially Peets coffee. You know I drink coffee for its flavor. Having been raised in Paris, and seeing French people enjoy long lives, I am not prepared to give up coffee, unless I was told that I absolutely had to.

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    1. Ooo, Sonia, raised in Paris? Awesome! Your reasoning makes sense to me! :)

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  20. Wow, who knew coffee and books could prompt such awesome discussions? :)

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    1. I know!! Thank you SO much for putting this together, Jennifer. I really appreciate it!

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    2. Thanks for having me, sweetie. :-)

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  21. Oh, Jennifer, your books sounds great! I drink coffee here and there, a lot more than I used to, but I try to drink decaf when I can. I do, however, get caffeine in soda and I've been trying to keep that under control :)

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    1. I drink both. That's not good. But it feels good...

      Ha! ha!

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  22. That's great. I have been reading recently, though, that coffee appears to be good for women - men, not so much. But I haven't done any research into that.

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    1. Yes, I did hear that too. All in moderation, I suppose. :-)

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  23. Oh my word, I soooo want that Teeccino! And Jennifer's book! Can I be entered, like, 100 times in this contest? :)

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    1. Sure! (Kidding)
      But thanks, you're so sweet!

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  24. I have one cup of coffee a day in the early morning. Hot liquid in the cool morning when the house is utterly quiet. More me it's more about the experience--a soft introduction to the day--than the caffeine.

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    1. Yeah, the experience is a part of it--and I love the smell too.

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  25. Thanks for the caffeine tip! Good to know. I am a tea girl, actually, but the rest of my family drinks coffee.

    Thanks also for the book info and a chance to win a copy! Would love to be entered. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen
    karenelangeATgmailDOTcom

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  26. My family didn't drink pop or coffee or tea or anything growing up. I had a Mountain Due once in high school when my best friend's dad grabbed one for me from the fountain at a Texaco on our way on a trip instead of a sprite or 7up and I didn't realize it until I'd had some. Then I decided just to finish it since it was all I had. I was on a high for the rest of the drive and bouncing off the walls. So funny! I basically have avoided it since then since I don't like it. I didn't know all that negative info about caffeine though - I just knew there were some negative health effects and how it affects me. Thanks for the giveaway! It looks like a really cute book!

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    1. Thanks, Tressa!
      One time a friend of mine accidentally gave my other friend's 4 year old a Mountain Dew on vacation. Um, I don't think the parents will EVER give that child caffeine again. LOL

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    2. Too funny! I can see kids bouncing off walls with Mt. Dew! :)

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  27. This is very exciting! I can't drink coffee anymore (it hates my body) and I miss it. I'll have to try the teechino.

    Congrats on the new book Jennifer! I'd love to be entered in the giveaway...

    ttetherton@gmail.com

    Thanks!

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    1. Thanks!
      It sounds like you are a perfect candidate for teechino too!

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  28. I'm totally addicted! But I'm going to give Teecino a try... I also love all kinds of tea! :)
    Bless you!

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    1. Hi, Cheryl! I love al kinds of tea too--except vanilla. Yuck. It's weird because I like vanilla coffee.

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  29. Hello! Saw Jennifer's blog post that she had been here as a guest on your blog.

    I've heard of Teeccino, but have never tried it. My husband drinks a lot of coffee at work, so I should probably mention it to him. I find that if I start feeling tired, drinking a glass of water helps wake me up.

    Susanne
    smdrazic(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. My brother went to the doctor's a few years ago because of heart palpitations. He would drink coffee on the way to work and then at work and when the doctor added up how much he drank it was like 32oz a day! Uh, his heart palpitations went away when he stopped drinking it at work. LOL

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    2. Suzanne, I've found the same thing! A large glass of water really perks me up in the afternoons. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. I am without a doubt addicted. I absolutely love coffee! I love to enter a cafe just for a whiff of the fresh grounded and brewed. I must have that cup in the morning and a decaf at night. Of course I supplement with a coffee or two in the afternoon as well. Guilty as charged lol!

    Margaret
    singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh, Margaret, I can SO relate! I just love hot beverages, and coffee is my fave! :)

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  31. Interesting! I don't drink coffee, but I LOVE tea, esp. iced tea. I've been trying to make it healthier over time, so that now I'm at 2:1 ratio of green tea to black tea. Neither is decaf, which tastes like dishwater to me, but green tea has a lot of antioxidants, and doesn't have as much caffeine as black tea, so it's an improvement. I wish they had a nutrition supplement for tea, too!

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    1. Kathy, black tea has a lot of health benefits too, so good for you getting a double shot! Smart!!

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  32. I would love this book. I tried finding it this weekend with no success. I don't drink a lot of coffee but I think Jen's additive sounds like a great idea.

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    1. Doesn't it look fabulous, Nancy?? If you can't find it in bookstores, Amazon carries it!

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    2. Thanks, Nancy! You're so sweet!

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  33. I am not a fan of coffee - they say it's an acquired taste, but I'm not quite sure why you'd want to acquire it? :) I do enjoy a Dr. Pepper now and again, but if I have it too late in the day it keeps me up when I should be sleeping. I also love green and white tea, sweetened with Truvia.

    I'd love a chance to win Jennifer's book! It sounds like a fun story.

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  34. Hi Jill -

    I rarely drink coffee, and when I do, it's decaf. On occasion, herbal tea floats my boat.

    Now chocolate...that's another story.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  35. I hope I'm not too late to enter! I don't drink coffee, but I do have a can of Dr. Pepper in the afternoon while I'm writing. It's my daily treat. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    a2sonnichsen (at) gmail (dot) com

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