Graham R. Cooper
Logged in to my website, clicked ‘new’ and then ‘post’, took a gulp of my first coffee of the day and gave this week’s musings a title: ‘Coffee Cravings’. It’s just gone ten. The second coffee at midday. I’ll have a third after lunch and that’ll be it for the day.
Over the course of something like twenty years, we’ve taken onboard a substantial amount of the nutrition advice in the book Nourishing Traditions. (You’ll already know that if you’ve been following my journal for awhile.) So when, back in the day, the authors advised that I give up coffee, I took them seriously:
Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to release an adrenaline-like substance, which in turn causes the liver to release sugar into the blood stream. This is what gives you the lift when you drink coffee … .The problem is that the delicate blood-sugar-regulation mechanism cannot long tolerate the constant stimulation of habitual caffeine ingestion. Often the blood sugar lowering mechanisms overreact, causing low blood sugar and its concomitant complaints of chronic fatigue, dizziness, depression, allergies and behavioural disorders. Caffeine-containing drinks irritate the lining of the stomach and cause an increase in stomach acid. They affect the nervous system, leading to insomnia and restlessness. Prolonged use of caffeine can contribute to any one of a number of serious diseases, such as cancer, bone loss, mental disorders and birth defects.– from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig
Back then I was drinking two medium-sized mugfuls a day of strong black plunger coffee. I went cold turkey. I wasn’t surprised that things went great guns for several weeks: that’s quite often the extent of my willpower; I’m capable of kidding myself for that length of time that I have some control over those sort of things. Of course all that does is delay the excruciating longing for whatever beat myself up about it thing I’m trying to give up at the time.
Several weeks in and ‘resolve’ had flipped to ‘dissolve’. “It’s too hard, I can’t do this!” was my cry from the heart.
Could some trauma linked to coffee drinking put me off for life? Doubt it. Proof yet again that we males are the weaker sex.
June’s made of stronger stuff – she hasn’t touched coffee since suspecting that it was one of the triggers that set off acute appendicitis. In the middle of the night I drove her to Wellington hospital. Two month old breastfed Jemma in with her, drinking breast milk from a bottle. The milk pumped into a jar before June had the operation so that it wouldn’t contain anaesthetics.
I’m not made of such strong stuff, but I do like my coffee strong, and when I began writing regularly to get a post out once a week, I found myself more in need than ever of a coffee fix. A heaped tablespoon of Hummingbird’s strong ‘Crave’ plunger grind became a super-sized heaped tablespoon of their extra-strong ‘Oomph’. And two medium-sized mugfuls up to the brim per day became three.
I said I’d tell you about my coffee cravings (see last Monday’s Foraging for walnuts: Pt. 2 ), but what I didn’t mention were the current warm fuzzies swirling around my three mugs a day. Listen to this will you:
Two to three cups of coffee a day is the ‘magic number’ for a healthy heart, according to a new study, led by Australian arrhythmia expert Dr Peter Kistler. … His study tracked over 400,00 people from the UK over 10 years … .Good News for Coffee Lovers: Daily Coffee May Benefit the Heart – American College of Cardiology (acc.org)
Yay! I’m a believer – love it when I get told what I want to believe. The good doctor goes on to say:
Coffee beans contain up to 100 biologically active components, some of which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. …
There’s no evidence that people who enjoy drinking coffee should stop drinking coffee because they’re worried about the effects on their health.
I’ll raise my mug 3 times today and drink toasts (or should that be roasts?) to that man!
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully till next Monday. Thanks for your company. Bye for now.