Health benefits of coffee

coffee3

I’m on a new health kick.  I get these, goddamnit-I’m-restarting-my-life-tomorrow epiphanies some nights, usually after a binge-like indulgence, (“pumpkin spice late cupcakes anyone?!?”) and decide that’s it, that’s the last time and tomorrow I will be perfect and eat my weight in kale and have a hot body for the rest of my life.

And then I gaze at my french press and I grieve, because all those hoyty toyty health nuts wag their fingers at me and tell me to nix the caffeine.  They tell me all my energy and pooping should come naturally, by the power of the sun god, positive earth vibes and kale, or something.

I’ve given up coffee off and on for the past six years and you know what?  My re-begun life tomorrow involves java.  I have bigger fish to fry than my soft-core caffeine addiction.  Plus, there are some schools of thought that tote coffee as a health elixir (ish) and I’m choosing to side with them.  They’re probably more fun anyway.

In case you were curious, here’s my favorite health benefits of coffee;

1. It may protect against Parkinson’s, liver cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

(These actually aren’t my favorite benefits, they’re just the most serious.  In reality they’re a bit abstract, as I’m this normal, healthy, 21-year old.)

2. It may lower your risk of depression, if you’re a woman.  And if you’re me.  Kid you not, the day I went back to drinking coffee I was struck by periodic urges to dance around my house and found Kira’s weird behavior hilarious, as opposed to mildly annoying.  Coffee, friends, coffee makes you happy. 100_1180

3. This drink boosts brainpower.  Dear college students, stop freaking out about “needing” a cup of coffee before working on homework or during an exam.  If you’re me, that cup of coffee calms you down a bit and happens to sharpen your memory and keep you alert.  Shots shots shots!!!

4. Coffee shops are great places to meet up and chat.  I just met up and chatted with someone at a coffee shop last weekend, actually.  We’ve talked about this; forming close, personal and authentic relationships with people is one of the healthiest things a person can be intentional about.  Life is hard, remember, and we need each other. Loneliness is actually the worst; it can shorten your life by weakening your immune system and making you less motivated to seek help when you’re feeling ill.  Depression and hopelessness are side affects of being lonely, which is a byproduct of not putting yourself out there and into deeper friendships.  So quit being wussy and love people, and be loved by them.

coffeeNot quite a health benefit, but you can put french vanilla and caramel flavors in your coffee!!!! Until it becomes a french vanilla drink with a splash of coffee.  Like Cheetah used to do.  Crazy kid.

5. It makes you poop! Who doesn’t love pooping?!?

6. When you wake up and smell coffee, it reminds you of your childhood, of growing up with an early-rising, coffee-loving daddy who thought you were amazing, and who’s love you were never insecure about or shy around.  This smell reminds you of being small, of being beautiful, of a life’s potential and, mostly, of peace.

shoulders

7. And finally, dude, if it makes you stressed and self-critical to try and quit drinking coffee, lighten up and stop trying to quit.  Stress is worse than the potential high blood pressure and jittery nerves.   It makes you stupid happy to drink coffee, so stop worrying about it.  We’ve got other things to worry about.

Feel free to add more in the comments!  I’ll probably post-edit later.

Go camping.

Sometimes, you’ve just got to get out.  You’ve got to grab your best girls and re-discover your Australia backpack (it was in the closet, under the unneeded Tupperware and winter clothes) and toss it and your dog into the car.  Go north, young women.

There is some craziness afoot, some family dramas and some instability with regards to next August, (Peru?!? WWOOF America?!? University?) and some times, and you know this, you’ve just got to say screw it and go camping.

We eventually wound up at Lake Mary in Flagstaff and spent our time vacillating between supreme goofiness and contented quiet.  We three are introverts (the fourth had to go home early for work) and perfectly happy spending our hours together, but in our own heads.  Wine was shared, confessions spilled, and fires made.

It served to remind me how important friends are, how beautiful it is to be spiritually and emotionally bound to others.  There’s that line in a Rich Mullins song “there’s a love that is fiercer than the love between friends”.  It is regarding Christ and the wild, passionate way He keeps us, but I love it for the unchallenged assessment that the love between friends is a fierce love.  Leaving one’s family is a weird break; you love them and they’re the best love you know, but you can’t be with them anymore.  You can’t live in the same roof and you don’t necessarily want their lifestyle.  You ache with longing for your little sister but are wary of “regressing” to live under the same roof as she.  Its almost the same kind of survivor’s guilt I feel over my friend Cheetah; its not fair that I, who was just as much of a potential train wreck as she, got out alive and she spiraled out of control.  Its not fair that I escaped to Arizona and have my brothers while my baby sister absorbs the turmoil of home-life alone.

Survivor’s guilt and helplessness.  It makes me physically ill.  And makes me need my friends.

I didn’t mean to digress into family stuff.  I only meant to tell you that you’ve gotta have friends, you’ve gotta go camping, and you’ve gotta love them intentionally.  Life is really hard.  We need each other.  We need to be reminded of our humanity, of our shared human experience.  We’re not going through all this alone.  And we need to step back sometimes and get away from the daily grind; it is good to take sabbaticals, of sorts, to rest and reevaluate.

I know you’re reading this.  Pretend I’m talking to you.  So go camping and reevaluate some things.

 

Getting restless

I’m getting poop-your-pants excited to start traveling again  Life here and now is wonderful, it really is, and I love the stability and friendships and dancing to silly Flo Rida tunes at Robbie Fox’s…but I am not done.  I am not done exploring and hostel-ing and wwoofing.  In fact, I only just got started.  Oz gave me a taste, showed me that it is possible and that I’m not alone in this yearning.  Its not only possible; it is good and holy.  Ask me why and I’ll tell you.

travel-Via Pinterest.  Follow me, if you please.

On Tuesday I was asked why; why travel at all?  How are people in Nepal any different than people here?  I blinked and tried to find an answer, but really we’re not that different.  Its not the differences that make me love them and love traveling, its the similarities.  How we’re all created by the same God who’s mad for us, and how we’re all doing our lives the best we know how.  That’s at least part of why I love traveling; it shows you how we’re all connected.  Its like reading Postsecret, only three-dimensional.  Do you know what I mean?  About aching for human connection?  You do, don’t you?  You feel it too, right?

I don’t know exactly how and when the next excursion is happening, but happen it must.  I’m looking into organizations that will help, and researching airline credit cards, and reminding myself that I am here, in this house with these roommates, until August, and I am not missing out and I am where I need to be.  And really, I do love it.  We do have fun…

rulabula-time of your life at Rula Bula.

That being said…here’s a cool link to other cool links.  Travel safe and do good.

In here and now news, my friends and I rode bikes all over Tempe with a boom box for the “Tour de Taco”, the boy and I broke up (apparently I just really, really like being single) and I’m completely unprepared for our girls-only camping trip this weekend.  Also, I’m getting off my ass (metaphorically speaking) and applying for writing gigs, as well as trying to volunteer with an urban garden in Phoenix.

Go travel.  Take silly pictures and go with the flow.  Learn and teach.  Remember to be intentional.

And keep it simple.

commute-essentials-commute essentials.

Tour de Taco!-tour de taco

 

The myth of missing out

Last night a boy I really like asked me out.  In fact, I’ve liked this particular boy for a couple years, off and on and basically whenever we were in the same room.  I’ll spare you all the gushy details and get to the important part, but know that I was one happy little camper last night meandering around Tempe.

And then…it happened.

IT.

I was lying in bed (after more gushing with my roommates) and started seeing my independence, my wildness and freedom, slip-sliding away.  I started seeing faces of every boy ever and panicking; oh my god, I am off the market!  I can’t fantasize! I can’t even wonder!  Don’t fence me in!!!!!!!

Missing out.  I think, thanks to instagram, travel blogs, pinterest, and every other social media out there, my generation has a serious problem with feeling like we’re missing out.  By “my generation”, I mean “myself”.  I am terrified of missing something, something better than what I’ve got, so I keep my options open.  I don’t know what I want to do as a career, so I change majors every few minutes and do mediocre in school.  I don’t know where I want to be in six months, so I’m wary of signing leases.  (Until this last one, which I was thrilled about.)   I especially don’t want to miss out on McDreamy, so I ward off any advances and stay blissfully single.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being single.  I love being completely selfish with my time and energy and not having to answer to anyone.  And I like flirting.

After Australia though (where I missed out on my God son’s first birthday, his parent’s vow renewal, my friends’ lives rolling forward) I’ve lightened up considerably and am learning to be content with whatever I’m doing, whatever I’ve got, and wherever I am.

Here’s my advice to you, fellow commitaphobes;

Note the good around you.  Take stock of what’s awesome about your current situation. Is your house in a cool area?  Is there a pretty tree outside the gate?  Is your dog healthy?  Do your roommates consistently crack you up and encourage you?  Ok cool.  Stop dreaming about moving to Portland, India, or downtown Phoenix and just like the place you’re living at.

Appreciate what it took to get there.  Have you spent three very tiring years not signing leases?  Doesn’t that make it all the more restful to have signed a lease?  Have you been single for two years and, while you’re fine with it, look forward to sharing life a bit more intentionally with someone?  Doesn’t that make a dating relationship all the more exciting and freeing?  Haven’t you “been there, done that” with the single thing?   Think about all those life choices you’ve made, the good and the bad, to get you to where you are, and appreciate them.  Remember its about the journey, not the destination.

Realize you’re not missing out.  This one’s tricky, because sure you potentially could be missing out on a great house, a great boyfriend/girlfriend, a better job.  But you also probably aren’t.  The people I’m most drawn to are the ones who are sold out for their own lives, the ones who do their thing and are satisfied with it.  Realize the only thing you’re missing out on is being content and enjoying the present.  If we all thought we were missing out, we’d all be stagnate, too anxious to make a move or decide on anything.  The what-ifs will kill you, so let them go.

Stop stressin’ about the future.  The future is coming anyway, and you’re not going to notice its arrival; its going to feel just like the present.  With this track record, what makes you think you’ll be any happier or any more likely to commit to things once you’re “there”?  Lighten up and enjoy the ride.  Even if you move, even if your dog dies, even if you break up and you’re torn up about it, its not going to be all that detrimental to things in the long-run.  Also, you could die in a car accident next week and what then, huh, huh?

Anyway, if you have more advice on getting over this irrational fear of missing out, comment your little hearts out.  Also, lets toast to my formerself-preservative singleness.  We had a good run.  Now we’re moving on.

In other fun news, we met the Lumineers the other night and scored three free tickets to their show (two via raffle, one because the band just couldn’t stand to see one of us not get in.) 

And I went hiking with good friends and caught a snake.

   Boom.  Felt like a kid again.