FOR THE LOVE OF COFFEE! EVER WONDER HOW CAFFEINE REALLY AFFECTS YOUR BODY?

FOR THE LOVE OF COFFEE! EVER WONDER HOW CAFFEINE REALLY AFFECTS YOUR BODY?

As I am drinking coffee and writing these words, my thoughts and ideas are popping up uncontrollably and I can’t sit still. I feel like the littlest distractions are vying for my attention and I feel anxious that I can’t just focus on one.  Coffee is definitely not for everyone and affects everyone differently.   And for some the love of coffee just extends to Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream.

But apart from Häagen-Dazs, coffee is used for an important part of everyday life, the workplace.  Most people I know, especially the working population relies on caffeine, to get them through their day. Some people I know have up to 5 cups of coffee a day or more! This, I always thought, could not be healthy. There have been many conflicting reports on whether caffeine is healthy or detrimental for you.  Since it is critical to understand what you are putting in your body especially at high frequencies, I will do my best to highlight the most solid findings and explain the current conclusion one can sum up from the credible research out there.   BUT PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: I am not an expert, I am just eager to learn and spread my findings, so if you really want to learn more I would recommend checking out my links and the specialists on the subject.

How does caffeine operate in the human body?

Caffeine permeates easily through body membranes and tissue compartments entering the blood stream through your mouth, throat and stomach lining. It takes just 45 minutes for 99% of the caffeine to be absorbed. The half-life of caffeine is the time it takes for the body to metabolize one half of the total amount of caffeine.  The half-life in caffeine ranges from 2.5 to 10 hours. After this time caffeine has either a little or no effect, such as a change in mood or alertness, which lasts about 2 to 5 hours.

I can’t stress enough my favorite word “moderation.”  The level of moderation may change from one person to the next. Some people (like me) may only need one cup of coffee to feel jittery, sometimes even irritable or anxious, so I try alternative ways of boosting my energy (which I’ll talk about in my next post).  Caffeine tolerance stems from how much coffee you are used to drinking, your body mass, age, health condition (especially if you have anxiety issues), and the medications you use (Here is an article listing medications that affect your caffeine intake).  Judging that someone is completely free from caffeine depends on a person’s ability to metabolize caffeine rather than absorb it and it may take the full day to eliminate all traces of caffeine from the body.

Detriments

  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Caffeine is considered a drug so it should be treated like one, you should be mentally keeping track of how many doses you’ve had because too much can lead to:
    • Anxiety
    • Dependency
    • Withdrawals
    • Overdose (a.k.a Caffeine Intoxication)
  • Can cause lower birth weight in newborns
  • Because of these following factors caffeine can be correlated to the increased risk of coronary artery disease and stroke:
    • Stimulates adrenaline
    • Inhibits insulin
    • Increases blood pressure
    • Can cause acne
    • Can cause insomnia, hypertension and gastroesophageal

 

  • Coffee has a high level of antioxidants
    • Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet, but not because it has the highest amount of antioxidants, because people drink it so frequently.
    • Through tests on rats (more information about why a rat brain is similar to a human’s) it is found that caffeine boosts cognition and guards the brain from inflammation and oxidative stress, which leads to cognitive, motor and neuronal decline.  This mean that your ability to reason, memorize, perceive (cognition); your ability to move (motor) and your nervous system function (neuronal) are kept in tack for longer.
    • Can enhance exercise performance
    • Can reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
    • Coffee is found to have properties that mobilize fat from fat tissue
    • Coffee drinking is an evident factor in social networking in the US and throughout the world, which can improve a person’s social life and quality of life.

So is caffeine healthy or not?

Much research has been done to further exploit the truths of caffeine, yet there are still conflicting findings and the long-term effects of caffeine are also not concrete enough. Although there are findings that coffee can have healthy benefits, coffee cannot be considered to be a healthy supplement to your diet without more in-depth research, more specifically with people who are sick. Most of what we know about coffee comes from studies with healthy participants.   Also there are many factors that numerical results do not take into account, such as the sick being prone to avoiding coffee, or the habitual coffee drinker having more of a booming social life because he or she tends to take more coffee breaks.  Therefore some experiments are more skewed than others, because of the undetermined factors.  Overall, the psychosocial aspects of caffeine, especially in coffee, (since it is one of the most popular beverages consumed) should be analyzed and developed as well as other factors mentioned above.

There is truth in the fact that caffeine can exacerbate certain health conditions, so please listen to your doctors if they tell you to stay away from caffeine. Caffeine is, once again, considered a drug so it is of great importance for all you intelligent, worldly women out there to just be aware of how many cups you have a day and if it is difficult to get that energetic feeling you used to get (and you are going to the bathroom like crazy) it might be time for a coffee detox to restore yourself to a more economic and healthy caffeine tolerance. The average caffeine consumption is around 2 cups of coffee per day, so with this in mind The Mayo Clinic recommends that people not to go over to 5 to 6 cups per day. Once again, moderation is key and only then will caffeine give you the benefits that are still becoming more evident.

GIRLS NIGHT OUT FOR CANCER!

GIRLS NIGHT OUT FOR CANCER!

Calling all fashionistas, girly girls, band geeks, and do-gooders! Cynthia Rose here with the latest Think Pink event for October. Do you like pink? Pop-up shops? Girls night out? Cocktails for a good cause? Do you secretly want to save the world but don’t own a cape? Shop Addicts is hosting a pop-up beauty and runway event on Thursday October 24th. The event is sponsored by IMAN Cosmetics and a portion of ticket sales and any additional donations will benefit breast cancer survivors.

The What?

Shop Addicts, an organization that brings awareness to social causes through the love of shopping, is launching this event along with Women Who Launch and the Women Chamber of Commerce. They want to see you in pink attire – necklaces, purses, boas, or dresses. It’s happening at the Yotel Hotel on 42nd street, where you can stroll down the pink carpet, get manicures, a signature drink, and a goodie bag.

Pros?

The event will be hosted by a celebrity guest and cancer survivor, which is a nice combination of sparkly flash and the real effects of cancer. Pink girl tickets are free and Pink VIP tickets which include beauty treatments are $20 (let’s get serious – I spend more at the local happy hour). It should be a fun time to gab with the girls and feel like a star. Proceeds will benefit Sisters Network Inc., a national African American breast cancer survivorship organization.

Cons?

It’s hard to find a balance between genuine charity and “showing up” to be seen. Some people will belong to the first group, while others the second. This event is also geared toward groups, so if you are the wallflower type (and sometimes I am) this event may not be for you.

Advice?

We can’t all fight like Wonder Woman or have the face and body of Black Widow aka Scarlett Johansson, but we can have fun and contribute a little to the world while doing so. Go for it, Thursday’s never looked so good . . . .

JILLIAN MICHAELS DETOX WATER

JILLIAN MICHAELS DETOX WATER

Detoxing is all the rage these days, with juice cleanses, cayenne pepper diets, and <enter most recent detox trend here>.  I figured I would jump on the band wagon, and try the Jillian Michaels Detox Water, which didn’t make me stop eating, so all systems were a go to give this one a try.

This one is actually quite simple.  All you do is make this Detox Water, and drink it in its entirety throughout the day for 7 days.  You don’t have to stop eating, and you can still drink other things outside of the Detox Water, as long as you make sure you finish it.  One catch, which can make this an easy detox or a more difficult one:  You will be consuming 61 ounces of this drink.

What is in this Detox Water you ask?  Nothing too crazy.

-60 oz distilled water

-1 T 100% pure cranberry juice (no sugar added, non-cocktail)

-2 T lemon juice

-1 dandelion root tea bag

 

All the ingredients were easy enough to find (you can find the dandelion root tea at Whole Foods, any nature store, GNC), and the process of making it is simple – you just mix it all together, leaving the tea bag in it all day.

The Purpose?  If you drink this Detox Water for 7 days straight, Jillian Michaels says it will help you lose up to 5 lbs. in excess water weight.

My Thoughts?  I didn’t find it very difficult to do, but then again I am used to drinking a lot of water every day.  I kept it next to me all day, so it was easy to grab, and I didn’t get left with a ton to drink at the end of the day.  As for the flavor – it was pretty lemony.  I didn’t find it bitter, as you might imagine it being from the tea.  It actually was a bit tart, and went down the hatch rather easily.

Did it work?  Eh.  I lost maybe a pound or two.  Not sure if it is because I drink this much tea/water each day anyways, or because it was the beginning of that not so lovely time of the month, but I didn’t see much of a difference.  Also, since I have been eating healthier (minus superbowl weekend..oh my!), the weight loss could have been from that.  Overall, I didn’t see anything negative about it though, so I would recommend it to someone that may feel bloated, or could use drinking more water/tea.  I’ve read that others aren’t as hungry while they are doing it, and they lose the full 5 pounds, so power to you if you want to give it a shot.  Plus, Dandelion Root is supposed to be great for your liver and digestion.

UNITY YOGA COMES TO HARLEM

UNITY YOGA COMES TO HARLEM

Living in New York, it is fairly easy to find a yoga studio. In fact, there is a plethora of yoga choices from hot yoga to Bikram yoga to zen boot camp yoga. But for residents of Harlem, yoga studios, especially an affordable yoga studio, were not plentiful. However, in November Unity Yoga opened at 128th and St. Nicholas, bringing affordable yoga to the community.

Unity Yoga, a Vinyasa based studio, hopes to build a strong community of yogis in Central Harlem. Sarah Rehman, owner of the studio, saw potential in a community that was underserved by yoga studios. The name, Unity, was chosen to make yoga accessible to those who are unfamiliar or new to the practice. While all levels are welcomed, there is a focus on beginning level students. There are multiple alignment and core classes offered where students are encouraged to use props to find their bodies natural alignment and work to increase their own flexibility. Unlike downtown yoga studios, the focus of Unity Yoga is on the individual’s needs with teachers working to address the student’s individual needs and offer modifications as needed. Yoga at Unity is accessible but challenging, allowing each student to feel at home in this growing community.

But Unity Yoga is more than just a studio; it is a growing community of Harlemites focused on unity. Rehman plans on adding a coffee bar with WiFi to encourage members to simply hang out and get to know each other. With a large reception area there will be space for retail, with the focus on yoga gear and props. The studio, a gorgeous urban oasis, will hopefully be home to book clubs, meditation classes, and workshops (look for one in January!). Walking through the doors of Unity Yoga one feels at home, welcomed as one is to become what one hopes to be.

With a focus on community membership and acknowledging the median income of Harlem residents, Rehman works diligently to keep the cost of classes affordable. First time members can purchase a monthly pass for $48, a great deal in any part of the city. After that, monthly membership is $72. For those who aren’t ready to make a commitment, individual classes are $22. The studio provides mats, blocks, and towels as well as access to showers and dressing rooms (a plus that many boutique studios do not have). To purchase any class or membership, simply visit unityyoganyc.com.

Unity Yoga is a much needed plus to a community that just keeps growing. Come join the flow on your mat and find your breath. Namaste!

Fashion Spotlight: Ebony White

Ebony White

After being a featured Fashion Designer at last week’s RAW, Natural Born Artists Event, Ebony White, who likes to go by Ebo (eee-boe), is a force to be reckoned with.  With her Fun, Flirty, and Feminine pieces, her designs have been featured in top fashion magazines, and can be seen on many celebrities.  Ebony was kind enough to take a moment from her busy schedule to tell us a little about herself, and her life in NYC’s Fashion Industry.

SceneStealersNYC:  Where were you born, and what was it like growing up?

Ebony:   I was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the land of Bill Clinton, and my family actually knows the Clintons.  When he was President we got to visit the White House and everything.  I only lived in Arkansas until I was about 5.  My mom joined the military and so I grew up in Mississippi, Spain, and Colorado. In my adult life, moving has never been a big issue to me, and it is always an opportunity to open new doors.  So after graduating high school, I moved to DC, New York, Los Angeles, back to New York, Atlanta, and now I’m back in New York again.  I think I would like to spend a few years abroad.

SceneStealersNYC:  Where did you attend college?

Ebony:   I attended Howard University for undergrad, where I studied Fashion Design and Merchandising with a minor in journalism, and after graduating there, I got a second degree a couple years later from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Design.

SceneStealersNYC:   What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself?

Ebony:  Dedicated, energetic, perfectionist

SceneStealersNYC:  Where do you currently work, and what is your role?

Ebony:  I am a swimwear designer for Juicy Couture, DKNY and newly TYR Redline, an updated lifestyle brand for TYR.

SceneStealersNYC:  What made you pursue a career in fashion?

Ebony:  I believe my mom passed off the desire to me in the womb because she’s always had fashion in her blood.  She is an amazing seamstress, and used to design clothes for herself, and customers, in Hot Springs in high school.  I can’t remember ever wanting to be anything different.

SceneStealersNYC:  What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?

Ebony:  A dress for my Barbie Doll out of a tube sock.  My Barbie Dolls were obviously high society.

SceneStealersNYC:  What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?

Ebony:  I have been in the industry for about 15 years, and I feel extremely fortunate to actually be working in a field that I chose, and that I love.  Not so many people are so blessed.  I was a Critic Award winner at FIT.  Once I entered the industry, I was hired as an assistant, but within 3 months promoted to a designer.  From my first job, I moved up and progressed at high speed.  I’ve worked for many big name brands, my designs have been sold around the globe, in magazines, on tv, and worn by celebrities.  It’s awesome to see when someone gets pleasure out of something born out of my mind.  I was recently showcased at a RAW: Natural Born Artists event, and it was awesome.  My biggest accomplishment is seeing how many people out there love and support my work.

SceneStealersNYC:  Where do you get your inspiration?

Ebony:   I am inspired by everything.  If you gave me a piece of fuzz out of your pocket, I could design a collection around it.  I am a completely organic designer,  so much so, that I feel like the garments design themselves, and I am just a vessel.

SceneStealersNYC:  Who are some of your favorite designers?

Ebony:  I love everybody. There are no designers that I love every single piece, and there are no designers that I couldn’t find something that I love.  Passion shows through it all, and that tends to be what I’m drawn to.  I tend to buck trends.  A lot of times designers have big names because they have big budgets to pay for marketing and publicity.  End of story.

SceneStealersNYC: Who is your favorite style icon?

Ebony:  That’s a tough one, I have a commitment problem.

SceneStealersNYC:  Who would you love to outfit, and what would you choose?

Ebony:    I would love to dress The Lady Tigra because I love her spirit and energy.  A big name, I’d probably choose Angelina Jolie, because I love her spirit, the way she carries herself, and people pay attention to what she wears.

SceneStealersNYC:  What are some of your favorite clothing stores/catalogs/websites?

Ebony:  I tend to do a lot of shopping in the sale section of shopbop.com

SceneStealersNYC:  What do you think are the current and future trends in fashion?

Ebony:  Current trends: lace, eyelet, sheer, femininity, bra tops and jackets, full skirts, flowers, wide legged pants, colorful prints in primary colors.  Future trends: printed denim,  intricate detailing, beautiful embroidered crochet and forms of knitting, very tailored dresses, interesting plaids.

SceneStealersNYC:  How would you define NYC’s fashion?

Ebony:  People mostly wear black here.  At big fancy events though, I love seeing people strut their stuff and go all out.

SceneStealersNYC:  What fashion goals do you have?

Ebony:  I want people to know my name, and my work.  Fashion is a world where most of the people doing all of the work get none of the credit.  I want people to know my name so all the people that have supported me along the way, especially my mom, my sisters and my friends, can be proud and inspired.

SceneStealersNYC:  What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

Ebony:  Believe in yourself, and don’t give up.  A lot of people give up and settle.  The ones who make it are the ones who never stop trying.  Also, try to use every situation as a learning opportunity.  Get involved in projects, work with other artists, work with people you feel are better than you, think outside of the square.  If people see your passion, they want to help you, and they fight for you, even when things are a struggle and you have a hard time fighting for yourself.  Jealous people will drag you down, but only if you let them.  Instead, be an inspiration to them, and pull them up.

A few fun questions:

SceneStealersNYC:  What’s in your ipod right now?

Ebony:  A group called The Senate recently played during a fashion show I did.  The song they performed was called Spanglish.  I LOVE IT.

SceneStealersNYC:  Is there any mantra/quote you like to live by?

Ebony:  Set the trends.  Let them follow.

SceneStealersNYC:  Who’s your celebrity crush?

Ebony:  Justin Timberlake.  Still.

SceneStealersNYC:  If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you say to them?

Ebony:  A toss up between James Baldwin and Fiona Apple.  They’re both so smart and talented.  I just want to pick their brains.

SceneStealersNYC:  If you were an animal, what would you be?

Ebony:  A bird.  An owl would probably be my best friend.

Thank you so much Ebony for interviewing with us.