Gut Intuiton – A Healthy Living Blog

With so many choices in life from diet, to raising children it can be hard to make the ” best” choice. Every book and website out there will have a different and very compelling reason why they know the way things should be done. I have found in my life that it is important to be well informed but in the end you often have to go with your gut! Gut Intuition is your stop for tidbits on anything from Gluten Free recipes, exercise, fertility, family and just about anything I have been inspired by. Stop by often to see what is happening.

The Good The Bad and the Ugly news about Caffeine! Should you give up caffeine?


Now I am addicted to buying every herbal tea I see at the store!!!!

Last week I had a super fun Cooking Class all about Detox Cooking and the very basics of Detox.  Somebody asked the question, “Why should we give up Caffeine?”.  I thought it was a great question, one that deserved more attention!  And I figured there had to be a few of you out there who were wondering the same thing.

From a personal perspective I am so happy to be free of the caffeine addiction.  I used to drink a lot of coffee (I really mean lotsa lotsa cups per day!).  My lovely hubby roasts green beans and so it has always been a struggle to give it up, because it’s not like I was drinking instant junk I was drinking Black Gold!  It was a comfort each morning to hold the cup and enjoy the warmth and the bitterness and of course the alertness too!  It had become something like a morning meditation.

The only thing that bothered me at the time was feeling dependent on something to feel good.  Believe me if I got to noon without caffeine I would be in some serious trouble.  So when on vacation or staying at a friends it was always so important to make sure I had my coffee available or I would be out of commission for the rest of the day!  I mean skull blasting headache!  That always felt icky to me, to let something else control my well being.

So I did it!  Many times over and over I would give it up for a week here or there or just during a cleanse but I would go right back to it.  I would slowly wean off of it over a period of days to avoid the total brain explosion.  It was still not pleasant but it was bearable.  And then back to it.  I felt like I had proven to myself that I wasn’t addicted. But I hadn’t yet felt the physical benefits of quitting.

Then one day after doing a cleanse and being off of caffeine for about 2 weeks I realized that something had changed.  I noticed that this low grade anxiety that usually experience nightly was gone!  I had never put the two together!  I didn’t have the flutters in my chest and the senseless worry about having forgotten something important or the overwhelm of making mountains out of molehills!  This was huge!  After that realization I was sold on never getting hooked again, nothing is worth that dreadful feeling.

Now if I have some caffeine I can tell right away.  My brain starts buzzing and going out of control.  I am grateful to know the cause so that I can deal with it better ,but it really isn’t worth it.

So that is my experience and my reason for staying away.  Here is a fun little chart put together by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  It shows the benefits and the drawbacks of caffeine.  You can make your choice!

Your 5 best reasons to get off the bean and 5 best reasons to stay on!

Caffeine – Top 5 Quirks 

1. Stress
Caffeine stimulates the excretion of stress hormones, which can produce increased levels of anxiety, irritability, muscular tension and pain, indigestion, insomnia and decreased immunity. Increased levels of stress can keep you from making healthy responses to normal daily stress.

2. Emotional Disturbances
Anxiety and irritability are hallmark mood disturbances associated with caffeine consumption, but equally important are depression and attention disorders. Depression may occur as part of the letdown after the stimulant effects of caffeine wear off. It may also appear during the recovery period after quitting caffeine while the brain’s chemistry is readjusted. 
3. Gastrointestinal Problems
Many people experience a burning sensation in their stomach after drinking coffee because coffee increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid, which leads to an increased risk for ulcers. Coffee, including decaf, reduces pressure on the valve between the esophagus and the stomach so that the highly acidic contents of the stomach pass up to the esophagus, which can lead to heartburn and gastro-esophageal reflux disease.
4. Nutritional Deficiencies
Caffeine inhibits the absorption of some nutrients and causes the urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and trace minerals.

5. Adrenal Exhaustion
Caffeine consumption leads to eventual adrenal exhaustion, which can leave you vulnerable to a variety of health disorders related to inflammation and fatigue.
Adapted from Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drug by Stephen Cherniske.

Caffeine – Top 5 Perks
1. Alertness
Even in relatively low doses of 100 milligrams (the amount in about 8 ounces of ordinary brewed coffee), caffeine makes people more alert.
2. Mood
At 200 milligrams people report an improved sense of well-being, happiness, energy, alertness and sociability.
3. Concentration
Studies suggest that caffeine can help you perform a variety of cognitive tasks, such as recognizing visual patterns, more quickly.
4. Performance
Research shows if 3-9 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight is consumed one hour prior to exercise it increases endurance.

5. Disease Prevention
Caffeine keeps the dopamine molecules active, preventing diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Harvard researchers have found that men who drink four cups of caffeinated coffee a day are half as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease as those who refrain from consuming caffeinated beverages.                                                                                             (adapted from IIN © 2010 Integrative Nutrition)

This is just the tip of the iceberg!  There are hundreds of studies out there for and against caffeine consumption.  Is it worth it or not for your body?  Have you ever given your body the chance to experience being caffeinated or decaffeinated for an extended period of time?

12 Day Detox coming up My 11th!  Don’t miss out!  For more details click here, 12 Day Spring Cleaning Detox!



Spring Cleaning for the Body and Mind! Detox

April 14, 2014

Spring Cleaning for the Body! Detox Yes, it is that time again, every couple of months I offer the fabulous 12 day detox. Here is my plug then back to recipes later in the week!  Please pass on the info to anyone who might be interested!  We really do have a blast! Here is what […]

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Season To Taste, Guest Blogger Erin! – lentil vegetable stew

April 7, 2014

Lentil Vegetable Rice Stew! Guest Blogger Alert!  I am so happy to have Erin sharing a family recipe with us today.  Erin is a very similar cook as me, in other words, she throws everything in the pot, bowl, pan whatever and away she goes!  So had to pin her down to write a recipe […]

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Cabin Fever! Blueberry Ice Cream!

March 31, 2014

Blueberry Ice Cream!   Dreaming of Summer! No I don’t have blueberries growing right now! In fact they are covered by many feet of snow currently, but this photo gives me hope! Oh boy!  I am getting serious Cabin Fever!  We had a tiny little taste of spring a couple of weeks ago when it […]

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Pineapple Raspberry Smoothie – My very first video!!

March 27, 2014

Raspberry Pineapple Smoothie! Get ready for this!  My very first video demonstration!!  I decided to go with something simple for my very first demo.  A Raspberry Pineapple Smoothie.  I didn’t want to try doing anything where the camera had to move or anything.  So a smoothie it is my friends!!  You may get a lot […]

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Suppertime Streamlined – 3 meals starting with the Baked Potato

March 24, 2014

The lovely, comforting, humble Potato.  A few of you mentioned that the last suppertime streamline was helpful so here is another round!  3 Fast meal ideas for the price of 1!!! Wait a second here……I don’t get paid for this!  Okay so you get 3 recipes for the bargain price of free.  Enjoy! We love […]

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Triple Chocolate Coconut Smoothie! (aka beginners green smoothie)

March 20, 2014

Yummiest easy smoothie recipe for beginners, or anyone!! Mmmmm….quickly sharing my favorite smoothie!  This baby really sets me up for the day!  It is smooth and crunchy and sweet and delicious!  Trust me when I say that this is truly an easy smoothie recipe that will help you get in the habit!! Triple Chocolate Coconut […]

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Super Fast, Super Food -Healthy Breakfast or Lunch!

March 17, 2014

Fast Healthy Breakfast for folks on the go! At the grocery store the other day I saw a bag of a new kind of granola.  I can’t remember the brand name, but all it had in it was chia seeds and some coconut and hardly anything else.  It was crazy expensive!  So I decided I […]

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Suppertime Streamlined!! 3 meals frugal and fast!

March 11, 2014

Have you ever thought about meal planning?  Have you ever actually done it?  Probably not.  Because meal planning takes time! Time to find the recipes, time to plan what to have when, and time to make a grocery list – then go to the grocery store 5 times because you forgot something on your list, […]

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