Thursday, April 02, 2009

I drink it because it's good for me...

So I read this great article on Yahoo the other day. It was about how coffee can actually lessen the pain of a strenuous workout. Now, I’ve known for a couple years that drinking coffee before a workout can provide just a little extra boost to keep going – and now it even helps with the pain that comes from pushing yourself that extra mile (the extra mile you could only tackle with the help of coffee). It’s also been shown to reduce the risks of Parkinson’s, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, and certain types of cancer.

In short, it is a miracle beverage.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit too dramatic. But there’s no doubt that coffee is one of those simple things in life that provide small moments of joy. It’s so silly – it’s just a beverage… and yet we’ve pretty much developed an entire culture around it. When I was growing up, my dad was the big coffee drinker – I always liked the smell of freshly brewed coffee, but any time I tried to take a sip of the stuff, I was repelled by the bitterness. It wasn’t until I met my friend Cindy – also a big coffee drinker – that I gave the stuff more of a chance. We would meet at a little place called Carlo for Coffee, where they served something that was half hot chocolate, half cappuccino. So the actual coffee content was quite negligible. And once I was used to that, I moved on to café mochas – still a bit of a chocolate taste, but a lot more coffee, too. And then once I was used to the mochas, it was pretty easy to order the occasional latte – nothing but coffee and milk.

By this time, I had a job that required me to be awake and on the road by 6:30 in the morning. I decided it was time to ransack my kitchen cupboards and find the coffeemaker that someone had given us as a wedding gift. When I opened it, I remember thinking, “a coffeemaker? What am I gonna do with THIS??” – but once I started waking up at 5:30 every morning, I decided it couldn’t hurt to give the thing a test run. I bought a little thermos at Starbucks and began to brew coffee every morning – when I would sit at my desk at 7 am (sometimes before anyone else had even arrived), my little thermos of coffee was the highlight of my morning. Every so often, I would run out of milk or creamer… and since I hated the thought of sitting at my desk with bleary eyes and a foggy mind, I would bring a thermos of BLACK coffee with me. I was quite surprised by how much I could drink without being overcome with the bitter flavor… I’d come a long way from half hot chocolate/half cappuccino.

So I’m convinced that all it really takes to eventually succumb to the call of the coffee siren is a love of the coffee aroma. Some people – like my strictly tea- and hot chocolate-drinking friend Faisal – don’t even like the SMELL of coffee. I pretty much consider them lost to the coffee cause… if you don’t even like the way coffee smells, there’s no way you’ll ever get used to the way it TASTES. But if you, like me, enjoy walking into a Barnes and Noble and breathing in the heavenly book/coffee scent – earthy paper and dust from the rows of bookshelves mixing with richly-scented ground coffee from the in-store Starbucks – then you might be capable of growing to love a good cup of coffee. As well you should – after all, it’s practically a health drink!

And if you REALLY want to love coffee, get up at 5:30 every morning…

Mmmm... cappuccino in Italy... good stuff...


Jannie Funster said...

I'd drink 3 cups a day if I could, the last one in the evening but I know it would wreck my sleep and that would not for a happy Jannie make.

I have been getting one in the mornings at Chick Filet when Kelly gets her breakfast "minis" there and I really do think it makes me run faster and better.

Was swept away by the books / coffee aroma part. Love that too!

I need new running shoes. I estimate I have well over 400 miles on these. It's time.

Oh, LOVE your new profile photo! And the cofeeshop one in this post is cute too!

Jess said...

See now I could totally go for a nice warm cup of coffee, wrapping my hands around the mug and enjoying the warmth of it and then OH that first morning sip is like Nirvana.....but it is almost 11 pm and I have to be at the elementary school at 8:30 am to help dismantle the book fair so I suppose coffee now, however so delightful would be wrong, oh so wrong. Is this the longest run-on sentence in comment history? Do I get an award, like coffee????? :)

Lisa said...

Thanks, Jannie! That coffeeshop picture was in Italy, when my dad and I dragged everyone to a cafe for cappuccino... I'm not sure everyone else liked it as much as we did. :) I think I need some new running shoes, too -- I used to be strictly a "walker," but I've been trying to add more jogging into my routine. Must be all the coffee... :)

Hi Jess! Yes, you DO get the Run-on Sentence Coffee Award! And since you're all the way up there in New Jersey, I'll have to accept the award on your behalf... mmmmmm... good award... :)

G said...


I usually just do one cup at work, as I drink tea in the morning.

I'll drink any kind regular coffee except Starbucks. I do DD only because it's on my Saturday morning walking route.

And I drink it black with Sweet & Low.

Lisa said...

G -- is "DD" Dunkin' Donuts? I LOVE their coffee -- the first time I tried it, I was surprised by how good it was! Back when I lived in New Jersey, there was a DD right down the street from my house, so I had a cup just about every day. (Starbucks, by comparison, was a half hour drive from my house -- we lived in a pretty small town... :))

G said...

Yes, DD is Dunkin' Donuts. I usually don't drink their coffee because to me, it has a funky taste to it.

So I only drank it during my winter/early spring walks.

Now that the weather has begun to turn more milder, there's no need for me to stop at DD's.

Jannie Funster said...

Oooo, Italy.

I'll get there some day!