My Love Affair With Coffee

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There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have a coffee. I can give up a lot of things in the pursuit of health. I even gave up Starbucks (and I was the biggest addict around for years), but I can’t give up coffee. In fact, I have one on my desk right beside me as we speak.

When I was younger, my parents and peers always talked about coffee as if it was this terrible thing, and I supposed their words weren’t entirely untrue. I am now well past the *growing stage* in a human’s development, and I am still shorter than both my parents. You can thank coffee for that. I started drinking it right at the peak of my growth spurt- at age 14- and effectively stunted my growth.

14 years old, or ninth grade, was when I started staying up very late, and so I compensated for it by drinking massive amounts of caffeine. Genetically speaking, I could have grown at least another 2-3 inches, but I stupidly undermined myself without even realizing it. So if I could go back in time, I would stop myself from drinking coffee until senior year, because girls typically stop growing or slow down at that age.

For years, I was a caffeine fiend. I’d have 2-3 coffees a day when it was crunch time (or even when it wasn’t). I’d drop tons of money feeding my Starbucks addiction with pumpkin spice lattes or caramel macchiatos (while simultaneously setting myself up for diabetes, probably- I had no idea how much sugar was in those drinks). I soon became dependent on caffeine to stay awake/alert past regular school hours (ie: tutoring after school), and even when I got enough sleep, I still felt the need to grab a coffee. This continued on for a long time, from the time I started drinking coffee and into university.

In the Fall of my second year in university, I knew that I had to improve my health because my diet was terrible, I did little exercise, and I always felt tired and sluggish. So my cutting out of Starbucks and excess caffeine came with my promise to live a more healthy life. I’ll save the extra details for another time, but I had to slowly wean off of it because I was so used to having 2+ caffeinated drinks a day (ie: a latte in the morning, a small coffee in the afternoon).

Eventually, I cut out all drinks that were not coffee, plain tea, or water (which meant no more lattes). I got my intake down to one morning coffee a day, and it’s stayed that way ever since. Because while I do want to live a healthy and balanced life, life is too short for me to not enjoy the things I love most in moderation. A coffee a day never hurt anyone, and for those that didn’t know, coffee actually provides health benefits when taken in moderation. Coffee itself has almost zero calories- it’s just the cream and sugar that makes it ‘bad’.

  • Coffee may be good for your liver –  regular coffee consumption may reduce a person’s risk of certain liver disorders, lowering the risk of liver cancer by 40% and cirrhosis by as much as 80%.
  • Coffee can help you burn fat and and boost your metabolism – this is the reason why caffeine is usually the primary ingredient in most over-the-counter diet supplements. While drinking coffee will not make you lose weight, it can help raise the metabolic rate and boost your athletic performance.
  • Coffee is an all-around performance booster – both physically and mentally. Best of all, it’s legal.
  • Coffee can lower your risk of diabetes – research has found that having 3-4 cups of coffee a day is correlated with a 25% lower risk in type II diabetes.
  • Coffee is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – as you age, coffee can slow down “the onset of neurodegenerative disease,” and can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 60%, and Parkinson’s of 32-60%.

So despite these health benefits, too much of a good thing can be harmful, especially if you are just starting to drink coffee and haven’t yet developed a tolerance for caffeine- even one cup can have you up half the night. Do enjoy this wondrous beverage, but enjoy in moderation, and adjust according to your body’s needs.

(Information taken from here and here.)

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Tim Hortons and Cold Stone Creamery is the Most Delicious Partnership Ever

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I think I’m a little late on this news, but a few weeks ago while commuting to work I noticed that a Tim Hortons and Cold Stone Creamery opened up on Granville Street.

In addition to making my mouth water a little, it kind of baffled me. Why would a coffee chain and an ice cream chain decide to partner up? When I go into a coffee shop, I seldom crave ice cream, and vice versa (Besides, when I eat hot and cold foods immediately after each other, my stomach hurts). I mean, I wasn’t complaining. I remember back in the day, Cold Stone was only available in the U.S, so I’m happy that it’s finally come to Canada.

I was so curious that upon arriving at work, I googled news about the partnership between the two companies. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, co-branding will “offer customers a reason to visit … locations morning, noon, and night”, because Tim Hortons drives up tons of traffic during the morning and lunch-time periods, as it offers coffee, baked goods, sandwiches and soups, and Cold Stone peaks in the afternoon and evening as a mid-day snack or after dinner dessert.

“Our intention is to fill each other’s non-peak periods with new or even repeat customers.” says David Clanachan, Tim Hortons’ Chief Operations Officer.

Some may think that because Tim Hortons’ is more of a daily convenience good that easily fits into a busy lifestyle, while Cold Stone is an indulgent treat where customers are typically not in a rush, it would not work. But these differences actually benefit the company, as they do not cannibalize each other’s products, and draw both types of customers into the store, whereas normally they would not attract the other segment into paying a visit.

I visit Tim Hortons for my morning coffee on a daily basis, but now I would be tempted to pick up a treat because it’s conveniently placed and doesn’t require any extra effort. I am excited to see where Tim Hortons and Cold Stone takes this business partnership!