Coffee and you

Lindsay Lillig

Coffee drinkers: whether you’re an addict, the one-cup-a-day type or an only-when-dying-of-sleep-depravation drinker, coffee has become a societal staple. However, everything has its critics. The more coffee is loved, the more it is harangued by opposing parties. Nutritionists acknowledge that no food or beverage has been subject to more “health flip-flopping” than coffee.

Ultimately, the debate boils down to the fact that coffee can have negative health effects if consumed in excess. The key is for coffee lovers  to moderate coffee intake, which may not be as drastic as it sounds. An average of 32 oz.—equivalent to four standard mugs—is a safe daily maximum. This can easily be divided into two cups in the morning and two in the afternoon or evening.

Coffee is rich with antioxidants. One cup of coffee contains more than 10 percent of the daily recommended dose of B vitamins. The amount of caffeine in coffee helps to increase metabolism, as well as heighten exercise performance.

There are two things to keep in mind when satisfying a hankering for coffee:

  1. Limit the additives. Sugar, flavored syrups and whipped cream automatically counteract any of coffee’s nutritional benefits. Go easy on the sugar and try skim or almond milk instead of other mix-ins.
  2. Cut out other daily sources of caffeine. If coffee fulfills the daily dose of caffeine, steer clear of caffeinated sodas and other energy drinks.

Make wise choices and coffee can remain a beneficial part of your day. Raise your mug with pride.

Check out these recipes for more coffee fun!

[toggle title=”Cappucino Coolers”]

Total time: 5min         Calories: 190

Serving Size: makes aprox. 8 servings,

  • 4 cups coffee, brewed (strong coffee or espresso)
  • 4 cups ice cream, low-fat (vanilla or chocolate)
  • 2 cups milk, skim
  • 2 cups whipped topping, fat-free
  • 4 tsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 4 tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • 20 ice cubes


1. Combine coffee, ice cream, milk, whipped topping and cocoa in a blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Slowly add in ice cubes, blending gradually until ice is crushed.

3. Pour into coffee cups or small glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon.


[toggle title=”Rehabbed Brownies”]

Total time: 45min         Calories: 250                Fat: 16g         Fiber: 3g        Protein: 3g

Serving Size: makes 12 brownies

For the brownie:

  • 1 average-sized ripe avocado, mashed well
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free, all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup light agave
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 3 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

For the topping (optional):

  • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut, grated
  • 1/8 cup toffee chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Add avocado, coconut oil, banana, egg, sugar, agave, vanilla, instant coffee and flax seed into a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.

3. Add cocoa powder and gluten-free flour to mixture. Pulse to combine. Blend until mixture is smooth, without clumps.

4. Incorporate the pecans and walnuts into batter mixture.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

6. In a small bowl, combine coconut and toffee chips. Evenly sprinkle topping over brownies.

7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center is clean when removed.

8. Allow brownies to cool completely. Lift from pan by the parchment and slice.