Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Let’s talk about coffee and books

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Is there anything better than snuggling down with a coffee and a good book?

I love me a good book. Give me a coffee too and I’m in heaven. I’ve been reading a lot lately, so much so that I’m thinking about changing my career path to professional reader – is that even possible? I think that would be my dream job.

I keep track of my books on Goodreads.com and so far this year, I’ve read 12 good ones. For me, that’s a huge increase from previous years. Last year, I read 10. Although I have 15 as my goal for this year, I think I will aim for 25. I have at least 20 books on my shelf and probably another 6 on my tablet to read. Most of these are fiction of varying genres.

What’s your favourite genre? Mine at the moment is Crime Thriller.

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What’s going in my mouth!

Last week, I skipped my post but let me assure you, I have been eating! I was in Sydney last week and Fremantle the week before, so you will notice some not-so-healthy but delicious items in the photo log.

I have also reintroduced some complex carbs like, brown rice and rye crackers on occasion. And I am sure I’m consuming too many simple carbs. So many things to figure out……who’s to know what’s the best path to health.

Anyway, it’s been a yummy fortnight!

feb 11 cider

A trip to Fremantle is not complete without a stop at the Little Creatures Brewery. I chose the cider over beer…a decision that may have turned me off beer!! It was so delish!

Feb 11 date rolls

I love these fresh date rolls…great snack.

Feb 11 frozen yoghurt

SYDNEY – Frozen yogurt from Yogurberry on George Street

Feb 11_BF cake

SYDNEY – A pure indulgence – it was yum and I’m so glad I didn’t want more.

Feb 11 great coffee

SYDNEY – decaf, soy flatwhite…this one was the best and at the airport even!!

Feb 11 Thai food

SYDNEY – Thai food (forget name of dish). It was yummy and not at all spicy. This was my re-intro back to complex carbs – I was so full!

Feb 11 wine

Wine and OJ…refreshing

Feb 11 brown salad

Brown and wild rice salad with greens beans, corn and kale

Feb 11 cake

Homemade lemon polenta cake with berry sorbet…a gluten-free treat

Looking at these photos, it looks like I’ve been on a binge!!! I did eat healthy food too…..sometimes ya just gotta give in to temptation!!


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The World’s Most Popular Drug

Did you have a coffee or tea this morning?

Caffeine laced drinks and products are consumed by millions the world over. Does that make us all drug users…..and possibly abusers?

The truth is: Caffeine is a drug.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, cola and cocoa beans. This, of course, does not mean caffeine is limited to these products. There are countless other soft drinks, lollies, ice creams, energy drinks, chewing gum, supplements and medications on the market today that are enhanced with caffeine.

Many people consume hundreds of milligrams worth of caffeine per day and would never guess they may be dependant on or addicted to a stimulant.

What happens when you stop –  cold turkey?

There is a very high chance of experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as: headache, nausea; feeling light-headed, tired, moody, depressed and irritable. These symptoms may continue for 2-8 days so it is easy to reason why so many people just continue with their daily caffeine fix.

How much caffeine are we talking about?

  •  250ml cup of instant coffee (1tsp)  = 60-80mg
  • 1 oz espresso = 90mg
  •  250ml cup of black tea = 40-60mg
  • 250ml cup of green tea  = 25-40mg
  •  375ml can of Coke = 50mg
  • 100g chocolate bar = 20mg

It is hard to pin point the safe levels of caffeine without doing a scientific experiment first-hand. It all depends on who you ask.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand say:

“There is currently no recognised health-based guidance value, such as an Acceptable Daily Intake, for caffeine. However, a FSANZ Expert Working Group analysed the available literature in 2000 and concluded that there was evidence of increased anxiety levels in children at doses of about 3 mg of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight per day. The anxiety level for children aged 5-12 equates to a caffeine dose of 95 mg per day (approximately two cans of cola) and about 210 mg per day (approximately three cups of instant coffee) for adults.”

Is there any reason to stop?

According to the Havard Health Publications, caffeine is not only safe, but may also have some benefits.

“Studies show that the risk for type 2 diabetes is lower among regular coffee drinkers than among those who don’t drink it. Also, coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, discourage the development of colon cancer, improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.”

There are some health conditions that will not benefit caffeine intake: like candida. Caffeine can feed candida and would aggravate excess candida symptoms that may: abdominal pain, thrush, depression, urinary infections, rashes, acne, white coated tongue and food cravings.

Some people may not tolerate caffeine very well and experience over-dose like feelings such as: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia and gastrointestinal issues.

Although there is no proven evidence that says caffeine is harmful to an unborn fetus, it is widely known and accepted that caffeine should be limited to (the equivalent of)  one or two cups of coffee per day.

I personally have “gone off” caffeine several times. Each time I endured 2-3 days of physical pain in the form of severe headaches and nausea.

I am currently off caffeinated coffee but have been having small doses of caffeine in decaf coffee and chocolate, occasionally. I do not drink green or black tea at all.

Yesterday I was unwittingly served a caffeinated coffee  and was not aware of this until 1-2 hours later. I  noticed that I was jittery and scatter-brained and couldn’t figure out why. When I was told of the coffee mix-up, I rationalised my confused state to the excess caffeine.

There’s no denying it: Coffee and caffeine products are big business and keep getting bigger. It does make me wonder though….

Do we need to be stimulated all the time? And are we just trading off one drug for another?

Cigarettes are no longer in fashion and are now a known health hazard but coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks are very sociable, acceptable and consumption is on the rise……for the moment.