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Forget Cream… Try This In Your Coffee

Forget Cream… Try This In Your Coffee

Are you one of the 54% of American adults that drinks coffee every day? After years of slogging down cup after cup of joe, is your morning routine starting to become a little boring? Want to try a healthier option, or a more decadent one? Ditch the cream in your coffee and spice up your java fix with these unusual add ins.

Butter Coffee

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    As bizarre as it sounds, butter in coffee is not exactly a new concept. In Singapore, coffee beans are stir fried in butter before being strained through a filter into your mug.

    Adding a dab of butter to your morning coffee is becoming increasingly popular with adherents to the paleo diet. The butter imparts a certain silky, creaminess to your brew. The taste of butter comes through, but it balances well with the bitterness of the coffee. A plus side to this combination is that many regular drinkers of butter coffee report that drinking it makes them feel more satiated, which can be good for those on calorie restrictive diets.

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    Bulletproof Coffee

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      Deeply akin to butter coffee is the increasingly popular bulletproof coffee, which was created by Dave Asprey at the Bulletproof Executive blog.

      Asprey’s creation also calls for butter (about 2 tbs), though it stipulates that you only use unsalted, grass-fed (like Kerrygold brand). In also includes the addition of 1-2 tbs of MCT oil. MCTs are medium chain triglycerides which are naturally found in coconut and palm kernel oil. MCT’s are metabolized very quickly in the liver and are reported to encourage an increase in energy expenditure, while decreasing fat storage.

      Bulletproof coffee is said to promote high energy, fat loss and brain function… all while tasting great.

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      Coffee with Condensed Milk

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        Those who have visited Vietnam are well aware of how well condensed milk pairs with java. A traditional Vietnamese iced coffee can easily contain a quarter to half cup of sweet, thick condensed milk. The combination is absolutely delicious and does the dual task of making your coffee creamy and sweet at the same time. This drink is great both hot and cold, and replacing the coffee with a hot shot of espresso is equally fantastic.

        Affogato (Espresso and Ice Cream)

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          In the mood to treat yourself to something special? Try an Affogato. The name is Italian for “drowned” and it traditionally takes the form of a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or gelato) topped with a hot shot of espresso. The hot liquid melts the ice cream and leaves you with a rich, creamy drink. If the sheer deliciousness of those last two sentences isn’t readily apparent to you, then we can never be friends.

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          Some even add a shot of premium amaretto to the mix to even further improve this luxuriant beverage. Affogatos are perfect for hot summer afternoons and, when served with cookies make a perfect after dinner party dessert.

          Coffee and Cinnamon

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            Swapping out cream and sugar for cinnamon can save you about 70 calories per cup of coffee. In addition, cinnamon has numerous reported benefits, including softening sugar spikes, reducing cravings, strengthening the immune system, reducing congestion and even boosting brain function. One study even found that just a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition to all these benefits, cinnamon adds a delicious taste to your coffee, that is worth trying out.

             

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            Pour some new life into your morning pick me up with these delicious additions to your coffee and be sure to check out this deeper look into the wide world of brown, caffeinated goodness.

            Featured photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on May 22, 2019

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

            One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

            In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

            Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

            1. Cat Camel Stretch

            Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

            Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

            Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

            Here’s a video to guide you through:

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            2. Go for a Walk or a Run

            This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

            Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

            The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

            Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

            Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

            3. Jumping Jacks

            Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

            Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

            4. Abductor Side Lifts

            Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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            Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

            5. Balancing Table Pose

            This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

            Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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              6. Leg Squats

              Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

              Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

              The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

              7. Push Ups

              You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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              An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

              Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

              This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

              8. Bicycle Crunches

              There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

              Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

              9. Lunges

              Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

              Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

              This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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              10. Bicep Curls

              You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

              Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

              Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

              Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

              Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

              These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

              You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

              Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

              More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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