Saturday, September 21, 2013

Surviving a Coffee Break



Fall has arrived in the Piedmont of North Carolina.  That’s what we call the part of the state between the beach and the mountains. Rolling hills, trees, and universities. Basketball is king in NC but football season is still game on.   

We are a two generation North Carolina State University Family. Three, if you count my Daddy working there for a couple of years.  Man O and I met there.  Our kids went there by choice, not because we forced them. Now the grandkidlets are being trained in all things Wolfpack.  

Our son built a shrine of NC State items around the TV every game. It was bigger than this by the time he left for college.  

The weather's been perfect for football this week.  The apples are coming in. I can make soup and not sweat into the pot. I should be in heaven. But there's a problem. I need to back down my coffee consumption again.  




  
Well, caffeine really. Did you know caffeine withdrawal is classified as a mental disorder? I believe it.  If I didn’t have to cut my morning cup, um cups, and iced teas for health reasons,  there’s no way I would be reducing my drug of choice. Yep, caffeine is a drug. Sigh.

Caffeine is in everything now. Don’t get me started on the new Cracker Jack’d. Yep, the new version of that wonderful concoction of peanuts and caramel corn now has a cousin with caffeine. There’s also potato chips with caffeine and, get this, caffeinated Stay Puft MARSHMALLOWS.  Can you imagine the Stay Puft Marshmallow man on caffeine?  I don't want to either. But then I did:


There’s reasons a plenty to drink coffee, so the experts say. Alertness, diabetes prevention and cancer reduction. But there are reasons you shouldn’t over do. Heart palpitations, stomach problems, the need to find a Starbucks and breaking down if one isn’t near by. It’s addictive. Sigh.

Watching football this week wasn't going to take my mind off the withdrawal symptoms. We State fans love to say we live to be disappointed.  

Drinking lots of water, dealing with a constant headache and fuzzy headiness is no fun. It’s important to recognize your body is going through a shock to its system and needs some TLC.

After reading way too many articles on living through caffeine withdrawal, I decided to use some of the ingredients I found in detox drink recipes to make a side dish for dinner this week. All the benefits and more of the fiber!  

  

Who knew pineapple reduces inflammation, a withdrawal symptom, and apples are a miracle fruit when it comes to reflux issues? Ginger is known for reducing nausea, another side effect. Cinnamon controls blood sugar.  Vanilla enhances the sweetness without too much sugar. Plus working on a recipe would take my mind off missing my cup of joy, um, I mean joe.

How about them apples? Roasted Pineapple and Apple Bake

2 apples, Rome, Granny or other good cooking apples, diced
1 cored pineapple, diced, reserving juice
¼ cup, butter melted
2 Tablespoons sugar or more to taste
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ginger 
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all the ingredients until well coated.


Preheat oven to 425.
Dice the fruits and place in a large bowl.
Pour pineapple juice and stir to coat apples so they won't brown.
Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and ginger.
Melt butter and add vanilla to the butter.  Stir until blended then pour over fruit.
Stir fruit, spices and butter/vanilla mixture until fruit is well coated.
Place in a 9 X 13 glass dish.
Back for 30-45 minutes, stirring frequently.
Serve warm or cold. 

A bowl of yummy goodness. Bonus: it makes  your kitchen smell divine!

 So what's your obsession? Fall food, football or coffee? Have you had to give up coffee or sugar or sports? How did you cope?


25 comments:

  1. Mmmm, that looks like a wonderful fall dish!

    I don't do a lot of caffeine - at least, since I cut out diet coke (again). Tea a few times a week...chocolate.... That's about it.

    Now chocolate, though. Hmmm. There's an addiction I'd rather not try to give up. I haven't had any today (yet), but I have it handy in case a craving strikes :)

    And football. Oh yeah. I watch the Broncos every chance I get, but college football? I never really got into it. Blame it on going to a college where football was an incidental, not the main thing.

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    1. I miss chocolate. I can't tell you how much.That was the first thing I was told to give up.

      I grew up in the ACC, a totally different animal from what it is now. We are all about basketball. But in high school, that meant we focused on high school football until college bball started. And I was in the marching band.

      Then I moved down to NC where they REALLY take both high school fball and college bball serious!

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  2. Replies
    1. Let me know how it works for your family, Virginia!

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  3. I"ve given up caffeine (except milk chocolate) a few times - felt better but was hard buying combo meals in the drive thrus with no sugar and no caffeine and i REFUSE to get fat drinking my calories - I'll eat them thank you very much...but anyways I had started back with black tea and green tea and found myself even more anxious and b**chy at work (some is normal and expected since I work with well you know and think I'm pre-menopausal and all sorts of excuses...) but anyways I realized over the first half of the shift I was using 4-6 tea bags which I think I read somewhere is 2-3 cups of coffee so now i"m sorta limiiting myself to 1-2 tea bags tops.

    caffeine is a flavor enhancer I think - sorta like msg - they put it in to make stuff taste better (and get us addicted to it) the caffeine free diet sodas dont taste as fizzy - seem flatter tasting. I drink them from time to time but am trying to get away from them.

    but I feel for you since the first time I gave up caffeine was my last year of college- my weight was maybe 20 lbs over 'ideal' but my blood presssure was sky high and I wasn't feeling well so gave up caffeine- luckily it was summer break and I was on my mom's couch shaking - pretty much felt like I was shaking and think I might've been hallucinating a bit too -b ut back then in college it was a couple of 2 liters of diet coke or those huge 7-eleven and stop n go jumbo drinks when studying and pulling all-nighters...I was more addicted than I thought. I felt like my heart was racing and like I couldnt' breathe :-( thankfully it didn't last too long.

    Susanna

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    1. Wow, I hadn't thought of caffeine as a flavor enhancer but you are so right.

      Glad you are watching it now. And sugar in the sodas on top of that compounds a lot of things.

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    2. I was trying to find info on it being a flavor enhancer but all I found was claims that it's added to soda so we become addicted and keep drinking/buying it not for flavor as the companies claim. I still remember the original diet dr pepper and the caffeine free diet dr pepper tasting very very different though - the one without caffeine was very flat tasting. now I think it tastes sweeter...dunno...trying not to drink any of the stuff.

      was about to crash but friend wants me to meet another friend and have dim sum at a nearby restaurant(well near for me not for them but it has the dim sum) so will have to stay awake...

      Susanna

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  4. I never developed a coffee habit so I don't get the compulsion at all. Chocolate is a whole other thing though. Do not get in the way of me and my chocolate!!!!!! And I don't get football either. :-( I know I shouldn't confess that publicly. Please don't throw anything at me!

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    1. Kav I don't get the whole sports business either - esp football - and I'm Texas - east Texas breathes football..almost my entire family is into football - Thanksgiving and Christmas - any holiday or family meal - was around the football game. baseball at least has the hot uniforms but it's still a sport.

      Susanna

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  5. I would like to think I'm not addicted to caffeine. I drink one cup of coffee in the morning--that's it. Maybe I will have a glass of iced tea during the day, but I don't have to. However, if I don't have that one "kick me in the butt" cup my day is all off, so maybe I am more addicted.

    Your bake looks healthier than the recipe floating around in my family. I look forward to giving it a try.

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    1. Yep, even one can cause problems but some folks really build up a tolerance.

      Hey, I would love to know your family's recipe too.

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  6. Ha ha! You said -
    "Who knew pineapple reduces inflammation, a withdrawal symptom, and apples are a miracle fruit when it comes to reflux issues? Ginger is known for reducing nausea, another side effect. Cinnamon controls blood sugar."


    *Raises hand shyly*

    I learned all about these while doing my blog posts over at Healthy Writer. I was constantly amazed. You can add in things like turmeric (also an anti-inflammatory) basil, dill and oregano (antibacterial properties), tarragon (lowers blood pressure and helps with stomach issues), arugula (Vitamin K), etc, etc.

    Love your recipe, Julie.

    Hugs and good wishes on the caffeine free road.

    I've found the hardest part of lowering caffeine is not the loss of caffeine itself, but the ritual of drinking the tea or coffee. I've learned to substitute with herbal teas or warm cider, but it's not quite the same.

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    1. Need to clarify - I meant add to your diet - not to that recipe. Oops.

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    2. LOL, Mary! I was thinking how gross that would taste if you added those to the recipe! :)

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    3. Of course you did, Mary! I knew about oregano, tumeric and basil. Heard about pineapple when my dad's wife's doc recommended it post surgery to reduce inflammation.

      Missy, thought the same thing.

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  7. Julie, this looks yummy! I'd probably want to use it as an ice cream topping, though. I wonder if that ruins the healthy effect??

    :)

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    1. Well, it could but then you'd be getting calcium! I say it is a wash!

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  8. What's my obsession? Baseball. Texas Rangers to be exact. Even though they need to get their act together. I'm also obsessed with tea. However, I had to curtail that when they diagnosed me with severe acid reflux. One of these days, the docs will actually get me fixed so I can enjoy my cuppa again. Until then, no caffeine. And it's not that I was a caffeine addict, I didn't have any withdrawals. I just like my tea.

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    1. I love tea too but am down to one cup of that in the afternoon. Pretty soon it will be none. But I learned if I dunk it for 30 seconds and throw that part away, then I also get rid of 80% of the caffeine.

      Next up. Decreasing sugar even more.

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  9. I gave up caffeine this summer... a big time cola drinker for many years. I also gave up excess sugar. It took me around 6 weeks to do so, and I exercised very regularly because of the cravings. I was able to minimize the headaches this way. I also gave up because of health reasons. My guess is I was in the pre-diabetic range for a few years and I started to have circulation problems. Thanks for the tip on the cinnamon!

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    1. Joyce! I am with you. Sugar isn't great either. Will there be nothing left for us? But I am also pre-diabetic so it has to go.

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  10. Julie. Julie. Julie. A blog without ginormous pictures. I am bereft.

    Okay, back on caffeine. But only my am coffee.

    Found a new treat. Occasional. Buy the pumpkin spice Starbucks take home VIA. Use Lactose free milk instead of regular milk. Yumm. With temps finally 100 and below here I can do hot beverages again. The other favorite, Chai tea bags (decaf or regular) steeped then a shot of sugar free vanilla non dairy creamer. Heaven.

    Easy on the cinnamon. Raises liver enzymes. A sprinkle is good. Family member had elevated liver enzymes and once they cut out the cinnamon in the coffee (possibly used in excess!!!) the enzymes returned to normal.



    Your pineapple apple bake looks yummy.

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    1. Below 100???????

      I had heard that on the cinnamon and only sprinkle.

      I think it is a matter of EVERYTHING needing to be in moderation, right?

      Sigh. The pictures. I will go ginormous next week when I talk about my grandchildren and pumpkin pie.

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  11. Dude. Do you know how to use the preview button?

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    1. Yes, but I am going to blow them up for you. This is what happens when you have a HUGE computer screen. Small looks readable. Apparently not everyone is so blessed.

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