Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sleep, sleep, sleep.  As a new mum talk about sleep a lot.  I do in my practice too.  People often say "I could handle the stress, pain, hot flushes etc. if I could just sleep".  Of course, the body functions so much better and everything is more manageable with a good nights sleep.  Unfortunately, sleep is a very complex process and disruptions are often anything but straight forward.  A wellness plan usually involves sleep hygiene, optimizing the sleeping environment, looking at stress and relaxation and occasionally supplement support.

However, sometimes we forget that we can get targeted nutritional therapy using foods.  Remember, eating salmon for Omega-3?  Have you thought about Jell-O for sleep?  The gelatin is a very high protein product with especially high amounts of glycine.  Glycine has often been used for support for ADHD and seizures disorders, but also has some interesting research about its benefits for sleep (especially perimenopausal) and daytime performance and fatigue (1,2).

So how do you use it?  The uses are pretty endless but below are some links to great recipes to get your creative juices flowing.  Happy cooking and happy sleeping!
~
Dr. Kellie

Really, easy and tasty fruit gummies or gels.  http://balancedbites.com/2013/07/easy-recipe-sweet-sour-gummy-gelatin-snacks.html

This is a great starter recipe for popsicles (thank you Dr Oz).  Tweak it with any fruit combos to suit your tastes.  Don't forget popsicles are a great way to hide kids supplements.  The gelatin content can be altered to adjust the texture and it really helps to hide any grittiness from powders.  http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/summer-sleep-solution-recipes.

References:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Victoria has a fantastic new online magazine called Victoria Mom.  It's a great website and sister Facebook page with tonnes of recipes, community connections and articles from various health practitioners and other local experts and mom bloggers. 

We recently did a mini interview and they have done a great article with the Top 10 reasons to see a Naturopathic Physician. 

Ten Reasons to See a Naturopathic Doctor

You’ve been to your doctor and have been given a clean bill of health. As far as they can tell, there is nothing “wrong” medically – but you don’t feel right – maybe you’re run down, generally fatigued, have a recurring headache that just won’t quit. You can’t place your finger on it, but you know you can feel better, you just don’t know how to get there on your own.
 
Dr. Kellie Ferguson of Koru Natural Health Centre said it best:
 
'The absolute top reason people come in is that they plain don't feel well.  
 
They have often been to their GP, who has done a really thorough job testing and ruling out scary causes and they have been pronounced "all fine", but they still don't feel fine.   So they come in and we look a little broader, not just for disease, but for the aspects or systems that aren't working at their best.  
 
Maybe we take away things that are preventing them from feeling fantastic, like dealing with stress management differently or modifying diet to avoid 18 cups of coffee, or we add things that may be lacking or necessary to help the body to work more effectively, like digestive enzymes or omega 3 oils.  Or we use herbal or other therapies to restore or heal systems like milk thistle for liver function. (One instructor called this the 3 "r"  Remove, Replenish or Restore).'
 
With help from Dr. Ferguson we’ve put together a list of the top 10 reasons to see a Naturopathic Physician. If you’ve been feeling ‘off’ for a while, maybe this list will compel you to book a consultation!
 
1. Focus on the cause not the symptoms –  A mantra of Naturopathic Medicine is seeking the root of why a person feels unwell, not just treating the symptoms. As Dr. Ferguson says: “Many are looking for ways to address reason they are unwell, so that they can try to get things like reflux or eczema under control without having to constantly rely on medications to manage the symptoms.” For example, my best friend struggled with acne her whole life, and only in adulthood was she able to finally narrow the cause down to gluten intolerance. No gluten, no problems! “Many of us {Naturopathic Doctors} also have prescriptive rights and so we can help patients if they do need conventional medications even if it’s just for a short time while they work on cause of the conditions” notes Dr. Ferguson.
- See more at: http://www.victoriamom.ca/baby-and-child/ten-reasons-see-naturopathic-doctor#sthash.H0kJ49U9.dpuf
 I've copied a portion of it here:

Ten Reasons to See a Naturopathic Doctor

You’ve been to your doctor and have been given a clean bill of health. As far as they can tell, there is nothing “wrong” medically – but you don’t feel right – maybe you’re run down, generally fatigued, have a recurring headache that just won’t quit. You can’t place your finger on it, but you know you can feel better, you just don’t know how to get there on your own.
 
Dr. Kellie Ferguson of Koru Natural Health Centre said it best:
 
'The absolute top reason people come in is that they plain don't feel well.  
 
They have often been to their GP, who has done a really thorough job testing and ruling out scary causes and they have been pronounced "all fine", but they still don't feel fine.   So they come in and we look a little broader, not just for disease, but for the aspects or systems that aren't working at their best.  
 
Maybe we take away things that are preventing them from feeling fantastic, like dealing with stress management differently or modifying diet to avoid 18 cups of coffee, or we add things that may be lacking or necessary to help the body to work more effectively, like digestive enzymes or omega 3 oils.  Or we use herbal or other therapies to restore or heal systems like milk thistle for liver function. (One instructor called this the 3 "r"  Remove, Replenish or Restore).'
 
With help from Dr. Ferguson we’ve put together a list of the top 10 reasons to see a Naturopathic Physician. If you’ve been feeling ‘off’ for a while, maybe this list will compel you to book a consultation!
 
1. Focus on the cause not the symptoms –  A mantra of Naturopathic Medicine is seeking the root of why a person feels unwell, not just treating the symptoms. As Dr. Ferguson says: “Many are looking for ways to address reason they are unwell, so that they can try to get things like reflux or eczema under control without having to constantly rely on medications to manage the symptoms.” For example, my best friend struggled with acne her whole life, and only in adulthood was she able to finally narrow the cause down to gluten intolerance. No gluten, no problems! “Many of us {Naturopathic Doctors} also have prescriptive rights and so we can help patients if they do need conventional medications even if it’s just for a short time while they work on cause of the conditions” notes Dr. Ferguson.
- See more at: http://www.victoriamom.ca/baby-and-child/ten-reasons-see-naturopathic-doctor#sthash.H0kJ49U9.dpuf

Ten Reasons to See a Naturopathic Doctor

You’ve been to your doctor and have been given a clean bill of health. As far as they can tell, there is nothing “wrong” medically – but you don’t feel right – maybe you’re run down, generally fatigued, have a recurring headache that just won’t quit. You can’t place your finger on it, but you know you can feel better, you just don’t know how to get there on your own.
 
Dr. Kellie Ferguson of Koru Natural Health Centre said it best:
 
'The absolute top reason people come in is that they plain don't feel well.  
 
They have often been to their GP, who has done a really thorough job testing and ruling out scary causes and they have been pronounced "all fine", but they still don't feel fine.   So they come in and we look a little broader, not just for disease, but for the aspects or systems that aren't working at their best.  
 
Maybe we take away things that are preventing them from feeling fantastic, like dealing with stress management differently or modifying diet to avoid 18 cups of coffee, or we add things that may be lacking or necessary to help the body to work more effectively, like digestive enzymes or omega 3 oils.  Or we use herbal or other therapies to restore or heal systems like milk thistle for liver function. (One instructor called this the 3 "r"  Remove, Replenish or Restore).'
 
- See more at: http://www.victoriamom.ca/baby-and-child/ten-reasons-see-naturopathic-doctor#sthash.H0kJ49U9.dpuf


Ten Reasons to See a Naturopathic Doctor
You’ve been to your doctor and have been given a clean bill of health. As far as they can tell, there is nothing “wrong” medically – but you don’t feel right – maybe you’re run down, generally fatigued, have a recurring headache that just won’t quit. You can’t place your finger on it, but you know you can feel better, you just don’t know how to get there on your own.

Dr. Kellie Ferguson of Koru Natural Health Centre said it best:

'The absolute top reason people come in is that they plain don't feel well.  

They have often been to their GP, who has done a really thorough job testing and ruling out scary causes and they have been pronounced "all fine", but they still don't feel fine.   So they come in and we look a little broader, not just for disease, but for the aspects or systems that aren't working at their best.  

Maybe we take away things that are preventing them from feeling fantastic, like dealing with stress management differently or modifying diet to avoid 18 cups of coffee, or we add things that may be lacking or necessary to help the body to work more effectively, like digestive enzymes or omega 3 oils.  Or we use herbal or other therapies to restore or heal systems like milk thistle for liver function. (One instructor called this the 3 "r"  Remove, Replenish or Restore).'


Ten Reasons to See a Naturopathic Doctor

You’ve been to your doctor and have been given a clean bill of health. As far as they can tell, there is nothing “wrong” medically – but you don’t feel right – maybe you’re run down, generally fatigued, have a recurring headache that just won’t quit. You can’t place your finger on it, but you know you can feel better, you just don’t know how to get there on your own.
 
Dr. Kellie Ferguson of Koru Natural Health Centre said it best:
 
'The absolute top reason people come in is that they plain don't feel well.  
 
They have often been to their GP, who has done a really thorough job testing and ruling out scary causes and they have been pronounced "all fine", but they still don't feel fine.   So they come in and we look a little broader, not just for disease, but for the aspects or systems that aren't working at their best.  
 
Maybe we take away things that are preventing them from feeling fantastic, like dealing with stress management differently or modifying diet to avoid 18 cups of coffee, or we add things that may be lacking or necessary to help the body to work more effectively, like digestive enzymes or omega 3 oils.  Or we use herbal or other therapies to restore or heal systems like milk thistle for liver function. (One instructor called this the 3 "r"  Remove, Replenish or Restore).'
 
- See more at: http://www.victoriamom.ca/baby-and-child/ten-reasons-see-naturopathic-doctor#sthash.H0kJ49U9.dpuf

Ten Reasons to See a Naturopathic Doctor

You’ve been to your doctor and have been given a clean bill of health. As far as they can tell, there is nothing “wrong” medically – but you don’t feel right – maybe you’re run down, generally fatigued, have a recurring headache that just won’t quit. You can’t place your finger on it, but you know you can feel better, you just don’t know how to get there on your own.
 
Dr. Kellie Ferguson of Koru Natural Health Centre said it best:
 
'The absolute top reason people come in is that they plain don't feel well.  
 
They have often been to their GP, who has done a really thorough job testing and ruling out scary causes and they have been pronounced "all fine", but they still don't feel fine.   So they come in and we look a little broader, not just for disease, but for the aspects or systems that aren't working at their best.  
 
Maybe we take away things that are preventing them from feeling fantastic, like dealing with stress management differently or modifying diet to avoid 18 cups of coffee, or we add things that may be lacking or necessary to help the body to work more effectively, like digestive enzymes or omega 3 oils.  Or we use herbal or other therapies to restore or heal systems like milk thistle for liver function. (One instructor called this the 3 "r"  Remove, Replenish or Restore).'
 
- See more at: http://www.victoriamom.ca/baby-and-child/ten-reasons-see-naturopathic-doctor#sthash.H0kJ49U9.dpuf

Ten Reasons to See a Naturopathic Doctor

You’ve been to your doctor and have been given a clean bill of health. As far as they can tell, there is nothing “wrong” medically – but you don’t feel right – maybe you’re run down, generally fatigued, have a recurring headache that just won’t quit. You can’t place your finger on it, but you know you can feel better, you just don’t know how to get there on your own.
 
Dr. Kellie Ferguson of Koru Natural Health Centre said it best:
 
'The absolute top reason people come in is that they plain don't feel well.  
 
They have often been to their GP, who has done a really thorough job testing and ruling out scary causes and they have been pronounced "all fine", but they still don't feel fine.   So they come in and we look a little broader, not just for disease, but for the aspects or systems that aren't working at their best.  
 
Maybe we take away things that are preventing them from feeling fantastic, like dealing with stress management differently or modifying diet to avoid 18 cups of coffee, or we add things that may be lacking or necessary to help the body to work more effectively, like digestive enzymes or omega 3 oils.  Or we use herbal or other therapies to restore or heal systems like milk thistle for liver function. (One instructor called this the 3 "r"  Remove, Replenish or Restore).'
 
- See more at: http://www.victoriamom.ca/baby-and-child/ten-reasons-see-naturopathic-doctor#sthash.H0kJ49U9.dpuf

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Welcome Back!

Goodness, it's been a long time since my last post.  And I apologize for letting things go for so long.  We've had a lot of changes around the Clinic but more in our families. I gave birth to our amazing little boy in September.  Then in January, Mark (our outstanding Acupuncturist) had a new addition to his family with the birth of his little girl.  Life is a little (ok let's be honest it's totally and completely) different now, but after being back to work 3/4 time for almost 6 months, I think I've mostly got the swing of juggling home and work now.  And so I'll get back to my routine posts, but for now here's a picture of my little bandit to tide you over!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gluten - free Pies! Thank you, Living Without Magazine.

I might have to confess to being more of a chocolate cake person than a pie person, but this article may convert me.  Once again, Living Without has a host of amazing recipes for making delectable gluten-free pies.  The sugar in these recipes can be scaled back depending on how ripe your fruit is and how sweet you like your desserts.

Click on the title or links at the end for the whole article and recipes for apple, peach, plum and strawberry rhubarb versions. As always, I'm very grateful to Living Without for their information and creativity!

Gluten-Free Summer Pies - from Living Without and authored by Karen Robertson

Slice into the season’s sweet rewards

Summer Gluten-Free Pies
Photograph by Sarah Brooke 

I had the opportunity to work in a local pie shop where I learned some new tricks for creating a perfect pie. I wasn’t at the shop long before I saw that making a gluten-free pie is much easier than making its wheat-filled counterpart. You can work gluten-free dough and make mistakes and the crust will still turn out fine. The only issue is that gluten-free slices may crumble a bit when they’re cut and served. A minor inconvenience, I say, in light of such a delicious treat!
Now is the ideal time for enjoying pie. Fruit that’s in season in your area is always the best choice. It has a higher brix value (measure of sweetness), allowing you to reduce the total amount of sugar needed in your recipe. Taste the fruit you plan to use. If it’s very sweet and succulent, you can lower the amount of sugar in your recipe accordingly.
If you decide to make a fruit pie out of season, there’s good-quality frozen fruit available in your supermarket. Larger pieces, such as peach slices, should be thoroughly defrosted before going into a pie. Smaller fruit, like raspberries, require less thawing prior to baking.
After one hour in the oven, check your pie for doneness by sticking a knife into it. The fruit should be soft and tender but not mushy. If you need to bake the pie longer than an hour, cover it loosely with foil to keep the crust from over-browning.
When I worked at the shop, I became thoroughly immersed in all things pie. The same thing happened to everyone who was employed there. The focus on pies was so intense that the shop owners’ young son even asked for a slice in his sleep. “I want pie,” he said, dreaming. For those of us who must avoid gluten (dairy and eggs, too), these flavorful recipes are like a dream come true.

Full article and recipes are here.

Karen Robertson, author of Cooking Gluten-Free!, lives in Seattle.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The popsicle: a summer treat or tool for hiding supplements and healthy foods.

Its summer time and its toasty (at least on the days its not raining here in Victoria).  We are all craving something cool and refreshing? Before you reach for the ice cream tub try making delectable Popsicles and take the guilt out of it.  And if you have kids this is the best opportunity to hide some supplements or healthy foods (yes even some veggie juices!).

The easiest way to boost your treats is to add a green drink to your mix. Try Happy Planet's Green Extreme, or juice your own kale/spinach (steaming first can help).  Green can be a tough color for kids, so mix with lots of strawberry or blueberry puree to make a purple frozen treat.  A slightly easier option is to mix in cucumber or avocado puree.  Avocado makes a nice light green creamy puree and works brilliantly with yogurt, coconut milk and fruits like mango, lime or kiwi.  Beet juice or even a bit of puree is perfect with any red fruit (pomegranate or strawberry) juice.  The best sweeteners are agave, honey or a bit of stevia.  For a protein punch add in a bit of yogurt, kefir or protein powder.  You can add any supplement (liquid or powder) to your mix.  Just make sure that if you are taking a fat soluble supplement (Vit D, A, cod liver oil or a liposomal product that you have a bit of yogurt or coconut milk to help make it suspend properly.  If the supplement makes it too gritty add in lightly chopped fruit for extra texture.

Here are a couple of really lovely bases that you can start with and build up from there.  Both of these have a bit of good fat content and can handle any type of supplements.

Pomegranate Swirl (From Women's Health Magazine by By Rachel Meltzer Warren, R .D)
These pleasingly tart frozen treats manage to pack three whole grams of protein into a 50-calorie serving.

8 oz pomegranate juice
1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

Fill two-thirds of each ice-pop mold with pomegranate juice. Add enough yogurt to fill the molds to the top, about 2 tablespoons per mold. Slide a knife or chopstick into each mold and swirl until a pattern forms. Insert sticks and freeze for about 8 hours.

Per serving: 50 cal, 1 g fat (0 g sat), 10 g carbs, 15 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 3 g protein

Fudge Pops (From Living Without)

MAKES 8
This revamped version of classic fudgsicles is easy to make and fun to eat. If you don’t have plastic popsicle molds, use small paper cups and wooden sticks (sold in craft stores and online).
3 cups unsweetened lite coconut milk
½ cup honey or agavĂ© nectar*, extra to taste
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch/powder or cornstarch
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons coconut butter or nut butter or 1 tablespoon coconut oil
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Combine coconut milk, honey or agave nectar, arrowroot, cocoa powder and salt in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue to cook and whisk as mixture bubbles and thickens, about 6 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Add chocolate, coconut butter or nut butter and vanilla and stir until completely melted and smooth. Taste and add additional honey or agave nectar, as desired.
3. Pour into 8 popsicle molds or small paper cups. Allow to cool slightly and insert popsicle lids. Or freeze briefly and insert wooden sticks. If using paper cups, cover with foil, poking the stick through the foil.
4. Freeze until solid. To unmold, hold the stick and warm the outside of the cup with warm water until pop loosens. Serve immediately.
Each serving contains 310 calories, 24g total fat, 20g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 51mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g protein.
*TIP For lower sugar content, reduce honey to ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons and add 1 teaspoon clear stevia liquid.
Variation
For Mocha Fudge Pops, replace 1 cup milk with 1 cup strong brewed coffee.

Experiment and play and you'll have lots of wonderful treats for your family.  Enjoy!
 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Autoimmune support and the Paleo Blog I love!


A very good friend of mine has a brilliant blog dedicated to the Paleo diet called ThePaleoMom.  She has amazing recipes (many of which are suitable for families following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Autism support) and tips for great whole foods and healthy cooking.  She asked if I'd do a guest post about how I treat Autoimmune conditions.  I thought I'd link to her Autoimmune diet info and the following is my autoimmune thoughts from my guest post.

So let’s start with the basics of how an autoimmune process does its thing.  Basically, the immune system is triggered (sometimes by a virus, sometimes by bacteria or foods in the gut) and that starts things going.  This pathway triggers inflammation and causes the immune system to be on high alert to the original trigger.  Unfortunately, in an autimmune process the immune system confuses (cross-reacts) our own body tissues with the original trigger.  So when these immune cells come in contact with those normal tissues it attacks and reinitiates the inflammation turning it into a bit of a runaway train.  Conventional treatment is to suppress the immune system trying to tamp down the reaction.  This is usually effective but just manages the symptoms.  The Naturopathic approach is to find and eliminate the original trigger and help the body to restore appropriate control of the immune system.  Sometimes both approaches are needed, especially initially if the system is pretty aggravated, but in the long run people tend to get much better success with addressing the underlying issue rather than just suppressing  symptoms.

In Sarah’s post about the Autoimmune protocol she talks about the importance of addressing the gut.  While it may sound so strange to address the belly when we’re talking about eczema or rheumatoid arthritis , the gut plays an enormous role in managing the immune system.   There are huge patches of immune cells lining the gut protecting us from bacteria or parasites in our foods.  The healthy bacteria (or probiotics) living within the gut act as schooling grounds, training our body to be less allergic by triggering for different chemicals to be released.  You can imagine that if there are any food sensitivities or unhealthy bacteria or fungi present, then all that immune tissue is going to react and cause inflammation and lots of potential for cross reactions.   If you don’t have enough good healthy bacteria (normal flora), then they won’t be able to help the immune system to regulate itself.  If the gut becomes damaged enough (because of ongoing food sensitivities or some medications) then it allows undigested proteins to get into the body whole, which increases the potential for food sensitivities and cross reactions to occur. 
As I mentioned above, the first step to modulating the immune system is to find and address the gut immune triggers, whether they are food sensitivities or abnormal flora.  Sarah’s asked me to do another post later to discuss food sensitivity testing so check back later for that.  Once they are identified, we can limit or avoid those foods to allow the immune system to settle down.  Occasionally, we need to look at testing to identify if there are any harmful bacteria or fungi present and we can address those with diet (Paleo and SCD are ideal) and often with herbal or prescription antibacterials/antifungals.  Probiotics serve double duty by preventing harmful bacteria and fungi from taking up residence in the gut  and also by stimulating normal immune regulation by releasing regulatory chemicals called cytokines.   It’s always wise to research probiotics or consult a Naturopath first as there are lots available over the counter but purity, potency and freshness are significant issues.

Even once the triggers have been identified and eliminated, many people need to heal their gut in order to prevent new food sensitivities from developing.  There are lots of protocols for doing this and the SCD or Specific Carbohydrate Diet was specifically designed to do this.  I often do a multistep process with probiotics, digestive enzymes, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and a product for intestinal healing.  This can be accomplished with diet rather than supplementation by increasing bone broths, coconut oils, cabbage and fiber, lots of fish and nuts and seeds.  But I have occasionally found that the gut is too compromised at the outset to be able to properly digest these foods without supplemental support.

The last step is to directly affect the immune system.  A word of caution:  This is a too tricky to do without discussing with a qualified practitioner (I’d recommend a licensed Naturopathic physician) that is knowledgeable about herbal medicine and their interactions with medications.  There are many herbs that modulate the immune system, that is to say help boost it when its underfunctional and help to control it if its too active, but obviously there is lots to consider before starting any of these.   Some include: Echinacea species, Rehmannia, Albezia, Nettles and Quercitin.   Do not add any of these herbs (no not even Echinacea!) if you have an active autoimmune process without first discussing it with a licensed Naturopathic Physician.

I hope this has been a helpful primer on autoimmune support and keep an eye out here for more information on food sensitivity testing. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email or post via my blog, where you can also find more tips about current news topics, allergies, Autism and other Naturopathic topics.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What's the skinny on all this coffee news? A couple of perspectives.

Yet again a piece of new research is all over the news.  This time coffee and its supposed protective effects is getting all the press.   This is always a bit of a confusing situation since this news gets highlighted and emphasized but its hard to get through the hype to the actual meaning and implications of the study.  But here is a rare and complete piece of reporting by Kelly Crowe at CBC online news.  In her article "What's the fuss about coffee?"  she explains how information like this gets reported and why you have to look beyond the headlines to the actual information being published.  She dissects the study and very clearly points out why studies often only suggest possible relationships between A and long term effect B (here consuming 2+ cups of coffee daily may have possible positive effect on longevity).  And yet the news usually reports these relationships as definite connections.  All in all this is an excellent piece for those looking to have a more critical eye when reading breaking health news. (1,2)

And so what's my take on coffee? There are certainly other studies that suggest that coffee/tea consumption reduces the risk of certain cancers (ie. invasive prostate and breast) (3,4).  These studies do show statistically significant reductions, which means there is less of a possibility that the reduction was due to chance, but the reductions are low overall.  None of them have looked at why this relationship may occur and if there are any other factors involved, though some suggested the benefit was independent of caffeine content.  We do know that there are a lot of compounds in coffee and tea.  There are some like bioflavenoids and antioxidants that have been otherwise shown to have benefits for overall health and cancer risks.  Could that be why?  Of course!  Could it be something totally different?  Absolutely.  For example, is it possible that taking time in the morning to sit and drink your coffee or taking a coffee break in the day helps with stress reduction and that's the reason for the benefit?  Very possible, but right now, who knows?

So what do I say when someone asks me if I'm worried about their coffee intake? As always, I ask a tonne of questions like: how much do you drink, how much water are your drinking, why are you drinking it and how.  If people are sitting and enjoying their coffee ritual in the morning or drinking it while socializing with friends, my assessment is that its helping their quality of life and not to worry.  If its a compulsive or mindless experience (as in they just keep filling their cup with coffee and that's just what they drink) or if its needed for energy, maybe we need to address that need or make healthier substitutions.  But do I think coffee is an absolute poison?  No.  And do I think we all need to drink 2 cups to live longer? No, I don't think there is near enough information to make that recommendation. 

Today's prescription:  Sit and relax for a few.  Maybe enjoy a cup of coffee or tea or the flowers outside, but enjoy!

References:
(1) Crowe, Kelly.  "What's the fuss about coffee?"  CBC news. May 17'12.
(2) Freedman ND, Park Y, Abnet CC, Hollenbeck AR, Sinha R. Association of coffee drinking with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J Med. 2012 May 17;366(20):1891-904.
(3) Wilson KM, Kasperzyk JL, Rider JR, Kenfield S, van Dam RM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, Mucci LA.  Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk and progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Jun 8;103(11):876-84. Epub 2011 May 17.
(4) Ganmaa D, Willett WC, Li TY, Feskanich D, van Dam RM, Lopez-Garcia E, Hunter DJ, Holmes MD