Tasty Tuesday – July 8, 2008

Usually I use this space each week to talk about quick, easy and relatively healthy foods that working moms can feed to their families. But this article got me thinking about how we feed ourselves – or, rather, the things we put into our bodies in order to accomplish all that needs doing each day. The article’s called “Caffeinated Moms Drink Up to Keep Up” and it’s about how moms are drinking huge amounts of caffeinated beverages. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 65 percent of moms rely on coffee, soda and energy drinks just to make it through the day.

“I can definitely say without a doubt that I am addicted to caffeine,” says Sarah Kripal, mother of two from Lincoln, Nebraska. “I need about four energy drinks, three cups of coffee and a six-pack of soda every day.”

Um… ouch. I hope she’s exaggerating, because my heart is racing just thinking about that! Now, I enjoy coffee, but I’m not addicted. A mocha at Starbucks is more of a treat every other day or so. If I’m getting addicted to anything, it’s a glass of wine before bed to help me wind down. (OK, I realize I just made it sound as if I’m a budding alcoholic, but I swear it’s just a little yummy Cabernet, and not every night – it’s not like I’ve got a bottle stashed under the bed or anything.)

I can always use an energy boost, however, and my method seems to be pigging out at lunch and dinner, then riding a carb high until I crash in the middle of the afternoon or evening. Then I’ll reach for a soda to help drag my butt to the finish line. Healthy, right? Great for the waistline, no? Yeah. It’s going to catch up with me sooner or later, but filling yourself to the gills with Red Bull and Americanos isn’t healthy, either.

The article suggests proper diet and exercise can help boost our energy levels naturally, as can taking time out each day to refresh and rest. But I suspect many of us wouldn’t be looking for a caffeine fix if we felt we had the time to eat better, exercise more and take a few minutes of “me time” each day.

So I’m curious: What do other moms do to get a bit of extra energy on a hectic day when a jog or a nap is out of the question? Any special snacks you keep in your desk drawers? Have you discovered an all-natural energy drink? It’s OK if you want to admit you’re a Starbucks junkie or that you’re strung out on Diet Coke and Smarties. Commiserate or offer advice–I’m cool, either way. I’m just looking for something that won’t leave me resembling Jabba the Hut by the time I retire.

11 thoughts on “Tasty Tuesday – July 8, 2008

  1. OK, Sara, with you just made me laugh out loud at my computer. And? I have a new work cubby friend who sits about four inches from me. I surely hope Sarah Kripal is exaggerating about her caffeine intake too.

    As for me? I don’t drink coffee. But, I have to admit to a slight Diet Coke addiction. One I’m trying to curb. Some days are better than others.

  2. FreshHell says:

    I have to have my two cups of plain old, made-at-home coffee with sugar. My weakness is candy, chocolate, sugar, etc. But in the form of food. I haven’t drunk a soda in probably 15 years. Beer, on the other hand, is a different story. 🙂

  3. My recipe for workday energy boosts is coffee before lunch, water and healthy snacks after lunch. Also, I get up and move around. Even just a walk to the bathroom and maybe a quick chat with a coworker can help keep me awake.

  4. I probably didn’t have enough coffee this morning (only two cups), which is why I have a pounding headache. That’s my only addiction though, real old fashioned coffee. Made at home with milk. I’ve had this particular coffee addiction since I was about 12. I often am sleepy or slow in the afternoon, but caffeine/soda/coffee doesn’t really do any good. I think that’s a sleep deprivation problem that can only be solved with… well, sleep!

  5. Wow, my heart is racing and my palms are clammy after reading that. I’m allergic to caffeine so I drink decaf, only with a full stomach, which seems to lessens the heart racing and clammy palm thing. I do give in to a Diet Coke (fountain drink only, McDonald’s has the best) once in a while.

    If I can’t keep my eyes open, I give in to a 5 minute power nap. Don’t tell my boss. Wait, that’s me, and I’m totally cool with it.

  6. Hey Wino (just kidding),

    I definitely need my coffee in the morning. But sometimes, I’ll start drinking away and forget to eat breakfast. Then I’ll have the crazy shakes and feel all anxious… now that may be the sign of a problem!

    I’ve been getting better by making sure to get some food in my stomach right away. I also hit a wall around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I’ll try to go outside and get some sunshine… and sometimes that helps.

  7. verveologist says:

    Hey Wino, I discovered a great natural Energy Drink, that tastes great and delivers an amazing daily dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants too! Oh and did I mention it taste GREAT! Orange, citrus, fizzy taste. It’s hard to image something that taste so good is actually good for you!!! lol

    If any of you ladies would like to have a look I am including a link, if you call me I will give you a $15 gift code toward your first purchase, when you mention this site!

    Ruby Gochie
    The Health Focus

  8. verveologist says:

    Oh and yes I was just kidding about “wino”, I got a good laugh out of your story as many of us did! Keep up the good work, look forward to more. . .

  9. I keep a stash of hershey kisses in my desk drawer. I buy them when they are on clearance after a holiday like Easter. Anyway, 2-3 of them do the trick for me and satisfy my craving. Then I follow it with water which I always thinks gives you a boost!

  10. I drink one to-go mug (aren’t we always “to-go”?) of half-caf/half-decaf coffee in the morning. I figure this way, if I’m dying by 3 PM I won’t feel bad about a second cup.

    My other secret trick to making it through the afternoons is to use the restroom in the building next door, on the top floor. I get to sneak outside, get a bit of sunshine and a tiny bit of exercise. It usually does the trick.

    When I get home I have a glass of wine. I find these two things (coffee and wine) are small indulgences to look forward to and bookend my day quite nicely. Especially the latter!

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