Thursday, May 29, 2014

Elle Decor April Issue....

Elle Decor's April issue is their International issue! Have you seen it yet? In it they feature decorator Lorenzo Castillo's home in Madrid, Spain. It's a HUGE 17th century home that used to be a former convent, can you believe that?!? 

Check out all the cool mixture of prints and patterns in his home...and that checkered floor?!? Love it. You can see more of his home here.

-images courtesy of Elle Decor
-photography by Kate Martin

Before & After Kitchen Renovation

Welcome back! It's Monday & it's back to work! of my readers, Meaghan Taylor sent over her amazing Kitchen renovation. 

She described the before pictures by saying, "it looked like a crack den." Ha! Well, I'm not going to disagree with her on that but let's just say the after pics are amazing! 

As many of you know I L-O-V-E a white kitchen & this one was done so nicely...... from the white subway tiles to the black counter tops! I can hardly believe it's the same place....can you?? Let Meaghan know what you think of her reno!!




Here's what Meaghan had to say about the renovation project:

We purchased this home in September of 2009 and planned to first concentrate on:
- Removing all the 1970s wallpaper (on unprimed walls!) and painting
- Removing the popcorn ceilings and re-plastering
- Removing the carpet and replacing with hardwood
We also planned to paint the kitchen walls and cabinets to spruce things up a bit while we saved up for a new kitchen (WITHOUT carpet!)  Unfortunately, we were so tired after 10+ rooms that by the time we got to the kitchen (we were planning a wedding at the same time!), that never happened.  
FINALLY (2 years later), we can say that we are DONE!  Let's decorate (ideas welcome!)

-images by Meaghan Taylor

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What Are The Health Benefits of Green Coffee Bean Extract?

Green coffee bean extract, usually taken as a weight loss supplement, has changed the way people look at coffee. While how the regular coffee affects one's health is often argued about, the supplement has gained a reputation in being beneficial in various ways. For one, it is known to promote natural weight loss. To prove this, a celebrated physician conducted his own experiment to show his audience if it really works. The experiment involved 100 women who were divided into two groups: women who were given the supplement and women who were given placebo pills. The women who took the supplement lost two pounds in two weeks. Besides its ability to help people lose weight, it has also been found to have health benefits, such as preventing oxidative damage caused by free radicals and promoting blood sugar balance.

The health benefits of green coffee bean extract primarily depend on the fact that it comes from unroasted coffee beans, as opposed to the regular coffee. Because they are not roasted, significant amounts of beneficial compounds are retained, one of which is chlorogenic acid.

The supplement usually contains 50 percent chlorogenic acid, and it helps regulate blood sugar balance, which is a vital measure of healthy aging in the body. What it does is that it prevents sugar imbalance such as glucose overload by reducing the amount of glucose released into the bloodstream after a person's meal. This is important as sugar imbalance can cause inflammation in the body that can lead to damage to hormonal control systems, organs, and immune function. This decrease in the amount of glucose into the bloodstream is also one reason why it promotes weight loss. Since the body uses glucose as energy, a decrease in its amount forces the body to burn fat cells as energy.

Green coffee bean extract also has antioxidant properties as chlorogenic acid is one of the polyphenols, a group of powerful antioxidants. For this, the supplement has anti-aging properties by preventing free radicals from causing damage to cells. It also prevents a wide range of diseases from taking place, such as heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.

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Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee in Moderation

Are you aware that coffee drunk in moderation is able to offer a range of benefits that go far beyond just giving the initial boost in the morning? By drinking coffee regularly you have the potential to enjoy many health benefits. Here are several of the benefits that you are likely to experience:

Gall Stones: Studies have indicated that having a drink of caffeinated coffee in the morning can help with decreasing the chances of experiencing gall stones and gall bladder disease in both men and women.

Alzheimer's disease: By drinking one or two mugs of caffeinated coffee each day there is a chance of reducing the potential of developing Alzheimer's disease in later life when compared to those that don't or rarely have a drink of coffee.

Parkinson's disease: A further disease that decreases with the regular drinking of coffee relates to Parkinson's disease. Studies suggest that a regular drinker of coffee is able to lower the chances of experiencing this disease in the future.

Antioxidants: Coffee is likely to be packed full of antioxidants in either decaffeinated or caffeinated brews provided of course the beans are carefully prepared and roasted. Antioxidants are ideal since they are able to help in a range of health situations, such as the ability to fight the cancer causing free radicals. A further quality ingredient included in coffee is methylpyridinium which is believed to help with prevent colon cancer, and can be difficult to find at the ideal levels in other food sources.

Improved Cognitive Ability: It is often found that the regular coffee drinkers are likely to achieve better results in certain tests relating to short-term memory, IQ tests, spatial awareness exams, and cognitive ability tests. Many of the tests often indicate that the increased cognitive ability is seen with the tests patience that is in the higher age bracket and female.

Bowel Stimulation: Coffee is known to be highly effective as a laxative and a stimulant. If someone is seeking alternative medical practices they might look at stimulating the lower colon by using a coffee enema. However, since coffee is found to be a diuretic, it does have the potential to result in constipation for some regular drinkers of coffee.

Increased Metabolism: Since coffee is known as a stimulant, it is able to significantly help with boosting the metabolism rate due to the contained caffeine, which can go on to help with increasing energy levels and weight loss. A common ingredient for many weight loss or dietary products is likely to include caffeine.

Get a lot more information on the wide-ranging choices offered with coffee subscription services.

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Coffee (and Particularly Decaf Coffee) and Liver Health

When we think of coffee, we usually think of caffeine and the effects it has on our health. Caffeine is the number one-consumed psychoactive drug worldwide, and its benefits to our health have in probably the last ten years been advanced in multiple tests. Three of the most recent research has shown a relationship between caffeinated coffee and reduced risk of liver cancer, liver fibrosis and fatty liver. Since about 83% of American adults drink coffee, this is definitely good news for most of us (and Starbucks).

But caffeine, being the powerful naturally-occurring stimulant that it is creates side effects with some people. It produces similar behavioral effects resembling those produced by amphetamines as well as other stimulant drugs. It can definitely interfere with sleep, cause anxiety and raise blood pressure and the greater the intake the greater these problems will be in more people. Plus some people who drink excessive amounts of coffee over an extended period have experienced withdrawals such as headache when they miss their coffee.

So many people, as many as 12% worldwide have begun to drink decaffeinated coffee. So the question becomes: are those people getting the same health benefits as those who stay with the caffeinated beverage. As of yet testing has not provided any conclusive evidence, but let's examine further some of the things decaffeinated coffee has and lacks:

1. Coffee is about more than just caffeine. This amazing beverage is extremely complex with in excess of 1000 different substances, with some regarded as very healthful properties. Here are three that are in coffee beans but unrelated to caffeine. The first is caffeic acid, which has antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The next is ferulic acid, and it can decrease blood glucose and cholesterol. Finally, chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant that reduces the production of glucose by the liver.

2. Decaf still has some caffeine. No matter what the decaf process is, none completely remove all the caffeine.

3. Decaf may be more acidic. To produce decaffeinated coffee Robusta beans, rather than Arabica beans are more commonly used. Robustas have a substance called diterpenes which stimulate fatty acid production in the body. This for some people may cause hyper-acidity within the digestive system.

4. Chemicals. Methylene chloride is the chemical that has been used to extract most of the caffeine from the coffee beans. There are varying reports as to the harm it can cause, and much of the process for decaffeinating coffee has gone to other methods. Still, if you are leery of coming into the most remote contact of any chemicals, you may consider this when looking at coffee that is decaffeinated.

Coffee has done quite an about-face in the last few years as far as its health benefits. I can remember when coffee was only consumed by the older generation, or by students trying to keep awake. Now we see coffee shops with long lines almost everywhere, but that certainly doesn't mean that the latte you drink loaded with unhealthy ingredients is going to be good for you. But it is becoming increasingly clear that coffee, if consumed in quantities considerably less than that fed to laboratory rats that tell us that 14 cups of coffee a day are too much, can provide many health benefits for us, and particularly our liver.

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