Why Coffee Will Always Be Part of My Healthy Morning

Why Coffee Will Always Be Part of My Healthy Morning

(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

I've been trying to drink more tea lately. This is partly because I feel like tea is good for me, but also because every time I make myself tea, I am glad I did. I really like tea! But somehow it still feels like something I have to talk myself into making.

The very simple explanation is this: I also really like coffee. Coffee is my preferred morning drink and, even as I hope that my newest tea purchase (spoiler: it's a kettle/pot combo due in the mail any day now) will inspire me to make tea more often, coffee will always be part of my morning.

I'd even go so far as to say that coffee is a "healthy" start to my day.

A "Healthy" Sidebar

Before I explain why I think coffee is a healthy part of my day, it's important to define what I mean by healthy. The word is thrown around a lot these days, often in reference to "superfoods," golden milk lattes, and "healthy" habits. It's all very confusing, especially since the word we should be using is healthful. (But that's neither here nor there.)

Really, when I say healthy, I think I am using it as a stand-in for happy. Happy and healthy often go together, and happiness (i.e., a positive mood) may have some health benefits. But here's an important distinction: I am not implying that coffee has scientifically proven health benefits (although there's plenty of evidence to point to); I am also not saying that you should start drinking coffee in order to make your morning healthier.

So, what am I saying? I'm saying coffee is part of my healthy morning. Here's why.

The One Exercise to Do While Your Coffee Brews
(Image credit: Erin Wengrovius)

3 Reasons Coffee Is Part of My Healthy Morning

1. I love coffee.

The first and most essential reason I consider coffee to be part of my healthy morning is that I love it. I love the aroma of it when it's brewing, I love the taste of it hot and cold, I love it black or tempered with plenty of milk. I love it at home and at coffee shops. I love it by myself and with friends. Coffee brings me considerable happiness and I believe that we should eat and drink the things that we love.

Now, I also love ice cream (and ice cream is not part of my healthy morning), but coffee is not ice cream. I would have to doctor up my coffee with heaps of sugar and half-in-half in order for it to approximate ice cream; I do not. I also do not overdo it. A cup or two spaced throughout the morning is usually my limit.

2. It gets me out of the house.

Starting my day with a walk to the coffee shop gets me out of my pajamas (most of the time), outside (fresh air really is good for you), and interacting with other human beings (real ones! Not avatars — or my dog). Anything that motivates me to move my legs, engage in conversation with actual people, and take a few breaths of non-indoor air counts as healthy in my book.

3. It helps me transition to work mode.

Of course, I don't go out for coffee every single morning, although I am firmly in favor (even if it costs me $4 for a cappuccino). Some mornings I make coffee and that ritual, in and of itself, has value. As someone who works from home at least half of the time (more, these days), finding a way to transition from life mode to work mode is essential.

For me, it usual goes something like this: Put the kettle on, turn the radio on (usually NPR, lately Lily Allen), grind some beans. Feed the dog. Put ground beans in the French press, shuffle around the kitchen cleaning anything I didn't get to last night. Kettle whistles! Pour water into French press, continue cleaning. Think about breakfast. (My dog is also thinking about breakfast, even though he just had breakfast.) Press coffee, pour coffee. Sit down at computer and read through some morning emails (Stella Spoils is a favorite right now). When my cup is about half-empty (half-full!), it's time to walk the dog. When I get back, I warm up my cup with fresh coffee and I'm ready to get to work.

Is coffee part of your morning routine, too?

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