Organic Coffee... Let's Talk About It

As a kid, morning’s for me started differently than my friends. As my neighbors would wake up and eat poptarts and waffles, my brother and I would wake up and drink coffee. Raised in a Cuban household, i've been drinking coffee since i was about 8. yeah - you read that right. drinking coffee not only gives me the energy i need to get through my long days, but it's a nostalgic ritual that reminds me of slow mornings with mom + dad and fun nights with abuelo + abuela.

*This post is sponsored by Peet’s Coffee. All opinions are my own.*

If i’m being honest, I think the longest standing relationship to date in my life is my relationship with coffee. My wellness journey really began after graduating college in 2015. I moved home to study for the GRE and apply to graduate school. It was also at this time that I had begun my yoga teacher training. Living with my mom after college was nothing short of a nightmare, so during the days I would take my work out of the house with me and post up at my local Peet’s coffee shop for 6-8 hours. To this day, the Peet’s Coffee in Laguna Niguel has a special place in my heart.

Though I was becoming more wellness-focused, I still wasn’t educated on a variety of topics - one of those being the benefits of organic coffee.

There is SO MUCH INFORMATION out in the world regarding health & wellness that sometimes you just have to pick and choose what to focus on until a certain topic finds its way into your life: enter organic coffee.

A lot has changed in my life in the last 4 years - what I eat, why I exercise, and how I choose to live my life. Today, I eat whole foods for the nourishment it brings to my body and mind - not because of its caloric content or macro nutrient labels. I find movement for the joy of feeling endorphins - not to cancel out my calories or fulfill and ideal body type. I breathe more, treat my anxiety with vulnerability (both on social media and in therapy), and choose to surround myself with likeminded friends and loved ones.

With that being said, as time goes on, I continue to let go of old habits and find new + meaningful practices, within my budget, that i know will enhance my quality of life. A topic of conversation that has worked its way into my life over the last few months is the practice of drinking and buying organic coffee. Over the last few months I have begun to feel that it is my responsibility to do my best to take care of my body AND the Earth by participating in more sustainable practices. I knew that one of the easiest switches for me was to start buying and drinking more organic coffee. When Peet’s reached out to me I felt over the moon to support a brand I’ve loved for so long, but one that is accessible to people around the country at an amazing price point.

I want to simplify the research I found over the last month or so. I have been doing lots of google searches and have even spoken with some friends about the reason it’s so important to switch to Organic coffee beans.

YOUR HEALTH

The most insane thing i learned in my research is that coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. 70% of the coffee we drink and buy is sprayed with pesticides and chemicals - sadly, 30% of insecticides, 60% of herbicides, and 90% of fungicides are carcinogenic. These chemicals stay with the beans and end up in your body, damaging cells + organs, your nervous + reproductive system, and can also disrupt hormone and immune-system function.

Drinking organic coffee helps to eliminate these risks - plus, it tastes better! Conventional coffee’s can leave you with a chemical aftertaste… i tried my new Peet’s organic beans side by side with conventional coffee and was seriously amazed by the difference.

THE ENVIRONMENT

To mass-produce less expensive coffee, you know what’s gotta go? THE FREAKIN RAINFOREST.

Not only is it so painful to hear that deforestation is happening, it actually impacts the conditions under which coffee is grown. Coffee is meant to be grown in shaded areas, but when trees are cut, what you end up with is full-sun coffee. Unlike conventional, when organic beans are bought, it is from farmers who make sure the ecosystems is kept in-tact during the entire process. Furthermore, the bio diversity of the entire ecosystem that surrounds the coffee plant allows for natural nutrients to sustain it, eliminating the need for pesticides.

THE FARMERS + RURAL RESIDENTS

With the use of pesticides, both farmers and rural residents where coffee is being grown become exposed to toxins in their workplace and in water supplies. I read so much research about the harms it has done to specific communities in both Mexico and South America, and was stunned that spraying chemicals is still allowed.

In all honesty, there’s a lot more to be said about coffee and the way it’s sourced - this isn’t the half of it. But it’s a start, and I’m grateful to be partnering up with companies like Peet’s to help spread knowledge and awareness. I am continually humbled by the education I receive on topics like these, and am fully aware of my imperfections when it comes to being a responsible consumer. I’m doing my best, we all are. IMO - the best way to start is to learn and decide whether or not the topic is meaningful enough for you to change your habits and lifestyle.

I’m committing to drinking more organic coffee for the rest of the year while I continue to learn more. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and click here to see where you can get Peet’s organic blends for yourself! Currently, I can’t get enough of their Organic Dark Roast, Single Origin blend! It’s rich and creamy with a smooth aftertaste – HERE. FOR. IT.

Thoughtfully, Liv

My Favorite Probiotic

This blog post is sponsored by New Chapter, all opinions are my own.

HEYYY FRIENDS! It’s been a while. I have stuck mainly to instagram captions lately because it’s been a quick way to get my message out. BUT SOMETIMES you just find a product that is too good for 150 word limit. Enter: New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora. After trying their probiotic I knew I had to work with them and tell you all about how much I love their product.

As many of you know, right after graduating college I was diagnosed with IBS. My doctor suggested that I look into taking probiotics to start to heal myself. I didn’t listen. 22 years old, I was mainly just focused on getting into graduate school and hanging out with friends. The idea of taking a supplement EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. sounded impossible. Fast forward 4 years later and I’m over here with a 70 year old morning pill ritual, taking allllll the supplements a girl my age could ever need!

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When choosing a probiotic, I wanted to make sure that I was putting a supplement into my body that not only supported the environment, but that I could trust to keep my body a movin’ and a groovin’ in a safe and healthy way. Enter: New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora. Their clinical strength probiotics with revolutionary pre-biotic and post-biotic nourishment help to boost immune defenses and promote digestive health.* I’ve been taking their probiotics every morning for the past two weeks and I’m feeling AMAZING. Plus, I know that I’m putting an honest product into my body that is helping to replenish my healthy flora and reduce problematic yeast.*

In the past I was really into easy yogurt bowls in the morning lately because it’s a simple way for me to have a filling breakfast before work! I also figured that by eating yogurt, I was filling my body with probiotics first thing. BUT I began to do my research  and found out that almost all yogurts with probiotics don’t actually claim a specific amount of whatever microorganisms they contain!  

So, while I still make yogurt bowls in the morning, I ALSO know how important it is to take a quality supplement like Probiotic All-Flora supplement, which is optimally formulated with the right amounts of the right strains to deliver researched benefits. All of their flora is DNA tested and each capsule contains 10 billion CFU! Y’all KNOW I am allll about reliability. Bonus, it’s Gluten Free, Non-GMO project verified and vegan.

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For the yogurt recipe - I know berries aren’t in season right now, but dang, I love em. Plus, they’re low on the glycemic index which makes me confident that I will gradually raise my blood sugar during the day, avoiding an afternoon crash. Working with kids all day means that I have to not only have hella energy, but I also need to make sure that I’m keeping my body safe and healthy since I’m exposed to so much. This yogurt bowl is one of my favorites to put together because it’s SO EASY. Throw some Icelandic yogurt in a bowl, top with fruit of choice (these are organic blueberries/raspberries) & granola of choice (this is an oat/honey granola). You can optionally add in collagen protein to your yogurt as well as top with things like peanut butter, hemp seeds, and chia seeds!

But don’t forget to pair your breakfast with New Chapter’s Probiotic All-Flora!

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

re: timelines & gratitude

It may be surprising, but i’m a total introvert at heart. I rarely go out past 8pm, and my ideal friday night consists of a workout, food, and a good movie. So, when my friend invited me to a full moon intention setting party last month I was obviously like, haaaa no thanks. I’ll set my intentions alone. But, I randomly got this charge of energy at 8pm and decided to leave my bat cave & attend.

One of my best friends in Portland put this full moon sesh on at her house. It was SO sweet. She had something to represent all of the elements, and we all brought something that meant to us to put on the “altar”. After discussing intentions and choking down cacao, we did a nighttime yoga class!

One of my best friends in Portland put this full moon sesh on at her house. It was SO sweet. She had something to represent all of the elements, and we all brought something that meant to us to put on the “altar”. After discussing intentions and choking down cacao, we did a nighttime yoga class!

After drinking some “cacao” (aka hot water and cacao that i stirred like a motherfucker so it didn’t taste like straight dirt), we all shared 5 intentions and 5 things we wanted to let go during that full moon period. Some of us talked about body image, gratitude, meditation; but there was one overwhelming intention that every single one of us wrote down:

I NEED TO LET GO OF THE TIMELINE I SET FOR MYSELF WHEN I WAS 16.

I was shook. I remembered this sleepover i had with a friend during my teen years, and what i said to her at 1am as we were drifting off to sleep “idk, like, i honestly feel like I want a really simple wedding dress so that i can afford a huge party, cuz like i’m probably gonna be married by like 25 and i want to save up for my kids college and stuff and also at that point i will probably be like suuuuper busy with my job (especially if i’m an actress!) & if i get a high rise apartment in manhattan that will probably cost a lot?? Idk. but i’ll have enough since i’m probably gonna be close to rich. and at that point my golden retriever will be like 5 so i will need to think about who is going to like take care of him when my hot ass model husband and i are travelling thru Greece for our honeymoon... “ ha. Ha. ha. Haaa. hahaha. Haa. well, SHIT. (but honestly, go me for having some serious #GOALS). And if you’re laughing - don’t. we all did it… (right???)

Well, guess what. I’m 25. Not married - not even CLOSE. Can’t save up for my kid’s college because i’m not done paying off my debt. Working as a therapist, not an actress - making a normal salary. Lived in a straight DUMP for the last year. Can’t afford/make a commitment to having a dog.

When i turned 18 I became much more realistic, but I STILL haven’t managed to meet more than 1 or 2 of my expectations at my current age. And a few months ago, my card got declined when buying a kombucha at Whole Foods, and then I lost it because I am nowhere NEAR where I thought I would be at this age. I thought I was the only one… until I was surrounded by a group of extraordinary woman who ALL FELT THE SAME.

Too often we succumb to current societal pressures that ultimately leave us feeling inferior and ashamed of what we HAVE accomplished thus far. Both of my parents grew up in poverty, and had high expectations of what my brother and I would achieve in terms of education. I grew up in the time of the social media boom, leaving me with high expectations for my social presence and personal life. I never gave myself the chance to sit down alone - without the influence of my loved ones and/or strangers on the internet - to decide what was important to me, what I felt was reasonable for me to accomplish, and to give myself a PAT ON THE DAMN BACK for what I have succeeded & failed at thus far.

I believe that success & failure go hand in hand with one another. FAILING IS SO IMPORTANT. Each failure has led me to a different lesson and a new success. But, it’s no fuuuun to post an instagram about how you didn’t get into your 1st choice grad school, or how your boyfriend broke up with you because he honestly wasn’t just thaaaat into you.

After meeting with these ladies & chatting with friends about the topic of “timelines”, I realized that 100% of us are NOT where we imagined we would be at our current age. Not at the jobs we imagined, not dating the people we imagined (or not dating anyone at all), not living where we imagined. Some of us have kids, some of us have dogs, some of us have plants. Some of us have travelled the world, some of us are still kickin’ it in the greater area of our hometowns. I urge you to try your hardest to stop comparing yourself to those you see on instagram, to “more successful” friends, to what you saw your life as 10/20 years ago. It’s easier said than done, i know.

I still have days where I wake up and wonder WTF am I doing? Personally, I ruuuuushed through college/grad school, because I thought that getting a Masters Degree would make me feel more important and happy. L O FUCKING L. I disliked graduate school with a passion - I was a horrible student and completely uninvolved; it made me rethink my entire life career path, and it’s safe to say that I’m more confused than ever about my future at this very moment (even though it seems like i have it “all together” “all the time”).

There are days that I have to choose canned tuna instead of a whole foods brown box and kombucha. There are days when I wonder if I’ll be the one friend in my whole friend group that ends up single at all of the weddings. There are days when I look in the mirror and all of the body image issues i’ve worked so hard to get rid of, come rushing back like a tsunami. There are days when I feel inferior to literally every person I see on instagram doing “something cooler” than me.

It’s for these reasons, and these few and far between days, that I practice gratitude every morning and night. Each morning when I wake up and before I go to bed, I silently remind myself of 5 reasons to be grateful for the life I am living.

I want to take this time to remind you to be PROUD of yourself for where you are right now, in this exact moment. Have SO much gratitude for being alive. Think of 5 things (that are not of monetary value) that you are grateful for. Gratitude for me very rarely comes in the form of material things or money, because when you get down to the nitty gritty...

none of that shit matters.

Remind yourself that no one is perfect or has it all together. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. Some of us can’t quit our jobs, so I suggest finding a hobby that you’re really passionate about. Save up for a trip. Or, really get serious about making a change - like moving somewhere you’ve always wanted to move; but allow the process to be a long one if it needs to be. Love the people who show you love. Show yourself some gdamn compassion, because you’re here. You’re breathing. You did it.

Tuesday, July 3rd:

  1. Endless support & love from friends and family

  2. My man looking me in the eyes and saying “i appreciate you” every single day

  3. The inspiring conversations and time spent yesterday with a true friend

  4. Waking up each morning and enjoying a cup of coffee with my dad

  5. My body’s ability to lift weights, run fast, and feel the best kind of sore after a workout

What are your 5 today?

xo,

Olive