// Powered By Coffee (aka "The Secret Sauce" to Intermittent Fasting)

"Every bold life starts with a first bold choice. Every bold day has a morning." 1850 was the year J.A. Folger started something new and innovative. He used coffee as a way to help fuel original ideas, new commitments, and brave endeavors. Ultimately becoming more than just coffee, Folger created an ally to the hustle. How many times have you tackled a tough day/project/situation with a cup of coffee in hand? What bold decisions have you made? Me personally, I chose to pursue health, happiness, and wholeness through lifestyle and diet change. Coffee has helped me keep on keepin' on, especially on days when I really didn't think I could/wanted to. How did coffee aide in my transformation? Read on to find out!

I'm guessing by now you've heard of Intermittent Fasting. Following in the footsteps of the Keto Diet, IF is now trending on every internet news source you come across. Everyone and their mother is touting the benefits of fasting for various periods of time, crediting it for reversing certain ailments, reducing blood pressure and body weight, restoring insulin sensitivity, and helping people begin to have a healthy relationship with food. While IF is not the sole source of my 100 pound weight loss, it has had immense benefits for me personally. If you're not already familiar with IF it's pretty simple to understand: Rather than eating 3-5 meals a day, you eat all of the day's calories within a certain window of time. Typically most people start with a 16-8 split, meaning they fast for 16 hours and eat their day's worth of calories within the allotted 8 hour window. 16-8 is a great way to ease into the IF lifestyle, and it's what I started with myself. By giving your body 16+ hours to process and utilize food, you're allowing your body to burn fat rather than muscle because your body is able to deplete the glycogen stored in your tissues (glycogen is the storage form of glucose. It's kept in your muscles and liver, and utilized by your body as fuel when needed). Once you're on the wagon you can slowly increase the fasting period, going for a 20-4 split, or even 24 hours at a time. Intermittent Fasting doesn't have to be limited to a 24 hour time period either. Many people experience a boost in benefits when they fast for 48-72 hours. 3 days can sound like a lot - and it really is when you're hungry, I'm sure! - but here's some food for thought: The longest recorded fast in modern history lasted 382 days! (What the what!) Don't worry! I am in no way advocating that any of you stop eating for a full year... or even a full day/week/whatever. I'm simply pointing out that there are so many ways to safely and effectively fast. Fasting will look different for each person, so there's no one-size-fits-all approach. As with any diet or lifestyle change, it's best to consult with your care provider to ensure that it's appropriate for you and your situation. While I could write a hundred blog posts about my own experience with IF, I wanted to use today's post to share what has helped me the most with my own fasting journey. If you want to keep it super simple, it's this: The secret is coffee.

I love coffee. I've loved coffee ever since I was a child. I had pretty severe asthma growing up and asthma attacks were triggered by almost any and everything. How does coffee relate to those attacks? Well coffee is full of caffeine, and caffeine is a drug very similar to theophylline (which is a bronchodilator drug that is taken to open up the airways in the lungs). In a pinch when I was having an attack my mom would give me some stout coffee and I'd breathe easier within minutes. If you want to get all dramatic about it then you could say coffee quite literally saved my life. Now it's the secret sauce that's helping millions of other people save their lives, too. But how/why?

The goal of Intermittent Fasting is to ingest zero calories during your fasting window (though some sources say as long as it's less than 50 calories then your body will stay in a fasted state. Some IF'ers allow for things like zero-calorie sugar substitutes or grass-fed butter, too. Try out a few things and then just do what works for you!). Coffee is a great way to start your morning, getting a little jolt of energy and drive to dive head first into your day. It's also a great way to help curb your appetite. Many devoted IF'ers drink coffee and/or tea during their fasting window in an attempt to boost their productivity while stretching out their fasting window. If you start your fast in the evening then you'll already be at hour 8 or 10 by the time you wake up. Doesn't that sound much more manageable than going a full day without any food? Thinking about your first few days of fasting can be intimidating. Knowing you can drink boatloads of coffee definitely helped my mind. With the help of IF and coffee I've managed to lose just over 100 pounds in 2 years. Coffee and IF have given me clarity, peace of mind, and the confidence to do hard things. 
For me, every single morning starts with a fresh cup of coffee. It's often easier for me to brew my coffee a single cup a time (reusable K-cup FTW!) since I'm the only person drinking it, but I love a good French press. Lately I've been brewing the Pioneer blend from 1850 brand coffee that I picked up at Target. The smooth, bold flavor is the perfect way to wake up and get busy owning the day. Some days I'll drink it out on the back patio while getting ready to meditate, then others upstairs while I revel in the silence of my sleeping children. There's really no wrong way to coffee, know what I mean? I saw that 1850 brand coffee was described as "the energy to embrace the fire within" and I loved that so much. That's exactly what it feels like to drink coffee while fasting in my opinion. It's the secret sauce to making the most of everything I have to offer.

If you're looking to hop on the IF train, I totally suggest finding a coffee that you love and using it as a tool to help you along the way. 1850 brand coffee is a great choice as it comes in 4 unique fire-roasted blends, and you can buy it in grounds, whole beans, or even K-cups if you really like convenience. There's quite literally something for everyone! Try them out and see what hits the spot for you. You can pick up a bag or three at your closest Target (and who doesn't love an excuse to go to Target?!)

If the benefits of Intermittent Fasting sound appealing to you, I urge you to brew a strong cup of coffee and commit to changing your life. You can do hard things. And hard things are instantly made easier with a cup of coffee in hand. ♥

Happy brewing!
xo KB

PS; Visit Target from 5/20 - 6/30 and take 20% off any 1850 Brand Coffee product with the Target Cartwheel coupon (while supplies last).

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and The J.M. Smucker Company, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #1850Coffee #1850CoffeeatTarget http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

// Things I Love Thursday v.313

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these amazing cupcakes ♥
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♥ this cute place setting ♥
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these pretty pretty smoothie bowls ♥
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this stunning shot ♥
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this donut bar ♥
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these creations! ♥
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♥ this soothing photo ♥
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this gorgeous altar ♥

// Okay I'm going to spend the first few links gushing over the royal wedding so... The Royal Wedding Was Served With A Side Of Black Excellence And People Are Loving It.

// Speaking of weddings... how about this "hot new trend" at wedding receptions... where your guests get tattooed?! Like, is that really a thing? Would you do it?

// Last weekend was our 3rd annual Nashville Diaper Dash, a 5k race in support of Nashville Diaper Connection. Nashville SHOWED UP and MCD was able to donate 230,000 diapers to NDC! (To put that amazing number into perspective: in 2016 we collected 14,000 diapers. In 2017, 84,000. This year was almost triple last year, and that's just incredible. Arielle and Ashley did an amazing job pulling it all together yet again.

// You can officially send someone a bag of dicks. You can also tell said person to go eat that bag of dicks. I am dead.

// SUMMMMMERTIME! All of these pool + beach goodies are on my wishlist.

// The U.S. Military vs. the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders... whose version of "Call Me Maybe" is better?

xo KB

// Things I Love Thursday v.312

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this is THE cutest donut wall yet ♥
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this stunning closeup ♥
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this cantaloupe margarita looks so refreshing ♥
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this DIY framed candy setup is so cute ♥
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this pantone palette ♥
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♥ this ♥
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this crib! ♥
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this parks and rec fan art ♥
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this stationery set ♥
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♥ this storefront! ♥
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this gorgeous wedding backdrop! ♥

// A rotating skyscraper is coming to Dubai in 2020. Watching it makes me feel nauseated.

xo KB

// Things I Love Thursday v.311

these amazing space themed posters from NASA ♥

♥ this adorable alpaca rocker ♥

♥ this cute cake! ♥

this would be a DREAM to have ♥

this this this! ♥

♥ this floral pineapple ♥

this (+ all other) illustrations by vasya kolotusha ♥

♥ this adorable cactus cake ♥

this awesome cactus mailbox ♥

♥ this D&G dress ♥

// James Shaw Jr. is a true hero. Have you heard of him? He saved countless people in a Waffle House shooting locally over the weekend.

// These tweets about La Croix are killing me! (and I truly love La Croix so)

// Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are goals. Have you seen their hilarious "Africa" video?

// Affordable 3D-printed homes in under 24 hours... for only $4,000! They're not only super adorable, but also super efficient! A community of 100 homes will be printed in El Salvador in 2019. Learn more about the company making this happen here.

// What struggling to buy diapers means for low income families. (And if you're interested in helping, our doula agency, Music City Doulas, hosts an annual diaper drive and 5k here in Nashville. There are donation boxes at dozens of Nashville-area locations, or you can donate a box of diapers via our Amazon registry!)

// Florida "supermom" of 16, homeschools kids, shuttles them to 88 sports practices weekly. This sounds like absolute hell to me... but holy moly, go her! That's amazing.

xo KB

// Things I Love Thursday v.310

this pantone project makes me hungry! ♥

these pretty pieces ♥

this pretty bathroom area ♥

♥ this doggo ♥

this design/packaging ♥

♥ this collage ♥

♥ these flowers ♥
this huge shopbop sale happening right meowwww! ♥
♥ this resort made L say "whoa, i want to go there!" ♥
this whole pastel-like-an-easter-egg trend ♥

// This list of LGBTQ+ definitions from Trans Student Educational Resources is amazing. Major thanks to my friend Lee for sharing it on their Facebook. 

// France just became the first country to ban all plastic cups and plates in an effort to save the environment. Way to go, France! I'm trying to get my own plastic usage in check, so seeing it on such a large scale is really inspiring (and motivating!)

// My friend Kerry shared this post on her FB recently: 44 things I learned by 44.

xo KB