• TASTE THE DIFFERENCE THAT FAMILY MAKES

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 10, 2017

    Before making its way to your morning cup of coffee, some of Community Coffee Company’s finest coffee beans begin their journey in Chiapas, Mexico. There, nestled in the foothills of the El Triunfo Ecological Biosphere Reserve, the coffee beans are grown, nurtured and harvested by fourth-generation coffee producers at Finca Monte Grande. For 12 years, the Finca Monte Grande Moises family and the Saurage family, of Community Coffee Company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have worked together to make great coffee.

    3-9_MoisesFamily_900x545Finca Monte Grande is situated in an ideal valley for growing flavorful high-elevation coffee beans. The lush tropical mountain ranges that surround Finca Monte Grande protect the coffee plants from Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico breezes and help maintain a steady temperature that encourages rich, flavorful coffee beans. Coffee berries, nurtured to the peak of ripeness on the mountainsides of Finca Monte Grande, must be harvested with care and only by hand. Along with temperature, moisture and fertile soil, shade is a crucial element in great coffee.

    “Shade grown coffee is correlated to quality,” says fourth-generation Finca Monte Grande owner Alfredo Moises. “When the cherries are exposed to the sun too long, it stresses the plant and the sugar inside the cherries becomes lower-quality.”

    Families are involved at each stage of the process, which helps ensure the highest quality coffee beans, and instills a unique pride that goes into every cup of Community® coffee. Members of the Community Coffee Company team, including fourth-generation owner Matt Saurage, visit farms like Finca Monte Grande around the world searching for high-quality 100% Arabica coffee beans.

    “A lot of love and a lot of hands touch this coffee before it arrives in Baton Rouge,” says Matt Saurage.

    The Moises family and the Saurage family have both been making great coffee for about 100 years. Each generation carries on the passion for quality and great tasting coffee, and bring it from their family to people who love to drink rich, smooth coffee. From the growers to the harvesters to the roasters, passion, skill and the pride of generations go into each cup of Community® coffee.


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  • Coffee Really Does Make Everything Better

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 02, 2017

    In 1919 our founder, H. Norman “Cap” Saurage, closed his local convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to start Community Coffee Company. Through our company’s history, we have been focused on giving back to our local communities that started it all. Over the last century, we have been focused on ways to serve our community locally, nationally and internationally.

    Serving Our Children

    3-2-17_CoffeeMakesBetter_285x185In 1988, Community Coffee started the Community Cash for Schools® program. This program allows local k-12 grade schools to submit proofs of purchase labels from Community® coffee products in exchange for cash. Schools are allowed to spend this money however they see fit. Now in its 28th year, we have seen schools buy textbooks, purchase technologically and academically advanced programs and even build chicken coops.

    Serving Our Heroes

    There are 2.2 million men and women serving in our military. We understand the value of their work and the sacrifices their families make. So over a decade ago, we started the Military Match program. Our Military Match program allows friends and family members to buy four bags or boxes of coffee and we match that order with an additional 4 bags or boxes of coffee and send it to their loved one overseas. Since its inception, we have sent 5.1 million cups of Community® coffee to our service men and women.

    Serving Our Farmers

    Our newest endeavor is our partnership with Southwest® Airlines. This project has3-2-17_CoffeeMakesBetter_850x448 taken into the communities where we buy our coffee. For every cup of Community® coffee enjoyed on a Southwest® flight, Southwest® Airlines and Community Coffee fund educational programs to support the children, families and farmers in Mexico where Community’s high quality Arabica coffee is grown. In 2016, a team from Community Coffee and Southwest® traveled to the villages of Tierra y Libertad and Buena Vista in Chiapas, Mexico to see first-hand the benefits the educational programs will bring to these communities. The project provides grade-school education via satellite learning, as well as access to agricultural, technological and academic training for anyone interested. Residents can now access a university education remotely.

    Serving Responsibly

    The Gulf Coast, not only our home, but home to 81% of America’s wetlands. Every year, Louisiana loses 16 square miles of wetlands. In order to combat Louisiana’s chronic land loss, Community Coffee has partnered with America’s WETLAND Foundation and the Coastal Restoration Coalition of Louisiana (CRCL). Community Coffee participated in the first phase of America’s WETLAND Foundation’s Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) Shoreline Stabilization and Restoration Project near Larose in Lafourche Parish. The team helped fortify four miles of shoreline with recycled plastic matrix material, which forms a base for plants to grow along the shoreline. Recently, a group of Community Coffee team members embarked on a coastal restoration mission in Port Manchac to plant 1,000 trees to aid soil retention and promote land growth with CRCL. These trees will aid land retention around Lake Maurepas.

    Without our local community’s support almost a century ago, we wouldn’t be able to give back today. As our Company continues to grow, we intend to continue to support our children, our military, our farmers and our environment. 


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  • We Have the Secret Ingredient: A Day in the Life of a Coffee Buying Expert

    by Amy Cimo | Feb 23, 2017

    More goes into a great tasting cup of coffee than most people realize, and it starts with buying the coffee beans. Mark Howell is Community Coffee Company’s General Manager of Green Coffee and Tea and our coffee buying expert. Mark’s typical day starts by looking at the market. Mark tells us how quickly you realize, working with the market, that it isn’t going to do what you want it to when you want it, which can be unsettling for some. This can be the most challenging and exhilarating part of the job.

    Mark also works closely with our Quality Assurance team to cup our coffee. Cupping is the process of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. This assures that all of our coffee meets the highest standards before we send it out for our customers to enjoy. He also works closely with the logistics team to ensure that the flow of coffee from origin to our plant is running smoothly.

    2-23-17_MarkHowell_752x500Before we can purchase the green coffee beans from our farmers, they have to grow it. Farmers spend between two and three years taking care of coffee plants before they are able to produce cherries. These cherries hold our green coffee beans (seeds) within them. Because not all the cherries on a coffee plant ripen at the same time, farmers make several passes on trees, picking them by hand in some areas and by machines in others. Once picked, the cherries go through a milling process to separate the top quality coffee beans from those the rest and then a pulping process to separate the coffee beans from the fruit. The coffee beans are then put through a dry mill process to further classify the beans by size, density and quality and prepared for transport.

    Once the green coffee beans arrive at our plant in Port Allen, Mark gets to work ensuring the taste of each cup of Community® coffee is the best it can be. Additionally, he is an integral part of our development team. This team develops unique blends that match the desired profile we are aiming for when creating a new product. Mark and the development team do this by looking at various raw (green) coffee’s they have access to, blending them, roasting them and, through multiple trials, coming up with the final blend that makes it to market. This entails cupping or tasting A LOT of coffee. Much like wine tasters, these team members have fine-tuned taste buds to ensure that the blends they create meet taste standards.

    At the end of the day, Mark’s favorite part of his job is interacting with the diverse group2-23-17_MarkHowell_800x422 of people in the coffee industry. From the farmers at origin, local merchants that facilitate trade and the international trade houses that enable international business function, the coffee industry covers a broad spectrum of people all with immense and unique knowledge and experience. Most of all, the people of the industry and their customers come from all walks of life but can come together over a cup of coffee. It is truly an amazing industry, says Mark. 
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  • Coffee grounds: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure

    by Amy Cimo | Feb 16, 2017

    Coffee does wonders to wake us up in the morning and even gives us an afternoon pick me up, but did you know your used grounds are good for so much more than going into the trash? Used coffee grounds can be used for various gardening, cleaning and health and beauty purposes. Below we have listed some of our favorite ways to reuse our old coffee grounds.

    1. Fertilize your garden
      • Because of coffees high acidity, it benefits acid loving plants. Plants such as hydrangeas, azaleas, and roses all thrive in more acidic soil. You can find a more detailed list of acid loving plants here.
    2. Repel pests
      • To repel pets from your garden, simply sprinkle old coffee grounds around your plants. This will help protect your plants from harmful pests such as ants, snails and slugs.
    3. Garbage disposal cleaner
      • You can make neat little pods out of used coffee grounds to help eliminate odor from your garbage disposal and sharpen your blades. You can find the recipe here.
    4. Scouring pots
      • Because coffee is naturally abrasive and high in acidity it is a good household item for scouring dirty pots and pans. Simply use a few teaspoons with a rag or steel wool to effectively scour away.
    5. Face mask
      • Coffee is a great ingredient in face masks for many reasons. Because of its caffeine content, it revives your skin making it glow as well as brighten dark spots and even your complexion. This mask will leave your face clean, exfoliated, and glowing.
    6. Cellulite buster
      • Coffee is great on your face and even better for troublesome cellulite spots! Unlike most quick fixes that you find on the internet, coffee has proven that it is the most effective and natural remedy for cellulite. Studies have shown that using a coffee scrub on trouble spots for ten minutes twice a week will dramatically improve the look of cellulite in four weeks. Check out this simple but effective coffee scrub here.
    7. Flea bath for dogs
      • You can help repel fleas by adding a teaspoon of coffee grounds to your dog’s shampoo. 

       


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  • Cool, smooth and strong, oh my! Cold brew coffee is taking the world by storm.

    by Amy Cimo | Feb 09, 2017

    This summer cold brew coffee has become the trend, and for many reasons.

    What is cold brew coffee?

    Cold brew coffee is course ground coffee that is soaked in water at room temperature water for 12 or more hours. With this method you get a strong and smooth coffee concentrate with a big caffeine buzz.

    What’s the difference between iced coffee and cold brewed coffee?

    A lot!

    The biggest difference is the strength of the coffee. Because the coffee grounds steep in water for hours, the result is a highly concentrated coffee beverage. This solved the watered down coffee problem we often face with iced coffee. Not only is the coffee strong, but so is the caffeine level. Because cold brew eliminated brewing with hot water, the coffee is able to retain more caffeine than traditional coffee.

    Another big thing that makes cold brew coffee different from traditional ice coffee or traditional brewed coffee is its flavor. Since cold brew is just that, brewed cold, you get a different flavor profile. Hot water can bring out the more bitter and acidic flavors of coffee. Cold brew consistently delivers a smooth tasting iced coffee beverage. Based on the region your coffee bean originated from, you may get more sweet, fruity, or floral aromas and flavors.

    Coffee flavors based on its region:

    Colombia: Sweet and nutty notes
    Brazil: Milk chocolate and cherry notes

    How to make it at home

    Try our Cold Brew Coffee Kit

    Most coffee shops charge a pretty penny for a cup of cold brew coffee, but there’s good news. You can easily make your own cold brew coffee from home for a fraction of the price! The easiest way is to use a French press to make your cold brew. This way, you don’t have to worry about straining the coffee grounds out of it because of the filter in the French press. You can find the recipe for making cold brew in a French press here.  

    cold brew blog toddyWant to make more than just a cup or two of cold brew at a time? We sure do! Toddy is the brand we can thank for revolutionizing cold brew coffee. The steps you take to brew cold brew coffee is practically the same with Toddy makers, you simply make more at a time. Toddy systems can hold nine cups of water and one pound of coffee. That’s a lot of cold brew! Want to know more about brewing with a Toddy system? Check out this helpful article here.

    If stored correctly in a sealed container, you can keep your homemade cold brew for up to two weeks. You can even portion out a cup of cold brew into mason jars and seal them and grab and go. All that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy!


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  • Community Coffee Supports the Next Generation of Growers in Colombia

    by John Knotz | Feb 01, 2017

    Community Coffee Company has had a long partnership with the Colombian communities of Toledo and Labateca, where coffee beans for the company are grown.

    Over the past two years, Community Coffee Company has supported a program called Young Coffee Growers, Sowers of the Future which supplied 100 young people between the ages of 12 and 18 with job training as coffee growers to complement their formal education. The project provided the communities with 1,000 coffee plants on 18 new hectares of family farmland.

    2-2-17_colombia_500x440The students were given seeds and training on how to grow, fertilize, dry and care for a quality coffee bean harvest. The program is intended to help families pass on coffee-growing traditions to their children and provide the young growers with the support they need to earn a living. For some, it will provide a way to fund their continuing education.

    Tito Antonio Capacho says his son came to him and asked to use some of the family land to grow coffee. The family helped him sow and care for the plants, which he loved doing, and he put a lot of effort into the work, Capacho says. 

    In addition to coffee-growing techniques, the program provides workshops for the students to teach values like self-esteem, the importance of social and economic human development and how to consider the bigger picture of the international market of which they are a part. They’re also promoting gender equality by encouraging girls to get involved as coffee growers.

    Heynner Gustavo Estupiñan G., one of the young coffee growers, says he enjoyed the way the program allowed the students and families to work together with the community. It’s important for young people to get involved in projects in rural areas because there are so many people who need help, he says.

    2-2-17_colombia_340x511Families say the program has helped them modernize their farms and allowed them to become more productive while increasing the quality of the coffee they grow. The students were taught to appreciate their craft and take pride in the quality product they’re producing.

    The project teaches the young growers and their families how to see the business through the scope of producing high-quality coffee with the best prices on the international market, says Gabriel Gonzalez Sanchez, the coffee growers extension leader for the state of Norte de Santander.

    One young coffee grower, Tatiana Villamizar, says she hopes projects like this can continue so that new generations will be encouraged to get involved with the community’s coffee-growing traditions.

    2-2-17_colombia_500x340As an added honor to Community Coffee Company’s support for the area, in 2015, the Toledito Juvenile Rural Home was renamed for Henry Norman Saurage III, a previous owner of Community Coffee Company, in honor of his support for education in the area. The school houses students whose homes are too far for them to commute daily. The school has been supported and built up by funds from Community Coffee Company programs


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  • Building Community: How a Simple Act of Kindness Can Bring People Together

    by John Knotz | Jan 24, 2017
     


    We’re a company that’s founded on bringing people together and giving back to the communities that give so much to us. With this in mind, we recently funded an art installation in Dallas, Texas called “Dear Neighbor.” Here’s what it’s all about:

    In the spirit of the holidays, we filled an empty space in Deep Ellum with vintage postcards and invited people to write a note to their neighbor – about gratitude, aspirations, or even something simple that they love about their community.

    In the first few weeks, thousands of people participated in our “Dear Neighbor” art installation. And what we found by reading each other’s messages is that sometimes all we need is a positive attitude and a sense of belonging to feel joy and peace.

    By taking photos of their notes and sharing on social media with the hashtag #MakeItCommunity, participants have lifted our spirits and given us another reason to be thankful for our community this holiday season.


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  • How to Prepare to Run Cold-Weather Races

    by John Knotz | Jan 19, 2017

    Running in the cold brings its own special challenges — and rewards, runners say.

    “There is something so invigorating about being able to see your breath as you run, and the silence that usually accompanies colder temperatures,” says Natasha LaBeaud Anzures, an elite Canadian runner who has Olympic goals for the 10,000-meter and marathon distances. “It allows me to challenge different systems and I feel like I can really excel in colder temperatures.”

    There are plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself in the cold — as long as you’re ready for the elements. Here are some ways to prepare for racing in cold weather, so you can focus on your run.

    Fuel Your Body

    Hydration is important even in cold weather, says Sara Dimmick, owner of Physical Equilibrium fitness and training studio. She’s also a certified personal trainer and a USA Triathlon Coach. She says that a day or two before a race, she focuses on drinking extra water, Gatorade and coconut water. “You will also have time to eliminate it and won't have to drink as much the morning of the race if you have pre-hydrated the night before,” she says.

    Eat right the night before the race so you have enough energy. Load up on complex carbohydrates and lean proteins, without overdoing it on calories. Anzures says she likes brown rice pasta, scrambled eggs and a giant salad.

    Warm Up Right

    It takes longer to warm up in the cold, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time before your race, Anzures says. “Learning the best way that your muscles warm up is essential, so take the time to track the amount of running time, drills and strides needed to feel ready to go,” she says.

    Dimmick recommends dynamic movements that get the blood flowing and warm up your extremities. “Leg swings, bridges, controlled lunges, ankle and other joint circles, and other dynamic stretches are great for warming up, while static stretching is best for cooling down,” she says.

    Dress for Success

    Keep an eye on the forecast and use layers to regulate your temperature throughout the race. Cooler weather can boost your performance, runners say, so don’t sabotage yourself by dressing too warmly and overheating. However, you have to protect your extremities so your body doesn’t have to work as hard to keep them warm.

    “Hand and feet warmers make a huge difference,” says Stephanie Schappert, a professional runner for Hoka One One and the New Jersey New York Track Club. “I like to keep a pair in my racing shoes, so when I come back after my warmup jog and switch shoes they are warm.”

    Pour a Cup

    Whether it’s to warm up, fuel up or relax before the starting gun, coffee is a great way to prepare for a cold-weather race. “Coffee is a must,” Schappert says. “Pre-race involves a lot of sitting and relaxing, and my teammates and I look forward to finding a new local coffee shop to grab our caffeine fix. My race day go-to is two shots of espresso two hours before I compete.”

    Even if you don’t drink it, it can still be helpful: “Sometimes I will get a larger size than I know I will drink, just so I can hold something warm,” Schappert says.
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  • How to Stay Warm — But Not Too Warm — During Winter Workouts

    by John Knotz | Jan 12, 2017

    As temperatures drop sharply in much of the country you may be tempted to bring your workouts inside for the winter. But doing so means losing out on the fresh air and sense of accomplishment you get from exercising outside. All you need is a little preparation to be ready for invigorating winter workouts.

    “Working out in the cold can be a really effective way to build a resilience that you can take with you into all areas of your life,” says Tyler Spraul, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and head trainer at Exercise.com. “Bonus points if it's early in the morning and you can use the cold air to wake up and be refreshed ahead of a long work day.”

    Here’s how to prepare so you get the most out of working out in the cold.

    Control Moisture, Insulate and Protect

    When you’re thinking about how to dress a cold day, it’s helpful to think of what you’d want to wear if it was 15 to 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature, especially if your workouts are strenuous, Spraul says. Layering effectively will help prevent you from overheating and sweating too much, which then can end up chilling you.

    Using a modular layering system, you’ll be able to adapt to changing weather conditions and your varying levels of activity, says Susan Benton Russell, co-founder of Ridge Merino, which sells athletic clothing made of wool. First, start with your base layer, such as a good pair of long underwear. “This layer should be warm yet breathable and should transfer or ‘wick’ perspiration away from your skin to keep you dry,” she says. Avoid cotton, as it absorbs water and can make you feel clammy — or, worse, lead to hypothermia, Russell says. Not surprisingly, Russell is a fan of Merino wool for base layers; silk is another good option.

    Next, choose your middle layer, which is designed to insulate. This one will vary depending on your activity and weather conditions, Russell says. “This is typically a fleece which is a bit thicker or loftier than the base layer and, depending on conditions and your level of exertion, you may ultimately use this as your outer layer,” she says.

    Finally, the outer layer protects you from the elements while still allowing air to circulate, Russell says. “More breathable soft shells can be used in drier conditions, whereas a waterproof layer should be used for more extreme weather involving precipitation,” she says.

    Protect Your Head, Hands and Feet

    Now that your core is layered, don’t neglect your extremities, says Dr. Benjamin Domb, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician. Gloves, hats, mittens and thermal socks are a must as your hands, ears and feet are vulnerable to frostbite, even when you’re exercising, he says. “In addition, a large amount of body heat is lost through your head, so a lightweight hat will help your body retain the heat,” Domb says.

    Stay Hydrated

    You may not feel like you’re losing a lot of water through sweat, but staying hydrated is as important in cold weather as it is in hot, Domb says. It can be especially easy to lose track of how much you’re sweating if you’ve layered your clothing properly, so drink plenty of water before and during your workout. Recommended amounts vary by age, gender, weight and the intensity of your workout, but aim for at least 12 ounces before and after you exercise, adding more during your workout if it’s long or strenuous.

    Protect Your Face

    Sun and wind aren’t issues for your skin only in the summer. Sure, more of your skin is covered during winter workouts, but there’s still a risk to your face in cold weather. “Even if it’s cloudy, UV rays can cause skin damage,” Domb says. “Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 before heading outside for a winter workout.”

    Keep an eye on the wind as well, Spraul says. “Thirty degrees Fahrenheit and calm is much different than 30 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 mph winds,” he says. Consider a scarf or facemask for comfort and to protect against windburn and frostbite.

    Cap It Off with Warm-Up Cup

    When your torso is warm — as when it’s properly layered — it’s easier for your body to keep your extremities warm as well. But if the cold is getting the better of you and you need to warm up quickly, a cup of coffee can do the trick — and also provide a post-workout boost to your muscles, according to the American Physiological Society.

    That means you’ve got one more reason to bring a Thermos of Community® coffee with you on a hike or to put the pot on when you get back home.

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  • Meet the Winner of the H. Norman Saurage III Service Award: Janet Lathrop

    by John Knotz | Jan 05, 2017
     


    Dream Teachers, an organization dedicated to recognizing educational excellence in Louisiana, recognized Janet Lathrop for outstanding service this year with its first H. Norman Saurage III Service Award.

    Lathrop, a librarian teacher at West Feliciana Middle School in St. Francisville, Louisiana, received this year’s award for supporting and promoting reading through her school’s library.

    “I’ve always loved to read and it breaks my heart when I hear kids say they hate to read,” Lathrop says. “Public and school libraries are invaluable resources, and I don’t think people fully understand that. They have an old-fashioned view of libraries being just a quiet place to read, and they’re so much more. Modern libraries are vibrant places for learning.”

    SaurageAward2_350x197Lathrop, who’s been at West Feliciana Middle School since 1999, started Club Read, which has grown to more than 150 student members each year. Her club joined the Louisiana Teen-age Librarians Association, which is a student-run club of library clubs from around the state. Each year the LTLA holds a statewide conference in Alexandria, where all students can participate in activities, competitions and networking. 

    For the past two years, Lathrop has been student relations chairman for the LTLA.

    Lathrop was awarded a $5,000 prize for herself and another $5,000 for her organization to support her continued efforts. She said she plans to use the money to set up a scholarship fund to help students who can’t afford to travel for the LTLA conference.

    Lathrop says she works to keep students involved by finding fun activities for the library. “Even students who aren’t interested in reading love our library, and they’ll read because of that,” she says. “I show them it’s not nerdy to love reading.”

    Lathrop also runs an annual family book club called Students Unite to Read with Family. At the beginning of the school year, she says, she promotes a book or author for students and their families to read. In the fall, the library holds a family literacy night to share food, contests, activities and meet the author, either in person or via Skype. Last year SURF had its highest attendance, with more than 150 people.

    This is the inaugural year for the Service Award, which is named in honor of past chairman and 3rd generation owner of the company, H. Norman Saurage III, who was a longtime supporter of education. Lathrop was presented with the award at a gala following Dream Teachers’ 10th annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium on July 15. Seven finalists, including Lathrop, were brought onstage and recognized for their contributions. Each was given a year’s worth of coffee for their teachers’ lounge, a gift Lathrop says was exciting in itself. 

    One of the best parts about winning the award was the opportunity to speak about the importance of libraries and the atmosphere of community and family they can offer, she says.

    “I want kids to feel welcome and find acceptance in the library. We have so many different kinds of kids in our club, and they all have a place here,” she says. “I love seeing how much kids can do when you give them the opportunity. I’ve learned to back off and let them lead, giving them the freedom and opportunity to be creative. I’ve been so proud to see shy, quiet kids become well-spoken leaders.”


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  • Cheers to a Healthier 2017!

    by John Knotz | Dec 29, 2016

    Less carbs. More protein. No food after a certain time of day. Spin and body shred class. Avoid this … but not that. The list of diets and workouts promising to help with weight loss and improve health are endless! But do they work long-term?

    If you – like countless others – rang in the New Year with thoughts of shedding a few pounds or treating yourself healthier, here are a few practical ideas to help you accomplish just that …

    Sleep More
    What does sleep have to do with health and weight? Plenty! Most experts agree that adults need seven to eight hours nightly. Research has linked adequate sleep to fewer colds, fewer symptoms of depression and eating fewer calories the next day.

    A 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition observed that sleep-deprived individuals consumed an average of 300 more calories in a day than when they had adequate amounts of sleep. What causes this? Well, it’s likely related to the hormone leptin, which tells your body when it’s full. Less is produced when you don’t get enough sleep. Instead, more ghrelin – your hunger hormone – is produced.

    Bottom Line – getting enough sleep is a powerful tool for weight control and health.

    Tune-in to Hunger
    When you’re well rested, be aware of hunger pangs. Don’t let yourself get ravenous before eating, or you’re likely to overeat. And take time to consider what really will satisfy your hunger. Choose what you really want at the time, sit down to eat it, and notice how you feel during and after eating. Food should be enjoyed!

    At the same time, you may not be truly hungry every time you feel like or decide to eat. Try to:

    • Avoid distracted, mindless eating
    • Think about how you really are feeling … Bored? Stressed? Tired?
    • Address how you are feeling with an appropriate response. The root cause of boredom, sleepiness and stress truly won’t be remedied by eating

    The book “Intuitive Eating” by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, is a no-diet approach to health and wellness. It outlines 10 principles to intuitive eating that may help you appropriately tune-in to hunger.

    Bottom Line – eating what you want – when you’re truly hungry – may be the best “diet”* ever.   

    Strategically Swap Foods
    As you become attuned to true hunger, it’s a good idea to keep in mind a few simple nutrition principles, too. If a food can both provide positive nutrition and satisfy, it may be better to select it over another food choice. Consider these eat-this-VS.-that ideas:

    • Breakfast
      • Peeled orange VS. large glass orange juice (saves calories, increases fiber, still get a day’s worth of vitamin C)
      • Whole wheat toast & egg VS. biscuit & sausage (less total and saturated fat & calories, more whole grain nutrition)  
    • Lunch
      • Homemade wrap – turkey, Cheddar, lettuce, red pepper strips, lower-fat cream cheese – & an apple VS. burger & fries (more fruit/vegetable & whole grain, less fat)
    • Snack (especially during carnival season!)
      • ½ slice King Cake & Mardi Gras King Cake coffee** VS. large slice of King Cake (saves calories & fat, adds antioxidants & fluids)
      • Mardi Gras King Cake or other flavored coffee & milk VS. flavored frappuccino (less sugar, calories, fat)
    • Dinner
    • Grilled salmon & rice VS. fried fish & fried potatoes (more healthy omega-3 fat, less overall fat, calories & sodium)

    Think about your repertoire of usual menu selections. And keep in mind that eating favorite foods is important so you don’t feel deprived. However, sometimes strategically trading out a favorite for a smart – yet yummy – nutrition choice can be satisfying, too. 

    Bottom Line – small food choices can have a huge nutrition impact over time.

    Move it!
    You don’t have to be a passionate “gym rat” to reap the benefits of exercise*. Think about what you enjoy doing – walking, biking, dancing, swimming – and get moving. Start slowly if you haven’t been exercising lately. And if you find yourself starting to dread the idea of moving, try something else.

    Why is it important? Well, there are extensive studies to support the benefits of exercise. It can:  help combat depression, boost energy, help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, burn fat and help control weight, strengthen muscles and bones, help you sleep better, decrease risk of heart attack and certain cancers and add years to your life. Sign me up!   

    Bottom Line – regular exercise should make you feel better mentally and physically.

    And finally, one last bit of caution: modeling these behaviors for your family just may have unintended consequences … they may adopt a few better-for-you habits, too!



    *Consult with a physician or registered dietitian nutritionist before beginning any diet or fitness program to make sure it is appropriate for your needs.

    **Community® Mardi Gras King Cake coffee – available for a limited time – is a quality coffee blended with light vanilla and cinnamon flavoring, providing a subtly sweet flavor.

     

    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.


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  • Resolved: Going Tech-Free to Strengthen Your Relationships in 2017

    by John Knotz | Dec 22, 2016

    The calendar is rolling toward 2017, so maybe you’ve been thinking some about New Year’s resolutions. We have one to suggest: Reconnect with your friends and family in real life instead of just through social media.

    “Relationships are built on understanding the other person and who they are, what they are and what they might need from you. All those things need to take place in the real world,” says Larry Rosen, a professor emeritus of psychology at California State University and co-author of “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World.”

    If you’re ready to get back to clicking face-to-face instead of just clicking a “like” button, here’s how to put that resolution into action.


    Get More Specific About Your Needs

    Figure out who you want to reach out to and how often. Does your vision include planning a big bash to bring everyone together? Or dedicating more one-on-one time with your family members or close friends? 

    Simply telling yourself that you’re going to spend more quality time with loved ones isn’t going to get it done, says Kevin Gilliland, a clinical psychologist and executive director of Innovation360 in Dallas. “Pick a few people to focus on first — not your whole social circle,” he says. “Be realistic. If you’re trying to reconnect with a friend who lives across town and has three small children, aim for face-to-face time once a month or every other month.”

    Prepare yourself to follow through on your resolution by sharing your plans. Tell the people you hope to reconnect with as well as an “outsider” to your plan — someone close to you who will hold you accountable and keep you on track, Gilliland says.

    Make Concrete Plans

    How many times have you told someone “We need to get together soon,” but it never actually happens? We all have busy lives, which is why scheduling is so important. Schedule time for yourself to make plans.

    “Set reminders once a month to plan a get together with a particular friend,” says Rhonda Milrad, founder and chief relationship adviser at Relationup, an app that offers live relationship advice. That makes it much more likely that you’ll follow through on that coffee date.

    Once you’ve reach out to someone, make specific plans with them. Vague plans like “Let’s do something this weekend” can easily fade into another missed opportunity; it’s much harder for that to happen if you’ve bought tickets, made reservations or set a time and place, Milrad says.

    Do Something Physical

    Do you want to get in better shape? Combine two resolutions into one by planning physical activities with a loved one. Sharing your workout with someone can motivate you and make you feel better in general.

    “Serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and endorphins are naturally occurring neurotransmitters in our bodies, and part of their purpose is to make us feel good,” Gilliland says. “Production of these naturally occurring stimulants is at its peak when we engage in physical activity.”

    Arrange a weekly gym date with a friend, go on a hike together, join a pickup basketball game or take the kids out to play Frisbee in the park. Even a walk through the neighborhood with a friend once a week is a great opportunity to get yourself up and moving while enjoying tech-free time with your favorite people.

    Try Something New

    If there’s a hobby or activity you’ve always wanted to try or did once and want to do again, organize it with someone special. Try bonding over an activity like a wine and painting class or indoor rock climbing, Milrad says.

    “You are enjoying each other’s company while having a memorable time,” she says. “The uniqueness of the experience coupled with the fun of being together creates a rich memory that gets stored in your brain differently than a more familiar and predictable event.”

    Doing something novel can spark a deeper level of connection, particularly for couples looking to spend some tech-free time together, Gilliland says. “Engaging in a new shared activity, whether it’s ballroom dancing, bowling or wine tasting, is a very effective way for husbands and wives to reignite their bond,” he says.

    Try Something Old

    There’s plenty of old-fashioned ways to get together that shouldn’t be overlooked, and you don’t need to wait for a special occasion. Invite people over for the game, throw a BBQ, or host a dinner party.

    If you’ve got kids and find yourself always busy, chances are you have a friend or relative in the same boat. Ask them to join you when you’re knocking out common errands like grocery shopping, or invite them along when you’re taking the kids to the museum or park.

    And, of course, you can always meet someone for coffee when you have an hour here or there to spend. However you choose to spend real-world time with your loved ones, the important thing to remember is that you’re building deeper relationships.

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  • Partnership Expands Education Options

    by John Knotz | Dec 16, 2016

    The coffee-growing communities of Unión Buenavista and Tierra y Libertad in the Mexican state of Chiapas are located on unpaved, mountainous roads far from the nearest town. Generations of farmers have grown their products and made the arduous journey to town to sell their goods.

    Hildardo Matias Velasquez, a coffee farmer, recalls the difficulty of such trips before an actual road existed. He says he would pack mules at 5 a.m. to take products to town and sell them, then arrive at 3 p.m., buy supplies such as sugar, salt and soap, repack the mules and make the return journey. The road has helped shorten the trip, but it’s still a rough, dangerous trek, he says.

    The communities’ isolation also makes it difficult for teachers to reach the area or for students to get to schools, particularly when heavy rains make the road impassable. In response to this problem, Community Coffee Company, in partnership with Southwest Airlines and the ECOM Foundation, created a project to build two classrooms with satellite internet and access to online curriculum. The project provides grade-school education, as well as access to agricultural, technological and academic training for anyone interested. Additionally, residents — who traditionally have had little hope for a higher education — can now access a university education remotely. 

    Mexico_WithinArticle_315x472

    Coffee farming is the livelihood for many of these residents, so training in agriculture and better coffee-growing practices is being offered to sustain future generations of coffee growers. 

    Mark Howell, general manager of the Green Coffee and Tea Department with Community Coffee Company, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the two schools. The kids were excited and curious about the visitors since they rarely get visitors in their area, he says.


     




    Mexico_WithinArticle_400x267“After theribbon cutting we stepped into the school and turned on the lights to look around. The school has windows along either side of the building, and there were over a hundred kids’ faces peering in trying to see inside the school,” he says. “They let a group of students in, and they all sat down and immediately wanted everyone to take pictures of them looking busy and professional.”

    In an area where education usually stops after elementary school, and kids go on to live as farmers and laborers, the schools will make a huge difference to their futures, opening new doors for them, Howell says. Some of the students understand that, and some don’t yet, but their parents understand what the access to computers and higher education will mean for their children, he says.

    “I think the turnout for these ceremonies spoke volumes,” Howell says. “A large percent of the community showed up each day to hear what was said and enjoy a picnic.”

    Matias Velasquez says he’s optimistic that education for the area will continue to improve, and the community's children will be better prepared for the future. He also wants to continue learning despite his age — even if it’s just learning more about agriculture, it would be a good thing for everyone, he says.

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  • Super-Simple, Decadent Dessert Perfect for Busy Holidays

    by John Knotz | Dec 01, 2016

    Though I vow every year not to let this special season turn into a crazy-busy time, the holidays often have more packed into the daily schedule than what comfortably fits. So, if you’re anything like me, dessert definitely should be stress-free, right?!

    Consider a change-up or addition to your usual Christmas and holiday fare with this country-French dessert called clafouti (kla-foo-TEE). Originating in the Limousin region of France, clafouti is made by topping fruit – traditionally cherries – with a crepe- or pancake-like batter. After baking, it’s served warm, cut into wedges or spooned out of the pan, often with whipped cream. Clafouti is as special as serving pie, minus the challenge of tackling a crust.

    Filled with fresh cranberries and apples, this version of traditional clafouti is decidedly fit for the holidays. It’s delightfully simple and quick to make, especially attractive for a season of meals featuring often-lengthy menus. Simply place fruit in buttered pan. Whisk together batter. Pour over fruit. Bake. That’s it … really!

    Plan to bake the clafouti so it will be warm when serving to guests. Also, expect that this custard-like dessert will perfectly puff up during baking. Then, it will fall soon after removing from the oven. No worries! That’s exactly what it’s supposed to do … similar to an oven-baked pancake. A touch of fresh whipped cream is the perfect topping. It’s a thing of real beauty when a simple-to-make, casual dessert delivers an amazing grand finale of flavor. 

     

    Cranberry Apple Clafouti (Kla-foo-TEE)

     

    • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed and patted dry cranberries
    • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
    • ¾ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Powdered sugar for dusting top (optional)
    • Whipped cream (optional)

     

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 10-inch, deep-dish pie pan or similar-sized baking pan. Add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and tilt pan to coat. Add cranberries and apple to bottom of pan.

    In large bowl, combine ¾ cup granulated sugar and flour. Whisk in eggs until completely combined. Add milk, vanilla and salt; whisk until smooth. Pour batter over the fruit. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F; bake an additional 35-45 minutes, or until center is puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Let cool about 20 minutes. Top with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.

    Makes about 6 servings

    Notes:

    • Plan to bake this during your meal and serve warm. For easy prep: place fruit in prepared pan; whisk together batter; just before sitting down to the table, pour batter over fruit and pop in the oven.
    • Instead of whisking by hand, use a blender or food processor to mix together the batter mixture.
    • Remember, the clafouti will deflate almost immediately after removing from the oven. It is supposed to do this.
    • Homemade whipped cream is simple: mix cold heavy cream and powdered or granulated sugar (to taste) by hand with a whisk or in a mixer until desired consistency.
    • Whipped cream may be flavored with vanilla, brewed or instant coffee, favorite liquor or cocoa powder. Vanilla is a nice addition for this dessert since it’s also called for in the recipe.
    • Pair this dessert with our Café Special® coffee for a rich, smooth flavor or try our Private Reserve® Founder’s Blend for a unique twist on your typical coffee.

     

    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.

     


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  • Start a Mouth-Watering Thanksgiving Morning Tradition

    by John Knotz | Nov 17, 2016
    Fresh Cranberry Pecan Streusel Muffins Recipe

    Over the years, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in many regions of this great country, each holding a special place in my heart because of the family and friends with whom I was blessed to share time. While growing up on a farm in Nebraska, I always looked forward to my Aunt’s moist, sweet cranberry bread appearing on my parents’ long dining table, which comfortably seats eighteen.

    That recipe – now made countless times over the years for my own family – hailed from Ohio and is the inspiration for these perfectly sweet-tart fresh cranberry muffins. They’re just right for breakfast or brunch over the holiday weekend and easily can be made ahead and frozen, adding the drizzle before serving. Or stir them together, scoop into muffin tins and refrigerate overnight; top and bake fresh the next morning.

    White whole wheat flour adds a rich, nutty flavor to the muffins and yields a texture similar to all-purpose flour in many baked goods, especially those leavened with baking powder. The orange juice adds sweetness to the batter surrounding the tart cranberries without imparting an “orange” flavor. Also, the streusel topping and drizzle may be left off but definitely add visual and textural interest, as well as a sweet touch.

    Just guessing … these might become a requested family tradition at your house, too!     

    Fresh Cranberry Pecan Streusel Muffins

    Muffins:

    • 2 ¼ cups white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup orange juice
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    • ½ cup toasted, chopped pecans

    Topping (optional):

    • 4 teaspoons old-fashioned rolled oats
    • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

    Drizzle (optional):

    • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon orange juice or milk

     

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 12 regular-size muffin cups; spray cups with vegetable cooking spray.

    Muffins

    In medium bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in 2/3 cup orange juice, oil and egg until completely combined. Add cranberries and pecans, stirring until combined; batter will be thick. Evenly scoop batter into muffin cups. (If desired, cover with plastic wrap sprayed with vegetable cooking spray and refrigerate overnight to top and bake in the morning.)

    Topping

    If desired, in small bowl, stir together oats, 4 teaspoons sugar and cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle over muffin batter.

    Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick in center comes out nearly clean. Do not overbake. Cool about 2 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack.

    Drizzle

    If desired, whisk together powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon orange juice; drizzle over muffins.

    Makes 12 muffins

     

    Notes:

    • To toast pecans, place in heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2-4 minutes. Cool.
    • Toasting nuts adds an additional dimension of flavor which will not develop in baking since the nuts are stirred into the batter. If you have a nut allergy or aren’t a fan, simply leave them out.
    • Regular-size muffin cup liners – sprayed with vegetable cooking spray before filling – make for easy release of muffins when serving.
    • To make-ahead and freeze, bake and completely cool muffins. Double wrap in freezer bags. Thaw and top with drizzle before serving.
    • To make-ahead and bake the next morning, prepare batter and fill muffin cups. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator and add topping; bake, cool and drizzle according to directions.

     

    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.

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  • Bake-Ahead Thanksgiving Dessert Sweet Potato Triple Layer Cake

    by John Knotz | Nov 09, 2016

    Sweet potatoes predictably may be served as a side dish – or even in rolls – around the country this Thanksgiving. But try dressing them up for a show-stopping, not-even-close-to-resembling-pie dessert? Absolutely!

    This cake is inspired by the carrot Bundt cake recipe my husband’s Southern Aunt Bea lovingly gifted to us in a box full of hand-written recipes when we were married. Shredded sweet potato replaces carrots and dates upstage somewhat-polarizing raisins. Autumn’s best spices, walnuts and sweet pineapple make each layer’s flavor and texture special.

    Between each layer and crowning the top is an amazing coffee cream cheese frosting. Ever since my friend told me that her mom always adds a touch of brewed coffee to her homemade frostings, I’ve wanted to try it. And instead of screaming coffee flavor, it covertly manages to enhance the other frosting ingredients.  

    Because there usually are several other menu items to prepare at Thanksgiving, make the cake layers anytime in November and freeze. Be sure to wrap each individually and place in a freezer bag. Simply pull these out to thaw before frosting, which can be done the day before serving. And this sweet treat will taste just as fresh at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend as it did on the holiday. That makes everyone happy!


    Sweet Potato Layer Cake with Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting

    Cake:

    • 2 cups white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    • ½ teaspoon allspice
    • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • ¾ cup vegetable oil
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 cups peeled, grated sweet potato (about 1 medium)
    • 1 cup toasted, finely chopped walnuts or pecans, divided
    • ½ cup chopped dates
    • ½ cup finely chopped fresh or canned pineapple

     

    Frosting:

    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 2 tablespoons brewed Community® coffee, cooled
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 ½ - 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 8-inch round baking pans with parchment paper and spray sides with vegetable cooking spray.

     

    Cake

    In large bowl, whisk together flour, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Stir in or mix on low speed vegetable oil and eggs; completely combine. Add sweet potato, ¾ cup walnuts, dates and pineapple, stirring until combined. Evenly divide batter into pans. Bake about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

    Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of cake pans; turn over onto cooling rack. Remove parchment and cool completely.

     

    Frosting

    In large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add coffee and vanilla; mix until smooth, scraping bowl often. Gradually add 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, adding extra coffee or powdered sugar to achieve spreading consistency; mix until completely combined.

    Place first layer of cake on serving plate; evenly spread with 1/3 of frosting. Repeat with remaining layers. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup walnuts to garnish.

    Makes 1 large layer cake (at least 16 slices)

     

    Notes:

    • White whole wheat flour has all of the nutrition of whole wheat flour but with a less assertive flavor and texture. In this cake, it enhances the nutty, rich flavors and performs quite similarly to all-purpose flour.
    • To easily toast nuts, place in heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2-4 minutes. Cool.
    • Toasting nuts develops an additional layer of flavor which won’t occur from baking since the nuts are mixed into the cake batter.
    • For evenly-sized layers, use a kitchen scale to equally portion batter into each pan.
    • Omit nuts if there’s an allergy concern or if they’re not a favorite. Consider adding coconut instead.
    • The frosting will not noticeably taste of coffee. Instead, the rich cream cheese and butter flavors are enhanced.
    • This semisweet cake dessert will pair well with Community® Café Special® coffee. This medium roasted coffee provides a light balance between the creamy, richness of the dessert and the subtle flavor of the coffee.

     


    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.


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  • Daylight Savings Time

    by John Knotz | Nov 04, 2016

    Let’s face it. Most of us out there are not huge fans of “falling back” from Daylight Saving Time to standard time on first Sunday of November. We say goodbye to that extra hour of daylight in the evening, enjoying sunsets on the patio and kids playing in the yard until well past seven. We begrudgingly accept headlights for the homebound commute, the end of evening walks around the neighborhood and our offspring cooped up in the house from 5:00 till bedtime.

    To make matters a little worse, moving the clock resets our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. Sure, we may fall asleep a little easier given that our bodies think it’s an hour ahead, but that sometimes leads to making it a little harder to “get up and go” in the mornings considering our bodies think it’s an hour earlier. In fact, during early November and beyond, many people get up earlier, have more trouble falling asleep, and are more likely to wake up during the night.

     While we here at Community Coffee Company certainly encourage maintaining your morning coffee along with another coffee or tea after lunch to keep you sharp, we have additional suggestions to help make it through the time shift. (As an added bonus, most of these actually apply when you “spring forward” next April. They’ll still be on our blog then, too.)

    Wake Up at a Normal Time the Sunday Morning of the Time Change
    In fall, many people see the extra hour as an excuse to stay up later and sleep in longer. But sleeping through the Sunday morning sunlight can leave you feeling out of sorts for the start of the week. Instead, try to get up at the same time. Use the extra hour to go for a morning walk or make a hearty breakfast.

    Eat Right and Exercise
    Really, eating right and exercising is advice that applies to the entire year, but it’s especially important to help your body adjust to its new sleeping pattern. An active lifestyle and a healthy diet can work wonders for your sleep. So, during the first week of the time change, exercise for at least 30 minutes during the day and make sure you eat balanced meals.

    Get a Good, Normal Night's Sleep Sunday Night
    Make sure your room is cool, quiet and dark. Turn off the laptop, tablet and phone. Hit the hay at your usual bedtime, even though it will be dark one hour earlier.

    Know That Your Body Will Adjust 
    Some people have a harder time adjusting and it might take a few days to feel 100 percent normal, but don’t worry: Your body will become accustomed to the new light-dark cycle.

    However you choose to take on the time change, employ some of these tips and you’ll adjust easier. And get some rest. The holidays are just around the corner!



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  • Trick-or- Treat: How Much Do You Know About Halloween?

    by John Knotz | Oct 26, 2016
    Break out those cobwebs and pour the cider, Halloween is back again to frightfully delight people everywhere. This hauntingly fun night consists of costumes, candy, pumpkins and ghosts, but do you know how it all started? Here is a game of Trick-or- Treat (similar to true or false) to get you in the Halloween spirit and see how much you know about this spell-binding holiday!

    The celebration of Halloween was brought to the U.S. by immigrants from Russia.
    Trick! Halloween came to the U.S. with the first large wave of immigrants from Ireland, England, and Scotland. In these countries it was common for kids to dress up on All Hallow’s Eve and beg for food, money, or other items. When people refused to give them any treats, the kids would play tricks such as drawing with chalk on their doors.

    Halloween became what it is today in the 50s and 60s.
    Treat! Halloween became the ritual that it is today in the 50s and 60s because families started living in newly-built suburban neighborhoods—perfect for trick-or- treating! This is when it became an annual family activity to have a neighborhood-wide celebration complete with candy, costumes, and Halloween parties!

    The first bags of Community® coffee were orange and black.
    Treat! Some of Community Coffee’s first coffee bags donned Halloween’s most iconic colors. The vibrant red that people know today was not made the primary package color until much later!

    The ancient festivals of Halloween involved leaving out nuts and other treats which attracted spiders and bats—popular creatures depicted in Halloween decorations today!
    Trick! Ancient Halloween festivals focused on protecting and stockpiling crops rather than on treats and candy. They believed that October 31 was the day the boundaries between the living and the dead overlapped, causing sickness or damaged crops. Festival-goers would light a bonfire, which is what attracted bats, spiders, and various insects.

    A cup of coffee has the same amount of calories as a candy bar.

    Trick! Thankfully we can indulge in coffee all we want knowing a plain cup of joe only has about 2 calories along with a list of other health benefits. The average name brand candy bar can have between 200 and 500 calories. Moderation is definitely key when it comes to candy…but Halloween is always an exception!

    Jack-o- lanterns are named after folklore about Stingy Jack.
    Treat! Jack-o- lantern literally means “man with a lantern.” The story is about a boy named Jack who was forced to roam the earth forever after playing tricks on an evil spirit. The evil spirit sent Jack off into the woods with only a burning coal in a carved-out turnip to light his way. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern.” Now, pumpkins are carved with a candle inside to create the lantern effect and placed in front of people’s house for decoration.


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  • Fall Into A New DIY Project

    by John Knotz | Oct 20, 2016

    Ahhh the colors of Fall. The rustic browns, burnt oranges and crisp reds all come together to show off nature’s beauty. What better way to showcase some of Fall’s most vibrant colors than in your home décor? With family coming in for the holidays, its easy to get caught up in everything from the menu to the sleeping arrangements. But these simple Fall DIY projects are sure to impress your guests…and maybe even yourself!

    Nothing brings people together like a warm homemade meal. Of course, it is always a bit more inviting when the table is adorned with festive Fall decorations and a glowing centerpiece. Try placing these easy pumpkin candle holders in the center of your table and let the compliments pour in!



     
    Need to add some flair to your front door? This monogram pumpkin door hanger will have all the neighbors knocking on your door…and wondering where you got this DIY treasure, of course! This idea is perfect when you need something quick and easy!



    Striving to be the hostess with the mostest? Try these maple leaf mason jars for serving drinks to your guests! Just swap out the candle for some Community® Raspberry Tea and enjoy on a crisp Autumn afternoon.



     
    Here is a great last minute décor idea! This fun project requires basic materials and only 30 minutes of your time. Hang or place this spray paint leaf art around your living room or entryway for an effortless Fall touch!


    Want to spruce up your coffee table or fireplace mantle? These cinnamon stick candles will leave your home smelling like a delicious bakery! Plus, the leftover cinnamon sticks can be used in other ways! Just place a couple sticks in a mug of freshly brewed Community® Pumpkin Praline coffee and enjoy the Fall sensory overload!



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  • Pumpkin Seeds: Nature’s (Healthy) Candy

    by John Knotz | Sep 29, 2016

    The holidays are coming and your willpower to eat healthy is quickly going. With all the sweet holiday staples it can be hard to stay on track and get in those healthy meals between all the freshly-baked goods calling your name. While a little indulging in the good stuff is always acceptable, here is a complete menu using one of fall’s greatest gifts (pumpkin seeds!) to help you eat better without sacrificing the delicious taste!

    Pumpkin seeds are not only delicious, they’re also pretty nutritious! These high-fiber seeds contain loads of protein and antioxidants that give almost every part of your body a little boost. The heart, immune system, bones and even your hair can all benefit from pumpkin seeds. As if their amazing taste (raw or toasted) weren’t enough, this just adds to the reason why pumpkin seeds are one of fall’s best and healthiest little treasures to enjoy.

    Here’s a few options to enjoy this unique treat.

    Breakfast: Blueberry and Pumpkin Breakfast Bowl

    blueberrypumpkinbreakfast

    The pumpkins are carved and those seeds cannot go to waste. Just a few basic ingredients make this breakfast bowl the perfect start to your busy day this fall. Power up with all the benefits of tangy Greek yogurt, sweet blueberries, and nutty pumpkin seeds!

    Lunch: Kale Superfood Salad

    kalesalad

    Ready to enjoy a salad for lunch? This quick little salad is anything but simple. Packed with flavors from kale, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a homemade dressing, this salad is sure to be your new favorite lunchtime craving!

    Snack: Roasted Pumpkin Seed Hummus

    roastedpumpkin

    Are those mid-afternoon tummy rumblings hitting you hard today? No worries, because here is the perfect afternoon snack! This hummus has all the flavors of fall: pumpkin seeds, chili powder, garlic, and beans combine to make a delicious dip! Grab some chips or pita bread and enjoy outside on a crisp autumn day.

    Dinner: Kale and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

    kaleseed

    Just say “presto!” and you’re ready to go with this pesto! Pesto is easy to make and is easily customizable with your favorite flavors like cilantro or chili. Stir into a bowl of cooked pasta or create a pesto crusted baked chicken the whole family will love!

    Dessert: Salted Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark

    salteddark

    Mix all the benefits of rich dark chocolate and protein-packed pumpkin seeds to create this mouth-watering dessert. Enjoy a piece, or three, after dinner to satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free!

    STILL need more pumpkin in your life? It’s okay, we all go a little overboard on pumpkin in the fall. Overindulge on this classic fall flavor by pairing any of these snacks with a cup of Community® Pumpkin Praline coffee. This flavor brings out all the rich smells and tastes of fall with hints of nuts from the pumpkin and a little sweetness from the pralines. Enjoy our coffee, it’s good enough to eat!


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