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How Much is Too Much Caffeine?

(And an aside on pumpkins)

To be honest I have no idea how much is too much caffeine. No, no, no – I do. I’m just not sure I TOTALLY agree with the generally recognized recommendations. Be that as it may, I am here to inform your sweet, knowledge-seeking buns.

Before we get started, can I just say this whole pumpkin shortage thing is very alarming. This is coming from a girl who stockpiles canned pumpkin. If there was a show devoted to people who hoarded canned vegetables, I think I would be the host. Welcome folks, today we meet Becky from Rhode Island who has so much canned rutabaga in her basement, her house is actually sinking! *Cue enthusiastic eye roll* Just FYI – the pumpkin shortage is coming from too much rain in the Midwest. Libby’s, the largest producer of canned pumpkin, gets most of their pumpkins from Illinois. I’m sorry. If you don’t believe in global warming now, you never will. Pumpkins man. Pumpkins.

So what is the deal with caffeine? Please repeat that question as Jerry Seinfield would. Do it. Now. 

The going recommendation for healthy, older adults is 400mg of caffeine per day, that is about four cups of joe. Adolescents, you get 100mg per day. The Caffeine Informer can provide you with more information on the caffeine content of various drinks, all the information you do and don’t want to know.

Boom end of post. But seriously, if you experience insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach aches, rapid heart beat or muscle twitching this may be a sign of too much caffeine and you need to tone it down.

Basically, too much caffeine feels a lot like this…

 

Yes. We know.

Please drink responsibly.

*Pumpkin knowledge gathered from NPR.

I’m Bringing Pumpkin Back. Yeah!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought we’d talk a little bit about pumpkin. And seriously, in the season of dry skin, what else is there to discuss as the temperature drops around us. I’m serious, these days my skin looks like I have a serious problem. No lie, I literally Googled ‘itchy arms’ today and went through a slide show titled, ‘The Ten Most Common Skin Rashes’ on WebMD. The good news: I am 95% sure I do not have ring worm. Fingers crossed. PS – when did googled become a verb?

Let’s get back to pumpkin. Boasting ~50 calories per cup (cubed), this little wonder should be a fall/winter staple in your kitchen. While it’s low in calories and fat, it also contains an ample, almost excessive, amount of vitamin A – a key nutrient in maintaining healthy skin, teeth, bone, retina and soft tissue. It is found in vegetables and fruits in the form of pro-vitamin A, beta carotene. If you did not know, beta carotene is an antioxidant crucial in protecting cells from damage.

For more benefits of the beautiful of pumpkin, click here.

In the meantime, here is one mean pumpkin recipe sure to provide you with warm comfort food during the week or please your Thanksgiving Day (Vegetarian) crowd.

Kale, Pumpkin and Chickpea Skillet

Serves 4-6 (entree)

1 bunch of kale, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh pumpkin
1 can chickpeas, partially drained
1 small jalapeño, minced*
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Olive oil
Juice from 1/2 Lemon

Heat a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, add chickpeas and simmer for ~10 minutes until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add minced jalapano and continue to sautee until liquid is gone and pepper is slightly cooked.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LRN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LRN

Meanwhile, in a duct oven, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add pumpkin and continue sauté for ~15 minutes until pumpkin is fork tender.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Stir in kale and garlic cook for another 3 minutes until kale has wilted and garlic is fragrant, but not browned.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Remove from heat. Fold in chickpeas, walnut, parmesan and lemon juice.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Plate and serve!

Recipe Notes:

Jalapeño – I kept 1/2 the seeds from the pepper, feel free to adjust seed amount. The more seeds, the hotter this dish.