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Fall Beers

I’ve tried to like beer, but we’re just never going to be good friends. Yes, even pumpkin beer. I know. pumpkin face

However, I understand that people love beer, and that seasonal beers get a lot of love.

Current health recommendations for alcohol are up to one drink per day for women and up to two per day for men—not fair, but you need to take into account the fact that our bodies metabolize alcohol at different rates. So if you’re wondering what to fill those two allotted glasses with this weekend, Self magazine’s Flash blog just put out a great little list of “fall beers worth every calorie.”

Do you like beer? If not, what’s your poison? 

Favorite Tea

IMG_2247I’m very loyal to green tea. Save for a weird six-month coffee stint in 2011-2012, I’ve been drinking it every morning since I was 20. Sometimes I want something a little different though. A few months ago, my mom gave me a few bags of this cinnamon tea from New York company Harney & Sons. It was love at first sip, and when I saw their booth at the Coffee and Tea Festival in March, I quickly bought a tin. I really wish I’d bought more than one…this is so good. Life is too short not to love what you drink. Hm. That sounds like a cheesy commercial. Ah well. It’s not like I work in advertising.

Have an awesome weekend!

What shape is your beer glass?

I was a bit late to the party on beer —I vehemently hated it (or so I thought) until, like, last year. Turned out I’d just never had good beer. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but it was an article about the health benefits of beer that made me want to give it another shot. I’m glad I did, though—it’s fun learning about the different varieties, even if this particular form of education is a slow process. Given my size, I’m usually that person still on their first while the rest of the table is on number three. That could also be because I tend to toss back water like it’s my job  whenever I have alcohol in front of me. Balance.

A new study of British beer drinkers, however, shows that the shape of one’s beer glass affects the speed at which they drink. Apparently an optical illusion caused by the shape of a curved glass triggers a person to drink faster.  Read More »

Six Things for Sunday

Happy Sunday. Hope everyone’s had a lovely weekend. I’ve enjoyed a good mix of work and play…

1.) Breaking in new boots that already feel like you’ve had them for ages. When my feet are happy, I’m happy.

2.) Cocktails in speakeasy-esque bars. Sometimes it’s fun to step outside the wine & beer box—or okay, bottle, because we all know I’d never drink wine from a box, right? If you knew me before, say, 2005, please don’t answer that question.

3.) Weird-But-Good Food Combinations

After a workout, it’s amazing, the things you find yourself craving. For whatever reason, a warm bowl of spinach, roasted veggies, and homemade falafel sounded like the perfect lunch on Saturday—topped with hummus and goat cheese, of course. On the side? Roasted sweet potato rounds. I will definitely be re-creating this weirdness in the near future.

4.) Speaking of working out, is there anything better than taking a long shower afterwards and then putting your pajamas back on? I spent the better part of Saturday afternoon in my favorite old slip.

5.) Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Black Sea Salt. 

Enough said.

6.) This Tumblr. It’s like Pinterest, only better.

What are your “things” for Sunday? 

In my arsenal

As some of you who’ve been reading a while know, I’ve got a whole list of cold-fighting weapons I turn to when I feel something coming on. One of my favorites is green juice, but forking over eight bucks a pop can be rough on the wallet, so I tend to only buy it when I’m desperate for a last-ditch pick-me-up. Eventually I’ll get a juicer, but I have other priorities right now.

So you can imagine my curiosity when I saw this Super Green Drink Powder at Trader Joe’s not too long ago. While it’s not particularly new, it’s new to me. After a few weeks of talking myself out of trying it, I finally picked up a container last time I was there. When I woke up on Sunday morning feeling a little under the weather (a lot of fun but late nights recently, too much work, not enough rest, etc), I was so glad I had it. Though I don’t believe in miracles, I do believe that a mega-dose of nutrients can help in times of depletion…

The nutrition stats are not too shabby either…

Though I just mixed this with water and drank it down before rushing out the door, I imagine it will be fantastic in smoothies. We’ll see if it helps me feel better, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. A little optimism goes a long way!

Do you have any secret weapons? Are you a fan of drink powders? 

Officially Addicted

coffee: an important part of this complete breakfast

I’m officially addicted to caffeine. Getting a coffee maker was one of the best worst decisions I’ve ever made, since I’m saving a lot of money—and paper cups—but now I find myself unable to start my morning without at least a cup of black coffee. Green tea (which has a lower caffeine content) used to be enough. Ah well.

To quote Mr. Bob Dylan, “I never asked for your crutch, now don’t ask for mine…”

Besides, coffee has some health benefits! I’ll take the potential reduced risk in diabetes, heart disease and some cancers any day! However, a recent study showed that coffee may affect women’s estrogen levels in various ways depending on race, so that could be worth taking into consideration.

For now, though, I’m just fine relying on those few cups a day to keep me going. I can totally stop whenever I want to. Yeah, right…

Are you hooked on caffeine? How do you take your coffee? 

New Years Pre-Tox

If every group of friends is like a family, I am totally okay with the fact that I play the role of the crazy aunt who’s always talking about the moon and telling people to eat and drink green things. If the shoe fits…

While I’d describe myself as a moderate drinker (3-5 drinks over the course of a week, usually with dinner), there are certain occasions on which I might enjoy a second or third glass of wine—or let’s make it champagne, to be festive. For many of you out there, myself maybe or maybe not included, New Years Eve is one such occasion.

While there’s a lot of info out there on how to detox after a big night out (the only true cure for a hangover is time, but here this recent NY Times piece mentions a few other remedies), what you do beforehand can have an effect on the morning after—if not physically, then at least mentally.

A big salad is one of my pre-tox go-tos

Before any food-and-drink holiday, I like to pre-game by making time for exercise and eating lots of nutrient-rich foods like big salads and vegetable-rich soups. I also try to avoid drinking on an empty stomach—that’s just asking for trouble.

Hydration is also key! I do try to drink water in between alcoholic drinks, but sometimes it’s not quite enough. Maybe if I were taller this wouldn’t be as much of an issue. My “big night out” is someone else’s “getting started” when it comes to drinking. Better to at least know your limit, I guess.

What are you doing for New Years Eve? 

Study Breaks

In addition to it being the holiday season, it also happens to be finals season for us students. On Monday, I have my last final (Advanced Nutritional Biochem—Proteins, Fats & Carbs) of the semester. I’ve been in grad school for almost 3 years with no breaks, so I’m nearing that burnout “who cares about amino acid metabolism” place.

To fuel these oh-so-exciting study sessions, I’ve been making sure to eat balanced meals while still making a little time for social activities, like catching up over drinks at Leah’s the other day. Today I have plans to see some of my lady friends. And yes, that’s champagne in that mug…

I’ve also been making time for exercise and yoga to balance out the, um, mugs of champagne. Cleaning also seems to be a good study break. My apartment is freaking sparkling right now.

Since my internship doesn’t start until late February, I am looking forward to two glorious months off from school. I still have to work, but I will take that over work plus papers and exams any day!

It’s kind of crazy to think that this time next week, it’ll be Christmas Eve. I think I’m ready…

Mental or Physical?


This morning, after a class trip to the Ritz Carlton at Battery Park, I started to feel unusually exhausted and shaky. Low blood sugar, perhaps?

Rather than head to campus to get work done between classes, I high-tailed it home to eat some lunch, but not before grabbing a bottle of recently-elusive kombucha. Sure enough, partway through the subway ride, I started to feel like myself again, but by the time I reached my apartment (and the bottom of the bottle), I felt strangely warm and fuzzy—almost like I’d had a beer (a significant amount of alcohol for 4’11 me).

I fumbled my way through making lunch–a delicious melange of stuff I pre-made yesterday: brown rice, lentils, roasted eggplant and mushrooms, and homemade tomato sauce with a little goat cheese and chili powder mixed in after heating. The whole time I was shaking my head at myself. Seriously, Jess? Accidentally drunk at 12:30 pm on a Monday off of kombucha? The only thing left to do was finish up the issue of Self I’ve been chipping away at and take a nap.

Fortunately, I woke up an hour later clear-headed and confident I’d really just been tired after all. I’d never had that reaction before hearing about Whole Foods’ move to pull kombucha off its shelves due to discrepancies about the “trace” amount of alcohol, so I think I’m going to say this afternoon’s little adventure was mental, not physical. Good thing—I have another class today!

Healthy Cocktails?

It’s finally Friday, and if my body could talk (vocal chords aside), it would say, “Get this girl a drink!” Preferably, a sparkling red wine—my new favorite.

While a little bit of any kind of alcohol can be good for you, “health” isn’t exactly one of the words most of us think of when we hear “cocktail.” However, in recent years, health-conscious concoctions have become pretty trendy.
Personally, I’m more of a wine drinker and think the idea of trying to make cocktails into health drinks is pretty silly, but I did go to bartending school, so I can see the fun in coming up with new recipes. Maybe if I ever get around to having that dinner party I’ve been wanting to have, I’ll whip something up. Here are a couple ideas from Women’s Health.
Cheers!
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