When You Just Need Some Wine

So many people have asked me something along the lines of… “so, now that you’re into this nutrition thing, do you still drink?” “can I still get you a beer?”.

Oh heck yea you can!

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I remember freshman year of college I used to not go out as often as I would have liked because I didn’t want to take in all of the calories of alcohol. Like I mentioned here, when I first went off to college I was super fit and was so worried about how I was going to maintain it.

But over the years I’ve learned that drinking, in somewhat of a moderate way, isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can help you maintain or lose weight.

How is that, you ask?

Because it is fun. And fun is a HUGE ingredient for weight maintenance or weight loss. In my case, I think FUN is and was probably the MAIN ingredient that helped me effortlessly lose weight. Having more fun in my life.

Another health coach who I follow, Sarah Jenks, has an entire program devoted to this concept. It is called “Live More, Weigh Less” and the premise is about how getting a life helps the weight fall off. I couldn’t agree more with this philosophy.

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I believe that when you have more of a life, a fun-filled life, you feel more fulfilled in general. Feeling fulfilled makes you feel whole and happy. And when you feel whole and happy, you don’t really care about food. You don’t need the food to fill any voids.

So the moral of the story? Embrace your wine. Or your beer, or your jalapeño margarita. Or a mojito (my weakness in the summertime) I’m not saying to go binge drink every night. That would make you feel terrible. But, enjoy it, have fun with it, smell it, taste it, savor it. I know this girl agrees.

Let loose. It’s good for the soul.

Here are some tips that I have developed over the years for incorporating drinking as part of a healthy lifestyle:

  • Eat dinner before you drink. In college, I would try to not eat before I drank to counterbalance the calories. This just ends up backfiring because you end up eating more late at night when your appetite is raging. Now, I always eat a decent dinner beforehand. Except for at Happy Hours. Those are always interesting… no time to eat dinner beforehand… Oops.
  • Stick to low sugar drinks…. but not all the time! Personally, I don’t like the sugary drinks that much, but I do love an occasional awesome cocktail and real beer. For the most part, I’ll stick to wine, beer, and vodka/soda, but if a good cocktail catches my eye, I go for it. Again, have fun with it.
  • Drink some water, at some point.
  • Peanut butter toast is a great go-to food at the end of the night. When you come back late, you’re kind of hungry, and need something before you go to sleep. Peanut butter toast is my go-to. It’s hearty, healthy, and beats 5-5-5- Domino Pizza (oh, college). Well, ok, maybe it doesn’t really beat Domino’s in taste, but your body will thank you the next day.
  • Start the next day off with a hearty breakfast.

That’s about all I’ve got for ya! Almost the weekend!!

What are your thoughts around drinking fitting into a healthy lifestyle? Any tips you have?

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WIAW {11.28.2012}: Wine Night First Timer

Oh man, am I feeling groggy right now. I had the hardest time sleeping last night! But we will get to that in a second. First, let’s back up. Thanks to Jenn for hosting the WIAW tradition.

My day started yesterday with some Starbucks and a trip to the grocery store in the early hours. I love strolling around the grocery store with coffee while the store is still empty. It’s so peaceful 🙂

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I picked up a loaf of fresh rye bread from the bakery and wanted to use it for breakfast immediately. This may look like a strange combo, and it is, but it totally worked. Rye toast with avocado and raspberry jam:

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I headed to a meeting at around 11:15 and then quickly met up with Amanda for some chit chat before heading to class. I packed a quick lunch filled with sautéed veggies (spinach, carrots, zucchini, yellow pepper, green beans, mushrooms), marinara sauce, and a generous helping of goat cheese. Topped with slivered almonds.

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Mmm goat cheese!

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I ended up coming home in between classes and having an unexpected break. Since it was SNOWING in NYC yesterday, a warm snack was definitely needed. I warmed up a granny smith apple, drizzled with almond butter, and paired it with tea.

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Ohhhh yea.

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Then I picked myself up, got all bundled, and headed back out to class at around 4:30. Another cup of tea was picked up from Starbucks to keep me warm during the commute. It was a nasty weather day here in the city!

Vanilla Roobois Tea:

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And then, I commuted from the Upper West Side downtown and met up with a bunch of lovely ladies for my first appearance at their monthly wine night!

When I was in Cape Cod with Mara (my brother’s fiancé) and her friends a couple of months ago, they invited me to start coming to their monthly wine nights. Their group of friends rotates the responsibility of hosting wine night each month. Each girl brings over a bottle of the wine of the month and the host provides some appetizers or whatever they’d like to cook. Sounds like my kinda thannng!

Leah was, as expected, an awesome host. She had been talking to me about things she wanted to cook for wine night since we hung out at the Cape a couple months ago and she really impressed us all. She even took pictures of the set up before everyone got there so that she could send them to me for the blog. What a pal!!

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About 2/3 of the girls:
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Some stars of the night included her pumpkin cupcakes with dairy-free cream cheese frosting (Leah tries to stay away from too much dairy):

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And a Tart made with butternut squash, pancetta, shiitake mushrooms, onion and vegan cheddar cheese:

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Both were SO delicious. Leah, maybe you can post the recipes in the comment section??

I had about one and a half glasses of wine (the wine of the month was Malbec), the above picture of the Tart, some cheese and crackers, some veggies and dip, and half a cupcake. I had so much fun hanging out with these girls, mostly a crew who met at Cornell and went to college together, and love the concept of this wine night. Thanks, Leah, for being such a great host and cooking up a storm!

And THEN. I got home at around 11, got ready for bed, and just could. not. sleep. My stomach was grumbling, probably because I didn’t eat a real dinner, and I knew I couldn’t go to bed hungry. My stomach literally felt like it hadn’t eaten in days, I was so hungry! It was strange.

After an hour or so of stirring in bed, I finally gave in. I got up and made a snack…Raisin Bran to the rescue. I love this brand of cereal. The ingredients could not be simpler.

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I also had a couple small slices of rye bread + almond butter. Finally I was full and could fall asleep, but man those couple hours are always so frustrating!

So that’s my day! How was yours? Do you ever have trouble sleeping? Can you fall asleep hungry? What are your fav pre-bedtime snacks? So many questions!! 🙂

A Typical Friday

Good morning! Getting a late start this morning but wanted to post a quick recap of Friday.

It was a pretty typical Friday around here, meaning that I work on Organic Chem all morning since I don’t have class (I am taking Organic Chem online), took a long walk and ventured downtown at night.

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Pumpkin Oats with Raisins, Slivered Almonds, Cinnamon and some Almond Butter. I also stirred in an egg white for the first time for some protein. These oats kept me FULL. I think the added protein and fat really helped.

Then I hit up Starbucks to do a few hours of work. I was SO distracted and barely got any actual work done, but oh well, I’ll find time to make up for it.

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I love my pretty Starbucks! There is an upstairs to it which makes it a perfect place to work.

Lunch was really simple:

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Sweet potatoes, spinach, baked tofu.

I headed out for a walk in the park for an hour or so while talking to my Dad and catching up about a bunch of stuff. The sun was shining and it was finally a little bit warmer in the city.

Then, it was time to celebrate with the birthday girl! We went to Leyla’s in the West Village with about 10 girls.

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So pictured above is the STAR of the meal… one of the better things I have eaten in a while. Hot, crusty, pumpkin spiced rolls. Straight outta the oven with some melted butter. Oh man, it tasted like a pumpkin spiced donut plus a roll all in one. It was SO good! The wine was also a star. The table shared a few bottles of the Pinot Noir.

For my entree, I ordered something I hadn’t ever ordered before… gnocchi. These little pillows of live were super rich so i didn’t finish the dish, but it was delicious. Served with butternut squash and a creamy sauce.

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We went out to a bar in the East Village afterward because one of my friends was having a going away party before she moves out to the West Coast. It was a fun night, and Romy was a trooper– she was feeling sick and sneezing all over the place last night but kept on going.

Hope you had a good Friday… off to Starbucks (my 2nd home) to get this grad school app going!