By Laura Stec
Alcohol – Upper or Downer?Uploaded: Jan 26, 2021
Hey Dry January – who’s still with us?
The Dry January Joker support group took a leave of absence last week, toasting to the new administration. I took a couple days then to return head to DJ mode and we are back in dry-groove with a joke.
A snake crawls into a bar and orders a whiskey, but the bartender won’t serve him because he can’t hold his liquor.
It’s been interesting to watch the changes in my body during this spirit-free marathon. I’m curious what others have experienced.
Bad news first - didn’t lose a pound! My luck, eliminating 2-ish glasses of wine (200 calories), 5-ish days a week (1500-ish calories), had no effect. :( But I finally realized why. I’ve been the same weight for years, and I’ve studied foods effect on my body for years. January's research session revealed the sneaky balance I seem to play with myself. No matter how many refined carbohydrates I give up on one end (i.e. glass o’ wine) I seem to match on the other (with dessert, or better yet sugar – hell, candy; inject it right into my blood stream brothers and sisters.) My body down-right demands a certain level of refined carbos, no matter where they come from. Once a sugar addict, always a sugar addict – eh?
My next homework assignment is put numbers to the theory, and track daily carbs. I am not anti-carb - far from it, -I am anti-anti-carb (woth whole carbs different from refined carbs). But if I want to lose weight, I must eat below my refined carb average. And I wonder what that average is?
Sleep has been the other January body study. Would my sleep change? I usually get good sleep - 7 – 8 hours a night. I thought it might get even better or deeper because studies say alcohol interferes with sleep. Turns out my sleep became irregular, and hasn’t normalized yet. I need less sleep, going to bed 1.5 hours later and reading instead (good), but waking up more during the night (bad).
So then alcohol, is it an upper or a downer? People call it a depressant, but not for me. I think depressant only if you drink more than your body wants you to, especially as you age. For me it’s an upper, but also a sedative which is an interesting puzzler. The right amount consumed at the right time offers an instant party, and then seems to improve my sleep. The wrong amount at the wrong time can screw it all up.
A couple cool additions to last week’s no alcohol drinks – I froze extra coconut milk in ice cubes trays,
and added it to last week’s Tamarind Gin and Tonic (sans gin).
Also - thanks goes out to a fellow Food Partier! from Dirty Sue who liked the piece last week and sent over a bottle of his artisan olive juice.
Eric Tekosky founded Dirty Sue after working many years as a bartender. “I learned a dirty martini is a great, classic cocktail,– but the olive juice, more often than not, left something to be desired.” His deep flavored, twice filtered, olive elixir added to soda, or the Dirty Laura, and oh, how do I love thee - good tasting brine? Brine is not equal. Find a quality one and tell your friends. A rim of smoked paprika-seasoned salt adds zing (mix salt and smoked paprika, or spice of your choice in a bowl).
Vodka isn’t always the answer. But it’s worth a shot.
So Food Partiers!, next time I see you it will be February and you know what that means. :)
Until then, stay busy friends, get plenty of exercise, and don’t drink too much.
Don’t drink too little either.