Health

Balancing Alcohol Consumption With Healthy Living

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The other night, I drank half an alcoholic milkshake with my friend Kaitlyn. At 9:30 pm. It wasn’t my proudest moment, I’ll be honest, but I was a little bit buzzed. The shake was calling our names, and you know what? It was delicious.

Surprise! Sometimes I like to have a drink or two (or more). Maybe even in milkshake form. If you’ve been reading for even just a month, you probably get that by now. So, yeah, I do indulge in a little drinking now and again. Does that make me any less healthy than a non-drinker? In my opinion, no.

We all know that alcohol is not at the top of the 100 healthiest foods list (actually, it’s probably pretty close to the bottom of that list). Still, alcohol is something that the people I hang out with, including family, drink. It’s not going away anytime soon. I used to freak out about the calories in alcohol and the potential health risks that can incur in the future from consumption, but recently I’ve learned a big lesson in moderation.

It’s okay if you want to have a fun night out, or even a glass of wine at home. Like I said, though, moderation is key. I’ve learned that if I have only one or two drinks in a night, I’m infinitely happier than if I have four (or more). I feel clearer the next day, both in body and mind. But that’s not necessarily what I’m meaning to get at here.

For me, indulging in nights that include alcohol usually lead to some pretty fun and happy memories. Going out with friends or catching up with someone over dinner and drinks is a kind of release. It’s a way to unwind and tighten friendships. I know that not everyone treats alcohol in this way, but it’s how I personally treat it. It’s all about balance, like most things in life, really.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- healthy living is about more than just quinoa, kale, and running. Someone I met the other night while I was having a drink got to questioning me about this. If I was so “healthy,” why was I drinking? My answer was basically that if I restricted myself from alcohol merely because it’s not traditionally good for you, I wasn’t doing myself any mental favors. It’s one thing to actually not be able to consume something but it’s another to tell yourself you can’t.

So I’m going to keep eating oatmeal, making salads, and guzzling water. I’m also going to have a drink now and again. And that’s perfectly okay with me.

Questions of the Day:
>> How do you feel about incorporating alcohol into a healthy lifestyle?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
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Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

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No Such Thing As A Quick Fix Pill [Thinking Out Loud]

I’m just going to be honest with you today and tell you that approximately 70% of the time I sit down to write a post, I have the urge to just begin with: “Yo, here’s the story from A to Z.” I refrain… until now. But sometimes you can’t help it when you have a Spice Girls Moment.

Big S/O to Amanda for always letting us spill our thoughts on Thursdays and for hosting the crazy traffic on her blog. Also, thanks to her for understanding my endless need for chocolate.

I’m going to get a little more controversial for today’s Thinking Out Loud in regards to the recent flack Dr. Oz has received for some of the products he endorses. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Oz, he’s a doctor and television host. He’s also, in some people’s minds, the #1 source of health-related news. Let me clarify if you couldn’t catch my distaste for that last sentence: I do not really like Dr. Oz (and just fyi, for some reason I’ve typed Ox instead of Oz every single time so far).

One day, only last year, I was in a local grocery store looking over by the Bob’s Red Mill section. A woman came up next to me and was looking around, and she asked what I was looking for. I told her chia seeds, and immediately she got excited. She said something along the lines of she had just bought some for herself not long before and how they’re a superfood. “I saw them on Dr. Oz!!” she finished.

Dr. Oz has a HUGE influence on people in our society. I wondered to myself that day if the woman had done any research on her own about chia seeds. Maybe it’s just me, but before I try something related to my health, especially now that I’m a little wiser about advertising, etc., I make sure to look at more than one source. Honestly? I don’t think that the majority of Dr. Oz’s audience does that.

So here we are, and Dr. Oz is in hot water. On his show, he touted the weight loss benefits of green coffee extract and Garcinia cambogia. Dr. Oz referred to Garcinia cambogia as the “No Exercise. No Diet. No Effort.” way to lose weight quickly. UM. Okay.

That seems like a pretty twisted message to send. I mean, I wish as much as the next person that we humans didn’t need to worry so much about our health. Why can’t we just be healthy with no work? But that’s not the way it is, and frankly any doctor knows that. Actually, any doctor who believes that being healthy can really take no effort makes me scratch my head. Vegetables won’t cut themselves. Your legs won’t walk those miles without you. There is no pill that, alone, can give you perfect health or a perfect body. It does take work. And shame on Dr. Oz for even using those words.

My final two cents for today: do your own research and remember that healthy living might take some effort but the end result is so worth it.

Question of the Day:
>> Do you watch Dr. Oz? I don’t watch him, never will. I do like his daughter, though. Daphne Oz seems to live her life more holistically and healthfully. I really admire her, actually, and enjoy her on The Chew.
>> Have you ever questioned what celebrity doctors and trainers endorse?

Friends Are Part Of A Healthy Diet, Too

I think that one aspect of healthy living that people often overlook is mental health outside of the ED realm. I believe that it’s so important to have people around you who you can rely on, talk to, vent to, have fun with – in a word, friends. I’m also a firm believer in quality over quantity. I would always rather have a few really great friends that I can come to both in times of need and just to make me happy than a ton of acquaintances.

I feel like there should be some type of warning on foods like chocolate, wine, pasta, etc. that says “better with friends! – they’re part of a healthy diet, too.” Last night, I met up with Cassie, who is one of my closest friends. Of course I had to see her while I was home for break!

After a little location fiasco that included us driving to the wrong place, walking to the wrong place, then finally driving to the correct place, we ended up at Emporio: A Meatball Joint.

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Both of us ordered the same thing (not surprising); four chicken meatballs (split two ways) topped with spinach almond pesto acted as the main dish, and we rounded out the meal with a really tasty, somewhat spicy arugula, mozzarella, almond and tomato salad.

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Of course, we had some wine on the side. And lots of good friend moments. It all got me thinking about how friends are essential to my well-being. They support me in whatever I do, tell me when I need to chill out, make me laugh endlessly, and appreciate me for what I am (some would argue that I’m a bit nutty).

Today, I’m hanging out with another friend, Emily. I can always count on her for a great time, even if we’re just relaxing. That’s the other thing about really good friends – they’re no-fuss. What really matters is spending time together, especially when you don’t get to see each other for a while. Here’s a throwback of Emily and I just because I can:

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We can’t forget the friends who get you off your butt and out on the town, either. Those friends are really important, too.

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Today, I want you to take a little moment to think of all the reasons you love your friends. Maybe shoot them a text or give them a call, one of them at least, just to say thanks for being a friend. New friends, old friends… all friends are part of a healthy diet.

Happy Mardi Gras! I wish I were in Nola right now.

Question of the Day:
>>Do you agree that friends are part of a healthy diet?