food + drink life at mid-life

I Am CBD Curious

I wrote a post for CoveyClub, recounting my adventures with CBD products. It’s here and thanks for reading:ishan-seefromthesky-277746-unsplash-824x1024



cleanse exercise food + drink Good Intentions

Cleanse, Day 18

If I am honest, this cleanse’s only real rigor is around alcohol. I’ve had coffee (and milk in it) every morning, a little couscous (gluten), some tortilla chips (processed food) and, last night, chicken tika with nan. Not a lot of any of this over the course of 18 days but not the strict adherence  I once thought was the magic behind the cleanse — the results being 5 pounds lost, better sleep, clarity of mind.

So, then, results for a relaxed (for me) exclusion diet? Abstaining from alcohol is the key to better sleep, better moods and clearer thinking. I eat more (and better) food, when I don’t have to accommodate the calories in wine, so I have better energy. Wine makes me sleepy, which means I struggle to stay awake in the evening, getting in bed at 9:30, only to wake up at 2 or 3. Poor sleep means fatigue during the day, which affects my moods — the week feels like a slog, I can’t find pleasure in it, I just want to crawl into bed with Netflix. Wine can also make for what I think of as matchstick moods — irritability, impatience, anger. Much more can be written about this (hello passive voice! I’m on to you!) but not right now.

The above sounds so logical and so self-evident that a reasonable person would skip the stupid cleanse and stop drinking wine on weeknights or most weeknights. More on this too: being a reasonable person. 

As for weight loss, I’ve been reading more about set-point weight and the body’s old survival-mode insistence on regaining lost pounds. From “Why You Can’t Lose Weight On A Diet” (May 6, 2016 by Sandra Aamodt, author of “Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession With Weight Loss.”)

Metabolic suppression is one of several powerful tools that the brain uses to keep the body within a certain weight range, called the set point. The range, which varies from person to person, is determined by genes and life experience. When dieters’ weight drops below it, they not only burn fewer calories but also produce more hunger-inducing hormones and find eating more rewarding.

The net-net is precisely what I’ve found: it’s easier to lose weight than it is to keep it off. Post weight loss, even extreme measures will be rewarded by regaining those pounds: exercising daily (me), counting calories with an app (me), cleansing (me). The only question is how quickly you’ll put it back on. I lost 20 pounds and, after two years, have regained 10. Can I be a reasonable person and just accept that?



alcholism binge drinking food + drink parenting

Parenting Tips From the CDC

So now I know that if I have more than one drink on any given day, the federal government and my doctors will warn me of risks that range from injuries/violence to cancer, with stops along the way for both infertility and pregnancy. Cheers!

Source: Parenting Tips for the CDC

addictions alcholism binge drinking food + drink


This just in from the American Journal of Public Health: binge drinking rates for women rose nearly 36 percent between 2002 and 20012, with a “binge” described as consuming four or more drinks per sitting (or slumping at that point). Unhelpfully, this Huffpost article conflated a different admonition from the CDC, which deems eight or more drinks per week “excessive.”

One source felt this was “really, really scary.” Another, a guy who sounds as if he were piped in from the 1970s, pointed to changing social norms — “it’s now more acceptable for women to drink in the manner it’s long been acceptable for men to do.”

I’ve been thinking about drinking, so I popped over to Amazon to have a look at a book written by yet another of the article’s sources: “Her Best-Kept Secret,” amused to see as also recommend a book called “I Need to Stop Drinking!”

I have nothing to add at this point but it makes me wonder if this is another Meryl moment. Would anyone care if this were about men?

food + drink the complaint department

work husband

I’ve been thinking about this trending (but slightly odious to me) designation for a friend at work who is your closest companion, but not in an intimate way: your work spouse.

And then I was thinking more largely about how we re-create family dynamics in the office, with parental types, bratty siblings and squabbling around the conference room tables.

And then I saw this on the work fridge this morning and it made me laugh. Someone left an open container of some noodle-based food complete with a spoon


stuck in it. My real (not work) husband does this with pots of spaghetti, which he shoves into the fridge without first decanting into a Tupperware, without first covering the pot, without first removing the serving utensil, which gets sauce congealed on it, unpleasantly.

When I said something about this to him, he reacted unpleasantly, rather like this mean-faced lady saying Wat.

When I should be saying, “wat,” right? But he’s saying “wat?” And the spaghetti is congealing in my fridges at home and at work, which is just unpleasantness all around, isn’t it?

food + drink

My Fitness Pal

I have a new friend! I call her my fitness pal. At the end of our first week of paling around, I am amazed by her vast nutritional knowledge. She knows the calorie count of every food! She knows how many calories are burned by every activity! It’s almost like she has a database for a brain!

But now, as our friendship progresses, I realize it’s kind of one-sided. I am compelled to tell her everything I eat and drink and input every minute I exercise. She sends me brisk little reminders and stern admonitions about drinking more water and – shocker — less wine. She knows my weight-loss goals and on a particularly indulgent day she’ll say, disappointedly: If every day were like today, you would gain 4 pounds after 5 weeks.

My fitness pal is being a little bitch.

Also, who knew even modest portions of hummus and lentils and guacamole have more calories than a nice ham sandwich?


My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal
food + drink

I love everything



food + drink

cleanse day 1

so easy to start: no alcohol, no caffeine, no meat, no dairy, no wheat, no processed foods. no problem. targeting 21 days. this morning i had soy chai latte on a cafe table with the word different written on it. different would be good.

food + drink

cleanse -1 day

basic vegetable stock:

put any root vegetables in a crock pot. today: unpeeled carrot, quartered yellow onion, peeled garlic, fennel stalks, celery stalks, turnips.

add herbs and other savories: peppercorns, thyme, knob of ginger and coriander and tie them up in cheesecloth.

cover with water + heat for an hour or a longer while or all day.

herbs in cheesecloth