Join Southbay's Food & Wine Editor Bonnie Graves on her various epicurean adventures...
My cute hubby and I spend each New Year’s Day at the Four Seasons, accompanied by some good Champagne and an old black journal we’ve been sharing for about ten years now. Each year, we look back at our previous goals and have a good laugh and toast to resolutions – it’s the making and sharing of them that matters more than the fulfillment at times. In the food, wine and healthy living categories, we’ve got a few noble goals that I think are worth sharing:
1) Kick the Can. My love affair with Diet Coke is a tawdry one that began when I was just a teenager scooping ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s on the Jersey Shore. It seemed smarter to drink some soda than indulge in Cherry Garcia and I developed a love for DC that’s stayed with me throw through all my romantic travails. No more! There is just no redeeming value in diet soda – it’s terrible for me, I am sure of it, no matter how delicious. At least tea and coffee has some kind of anti-oxidant value along with the caffeine. This year, I will kick the can.
2) Water Water Water. One of my best college girlfriends, Lindsey, is getting married this month. This is the friend I remember lining up eight glasses of water on her Kirkland House dining hall tray to consume with lunch every day. I lined up Diet Cokes. If you look at her engagement photo, you’ll see that her skin looks exactly the same as it did back in our undergrad days. She’s luminous and I know that while water is only part of her secret, I do think it’s a healthy habit for all of us to drink more water. I personally don’t do plastic but more filtered water at home or water in glass or aluminum is an easy and healthy choice to make.
3) Move Every Day. My grandmother Bonnie passed away in 2011 from cancer, a sobering reminder that even the healthiest of us can succomb to disease. My grandmother taught me to swim and to ride a bike and to “move every day.” She swam a mile every day at the local community pool and loved to take long hikes in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. A devout Mormon, she never touched coffee or alcohol. This year, I plan to honor her by “moving every day” even if it’s just a quick walk up and down our street – daily exercise, no matter how moderate, was her mantra and I want to be an active, healthy grandmother like her some day. (I also plan to honor my grandmother by toasting her with some amazing Champagne whenever possible, but that’s a separate blog post…)
4) Protein Equals Power. Everybody’s body chemistry is different, but I skew towards anemia and have genetically low blood pressure no matter how much salt I consume. (Only the foolish attempt to share movie popcorn with me.) I know that I need to do a better job of getting protein into my diet so we’re looking at our family dinner planning with an eye towards more lean meats, fish and other sources. Busy working moms out there can relate to the “I ate some Goldfish crackers for dinner, doesn’t that count as a meal?” No, it doesn’t.
5) Practice the 4Hs of Healthy Wine Consumption: I must be the only wife in America who thinks my husband needs to drink more alcohol and play more video games! (We have them all – Xbox, Kinect, you name it, and we hardly ever use them.) Mr. Sexton and I aren’t big drinkers – I don’t really drink alcohol other than wine myself and he prefers iced tea to beer. That said, moderate daily wine consumption has been proven time and time again to be a healthy habit. I’ve developed the 4H approach over the years, which may be helpful for others: One H is for “healthy” – you get all the benefits with little to no risk from consuming one glass of wine a day, preferably red. Two H’s are for “happy” – there is where I usually end up, as a glass while cooking dinner and another after the kids are asleep makes me happy. Three H’s are for, well, “inclined.” Enough said. J And Four Hs are for “hung-over” and that’s what you’ll be if you drink a whole bottle of wine. Don’t kid yourself and for goodness’ sake, take some Advil.