I have always cared about what I have eaten, but not to the extent that I now do….and alcohol has never played a prominent role in my life… other than to spark a mild  interest in studying the cultivation of grapes and the manufacture of wine, ( since I have family in the wine business in the Napa Valley).  I would love to take a sommelier course…which is on my bucket list, but that remains in the distant and faint future.

My husband and I do enjoy going to wineries and learning whatever we can about wine, just for fun, and we have a nice collection of bottles at home.  Most recently, we visited Ceago Vinegarden  in Nice,  a Biodynamic Winery located on the shores of gorgeous Clear Lake.   (I will write about that soon, and share photos…)     Interesting stuff, wine….  I’ve just never been much of a drinker.    I go months and months without so much as a sip of it, and during those times, I do not miss it.  I will occasionally have a designer cocktail, such as the plantain margaritas from the Mexican restaurant that I wrote about awhile back, or will have a nice glass of wine with dinner…but rarely, because I have a completely different attitude about what I put into my body now.

Fresh out of high school, I wanted to be a nutritionist, but once I took all of those associated science classes, I realized what I *really* wanted to do (with regard to food) was cook it….so I did.  I trained and cooked in a number of restaurants over the years, and picked up as much knowledge as I could.  I took a lot of cooking courses, too, all related to vegetarianism, and am told today, that I cook well.

This is my personal philosophy of food and drink:  Before I eat anything, I always ask myself, “Can I afford this?”    Except for the occasional special treat (such as Lauretta Jean’s pie, for example) or that cold brew with my vegetarian Sloppy Joe at Hedge House, down the street, I view food and drink as fuel.  So I view my body the same way I would view my car if I were to plan a trip.  I’m not going to plan a long trip without putting some premium fuel into my Mercedes.  Period.

I am in grad school now, and still working full time…..MORE than full time, actually.  I work very long hours and I need to provide myself with the fuel and exercise that is necessary to keep me going.  Therefore, just as I would fill my car with petrol, I fill my body with things that add energy value to keep me going.  It’s really as simple as that.

If I am going to have a drink of alcohol (and I *never* have more than one…and I have a hard time even drinking THAT), I ask myself, “What am I going to be doing tomorrow?  Do I need energy to complete something….or will it be a day when I can take things easy for awhile?”  If the latter case is true, and usually when we’re on vacation, I might order wine with dinner or the occasional margarita or something….but in most cases, I drink water with lemon.  That makes me feel a lot better than alcohol can.

A lot of people claim that booze makes them feel good.  I’ve never felt that way about it. I have never thought it was fun to get drunk, and I’ve never enjoyed being around others that drank heavily.  I have never viewed one’s drinking to drown one’s sorrows as being a realistic endeavor.  I’ve always felt that drinking CAUSES more sorrows than it drowns…but that’s just my personal view, and I’m not knocking anyone that doesn’t share it, so please don’t take this personally.  I just do what *I* need to do to be more efficient, because if I manage to fall behind, I might not ever catch up!

eating pom

Today’s breakfast was steel cut oatmeal with 1/2 cup of quinoa in it.  To that, I added 1/2 cup heated, organic mixed berries.  Dr. Greger (my nutrition guru – Click the link…) says that flash frozen fruits and vegs are nutritionally as good  than fresh ones…so I take advantage of their lower prices when fresh berry season ends.  I enjoy fresh organic produce when I can eat it the same day it is harvested.  The flavors are so delicious and the textures are so delightful….but today, after berry season has passed, I simply heated some frozen berries and let those sweeten my oats.  I added a touch of real cinnamon (most  “cinnamon”sold in the US is not actually cinnamon, but instead, the ground up bark from a tree that is related to the cinnamon tree.  The fake stuff is ok, but it does not have the same nutritional benefits as the real deal.)    Yum-o!  It was goooood!!

So with that….I return to my regularly scheduled work…work…work…!    Have a great day, everyone.  🙂