Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Super Sunday!

A great day to be a couch potato at the homestead

Yep, Sunday was the day two teams from the Northeast competed in Super Bowl XLVI – New York Giants vs. New England Patriots. And what a game it was - neither team gave up or gave in until the clock ran out. A good metaphor for life was found there. The game opened with a beautifully-sung "National Anthem" by Kelly Clarkson ( followed by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton holding hands and singing "America the Beautiful." Then, at half-time “a blast from past” concert by Madonna and friends. This concert took the audience from striking the pose (Egyptian-style Vogue) to opening your heart, respecting yourself, and ending up with a little prayer and a subtle message for WORLD PEACE.  I always wish for that. You may view the half-time concert here:

How fun it was enjoying a frosty beer with some yummy snacks while watching the Super Bowl all comfy cozy at home on a snowy day – our rear ends perfectly parked on our L-shaped couch. Bumble took one section of the L and I grabbed the other perpendicular to him. We often wonder how we enjoyed our den before that couch graced our home and never thought we would fit the definition of couch potatoes. Oh my!

Keeping the rest of the "Make your own 6-pack" frosty
Anyway, speaking of beer, my neighborhood liquor store (Virginia Village Liquors on S. Holly St.) offers a cool idea for trying different beers; it is called “Make your own six pack” and costs $8.99. How many times have you wanted to try out an Apricot Ale but did not want to invest in 6 bottles of it? Or how often have you been in the mood for the mocha froth of Guinness Stout but also had a hankering for a crystal-clear Corona with a slice of lime?  Yeah, me too.  The create-your own 6-pack idea allows you to try one of each.

Beer is made with malted grain (i.e. barley, millet), a brewer’s yeast, hops, and water. Studies have found that beer contains more protein and B Vitamins than wine and similar quantities of the beneficial polyphenols and antioxidants that are found in red wine. These nutritional components act by increasing the High Density Lipoproteins (HDL), the good cholesterol, and lowering the bad (LDL) cholesterol; thus, decreasing the risk of blood clotting, stroke and heart disease. This is good information.

Biochemistry and kinesiology professor at The University of Western Ontario, John Trevithick, a long-time expert on the role of antioxidants in human health, said, “We were very surprised one drink of beer or stout contributed an equal amount of antioxidant benefit as wine.” However, he went on to caution “larger daily intakes (three drinks per day) actually increase the risk of these diseases. This phenomenon is known as ‘hormesis’, the concept that small doses of a toxic substance can have beneficial effects while a large amount is harmful” (News Medical 2004). This is support for the quote "moderation in all things" - a great way to stay out of harm's way.

Allow me to be clear, I am not a proponent of the over-consumption of alcohol - I have intimately known several people that have struggled with alcohol. Alcohol consumption ruined many aspects of their lives. Furthermore, consuming alcohol while pregnant is damaging to fetal development and should be avoided. But for some, the great unpregnant moderate drinkers – the people who can simply limit their intake to one or two glasses a few times a week (or month) - a beer or glass of wine can actually be beneficial for one’s health. Now, don’t going using that as a rationalization to take a drink if you are committed to the 12-step program in AA. This post is not for you; I urge you stay with the program and find your nutrition in great food. [By the way, if the word unpregnant is good enough for Shakespeare, it is good enough for me.]

For those of you that enjoy statistics, I have copied the numbers for the nutrient information for one can of beer (365 grams) from Agricultural Research Service of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (Release 24):

Basic Report
Nutrient data for 14003, Alcoholic beverage, beer, regular, all
Protein: 1.64 g
Lipid (fat) 0.00 g
Carbohydrates: 12.64 g
Sugars: 0.00 g
Calcium: 14 mg
Iron: 0.07 mg
Magnesium: 21 mg
Phosphorus: 50 mg
Potassium: 96 mg
Sodium: 14 mg
Zinc: 0.04 mg
Thiamin: 0.018 mg
Riboflavin: 0.089 mg
Niacin: 1.826 mg
Pantothenic Acid: 0.146 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.164 mg
Folate: 21 mcg
Vitamin B12: 0.07 ug
So if you can (no pun intended), enjoy a beer now and then and try some different varieties.


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