Posts tagged ‘beer’

September 26, 2011

Weekend of Champions… and French Fries

Did anyone catch the Clemson game?  If you missed it, I’ll summarize by saying Clemson won!  Woohoo!  (I’m sorry to any FSU fans.  I’ll quit talking about football now.)

On Friday, Kevin and I stayed home and went to bed early.  We got up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday to get a start on the day.  I went for a quick run before we hit the road for Tiger Town.  See how early we left???  It was still dark outside!

sweaty tiff

Sweaty 2 Squeaky Clean

I tried to keep the day somewhat healthy.  I had light beer and a wheat babaganoush pita for lunch.

Walking to the tailgate + Pita love

But after a couple more beers, Kevin thought chili cheese fries were a good idea.  Fail.  I had a veggie burger for dinner, and I kept from eating all of my fries.  Un-fail?  After a couple more beers, we got some incredibly delicious cheese pizza.  Hmmm… that’d be another fail.  At least it was good!

Cheese Fries n' Veggie Burger

Luckily, after all of these indulgences, I managed to keep my daily average calories at 1645.  Not too shabby.  [FYI, I am not listing all this food to encourage noshing on junk.  I'd feel awful telling you all how healthy my weekly meals are but hiding my shameful weekend treats.]

We even made it back Sunday in time for my friend’s baby shower.  I wrapped up the weekend with Kevin, the kitties, and Shrek.  Whew – now I think I need a weekend to relax from my weekend!

kitty pillow

Kev & Leia

Did you have a good weekend?  What was the best thing you did?

September 23, 2011

Beerly Made It to Friday

TGIF Y’all! Whew – it’s a good thing today’s Friday; I’m not sure I could put in one more day of work. I think everyone who put in their 40 this week deserves a pat on the back, or at least a beer… but that’s just my opinion.

In my WIAW post I said I was having raspberries in my protein oats all week, but I changed it up a bit. When I saw the farmer’s stand still had fresh, local peaches, I couldn’t help myself.

peaches n' whey [protein]

Awesomeness.

You know what else is awesome? These 2 beers I tried last weekend. I didn’t take notes, so instead of doing a full review on only 1, I decided to combine 2 mini reviews in 1 post.

Lagunitas A Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale

It’s a very hoppy ale that has the flavor of an IPA with a hint and backbone of a wheat. It’s a hybrid of sorts. No matter the official label, I call it darn tasty!

sumpin sumpin

For months I looked all over town to get my hands on a six-pack or fresh pint of this. I finally got lucky at a specialty shop – though they only had 5 in stock. The shop charged $2.25 per bottle, so I only got 4. At 7.5% ABV, I guess I didn’t really need too much of this stuff anyway.

Post Road Pumpkin Ale

I think this one’s more of a C- or B-grade beer. I like the spice, but something about it just doesn’t seem authentic. (I have no better way of describing it.) Brooklyn Brewer’s Post Road is also too light on pumpkin flavor.

Post Road

Luckily, I enjoyed this beer while sitting around a fire pit with some friends. It was definitely the perfect context for the season’s first pumpkin brew.

Have you tried any new beers lately? What’s your favorite pumpkin brew?

PS: For those of you following my tweets, last night’s hair appointment was very relaxing!

book wine hair

Stumble It!

September 19, 2011

Go Tigers!

This weekend my Tigers did not disappoint. Clemson had a great game, and I had a great weekend. I tried a new beer, ate a healthy dinner, and relaxed with friends on Friday. Saturday was a bit more exciting and included significant tailgating. I’ll spare you all the nitty-gritty details, but there was some of this

the boys

and too much of this (okay… all of it).

Mellow Mushroom calzone

Although I had a great time in Clemson, I took some time Sunday to recount my indulgences***. I discovered that I ate/drank twice the calories I normally eat/drink on a weekday. (By the way, dinner was paired with a Victory Hop Devil.)

victory hop devil

Since I often indulge on weekends, I’m not floored by this discovery, but it was still an eye-opener for me. I don’t regret eating my weight in calzone because it really was that delicious, but I hope to be more mindful of my splurges in the future.

To help heal my veggie-starved, fat-stuffed body, Sunday was a bit healthier. I drank water and coconut water to combat the sodium of Saturday’s treats. I also ate my greens.

dinner salad

The dinner above was friggin’ awesome. I had been drooling over that salad dressing in the store for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally bought it. The salad included spinach, dressing, half a pear, and cashews. As you can see, I added a side of French bread.

How was your weekend? Did your team win too?

***To help me “recount my indulgences,” I’ve been using the iPhone app, MyNetDiary. It’s free and incredibly helpful.

September 17, 2011

One Love, Some Sweat & A Beer

This all-over-the-place post covers love, sweat, and beers. How appropriate.

LOVE: As many regular readers already know, I love packages! They’re like presents, even if you order them for yourself. Presents from me, to me, are still presents!

I received Mama Pea’s book, Peas and Thank You from Sara and The Foodie Diaries yesterday. Thanks for sending that Sara! I can’t wait to test out some of the recipes. (I once made Mama Pea’s Tamale Pie, which I got from her blog, and it was amazing. I bet these are great too!)

peas and thank you

SWEAT: Here is a workout I did last week. It’s a 10-minute boot-camp style cardio routine. I did it twice in a row.

10-Minute At-Home Cardio

I made a video for it, but it’s dreadful. I posted this PDF (click the link above) that you can print. If you don’t know what the moves are and just can’t live another day without laughing at viewing my video, shoot me an email. I’ll email it or post a better version next Saturday.

BEER: I tried a new beer this week. Kevin and I went to a British restaurant, so I had a grilled chicken salad and an English beer. (I prefer to order my drinks in context.)

samuel smith

I got a Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout. I give this beer a B, and let me briefly explain why.

porter

It is strong in toasted malts, and it also has a nice coffee flavor. I like to think of this as a pint of breakfast – toast n’ black coffee. It’s very smooth and relatively mild, but it still has a lot of flavor. On the other hand, it does not have that thick, milky like consistency – I’m thinking of Guinness here. It’s actually thinner with a little carbonation to it. Overall – I was very satisfied.

grilled chicken, lettuce, cucumbers, & beer

September 9, 2011

Beer n’ Food: Spent Grains

The comments from yesterday’s preppy post were really interesting. I’m surprised by the number of students who prep their meals. When I was a student, I usually had time to make a sandwich at my apartment or visit the dining hall between classes. I wish I still had access to an all-day, every-day salad bar with pre-cut, pre-washed veggies that wouldn’t spoil in my fridge. (Ahhhh, the things we take for granted…)

Today’s post is a hybrid of sorts. It’s about food, and it’s about beer. What’s not to love?

I want to shed light on spent grain. Spent grain is the leftover goo in the mash-kettle after being separated from the wort. Wort goes on to make the really good stuff (beer).

After separation, the spent grains are a “mixture of barley grain husk, pericarp and fragments of endosperm. The chemical composition of [spent grain] is dependent on the barley variety, harvest time and mashing conditions.” If you want to know more, check out Hydrolysis of Brewers’ Spent Grain by Carbohydrate Degrading Enzymes, which is the source of that info.

 

Brooklyn Brewery Grains

As you know, I’m the queen of leftovers, and there are plenty of ways to reuse these babies.

cow

Sweetwater Brew

I usually prefer to talk about beer and food as it relates to cooking with beer or complimentary pairings, but I hope you enjoyed this unique blend of the two.

  • Would you try cookies/bread/bars made with spent grains?
  • If you plan on drinking a beer (or two) this weekend, which will you be enjoying?
August 17, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: Simple Eats

I know today is “What I Ate Wednesday,” but I have to share a wee bit about yesterday.  I swam laps in the morning, and that made me sooooo hungry and tired for the rest of the day.

Speaking of tired, I got the kitties new toys last night, so we played like champs.  Leia was totally tuckered out by bedtime.

Okay, now on with the eats…

Breakfast this week includes half a banana before my workout, then 100 calories of oats + 80 calories of protein, and the other half of the banana once I get to the office.  Soooo hungry by the time I get there!

recycled pic

Lunch is boring but wonderful.  No new veggie bowl recipes this week!  It’s a turkey wrap with lettuce, mustard, and leftover shredded carrots.  I pair that with tart, green grapes.

it's a wrap

Snack has been good, but it was too small Monday and Tuesday.  I had carrots with 1.5 servings of hummus.  I am bringing a couple extra crackers for the other days this week.

Sorry – no snack pics.  Then again, do you really need more photographs of yummus?  I think probably not.

Dinner has been excellent.  I’m the queen of simple meals, and Monday’s was pretty much perfect.

Dessert included two graham crackers (not pictured).   Tuesday’s dinner wasn’t bad either…

Of course, cooking meat for dinner draws extra attention to the dinner table.

table shark

I promise I don’t drink a beer every night with dinner.  It’s actually very rare that I drink mid-week at all, but these were just hitting the spot.  Plus, they’ve been in my fridge for months, and I’m sick of looking at them.

What is the best thing you’ve eaten recently?  Do you think other people’s eats are interesting? 

I like checking out other people’s healthy meal ideas.  Check out all the great eats at Peas and Crayons’ weekly WIAW post:

August 15, 2011

A Weekend of Pictures

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was too short, but it was good. I had a very relaxed Friday, but Saturday was a bit more eventful.

I worked out, baked, bought shoes, and enjoyed a date night with the mister. For my workout, I continued the Vacation Countdown plan from last week. I wish I were actually using it to count down to a vacation! I also did 45 very sweaty minutes of cardio on the stationary bike.

I felt a bit sore Sunday from all that leg work, but it wasn’t too bad. It’s good to feel the burn!

I’m glad I worked so hard at the gym, I needed to pre-burn Saturday’s snack. I know frozen yogurt is trendy right now, and while I don’t deny it’s yum-ness, I have to confess that I prefer good ole’ fashion ice cream.

This one’s got peanut butter and brownie bits inside. I couldn’t think of a better combo if I tried! Here’s a random fact about me, one of my favorite smells in the whole world is the smell of an ice cream parlor. I consider it a comfort smell; it brings back memories – and usually means I’m about to get ice cream!

Although they probably should have, the indulgences didn’t stop there. Kev and I had a great date night. With dinner, I enjoyed a Wolf Hill Brewing Co Trooper’s Alley IPA (say that five times fast) with my steak.

Sadly, the filet was over cooked and dry, but at least the beer was good! The restaurant got all their meat from local farms. Sweet.

We weren’t ready to end the night just yet, so we went for a nightcap at a different lounge/restaurant/bar/thing. I had a really awesome wine (not a great beer selection), and Kev got scotch. For the wine-o readers out there, I had a glass of Edge Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.

I detoxed a bit last night with a side salad and veggie wrap. The wrap had hummus, spinach, kalamata olives, grilled onion, and grilled red pepper.

Yes, it was as awesome as it looks! I think it even tasted better than my dry steak from Saturday, but don’t tell Kevin that. ;)

What was the best thing you did/drank/ate this weekend?

August 13, 2011

Super Lazy Saturday

It’s Saturday, and I’m feeling lazy as ever.  It’s 7:45, and I’m still in my pajamas.  Luckily they’re my favorite pajamas, and I’m getting a little kitty lovin’ while blogging.  It was a rainy morning, and even though the rain stopped, I still can’t seem to get my butt to the gym. Yeah, I’ll get there, must maybe about 30 minutes later than anticipated.

I want to thank everyone for you open-minded comments on yesterday’s post.  The vegetarian/ vegan/ pescetarian/ whatevertarian debate hits close to home for a lot of us, and I’m happy you accept me for being a human garbage disposal.  Seriously – I eat (and generally enjoy) just about everything.

In case you too are having a lazy Saturday, here are some links to keep you busy… well, busy doing basically nothing, that is.

Lastly, I wanted to share a book with you all.  I finished The Poacher’s Son yesterday.  It was a fast and very entertaining read.  I thoroughly recommend it.

The Poacher's Son

Have a good weekend!

August 5, 2011

Calci-yum

Hello!  I have the day off from work, but I’ll still be pretty productive.  I have 3 doctor appointments today.  (Well, technically 1 is a dentist appointment.)  Today I get to see the podiatrist.  Hopefully I’ll get all my foot issues fixed.  Cross your fingers for me!

Now it’s time for the topic of the day, calci-yum.  I threw the “yum” in there because 1) I’m a dork and 2) getting calcium can be delicious.  In my One Hot Mess of a post, I mentioned that one of my goals is to actually take my calcium supplements instead of habitually ignoring the bottle on my vanity.  Some of you mentioned that you wouldn’t mind a special calcium-devoted post, so here it is.

milk n' almond milk

According to WebMD, our bodies need calcium because it helps to strengthen bones and prevent certain cancers.  In addition, Prevention magazine states that calcium and vitamin D can also help ward off type-2 diabetes.  The National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests that calcium can also help with weight maintenance; WebMD explains how.  Here’s the NIH table of calcium requirements:

calcium

We know we need it, here are a few examples from the Milk Matters campaign explaining how to get it.

  • 1 cup of milk = 300 mg and calories vary depending on type
  • 1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt = 425 mg (note: most yogurt doesn’t come in 1-cup containers) and 127 calories
  • 1 cup cooked soybeans = 285 mg and 175 calories
  • 1 medium stalk of broccoli = 180 mg and 106 calories
  • 1/2 cup spinach (cooked from frozen) = 139 mg and 27 calories

milk v almond milk

Keep in mind that the body can only take in about 500 mg of calcium at once, so don’t spend get it all in one place.

Of course, you can always pop a pill.  One WebMD article says that the type of calcium you take does not matter, so you can just opt for the cheaper one.  Getting one with vitamin D is often helpful though, since vitamin D helps calcium absorption.  (Most doctors recommend taking supplement with food to promote absorption, but the Dairy Council says veggies and grains can inhibit absorption… hmmmm???)  My doctor recommended Citracal, so that’s what I take.  Luckily, they have coupons on their website right now.

There’s more to it than popping a pill or eating yogurt.  For extra bone health, bone-up on your vitamin D, and include weight bearing exercises in your fitness routine.  (Woohoo!  All my years of playing soccer helped my bones!)  WebMD also gives us the less fun info: limit sodas, antacids, caffeine, excessive alcohol, excessive sodium, and excessive red meat.

******

Oh, and by the way, I was going to swim some laps today at the gym, but I’m just not feeling it.  I stayed up too late, and although I’m up early now, I think I’d rather just go tomorrow.  I’ll probably do some pilates later before lunch instead.

So why was I up late???  IPA Day of course!  Here’s what I did: beer shop with drinks and dinner, then a friend’s house to celebrate the occasion.

montage of beer

Do you take a calcium supplement?  Did you celebrate IPA Day?

August 4, 2011

IPA Day

Happy IPA Day! Head over to BeerWench for more info!  For those who didn’t know, there are different styles of IPA, but my favorites are the American ones. By design, American IPAs usually have more hop and herbal flavor, but be careful since they often contain more alcohol as well. In honor of IPA day, I’d like to do a special post on the relationship between beer and health.

IPA Day

First and foremost, I’m not one to say beer is or isn’t healthy. It’s all about moderation, and I’m no dietitian. You have probably seen articles on beer’s health benefits, most of them appearing around St. Patty’s day or Oktoberfest. Even though the topic is “beer,” these studies are more like shot of tequila – best when taken with a grain of salt.

beer

Some studies claim that that one or two beers a day can significantly lower blood pressure, and I can sort of see how relaxing and enjoying a good brew can be a healthy stress reliever. In my opinion, beers happen to go down much easier than a dose of asprin. I have also read a number of times that…

  • Beer can help with bone density, especially IPAs due to their silicon levels
  • A brew after physical exertion helps prevent sore muscles
  • Some types of beer can be thought of as a complex carbohydrates (kind of a stretch)

On the other hand… no researcher can deny that all forms of alcohol impair judgment, make your liver work overtime, and make you think ordering a pizza at 3 a.m. is the best idea you’ve ever had. See more dangers of alcohol at this Active.com article.

Stone IPA

Tons of studies have found that a daily glass of wine or piece of chocolate is good for you, and I’m not disparaging those claims either. You have to admit; publications that print/post this stuff are telling people what they want to hear, but I don’t blame them. People eat this up like nachos (Think that’s not a good comparison? You just haven’t seen me devour good nachos.)

cashew un-cheeze sauce

I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I consider my beer-drinking ways to be healthy, but my pints are part of a healthy life that’s sprinkled with good times, indulgences, and occasional trips to the bar.

  • Self Magazine explains a number of ways beer can be healthy.  For instance, Self says hops have polyphenols, which lower bad cholesterol.
  • Draft Magazine’s “Beer Runner” explains how beer can be good for runners in one or more of his blog posts.
  • Men’s Health Magazine talks about how beers can boost your metabolism.  (How much did they pay a researcher to say that??? Lolz)

Will you be celebrating IPA Day?  What’s your favorite food/beverage day?

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