March 17, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day – A PSA

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and it seems that everyone’s blog posts are about the various beer-filled celebrations going on. While that kind of party aftermath post would normally be an Absolut(ly) Fit classic, unfortunately, that’s not the kind of post you’re going to get from me. Even before I caught this cold, I wasn’t really planning anything exciting tonight. I’m headed to Denmark for the weekend, so my big plan was to get a Guinness at the airport lounge and knock myself out before the flight to Copenhagen. However, with this cold, I decided that plan was a bit ill-advised – I should have no problem falling asleep even without the booze. But! I can certainly take some time to pass judgment on the rest of you, under the guise of this particular Someecard:

At first I didn’t think this was really true. What kind of person would be dumb enough to drink terrible American macrobrew on St. Patrick’s Day? But then I went out for lunch, which happened to be across from the Verizon Center in DC where one of the first rounds of March Madness was starting up, and I saw all the bars offering Coors Light specials for St. Patrick’s Day. Ew! And then as part of one of the many healthy eating e-newsletters I subscribe to, I got Fitness Magazine’s A Better Brew Light Beer Taste Test. First place: Bud Light. I went through all ten and didn’t see a single one that I would deem drinkable, least of all on this holiest of beer drinking days. How could this be?!

I will admit, most of my favorite beers are quite heavy on the calories. But what’s the good in drinking something that’s just not that good? Unless I’m drinking for a goal (e.g., when we stopped by the sports bar as part of the beer run and I had to drink a macrobrew in the interest of having at least one drink at each bar), I’d rather drink water before touching a Budweiser or a Michelob or a Coors. (Though ordering a Coors wouldn’t be too bad from a caloric perspective in that I’d take one sip and be unable to finish the rest!).

However, this post isn’t about me being a beer snob. It’s about picking your battles and knowing what to splurge on. For me, beer is one of the things that just isn’t good in the lighter version – I’d rather just drink the good stuff and make up the difference elsewhere. Other people can’t stand drinking skim milk, which is something that I’m perfectly fine with – it’s never worth it to me to drink whole or even 2%. I think this is why a lot of diets fail: people are presuming to tell you which things are no-nos, and failing to take into account your own preferences for what’s worth the splurge and what’s not.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my lifelong career should be; what kind of job would make me wake up every day so eager to get to work because I love what I’m doing that much. I realized that while I love cooking healthy food, my way of making food healthy and tasty may not be tasty to someone else – it’s all about your individual preferences. From a food perspective, I think your taste can change, and in some cases your current preferences may not be healthy. But in other cases, I think people need to stick to their guns and just try improvising to find the substitutions and healthy methods that work for them.

I like when I hear about readers who aren’t runners, but who get inspired to exercise in some shape or form. Maybe getting up early in the morning to train for a marathon doesn’t fit into your schedule, but you can go for a lunchtime spin class a few times a week. Being healthy is all about making the choices that work for you and your lifestyle… not just copycatting everyone else. This is a big part of why I read as many diet and fitness books as I can get my hands on – to learn different methods that will give me more ideas for ways that I can make my own way of being healthy. Being “Absolut(ly) Fit” isn’t about doing things perfectly 100% of the time; it’s about trying to become as healthy as possible while still enjoying certain aspects of my lifestyle that may not be the healthiest. I hope that’s why you all keep reading, anyway – because I’m not perfect, but just a regular person who’s trying to find her own path.

On a lighter note, by the time I post this, it will likely be just about happy hour time wherever you are. Stop reading blogs, get out of the office, and go hit up a bar. Order a nice tall microbrew (Irish or not) for me… just none of that green beer swill. From there, have at it, but with this small reminder:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!


6 thoughts on “St. Patrick’s Day – A PSA”

  1. I’m not sure why this occurred to me when you posted about thinking about your perfect career, but I studied Exercise Psychology and I recently read in experience life about a nutrition psychologist. I don’t know if those things resonate with you, but perhaps they will given the topics you write about so often.

  2. I’ve never understood the concept of light beers in the first place. How do they get them to have fewer calories? By taking the alcohol out. You’d have to drink three MGD 64s to equal the alcohol content of one decent Belgian. At that point you’re not really saving much, if anything, on calories–you’re just paying three times as much for the same amount of alcohol.

  3. I heard the city was nuts yesterday; since I commute out of it every day and didn’t get back til after 11PM I missed most of it. The crowded bar of people drinking cheap green beer is not my thing so I’m not sorry I missed it. I went out with some coworkers in Greenwich (CT) for upscale Mexican food and cocktails and it was so much fun! I think a lot of other girls had the same idea because it was basically ladies night at this place! I had awesome margaritas and food; and didn’t have to deal with drunk jerks!

    I will say though, I am very guilty of drinking cheap macrobrews. I like all kinds of different beer but sometimes just want Bud Light! I like places like Rattle N Hum and Ginger Man where you can try different things! I know myself well enough to know I don’t like really hoppy bitter beers (eg IPA’s) but love Weisses and other wheat beers and brown ales.

    Have fun in Denmark!

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