Saturday, December 17, 2005

Musings on red wine, food, weight, health and diet


It has been some time since I developed a love relationship with red wine. It started back home in the Philippines but it grew stronger when I came to live here in Europe, where wine is treated like water, stocked up in crates in every supermarket aisle.

For many people, drinking any sort of [preferred] alcohol is an acquired taste, which I quite agree. I remember when I was young, soft drinks, in the guise and makers of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola were the Philippines’ number one drink. And much to my parents chagrin at that time, my brother and I would kick each others elbows in the dinner table, fighting on who gets the most from the 1 litter bottle ordered. I was a slave of the super and mighty soft drink.

When I was in my late 20’s, around the 1990’s moving towards the year 2000; my body metabolism rate slowed down. I understood that it was a typical body development for certain types of women approaching their 30’s. But to add insult to injury, my mother has the full blown apple shaped body and I can’t face the fact that I might become like her! Genetics... *Horrors*

Decision: I have to strictly watch what I am eating, and well, the soft drinks must go too.

I became so obsessed with my weight, that I started to monitor and record into this excel spreadsheet anything that I dump into my mouth, every single day. Of course, I boycotted Coke and Pepsi, and replaced these with juice, water and red wine. This was when I started my love relationship with red wine because I read in an article that this type of alcoholic drink is actually good for the heart, therefore healthy.

Since I was living alone, my eating habits were not a struggle to sustain. I pride on the discipline I advocated, ---well before. At night, I rarely cook real meals because I can survive with steamed or buttered vegetables and a glass of red wine. It was quick and healthy.

When I finally arrived in the Netherlands, my diet has drastically changed. Living in the land of milk, honey and cheese has little to do with it but mainly because I have become the official chef at home. Being alone was in fact easier, I can always give an excuse to be lazy but living with someone else, who eats twice as much as I do and by the way has very impressive microwave skills, made me all the more convinced to be the person in full charge of the kitchen. This judicious decision I made has both advantages and disadvantages. I ate well but I ate more. *Deep Sigh*

I am not actually overweight, far from it really. The last time I checked, my weight falls under normal in the BMI calculator with a steady fluctuation on the middle range weight going to less. I am still within the small size collection, thus I am quite safe and far from any distress... but… I miss my old self.

This is an old picture of me at 32 with my desired weight 3 years ago [2002] in Mongkok, Hongkong before I flew to the Netherlands to relocate for good. I think I was not even 100 lbs here!

I miss being light and not having to inhale in front of the mirror and hold it for a second to feel good. You see, I am also extremely creative in hiding those unwanted love handles so if someone sees them accidentally, they will surely get the shock of their lives! And it doesn’t help too when I have tall and slim in laws, yeah I swear with no gram of fat. When I am with them, I feel like a stuffed chicken ready to be baked in the oven, or better yet grilled, so the oily fats can drip off mercilessly. Yuk. I know they will laugh and tell me to shut up, but hey, I have my weak moments too, more than ever when I lay my eyes on the likes of Glamour and Cosmopolitan.

So even though it’s quite hard to be disciplined at this point and being 35 with a slow metabolism rate, I shall try and slay the dragons that lie in wait in front of me.

I am still on my red wine routine though and in fact I have totally lost my acquired taste in soft drinks. I could not even finish a small glass of it and if I insist, I would end up with a sore puffed up tummy - what every girl hates! Ugh.

An interesting information I found... based on a research carried out by a team of scientists in London circa 2001, the Cabernet-Sauvignon grapes were the best there is amongst the 23 wine selections they tested, reporting to have the biggest impact on our heart’s well-being.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s make sure we have a bottle of Cabernet-Sauvignon on the table for Christmas dinner ;-)

I shall then say, “Proost op een gezond leven!” [Cheers to a healthy life!]

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