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How does the brew affect your brain?

October 2nd, 2013 No Comments

Via Fast Company 

Created by I Love Coffee, a blog for…well, you know :)

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Prevent Your Hangover (just use my method with caution)

April 11th, 2013 No Comments

Mary Rambin hangover cure

By now you must know how much I hate hate HATE consuming anything processed. So when I tell you I down a 5 hour Energy before I go out for a big night of drinking – anything over 3 glasses of wine – you know there must be a good reason.

Actually I’ll give you two:

  1. I find it really hard to stay engaged in conversation after 9pm. Yes, I’m an old lady. The caffeine keeps me alert until at least 11:30pm if I take it around 6pm.
  2. The ridiculous amount of B12 in that bad boy really does make a huge difference in how I feel the next day.

 

I obviously didn’t think this one up myself, I had the aid of a seasoned drinker to lead me to the devil and I can’t deny it works.

Here’s the catch. You can’t do this 3 nights in a row. Well, you can, I tried doing 2 nights in Vegas for CES one year and ended up shaking like a crazy person.

Let me be clear: it’s not that I drink that much. It’s that even small amounts of alcohol can give me a headache the next day and I’d rather not go through that.

There is a little more method to this madness to help my hangover. Three more tips:

STICK TO ONE TYPE OF ALCOHOL

If I know I’m going to be drinking more than say 3 glasses of wine, I stick to one type of alcohol all night long. Vodka or wine or beer, but not a mix. This can get tricky if I’m doing dinner then a concert because dinner calls for wine but I don’t dare drink wine in a dive bar, so I usually opt for vodka all the way through.

NO MIXERS

I don’t use ANY mixers in my drinks. That means no craft cocktails or any funny business.

WATER IN BETWEEN EACH DRINK

I’m not sure why this is such torture, but it is absolutely necessary, so I squeeze in some lemons and take it down quickly.

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A new toy for girls’ night in.

August 15th, 2012 No Comments

From the company that made the original Rabbit – the corkscrew, not the other toy – comes the carafe that promises to keep your wine cold for up to 90 minutes.  I’m not sure when it takes two women over an hour to finish off a bottle of Chardonnay, but I do know it’s a pain in the butt to keep traveling back and forth to the fridge!

Click here to buy on Amazon for $50 – the price is right for you and a gift for a friend.

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Wine and beer! La Vieeeeee Booooheme.**

April 12th, 2012 No Comments

Historically I don’t like pinot grigio or lagers.  I tried both on a bartender’s recommendation and now want them to be a staple in my fridge for summer.  So refreshing!

The Farmhouse  is actually a light, pale lager with sufficient flavor.  The Jermann PG is not too crisp and deliciously smooth with substatial fruitiness for a pinot grigio.

Have you found anything new you’ll stock up on for summer?

(**Remember Rent….the musical we all loved so much. Anything out there fun and compelling like that now.  NYC readers??)

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One more bottle of this please

January 31st, 2012 No Comments

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While I’m at a dead stop in train traffic, I’ll just get caught up on all of my little tips for you!

Kim and I loved this smooth French red blend at Up the other night. Medium bodied, not jammy, no tannins to speak of, for $45 bucks. What’s not to love!

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What is the best Happy Hour deal…for your health?! Nutritionista answers.

January 25th, 2012 No Comments

This is my favorite mid-day snack!

Right after I took this picture, I wondered, “What is the healthiest bar snack option?”  To me, this seems like it, but the chips are fried and the beer is full throttle.  Although it is a dark beer, which is less caloric than light ales if you can believe it.   Instead of guessing, I emailed Leah, aka Nutritionista who used to contribute regularly to MTM, for the numerical answer.

She responded like a champ!  Read the cold hard facts below.

HAPPY HOUR HEALTH QUIZ

by Nutritionista

Recently, Mary presented me with three common happy hour options and asked a simple question: Which is healthier? I’ve written about how to have a healthy happy hour before, but this seemed like a fun and challenging happy hour dilemma to tackle. Here are the choices Mary gave me:

  • Glass of wine and a bread basket with olive oil at an Italian restaurant
  • Sliders and light beer at a sports bar
  • Skinny margarita with chips and salsa at a Mexican Restaurant

First let’s establish portion size. I went with 3 5-oz. glasses of red wine and 3 smaller pieces of crusty white bread with 1/2 tbsp olive oil for the Italian restaurant, 4 small sliders and 3 12-oz. light beers for the sports bar, and 25 chips + 6 tablespoons salsa and 3 skinny margaritas for the Mexican restaurant.

The first thing most people would probably be tempted to do is look at the calorie count for each of these options. You might be surprised to know that the approximate calorie counts for each happy hour pick are pretty similar: around 850 for the Italian restaurant, 745 for the sports bar, and 745 for the Mexican restaurant. Yes, you could save around 100 calories by avoiding the Italian option, but calorie count isn’t telling us much here.

So let’s go beyond calories, since I don’t think they tell the full health story anyway. The Italian happy hour choice not only has the most calories, but it also has the most carbs by far — around 95g compared to 50g for the sliders and beer and only 35g for the Mexican meal. But that low carb count in the Mexican happy hour might be due to some artificial sweetener in the margaritas — and I definitely don’t think artificial sweetener is healthy. But if you don’t want your blood sugar to spike, stay away from the Italian happy hour with all that bread! White bread has pretty much no redeeming nutritional qualities anyway.

Looking at protein, the sports bar meal packs the most punch, with 30g compared to 16g in the Italian meal and 11g in the Mexican meal. The sports bar meal also has the most fat (presumably from the burgers), which you all know I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. No, the beef in those sliders is probably not very high quality, but the fat will still be more filling.

If I had to give a final verdict, my vote goes to the sliders and beer. It will be far more filling than either of the other options because of the protein and fat. If you want to kick the health factor up a notch, eat your sliders open-face and cut back to two beers. That brings the calorie count down to around 545 and the carb count down to 20g.

If you can mix and match, go with 1-2 glasses of red wine (a healthier option than beer) with 2-3 open-faced sliders. That’s around 400 calories, 15g carbs, and 15g protein. It would also be pretty satisfying because of the protein/fat, and keep you from walking away feeling bloated. Not a bad option!

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A new drug and old faithful tips for holiday hangovers

December 25th, 2011 No Comments

You know it’s coming.  If it already hasn’t.  That cheap party wine and/or “I mixed too many liquors” holiday hangover is bound to get you.  Ugh.  I had one the other day from a martini and 2 glasses of red wine over the course of 5 hours.  (Although I must say, I don’t consider that to be indulgent, do you?!)

I blame myself because I mixed drinks and failed to down a 5 Hour energy prior to going out.  That thing works every time AND keeps me awake until midnight.

Of course I neglected the other easy ways to avoid hangovers:

  • Drink water before, during, and after drinking
  • Choose light colored alcohols (vodka, gin, white wine) instead of whisky and red wine
  • Use sugarless mixers (water is the best choice)
  • Stick to one alcohol for the night

My usual routine is to drink Grey Goose and water with lemon or wine.  NO mixed drinks.  If I want a margarita, I have the bartender shake tequila, fresh lime juice, water, and maybe some Grand Marnier or agave.  I leave “pre-prohibition” or speciality cocktails  alone. First of all, I can’t stand to drink a whole tumbler of something so sweet and knowing it’s going to give me a headache the next day makes the pretty cocktail so unappealing.

Even though we all have our rules, sometimes we forget our good judgement at home.  The morning after, when we feel like crap, we can now pop two Blowfish For Hangovers tablets in a glass of water and down it quicker than we did last night’s cocktails.  Sounds like Alka-Seltzer or Bayer to me, but the makers stand by their mix:

  • Aspirin
  • Caffiene
  • Sodium
  • Phenylalanine

Supposedly the concoction actually relieves your stomach pain instead of upsetting it like ibuprofen and coffee, the two things we reach for first.

Blowfish is only available NOW for the ragers in NYC at Ricky’s and by delivery.  The rest of us can get a free sample or buy it from the website.  Otherwise we’ll have to wait until after the holiday to pick it up at the drug store.  Just in time for spring break I suppose :)

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Wine worthy of your $20

October 6th, 2011 No Comments

The wine guy at Central Market insisted I buy this red blend over a Pinot Noir. I owe him a hug next time I’m in there.

If you’re interested it’s 53% Melot, 33% Cab Sav, 8% Malbec, 5% Cab Franc, 1% Petit Verdot.  What that means is that it’s heavy on the fruit light on the tanins.  I taste strawberries and cherry.  Like a little cab not all grown up yet :)

Bottom line delicious and absolutely something you should seek out for dinner at home.

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