On drinking less

It was a saturating summer.

Between some early afternoon starts and late-night carousing, I experienced a fair bit of over-indulgence in the beer department, especially while on vacation down at the Jersey Shore. I was not bathing suit-ready to begin with, and kept my modesty, so further filling my gut with carbs was for the most part a victimless crime. I never drove while drinking, so the damage was primarily to my already bloated physique.

 

There were a lot of good times. I’m not apologizing for a single sip. However, reality beckoned and for the past month I’ve dried out considerably, keeping my beer enjoyment to Friday early evenings and Saturday nights.

This coincided with my reading the book Genius Foods (2018, HarperCollins) by Max Lugavere.  It’s a wonderful guide I can’t recommend enough. It describes the best foods to eat and when to eat them for optimal brain health. A big side benefit has been the pounds shed, maybe five (although for a 5-foot-3 frame, that’s enough). I’ve cut out all grains and get my carbohydrates primarily from beer. I’ve incorporated more leafy greens, “good fats” from olive oil and avocado, wild salmon, nuts, dark chocolate. These are some of the “genius foods.”

I’ve also taken to eating as late as I can in the morning and finishing dinner as early as I can at night. That fasting period (ideally 16 hours) is helpful for cutting down on that which would cloud your thinking and bloat your gut.

Lugavere’s only words on the subject of beer are predictably negative (although, like him, kind and supportive):

“Avoid gluten-containing beverages, which may be a one-two punch. Gluten increases gut permeability, which may compound the same effect from alcohol. Beer drinkers, I’m looking at you.” (p. 313)

He goes on to make a controversial recommendation to drink on an empty stomach, which “may allow the liver to more efficiently process the alcohol without impeding digestive processes.”

Pick up the book and put down the extra beer. When you’re drinking better, you won’t need the volume anyway.

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