This week's blog post concerns stress eating, the whys and wherefores.
Truthfully, I'm not much of a stress eater. I'll get the typical cravings for something salty or chocolate. Occasionally for ice cream, which I seldom eat because I'm lactose intolerant. (If you see me eating ice cream, turn around and run the other way. It's going to get unpleasant.) I eat more from hunger or boredom than from stress.
Stress drives me to drink. Sometimes, the drink is merely unhealthy, like soda. I prefer Coca-Cola. (Give me a Pepsi and I'll give it right back to you.) I don't do diet. I also like ginger beer, ginger ale, and Dr. Pepper. I try to restrict consumption to a can or two a week, because my rotund figure certainly doesn't need the empty calories. I drink a lot of tea, too. Sweetened, usually with honey. I enjoy beer, wine, and spirits and generally don't drink more than a glass with dinner. But when the pressure goes up, I self-medicate to take the edge off a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Beer, by the way, is not a stress drink.
Although I enjoy the occasional cocktail, I don't make them at home. Scotch or bourbon with water and on the rocks. Bourbon's good in lemonade and hot tea, too. Gin always goes with tonic water and lime juice. Always. I avoid tequila; it gives me a hangover every single time. I have little use for vodka. Rum's too sweet.
Because I don't usually drink spirits in large quantities, the bottles last a long time and I can justify spending more on a high quality liquor. I buy single malt scotch, preferably at least 18 years old. However, Laphroig makes a 15-year old "French cask" scotch that's quite good. I buy top shelf bourbon and gin. Yes, there really is a difference. A couple of weeks before Christmas, I bought a bottle of locally made, "frontier" bourbon as an expensive experiment. Wow. I can't imagine drinking that stuff every day. It's harsh, too harsh to drink neat.
When it comes to wine, I go for the mid-priced varieties. I prefer dry reds and whites. Nothing sweet. My favorite reds are cabernet sauvignon, malbec, pinot noir, and chianti. My favorite whites are sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio. Offer me a merlot or chardonnay and I'll politely decline. In late November and in December, I like to pick up a beaujolais nouveau, which is meant to be consumed young. That wine doesn't age well. I've come across a few standard vintners I like, such as Smoking Loon, Layer Cake, Dellatorri, and Coppola.
And the triggers that drive me to the cupboard? They don't fall under any unusual or weird categories, usually just a tough day that needs a little softening around the edges. It's not any single thing that ruins the day, but an accumulation of insults and offenses that culminate in a rotten day. We all have those.
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