Apparently wine isn’t good for “women of a certain age” and we should “drink wine in moderation”. I know that it wasn’t good for us before we got to a certain age, but I’m from a generation who had parents that mainly drank A LOT and made it look like it was SO MUCH FUN. Especially amongst the expat community who seemed to find an excuse for a party nearly every night of the week. I try not to dwell too much on the fact that unsurprisingly they’re mainly all dead now. My father used a down a large gin and tonic after a game of squash because it helped him avoid cramp (he wasn’t wrong given the quinine content), but it also meant he avoided rehydrating successfully.
This wine diet, promoted in Vogue magazine in the 1970’s pretty much summed up my parents attitude to eating and drinking:-
When I told my mother that I was going to not drink alcohol for at least two consecutive days a week, she said;
“Oh yes, we used to do that too – we called them our OP nights”
“OP nights?” I asked her
“Yes, your father and I agreed not to drink at home a few nights a week, so those were our go to “Other People’s” houses night’s”
“Genius idea” I said. “Why didn’t I think of that.”
Of course we’re all aware of the government guidelines on drinking alcohol, but it’s impossible to prescribe safe limits on an individual basis because everyone is different. On the one hand we know that alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer, but, on the other there are studies to prove the huge physical and emotional benefits of a glass of something (or two) when in the company of good friends. So what to do? It’s more specifically the sad “cut down on the wine” news which has come out of all the menopause information I’ve been reading and posting about lately. Some of my hardcore friends are choosing to mainly ignore the warnings (which is probably why they’re still my friends) and power on through, safe in the knowledge that it’s still more fun to be found dancing on the table at the end of a party than already tucked up in bed, but other friends are definitely cutting down significantly and saving the wine for the weekends only.
My temptation to go with the childish and irresponsible approach to life was curtailed by an old friend being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and that certainly gives you a wake up call, so of course it’s important to be more aware of the dangers – even if my doctor friend tells me that it’s our genes and not our lifestyles that are going to kill us in the end (we’re currently at the age that they call “Sniper’s Alley”).
One of the vital changes during our men-o-pause years (or maybe it should be pronounced me-no-pause) is that we have to consider loving our liver a little more than before. Age slows everything down and that includes the rate at which you metabolize alcohol so it takes longer to process all the toxins and also there’s less water in our bodies to dilute the alcohol as well as more fat (which retains alcohol). Additionally women product less alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol. It’s also really bad for your brain, your heart and your body in general.
So we all know that ideally moderation is key, but to be honest, given the state of the world as it is right now, I think drinking copiously is probably quite high on the list of solutions for how to get through it. BUT I’m going to try and find some drinks that are not as high in alcohol content. Below 11.5% apparently is much better in general – which pretty much rules out all the wine I love, including champagne – although the good news is that champagne contains less calories than wine – so much less sugar, that it could almost be included as one of your five a day.
Having said all the above, I’m not sure I’ll ever get to the point where I think that sober weddings are a good idea. Apparently they’re an actual thing now. COME ON!! Really?? How many young couples seriously expect their friends and family to splash out on wedding presents, accommodation, clothing, possible flights and then not let them get plastered and shag someone inappropriate at the end of the evening?
I want to be friends with Rosie, the card designer below who set up Rosie Made A Thing. Every single card makes me laugh and she loves to mention wine as much as I do. I buy a lot of her cards now.
Her website says “Quirky designs inspired by the ridiculous side of every day life. And 2 or 3 glasses of wine”
YOU SEE? A girl after my own heart.