Tag Archives: wine

Celebrate #NationalDrinkWineDay the Right Way

Glass with Red Wine

February 18th is National Drink Wine Day, and you may be surprised to hear us say, let’s celebrate!

While those looking to eat healthy and lose weight usually are told to avoid alcohol like the plague, wine is in a different class, and can fit into any healthy diet. While often considered a carbohydrate, alcohol is technically in a nutrient class all of its own. Aside from the typical macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats the only other substance that provides our bodies with calories is alcohol: 7 per gram compared to carbs’ and protein’s 4 calories and fat’s 9 calories per gram. Alcohol, however, should not be considered a macronutrient because we do not need it for survival.

While many would then write alcohol off as empty calories, wine, which is made from fermented grapes as opposed to barley and yeast, has unique redeeming nutritional properties and is widely accepted as a healthy option when enjoyed in moderation.

Many studies indicate that red wine lowers the risk of heart disease and may raise high density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, when consumed in moderation. Moderation is defined as one 4 ounce glass of wine per day for women and two for men. Diets from around the world that encourage drinking red wine in moderation daily, like The Mediterranean Diet, have consistently shown lower rates of heart disease in their populations. The health benefits of red wine can be attributed to flavonoids and resveratrol, which is found in grape skins and seeds and work to help increase good cholesterol and prevent blood clots and plaque from building up on artery walls.

While red wine and white wine are comparable in calories and carbs (120 calories and 3.8g of carbs per serving) white wine has more sugar, while red wine offers more potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Because it has so many more minerals and less sugar per serving, always opt for a robust red over a sweet white.

Also Read:

Workouts and Wine: The Newest Trend in Napa

Wine May Protect Against Cancer

Drinking Wine Helps Keep You Smart

Wine’s Health Benefits Only Work When You Workout

wine

Responsibly indulging in wine has been shown to have a variety of positive health impacts. From heart health to stronger teeth, red wine can improve a lot when it comes to your health. However, it’s not just enough to hit the hooch.

A comprehensive study shows that wine only protects against cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people who also exercise.

“We found that moderate wine drinking was only protective in people who exercised,” said Professor Taborsky, researcher on the study. “Red and white wine produced the same results.”

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Fight Cavities with Red Wine? New Research Says It’s Possible

Just in case you were looking for another reason to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, researchers have found a pretty good one. While red wine is known to stain your teeth, it can also help prevent you from developing cavities in them.

wine and grapes

It’s been known for a while that red wine is beneficial for heart health. Drinking a glass once in a while can lower your risk of heart disease and could also possibly raise your HDL or “good cholesterol.”

Now researchers have found red wine, and grape seed extract, could prevent cavities. It had been previously suggested that polyphenols, grape seed extract, and wine may slow the bacterial growth that can cause cavities, but the theory hadn’t been tested until recently.

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Workouts and Wine: The Newest Trend in Napa

wine bikes

You might assume that a trip to wine country means that you have to kiss your weight loss and wellness goals goodbye. But that’s not the case. In addition to breathtaking views, tours of the vineyards, and all the vino a girl can handle, hotels and resorts in wine havens like Sonoma, Napa, and Santa Barbara are adding health and fitness components to the already perfect weekend package. (Talk about making a good thing even better!) Think green smoothies by the pool, bike rides through the vineyards, grape-themed spa treatments, and Pilates classes….all with a glass of wine in hand, of course.

So where should you go? Here are three places we learned about in a recent article on The Huffington Post:

wine cooking

Wine, Women, and Wellness

The Westin Verasa in Napa to learn about the growing demand for fitness and wellness activities for their guests. They now host a “Wine, Women and Wellness” event during Women’s History Month in March, celebrating women’s health and female winemakers. Seminars included demonstrations from raw food chefs, yoga instructors, and makeup artists who create products from the antioxidant-rich byproduct of wine: grape seeds. They even staff a Running Concierge. That is correct: it is someone’s job to guide you through the many paths and trails for a walk or run through wine country. They can ever lend you running shoes! Talk about eliminating excuses.

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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn off a 481-Calorie Cheese Plate

More and more, when I talk to people about the one food they could never give up the answer is cheese. I don’t know if this is generation, geographical, or what, but the hard-to-break habit keeps coming up in conversation. People like their cheese, and I’m no different. I like a gooey triple cream brie on apple slices, a chunk of cheddar on crackers, and a thick dusting of parmesan on most pasta dishes. But mostly I like cheese with wine.

cheese

In the past I tabulated a Work it Off: Wine edition. Since we know exactly what it takes to burn off a couple of glasses (and 250 calories) I’m going to turn my attention to cheese. The cheese plate, to be exact, such as the two I helped take down this past week while sipping wine in the sun with various groups of friends. (This isn’t typical for me: The weather turned warm right as my birthday week hit, which led to a little extra indulgence!)

The cheese on a typical cheese plate adds up to around 481 calories, which no doubt explains why it tastes so good and goes down so easily.

How, exactly, could I have burned off these 481 extra calories? (more…)

The Healthiest Ways to Celebrate a Birthday!

A new trend is officially gaining steam: Healthy Birthday Celebrations! When it come time to blow out the candles, it seems like boozing and binging are out and exercise and eating well are in.

To be fair, this could be a sign of being a certain number of years out of college, but I don’t think getting older is the only thing at work here. It’s probably about getting wiser too. I have definitely noticed an increase in the healthier birthday party: For my roommate’s birthday a year or two ago, we all woke up at six in the morning to go on a group run. We spent the rest of the day antique shopping, walking around town (even more exercise), and ended the night with a glass of champagne each.

birthday

That’s right. Birthdays do not have to be about totally throwing your healthy lifestyles out the window. Here are some fabulous (and yes, still really fun!) ideas for a more adult birthday party. Enjoy!

Fitness Class Fun
Yoga, Zumba, Indoor Cycling, Pilates, ballet, kickboxing?! There are so many different exercise classes that are an extremely good time—why not bring your friends? Your birthday wish can (and should!) absolutely revolve around getting your best pals to join the fitness class you love. A lot of gyms and fitness centers have group rates or bring-a-friend prices, so definitely take advantage of them. What better way to start a new year in your life than with a little healthy sweat alongside your best friends?

Group Run Get-Together
Similarly, a nice group run is a wonderful way to set yourself up for success. Start your special day off right with a gorgeous run outdoors. Yes, gyms are great, and treadmills are good for your joints, but Vitamin D is important and it’s a lot more fun to run en masse in a park or along a trail. You can even theme the run. How fun would it be to run with birthday hats on or along a trail of landmarks from your childhood? Make it a little more interesting and your friends will definitely be in.

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Work it Off: Burn Away the 250 Calories from 2 Glasses of Red Wine

This year my family skipped the holiday get-together, opting instead to gather for a mid-January weekend in Sonoma, California. Sonoma, which is about an hour and a half north of San Francisco, is in the heart of California wine country. My parents, sister, and I all agreed this was the perfect destination for a getaway because we’re all oenophiles. (Oenophile? I know. It’s a pretentious word that’s impossible to pronounce, but it sounds so much more dignified than, “we all really enjoy a good glass of Pinot”.)

  REd wine

It probably goes without say that there was a lot of wine on the menu this weekend. There were wine tastings at a few vineyards and then large dinners which were, of course, accompanied by more vino. The food was spectacular—that’s another given in NorCal—but it’s the wine I’m most worried about throwing off my resolutions.

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NYE Party Planning: Stop the Scale from Springing Forward When the Clock Does

New Year’s Eve. A night of champagne toasts, smooching loved ones, staying up way too late, and boogying the night away. At the start of the year this is feels like a fitting celebration. But it’s important to remember that calories still count on special occasions, no matter how much you’d like to think otherwise. One night of overdoing it can set you back several steps when it comes to meeting your resolutions. As in, if you wake up on January 1 feeling tired, hung-over, and a few pounds heavier than on December 31st, chances are slim you’ll reach for a healthy, well-balanced breakfast first thing of the morning. So, have fun, but plan ahead.

NYE dancing

Try to drink at least a glass of water between each cocktail—this will slow your rate of drinking, hydrate your body, and may even help you drink less overall. And be choosy about what you put into your body. Remember, sugary-tasting drinks are usually pretty high in calories. Choosing to mix liquor with soda instead of tonic water can save you hundreds of calories by the end of the night. Finally, to negate all of those extra calories you do consume, start dancing. Dancing is a great way to kickstart the metabolism, plus it’s fun to do!

Here’s how long you’ll have to shake it to burn off these popular these popular drinks:

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Creamy Parmesan White Wine Sauce with Pasta for a Guilt-Free 419 Calories!

If I were going to be stranded on a desert island, and I could take only one food with me, it would be macaroni and cheese. It is the single most comforting comfort food. With its chewy noodles, gooey sauce, and creamy mouthfeel, I’d have no qualms about eating that every day.

But here in the real world, that’s hardly an option. The stuff in a box actually tastes terrible and is laced with chemical ingredients that kind of ruin the whole experience when you think about it. And if you really go for it at a restaurant, a bowl of chicken Alfredo at Olive Garden has 1500 calories! The classic mac at Macaroni Grill has nearly 700 calories… in the kids serving!

chicken alfredo
Nah, that’s not going to work. I’d like a big bowl of pasta, tossed in cheese sauce, and I’d like it for less than 500 calories.

This pasta in a white wine Parmesan sauce is very real, much more likely to happen that the desert island scenario, and comfort food I can enjoy without any discomfort of guilt. Why? It rings it at 419 calories for the whole bowl! (more…)

Do Beer and Wine Belong at the Yoga Studio? The Pros and Cons of Post-Yoga Drinking

Blending yoga with activities such as Pilates or weightlifting seems to offer just enough variety for non-purist types who are comfortable with thinking outside the box. As the yoga industry stretches its limits in an effort to attract more participants, for some, certain yoga-hybrid classes are pushing the envelope just a little bit too far.

Succeeding the latest trend of combining yoga with wine tasting, some yoga studios have recently begun to regularly offer post-yoga beer or wine for those who’d like to enjoy a little happy hour after hitting the mat. While most people are thrilled with the idea, some yoga-purists are not so enthusiastic about it.

Take a look at the pros and cons about commercially introducing libations into the world of yoga and how it’s creating a buzz in the yoga community. (more…)