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Friday, January 25, 2013

In Moderation

It’s January and it’s finally cold out, at least for now.  January is also the peak of flu season, and the flu seems pretty tough to beat this year, especially without a vaccination.  Most of the people I know have gotten the vaccination - I haven’t.  I did try, a couple of weeks ago, but locations near me were completely sold out.  I’m hoping I’m not speaking too soon, but so far I’m feeling pretty lucky.  I’d like to think I’ve been able to fend it off by having a glass of orange juice every morning and a reasonable amount of wine every night.  I’ve got myself convinced that’s the formula for keeping healthy.  That, and a few other factors.

I’ve mentioned several times in this blog that I was an attorney.  I’m not going to give away my age, but let’s say that I know a lot of people my own age who have plenty of grey hairs.  Toward the end of my first year of law school, a few of us girls started observing how many grey hairs we’d developed over the first year.  I was shocked at how many I had - I was only 22.  Stressful things like that tend to age us a bit quicker than we’d like.  (I also pointed out to a few friends in law school that my grey hair accumulation probably also could be attributed to the relationship I was in at the time, and I’m sticking with that story - that was far worse than anything law school could have handed me.)

I noticed during those years that I got sick quite often.  I didn’t like how I looked - my hair was thinning and greying, I had all but lost my natural tan, and I had almost no energy anymore.

After changing my life around, both professionally and personally, I noticed some positive changes in how I looked and how I felt.  If I had kept on the path of stress and unhappiness, I’d probably feel pretty lousy right now, and I’d certainly have a lot more grey hair (I’m still in my 20s, so there’s no excuse for too many greys).  But something I added to my life was a lot more wine.

I’ve heard from many sources all about the benefits of drinking more wine - including preventing Alzheimer’s disease, heart troubles, and cancer - as long as it’s in moderation of course.  And for that matter, it’s fun and relaxing, so as long as it’s not done to excess, it’s good for mental health as well.

Several years after law and an unfortunate long-term relationship, my natural tan has returned, my hair looks about the same as when I was in my early 20s, I’ve got my energy level back to where I want it, and overall, I feel good and quite happy.  I’d like to think it’s at least partly because I enjoy wine in moderation every night.  Aside from drinking wine for enjoyment, I’ve started thinking of it as part of my regular diet.

Each time someone tells me that their doctor has suggested drinking more wine, I feel better about my theory on wine and its health benefits.  I’m guessing there are even more benefits from drinking wine that we’ve yet to discover.  No, it’s not an excuse to get drunk all the time, because that’s obviously not the healthy way to enjoy wine.  But in moderation, like anything else, it has its benefits - and it certainly tastes better than a lot of other healthy things!

“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”  1 Timothy 5:23

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