7 Links: Welcome New Readers Edition

Greetings all, and a wonderful Sunday to you!  At this very moment, I’m writing from the deck of my shore house in Ocean City, New Jersey (my favorite place on the planet.)  I left the Healthy Living Summit yesterday about an hour or so after the sessions ended because, although I wanted to spend time with the new people that I met, I don’t get to see my family too often (as I live in Durham, NC and they all live outside of Philly).  From reading the tweets and posts from these new beautiful bloggers and bloggettes, I missed out on some mischief making, but the opportunity to sip rum & coke with mom and dad and cuddle on the couch watching CSI with my siblings (and the always-gorgeous Horatio Caine was clearly too good to pass up.

Pierce me with those eyes, Lt. Caine... (click image for Source)

Though I was nominated chosen picked for this whole “7 Links” meme a while back by a fellow blogger or two, I figured I’d hold off for a little because it seemed like the perfect way to introduce new readers to myself in a fun, organized fashion.  And also, sometimes, I’m a lazy bum.  But mostly it was because of how appropriate it is for new readers.

For the ease of access, feel free to check out my “About Me” to glean some background info.  And on that note, I’m going to dive right into things.

  1. My Most Beautiful Post

    Football, Football, Football (Oh, and Friday.)

    A Sea of Carolina Blue

    Maybe it’s because I’m romantically involved with my alma mater, UNC. Or maybe it’s because I think tailgating is the most wonderful Autumn pastime of all.  But whatever it is, this post fills my heart with joy and makes my heart beat a little faster when I read it.  If you love college football (or college sports… or any sports), you might think this is lovely as well.  If you don’t, here’s a post on my best friend’s wedding that ought to tide you over: The 61 Hour Whirlwind Wedding Weekend: Picture and the Ceremony.  Don’t say I never gave you nothing….

  2. My Most Popular Post

    New Belgium Tour de Fat, Meet: DURHAM!

    Beer Education: So hot right now

    During a hot summer day this year, I was able to dress up like a champagne bottle and volunteer for the New Belgium Tour de Fat in downtown Durham, North Carolina (the closest city to me).  Being a HUGE craft beer fan (obviously, with a name like “food, sweat, and beers“) I jumped at the chance to volunteer.  I helped bring beer tokens to the masses, got to participate in a mini beer-du-cation class with some of the brewers from New Belgium, and realized that retronasal tasting is a real term (though most folks use it regarding  retronasal wine tasting).  I think this post was especially popular in the Durham, NC area.  But beer fans far and wide are welcome to continue enjoying it.

  3. My Most Controversial Post

    Women and Chick Beer vs. Craft Beer: A Response

    The Infamous "Chick Beer" that sparked the discussion

    While I can’t say this post was incredibly controversial, the topic certainly was, and the discussion was the most enjoyable to read in the comments section. I also brought discussion about this topic.  As I mentioned before, though I just attended a Healthy Living Summit, my passion is also craft beer and this whole topic of women being “catered to” in the craft beer world with weak flavored, low carbonated beers really got me fired up.  Apparently, I was not the only one that cared about it, because I still hear this topic discussed.  It’s a pretty interesting read, if you care about beer, but also if you’re interested in marketing techniques targeting females.

  4. My Most Helpful Post

    Eating Good in the Neighborhood (Pool)

    Poolside with my buddy, Claire

    In the summertime, on the weekends, if I’m not at the shore/beach, I like to be at the pool.  I think this post provided a lot of good advice (and it was a pretty popular one, so clearly others were interested.)  However, I also liked my post on Lunchbox Variety and mixing up your sammies.  Eating healthy on pool weekends AND mixing up my lunches are both challenges for me, so hopefully these posts helped folks in similar situations.

  5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me

    No Pants Wednesday

    I. Hate. Pants.

    I guess I’m not SUPER surprised that people love the idea of No Pants Wednesday.  But when I shared with everyone the fact that the reason I go home every day for lunch, I never thought they’d get so fired up about me hating pants.

    Then again, who really likes to wear pants?

    If you do, I don’t mean offense…. I just think you should give No Pants Wednesday a chance.

  6. A Post I Didn’t Think Got the Attention It Deserved

    Wisdom Teeth: Be GONE!

    So Very Loopy.

    This is a tough one, because honestly, I never think to myself “this post DESERVES so much attention.” Who am I to expect any attention from anyone?  (other than awesome.)

    But really, if you want a laugh, check out the pictures on that post. For some reason, when I was loopy on pain medication, I was SO intense about the nurses taking pictures of every step of the way.  And I demanded to keep my teeth (not unlike my new buddy, Jessica and her pillow of baby teeth.)  Now, not only am I the weirdo who was a total bossy brat at the dental surgeon’s office and documented every step of her wisdom teeth removal, but I’m the creep with four bleached wisdom teeth in a shot glass in my apartment.

    Be careful if we ever do shots at chez moi… no one wants a shot of tooth.

  7. Post I’m Most Proud Of

    Wake-Up Call


    This post was both a reminder to myself of all the progress I made (I have lost 40-45 lbs since March 2010 with the help of Weight Watchers, exercise like Zumba and Body Pump , and support from family/friends, as well as a reminder that sometimes, all you need to change your entire life is a little wake-up call.  It sums up my progress, it talks about how my thinking about food and health changed over the past year and a half, and it has a cute shot of me sleeping (in case you’re into that kinda thing.)

    This weekend, I realized that even though I never really have experienced the hardships of disordered eating that many of my peers dealt with, I had my own interesting set of circumstances that others might benefit from.  No one becomes who they are in the exact same way, and though my story feels unique, I am sure I’m not the only one who slowly put on weight until they were living an unhealthy lifestyle without even realizing it, and then decided to change things up.

So there you have it.  Some funny posts. Some poignant posts. Some food posts. Some beer posts.

Read up, learn about me, comment, email me, follow me on Twitter, and let’s get this party started.

Now, I’m back to hanging out with this stud:

Princess of the Jersey Shore

Isn’t he handsome?


Women and Chick Beer vs. Craft Beer: A Response

Good Saturday morning, y’all!  Hope you’re already enjoying your weekend, and doing lots of amazing things.  So far, I’ve Body Attacked, had a fantastic double date with my workout buddy (and mistress of the killer workout, the  Death Deck, Melissa) and her guy, and snacked heavily on some froyo and some quality brewskis.  But more on that, later.  See, right now, I have something to talk about that’s been on my mind for the past two days but, as I was swamped at work/working overtime to make up for coming in late on Monday, I had little/no time to blog, tweet, facebook, gchat, or any other fun social media that I love.  But now it’s time.

A few days ago, an article came out and swam around the twittersphere.  The article, from New Zealand’s The Marlsborough Press, was entitled Women and Beer: The taste test results are in.  To sum up the article, a sort of experiment was conducted inviting women who don’t normally drink beer to come out and try two new beers which have been specifically designed to appeal to the ladies.

The two beers in question: Valkyrie Brynhild and Beltane Maiden Source

To expand: one, the Beltane Maiden, was flavored with lemon zest to give it a “sweet citrus flavor”, described as “light in body, low in bitterness, and with a velvety finish.” While some women found it refreshing, others were turned off by the cloudiness, yeastiness, and called it “absolutely disgusting.”

The next beer they tasted was called Valkyrie Brynhild golden ale, which was described as “gentle hopped” and flavored with “hokey pokey” (I have no clue what that means, but I heard that’s what it’s all about…) Again, mixed results ranging from “I’d choose this over a glass of wine” to “drinkable, not too much taste.”  No real winner here, either.

The author of this article, Geoff Griggs (who some of you may know if you spend a lotta time going to beer tastings in New Zealand) found that, when polling the women afterwards, and asking what it is about beer that women don’t like, the answers ranged from taste to the “bloated” and “gassy” feelings they get.  Others focused on the image of beer drinking, traditionally associated with young males getting obliterated at parties.

With the advertising culture of beer obviously geared towards males, with most featuring concepts like this one:

the women are merely accessories are prizes sought by the likes of (yuck) Carlos Mencia and friends.  It is no wonder that women find the image of beer drinking a bit off-putting. One beer manufacturer is even trying to combat this stereotype with “Chick Beer“.

I'll take sexist bottle designs for 800.

Allegedly, this beer won’t “weigh you down” with less than 100 calories per bottle, the flavor is “soft and smooth”, and it’s only “lightly carbonated” to avoid that “bloaty” feeling.  Also, from the site:

Chick Beer finally gives women a beer choice that suits their tastes and their style. The bottle is designed to reflect the beautiful shape of a woman in a little black dress.  The six-pack looks like you are carrying your beer in a hip stylish, purse.  Chick’s unique reflective bottle blings you up!  It’s fun, fabulous, and female!

Ok, we get it.  Lots of times, girls like to shop, to wear dresses, and to have jewelry.  But I have to admit, this beer makes me feel like my fondness for shiny things (Seriously, I’m like a raccoon around Swarovski ) is being mocked, and then sold back to me.  This beer truly just sounds like a flavorless, low carbonated light beer. And there are enough of them to go around.

As a lady of lager (pulled that one from the Girls Pint Out description!!) myself, I have to say that this was an incredibly interesting look into why my breed is a rare one indeed.

Too many women that I know have zero knowledge of the rich, diverse world of craft beers, of the subtle pairings of beers with foods, and of the fact that you don’t have to drink enough to get drunk to enjoy them (thus, avoiding that bloated feeling! I don’t know if I’ve ever been bloated off a single beer.)

Likely, many of them only remember beers from the days of college or partying, where they were hoisted up for kegstands of warm, cheap light beer or were tossed a can of some swill. It’s no wonder, then, that they shifted their interest to the more “refined” wine.

I'll have you know, this was a kegstand of Carolina Brewery Amber Ale. GET ON MY LEVEL!

I certainly don’t think that beers should be developed in order to appear “girly” (just like I didn’t think it was the best practice for Camel to introduce Camel No. 9 in hopes for more women smokers) but only because I think it creates a beerdrinker that will only want that kind of brew. Education can make a world of difference, and women may learn to embrace more beers if they realize what else is out there (and that it’s not all cheap, nasty cans or deep, dark stouts.)

Bottoms up to Craft Beer, ladies!

There’s a world of beer out there, just waiting for you to give it a try.  And even though the bottles may not look like little black dresses or “bling you out”, I promise there are some pretty ones out there that can match just about any outfit you put together.