Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rust en Vrede 1694 Classification review - red wine

So after watching two videos on You Tube where the presenters both raved about this wine called 1694 Classification, from wine farm Rust en Vrede, I decided I had to simply try it once in my lifetime.

It has an exhorbitant price, for sure, but not more than a dinner out, and seeing as the hubster and I hardly ever go out, and seeing as I have my inheritance from my late father, I thought now is the one time in my life where I can buy myself this bottle of wine.

A nice little surprise is that it came in a lovely wooden box, with a paper wrapping around the bottle. Very classy. I love small things like that.

And it didn't disappoint. Oh, it lived up to every expectation I had for it. It was silky smooth, fruity but not sweet, no trace of vinegar at all, which I often find in wines.  This wine wasn't chocolately, or mocha tasting, it was more fresh tasting, but very satiny. I don't know how to describe it, but it had nothing sharp. No pointy edges on the tongue. It tasted the way a good wine tastes in my head, but this time, I was drinking it FOR REAL. Bliss.

And luckily for me, this wine arrived on a day when a cold front hit. So the weather was perfect red wine weather. I sipped it slowly and savoured every drop, which, with this wine, I could.

The only downside is that I have laid off alcohol for the past two weeks, pretty much had nothing, so this wine hit me hard. This morning (the morning after) I can certainly feel it! I only had half a bottle, which is two glasses, and I feel dehydrated, and ill. Even though I took Panado's before bed. Even though I had water in between sips of wine. I am SUCH a light weight when it comes to drinking.

The other downside (with all alcohol, and by no means anything unique to this wine) is that it made my appetite HUGE. I have noticed this. I eat far more when I drink. I get far hungrier.

We had supper as a family last night, and I dished my portion and ate. An hour later, I was standing by the fridge, raiding the leftovers, eating again. And the alcohol also makes me crave sweetness, or carbs the next day too. I wake up hungrier. I lose all appetite control.

So I will enjoy the rest of this bottle but I will not buy it again. I don't think it's worth spending that much money, even on the best wine I have ever tasted. Perhaps only again for my fortieth birthday, or some such milestone. But I am really glad I got the opportunity to splash out and buy this for myself.

I believe that sometimes, such an experience reinforces your sense of self-worth. You say to yourself and to the universe that you CAN and you DESERVE such nice things. I fully believe in things like that. But never beyond your means. I also fully believe in having no debt.

Cheers to Rust en Vrede. If I ever go to Cape Town, I will go to that wine farm.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Writing, glorious writing

I love writing.

I am really such a nerd when it comes to that. I love to sit and type and describe. Well, duh, it's obvious because I have a blog. I mean, who else CHOOSES to write but those of us who love to?

I was the type of child who actually used to LOOK FORWARD to school projects that involved a lot of writing. Because I just wanted to sit and write so much. I relished essays. I relished any sort of book project. I even enjoyed debating and orals for the writing part - the fact that I had to write out the oral excited me no end.

I am a dreamer, a bit of a "head in the clouds" type of person. I am not very practical at all. I can't fix anything that's broken. I can't take a machine apart and then put it back together again. No, not my talent, that.

But ideas. Concepts. Words. Now THOSE are my playground. Even images. Which is why I am an artist too. I can do stuff IN MY HEAD. I am good at formulating ideas. Communicating my ideas.

As a child, I created book after book. Character after character. My first story book, I wrote and illustrated at the age of seven, and it was called "Murtle the Turtle".

My son is interested in robots and robotics at this same age.

So, it's clear to me that I MUST follow this path, and write the book. It's about damn time. Soon I will be old and then dead, and my book will die within me.

I have always put too much pressure on writing. On my writing. I get such pleasure from doing it, that I haven't wanted to spoil that by making my writing my source of income. Perhaps that was right of me, I don't know. I could have possibly made money from writing by now. But in a way, I am glad I have kept my writing as a hobby. Something I do for fun and for me.

My art has made me money and it's causing me to hate my art. Sad but true. I hate that I have to paint what I am told to paint, instead of what I WANT to paint. Because, if I were free to paint anything, I'd love to paint bright stuff. Bold and bright. But anyhow.

So the whole point of this blog post is this: I love writing. I am nearly 39 and I believe that I am probably now old enough to have something of value to say. And it's probably time now that I put something on paper and say it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Blood sugar and wine post

Blood sugar
Yesterday I had a smallish piece of cheesecake out at a coffee shop. I then tested my blood sugar when I got home, and it rose to 9.2 mml/dl. It stayed that high for about an hour or so and then slowly dropped down.

So even though I have been having the odd carb, this rose my blood sugar higher than I expected.

This morning I tested my blood sugar after a piece of toast with butter. The highest it rose to, after 45mins, was 6.3mml/dl. An hour later it was back down to 5.5ml/dl. Which is a very normal blood sugar. The body likes to remain within 4-6mml/dl generally, so it only rose above that very marginally. Phew. So one piece of toast, for me, is not a big deal.

But this just goes to show me how bad SUGAR is. If white toast, which is the most ground up and refined carb you can get, only does that to my blood sugar, but a tiny piece of cheesecake, which didn't even eat the crust of, raises my blood sugar and keeps it so high, then the main difference and culprit is the sugar. I am SO glad I did this little experiment and test. I will continue to test my blood sugar after a whole wide range of foods and drinks. I am seeing that anything with sugar in it is very bad. But carbs - whole oats, for example, or sweet potatoes - don't really raise it that high.

Wine
I had two tiny glasses of wine last night to finish off a bottle I had opened a while ago. I find that you can't leave a bottle open for too long else it tastes a bit yuk. Anyway, after not having wine for a good while, I realised how bad it makes me sleep - I battled to sleep nicely the first half of the night, and then this morning I felt puffy and just...not myself. A little irritable, actually. Just shows you, once you clean out your system, and then you re-introduce a toxin, how you feel it's toxic effects more. And it's amazing how quickly you get used to the toxin as well!

I definitely notice that I get a crampy-leg feeling the day after drinking. Drinking is really not good for me. Sometimes it takes pulling back from something to show me what it really is.

So yes, I will still enjoy the odd glass of wine now and then, but I will most certainly cut down.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Weight, health, work...

What goes into making a life worth living?

That is a big question. I don't really know the answer, but as I get older, I do know this: there are seasons for everything in life. I didn't realise that when I was younger, I thought I had to EVERYTHING NOW. But actually, I didn't. I don't. There really are some things that are better to do when you're young, and some things that are better when you're older. And things change. And your feelings about things change too.

I never realised when I was younger that my feelings would change so much about certain things. But how you view yourself and the world certainly changes as you get older. And it's good. It's very good. Getting older, which seemed a bit terrifying, truth be told, when I was younger, is now a welcome relief. I am naturally letting go of so many things. I am, slowly, painfully slowly, starting to let go of my body image. My looks. Not entirely, sadly. I still worry about how I look, and my weight and how other's perceive me.

I think having a neat appearance is good - so, not to let go of oneself, totally is a good thing. But letting go of this obsession with looking a certain way is VERY GOOD.

Back onto the health train...I am still somewhat confused about Banting but I know it's the right direction. I just want to know, for someone active like me, why I get cramps when I Bant. Still haven't figured that one out.

My weight went right up this past week or two, after eating carbs, but it got uncomfortable, so now I am losing the weight again, or at least, I am trying to lose the weight. I didn't like feeling so big, even though it's only 2kg of weight gain. For me, that's a lot, and I didn't like that feeling.

Work: I might quit doing illustrations. I am feeling like it's time for that to come to an end. It's a season that is now ending. There are many reasons. But the main one is that I no longer get any joy or satisfaction out of the illustrations. I no longer care. Not at all. Not one bit. It's not right and so I must end it. Art should feel good. I want to try my hand at other things. I want to explore earning money doing other things.

I am currently enjoying NOT preparing for or doing any bikini competitions. I think for me, the season for doing that might have passed too. I am not prepared to take any stuff to make me grow muscles, and so, my body is showing signs of it's age. Without steroids, females over a certain age do look less toned. It's nature. I think I am ok with that.

I really am maturing as I age. It's wonderful.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Nose vs Mouth breathing

Watch this video and be educated!

It has all the basic info on mouth vs nose breathing. In a nutshell, we are MEANT to breath through our noses, not our mouths. I have battled, for as long as I can remember, to breath through my nose at night. It just seems to get stuffy and closed up. I have to sleep with a glass of water by my bed to quench my dry mouth at night.

But after this video suggesting that you can even tape your mouth shut at night with micropore tape to train yourself to nose breathe, I decided to try my darndest to do it naturally, with no tape. I spent a good half an hour or more last night, before bed, blowing my nose, trying to clear it, and just holding my mouth shut to "force" myself to breath through my nose. It wasn't easy but after a while, my nasal passages opened up and I was able to get air through both nostrils. And...I am super chuffed to report that I managed to sleep the whole night with my mouth shut.

How do I know? Because the twice I awoke for a wee, I could feel my mouth shut. I didn't need to drink as much water. And when I awoke this morning, my mouth was still shut and not dried out as usual.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Who are you? And yes, you need to SAVE!

I know I have one or two readers, even though I sometimes think I am the most ordinary person with the most ordinary blog, so who on earth would want to read this, right?

But I see that there a few regular views every time I post: I'd LOVE it if you left a comment, just to introduce yourself, or let me know who you are. I love connecting with fellow humans, and would love to say hi back.

On another note: my father's greatest legacy is this: he left me with investments. His own and some in my name. And they are teaching me that it's NEVER ever too early, or too late, to start saving. It's really something we don't do enough of. All of us. SAVE.

If you read this blog today - PLEASE start saving. I repeat: start saving. It can be as simple as a savings pocket linked to your bank account. BUT DO IT. You see, I had one investment in place, only one, measly little investment. Then my dad passed away last year, and I see that he had quite a few. He had retirement money and some extra investments. I have NO retirement money. Just that one measly investment. I had, up till now, nothing. What did I think I was going to do when I got older? I have no clue. So now I can set up something for my retirement. Thanks to my father.

So I beg you, please think of this. Think of this, and realise that it's about you paying your future self. You have to. No one else is going to pay the 65 year old you. The you of TODAY has to pay the you of tomorrow.

GO DO IT NOW.

Capitec bank, at the moment, has a great five year fixed term savings plan. I am sure there must be others like it. Please go do your research and go do it. It's the best thing you can do with your time and money.

Friday, May 5, 2017

No wine for a month

I must stop drinking wine on the weekends. I don't overdo it, but it's becoming regular: every weekend. I am now starting to rely on the wine to relax. That is NOT good. I need to learn how to relax in my own home without wine.

I never ever thought I'd say that I need to cut back on alcohol but....I do. I love a good red wine, I have to say. I really do enjoy the taste, and savor it's flavour especially with a nice meal out. However, I have started to have a glass here and there, more than I used to, and that's not good. I know it's not good because I have been feeling grumpy the next morning. Foggy. Just generally not good.

So then I watched this video on Youtube and realised that I was generally feeling crap and perhaps, just perhaps, it had to do with my wine drinking. Not excessive by most people's standards, but I realised that perhaps my sleep was suffering, my metabolism and my liver. Small knocks to the body can add up.

So I have cut out wine for just a week and already I feel better. More positive, less snappy and more "myself". I don't say I will never drink again, but I will definitely

I am now in a process with gym where I am "bulking" for a challenge. Very, very scary for me, as a woman, to "bulk". Because obviously, although I don't want to gain fat, in order to put on muscle, I cannot starve myself. I can't cut out carbs or calories - in order to maximize any small bit of muscle growth that I can. And, let me tell you, growing muscle is HARD. The body has it's genetic muscle potential, and to push past that takes either steroids, or working really hard in the gym to push harder than you normally would. You have to activate muscle fibers that don't normally get activated.

So I am fine with pushing hard in the gym, I like it, and that is fun and "easy", mentally, to do. But to eat more food and gain weight...that is not easy. I am not Banting right now. For six weeks, no Banting, no cutting out any foods. It's scary cos I can see I have gained some fat and water weight in a week already. BUT - it's put me ahead in the challenge.

I need to learn to be ok with my body changing and also to be ok with a little extra body fat for now.