Monday, December 6, 2010

Bottoms Up!

My mother’s hair was a hot auburn red for all of my childhood and into much of my adulthood. As a little girl, I used to dye her hair, as she sat perched from our kitchen barstool, cigarette in one hand and towel around her neck, she directed me to "not miss a spot." The pungent smells burned my nostrils then and pretty much can make me gag to this day. At the end of the whole elaborate process, I’d go out into the garage, where my sheep dog Tammy would be hiding out, and carefully remove the tawny stained gloves and dispose of them in the garbage. Inside she’d sit, smoke, drink and laugh that deep unforgettable laugh while we waited about an hour for her hair and scalp to be fully saturated. I would then get out the green can of Comet and with a damp washcloth; I'd scrub, in tiny circular motions, the crown of her face to remove any dye that had gotten on her skin. My obvious fear was that I would scrape off a layer, but she was tough and instructed me to “Get it all off!” She let her hair go gray some 15 years prior to her death, but I loved her as a red head. My mom, unlike my dad, was a “moderate drinker.”
As the Unofficial President of LUPEC (Ladies United to Protect the Endangered Cocktail) I am happy to find a plethora of research stating that moderate drinking might in fact have health benefits and increase one's lifespan. It is the same euphoric joy I felt when research found dark chocolate to have anti-oxidants!
According to a 12-year study of 38,077 men and women done by the Mayo Clinic,
those who drank three or more times a week had a reduced risk of heart attack compared with men who drank less frequently. (6)
Women who drink an average of half a drink a day have a 14 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure than nondrinkers, but those who drink more than one and half drinks a day can raise their risk of hypertension by 20 percent.
A 2001 study found that moderate drinkers (those who had at least seven drinks a week) had a 32 percent lower risk of dying after a heart attack than those who did not drink.
Moderate drinking has been linked to a decreased risk of heart failures other than heart attacks in older people.
Light-to-moderate drinking may slow stiffening of the arteries with age, a phenomenon that can raise systolic blood pressure over time.
One to two alcoholic drinks per day can increase levels of "good" cholesterol by 12 percent on average, an increase similar to that seen with exercise and certain medications. Other studies by reputable researchers have also concluded that moderate drinking contributes to one's overall positive emotional and psychological well-being, which is a huge selling point for me. Don’t get me wrong now. I’m no more advocating alcohol consumption than I am going out and buying a box of Clairol... just bringing you the news as I see it.


  1. I also rejoiced when I read about the dark chocolate! My parents loved their nightly two cocktails never knowing the benefits of their fun habit. I enjoy a beer or a glass of wine ever-so-often...and like you, agree that a little helps with "the positive, emotional, and psychological well-being" does for me!
    Enjoyed your blog...your mother sounds like a fun the part about the Clorox! Wow! Marsha & Max

  2. So many visuals to play with. I think the adult beverage consumption is good for overall relaxation and therefore reduces stress which is of course essential to heart health!
    Thanks Val for always keeping me in the know......