Friday, June 16, 2006

Barbeques and Triple Bypasses

Last night was so beautiful. It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold. The sun was setting and the breeze felt great. Madelene and I opened a bottle of wine and cooked burgers on the grill.

Now here’s the tricky part. If you want to enjoy your wine or beer—or whatever your poison is, you have to drink well before eating Mad’s famous ‘house burger’. As my friend Alyssa would call them, they’re a complete buzz kill. So now we have adopted that saying for Mad’s famous house burger---to the “Buzz Kill Burger”. This beast will completely sober you up.

It all started when we started barbequing at our parties. My friend Tara would help out and we would prepare all the food and make sure the alcohol was sufficient enough to fulfill the needs of our alcoholic friends. We stopped at the grocery store and picked up a bunch of those hamburger patties as well as other meat products that would have my vegan friend cringing over.

These hamburger patties were so embarrassingly meager that people were asking for seconds, thirds, and some wanted even more. Needless to say these burgers were totally not a buzz kill, because people were drunk, overstaying their welcome and we had one girl who literally was rolling off my lawn in the backyard screaming God knows what. Never again will I serve up little meager patties like that.

As I’m watching Mad cook this “Buzz Kill Burger”, I’m noticing that my alcohol intake is creeping up there. Might as well put a straw in that fine bottle of wine because I know this burger’s gonna ruin whatever ‘good feeling’ I’m getting from this grape juice. By the time dinner rolled around, I was ripe. I guess you can say it’s like liquid drano in a sense—wash out all that cholesterol you’re putting into your body.

Now what about the French paradox? They eat tons of foods loaded with butter, trans fat, meats full of cholesterol—but they claim that the wine cleans them out. It has the reverse affect. Then researchers discovered that it wasn’t just wine, it was alcohol in general; whether it be vodka, tequila, gin or even a cold beer. I know alcohol thins out your blood, so there must be some truth to this, right? Then I always wonder why some people gain a lot of weight off drinking. Empty calories, I know, I know, but why do some big drinkers remain thin while eating tons of fatty foods, and others get that “Molson muscle”? Is it all about metabolism?

Forget about weight for a minute. The cholesterol factor has me worried. As I’ve posted once before, my parents used to cook with lard, bacon fat and other horrific sources that would make any healthy artery clog. I know for a fact my mama’s still using the good ole’ bacon fat. I try to steer clear from that kitchen. I have an alarm on my hips that screams out, “DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!” Anyway, her family and the family before that did the same thing and lived to be well into their late nineties.

What’s the true secret to living a longer life and eating the food we really love? I honestly believe that if your stress levels are very high—that alone blocks off energy within your body which ultimately tenses everything in your system—which tenses up the arteries. You hear, “Oh stop getting so mad! You’re gonna’ blow a gasket”, or “You’re gonna have a stroke!” I think these sayings have a bit of truth to them. That’s just my theory though.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that cardiovascular disease stems “more” from the foods that we eat, or does it relate to being overly stressed out?