By: Dr. William Sturrock
The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and many of us look forward to the festive foods and drink associated with this time of year. From sugar cookies to eggnog, we are all tempted by tasty traditional treats at home and at the workplace. Now we know about watching the sweets and rich desserts, but what about the beverages?
Well it turns out there is a long history of our ancestors partying during this time of year, going back to pre-Christian Europe with drinks like the ‘wassail’. This was a strong mulled cider (or in some areas, ale) consumed by groups of singers going from house to house. Sounds like a lot of fun, but I suspect they didn’t have to worry about getting a DUI or crashing the horse drawn sleigh (horses usually had better sense to avoid danger even if their driver was tipsy).
Which brings us to the subject of this post: What is safe and responsible alcohol consumption? First, lets state right off that for some people even one drink of alcohol is too much. Generally those who should not drink at all have found out the hard way, with previous alcohol-fueled injuries, legal entanglements, or worse. Serious and dangerous behaviors, to include fights, domestic and sexual abuse, vandalism and other crimes are much more likely to occur in the setting of excess alcohol consumption by individuals who might otherwise not cross these social boundaries. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that the cost of damage to health and property runs over $250 billion a year. To put this in perspective, this amounts to $1.90 for every drink consumed in the US and is over twice the annual budget of the Dept of Homeland Security!
So, how can we avoid the negative results of excess drinking? Surely a return to Prohibition is not the right answer (we already tried that, remember?). And besides, most of us have enjoyed the sense of relaxation that can lead to lively conversation and social engagement when alcohol is consumed in moderation. To understand moderation, let’s look its opposite: The CDC defines excessive or binge drinking at that which results in a blood alcohol level of over 0.08, which is when judgment may become impaired, coordination disrupted and reflexes slowed. Not to mention that damaging effects to the nervous system and liver are more likely to begin at this level.
Well, most of us don’t attend the office Christmas party with a breathalizer, so how would we know we might be approaching the danger zone? Metabolic studies show that this level is reached when most men consume more than 5 drinks and most women consume more than four (A drink is 1 oz of distilled liquor, 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine). Surveys report that while binge consumption is more common in young adults age 18-34, it is still a problem across the entire socioeconomic and age spectrum in the US. Interestingly it is also a problem in many northern European countries but is much less of a problem in the Mediterranean cultures of southern Europe. Some sociologist have attributed the higher prevalence of unhealthy drinking patterns to cultures that do not introduce teens and young adults to small amounts in family gatherings. A glass of wine with dinner is a part of the daily ritual of many homes in France, Italy and Greece. This is very different from the clandestine consumption by six-pack that many American (and British, German, Scandinavian) teens experience as their early experience with alcohol.
But the bottom line is that all of us who consume alcohol need to monitor our own consumption, just like we learn (hopefully) not to eat the entire birthday cake or bag of Halloween candy in one night. Not only does our physical and mental health depend on it, we will be less likely to say or do something at that office party that we will regret forever.
Stacey Coventry from the Bangor Humane Society was in the studio Tuesday, introducing Wayne to this week’s Pet of the Week: Margaret.
Margaret is an eight year-old female spayed beagle mix and is ready to be picked up today for an adoption fee of $125. Margaret is a calm, yet very fun dog that loves to be pet and does great with other dogs and children. Stacey said to use good judgement with cats, but did not rule them out.
On Monday’s I Love My Pet, we met Abbey.
Abbey belongs to Sarah from Holden.
She is loved by her owner for many reasons, most of all that she is a sweetheart of a dog and loves every person and animal she meets.
Rob Crone from Eastern Area Agency on Aging and Don Hanson from Green Acres Kennel Shop, were in for this week’s Senior Watch, to talk about the Eastern Area Agency’s Furry Friends Food Bank.
Russ Van Arsdale was in the studio Monday for this week’s Consumer Contact segment. This week, we was speaking with Joy about a string of new email scams that are being sent out by the thousands now as we are well into the holiday season.
Hello everyone, rather than jumping into a review this week, I’d like to show you all what you can expect in theaters over the next coming weeks that will wrap up 2014 at the box office. But more importantly, 2015 at the movies is shaping up to one of the biggest moneymaking movie years in history. From some of the biggest properties ever, this includes: The Avengers sequel, a new Jurrasic Park film, and the seventh chapter in the Star Wars saga, next year is going to be a movie lover’s dream. I’ll have that and more on this week’s Cinema Savvy.
Okay, so let’s take a look at what we can expect in theaters for the rest of December:
Joaquin Phoneix headlines the latest Paul Thomas Anderson film in Inherent Vice.
Christian Bale plays Moses in the upcoming biblical epic, Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Diana De Los Santos was in on the Noon news, from the SPCA of Hancock County to have us meet Domino, who is up for adoption.
Domino is a neat male cat who is about 4 yrs old.
This Friday was another Fitness Friday on the TV-5 Morning Show. This week, Joy and Wayne were joined by Bangor Pilates’ Val Kitchen. Val will be our newest Fitness Friday guest for a while, teaching Joy and Wayne different Pilates and yoga stretches that you can try on your own at home. In this video, Val explains the history of Pilates and what it actually is, before getting into a quick and easy stretch you can try by yourself.
Mary Lavanway from Hannaford shares a recipe for Honey-Glazed Pear Upside Down Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons + 1/2 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Spread divided
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 Bosc pears, peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon McCormick® Thyme Leaves, crushed
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 9-inch nonstick cake pan with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Cook 2 tablespoons I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®, honey and lemon juice in 12-inch nonstick skillet over mediumhigh
heat, stirring constantly, 4 minutes or until dark golden brown. Add pears and thyme and cook, stirring
frequently, 7 minutes or until pears are golden and coated with sauce. Turn into prepared cake pan; set aside.
3. Combine sugar with lemon peel with wire whisk in medium bowl. Whisk in eggs, then flour just until combined.
Microwave remaining 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® in small microwave-safe bowl at HIGH
for 15 seconds or until melted. Whisk into flour mixture, then pour over pears.
4. Bake 35 minutes or until top of cake is golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 15 minutes on wire rack. Run knife around edge of cake to loosen. Invert cake onto serving plate.
Source: Recipe adapted from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! (icantbelieveitsnotbutter.com/recipes)>
A quarter-century old craft fair is set for this weekend in Thorndike.
Organizers say the Mount View High School Craft Fair will have more than 175 crafters.
This is the 25th year for the fair.
Chad Labree, Executive Director of Penobscot Regional Communications Center, joined Joy on the interview set Thursday morning for the TV-5 Morning Show’s newest recurring segment. Chad wanted to give some tips of how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency, and what kind of information you should try to have beforehand.
Deb Neuman tells us about the the best places to go to find Maine Made goodies.
BUY MAINE this season!
Shop your downtown merchants and online:
mainecraftsassocation.org (Center for Maine Craft /Gardiner)
Erin Coltvet from the Eastern Agency on Aging was in the studio Wednesday for this week’s Senior Spotlight. This week Erin was speaking to Wayne about staying healthy during the holidays. She says the average adult gains 8 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s Day and gave some tips on how to cut back on that weight gain. She said if you are already exercising, adding as little as five or ten minutes to your program can do a lot, and if you are not currently exercising: there is never a better day than today.
Financial advisor Marion Syversen wants to know are you making the top money mistakes?
It’s always good to keep track of how you are doing, and especially when you may be spending more money than usual. Are you making the top money mistakes?
Bobbie Fowler was in from the Old Town Animal Orphanage with a furry friend for us to meet.
If you are interested in adopting a pet, the orphanage is open Monday through Friday 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM.