One of the tough parts about coming to terms with my depression and anxiety is slowly weaning myself from two of my great loves: beer and coffee. Now, I don’t drink either with any of the regularity that I once (read: college) did. But I also gained much more of an appreciation for the finer points of each.
Like the typical American college student, the kind of beer that I would choose for a weekend looked something like this: cheap, cold, and wet. As it turns out, once I started appreciating the craft of brewing more, and looked more for quality rather than quantity, my tastes started to sway from typical American pilsners. I particularly enjoy beers with a high hop content, such as IPAs. This led to further experimentation with different styles. In particular, I have fallen in love with nearly every offering from the Boulevard Brewing Company.
Coffee and I have had a much simpler love affair. I never really got into the Latte-Cappucino-Mocha-whatever thing. This is how I like my coffee: black. Run some hot water over some ground up beans and pour it in a cup, thanks. That said, there are two different things I have come to realize: 1. There really is a big difference in taste–even inexpensive stuff–from one brand to another (e.g. love the coffee from a certain donut joint, but can’t stand the joe from a particular fast food titan. 2. I really love freshly ground beans. My mom bought me a coffee grinder for Christmas a couple of years back–such a simple gift and yet so wonderful.
At first blush, it almost seems like these two characters would help me. Alcohol can seemingly help with anxiety. Just ask any guy who wasn’t able to approach the pretty girl at the bar until after he built up a little “liquid courage”. The caffeine in coffee conversely can take the edge of depression when you are feeling more active and alert. It really is a Faustian bargain, though, isn’t it? For while each does its part to help with one side of the depression/anxiety coin, it does so at the expense of sabotaging the other. To wit: Alcohol is a natural depressant, and caffeine can make one jittery and, well, anxious. Not to mention that it isn’t advised to add these guys on top of the meds that I am taking. And please don’t mention non-alcoholic brews and decaf coffee. Ew. Just can’t.
So for now I am slowly bidding a fond adieu to a couple of long time friends. I’ll drop by every once in a while, on special occasions. Hopefully someday my mood will be significantly better and our roads will once again cross on a regular basis.
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SUNDAY FUN: The Fruit and Veggie Challenge
In an effort to be more health conscious, our family has decided to eat more fruits and vegetables. However, the thing we found is that we were limiting the kinds of produce that we were eating. For example, fruit consisted mostly of apples, bananas, and grapes. Over and over. So Lovely Wife and I decided that we are going to try something “new” (or at least something that doesn’t show up much in our household) each time we do our grocery shopping. The first experiments: pomelos and ugly fruits. I definitely loved the pomelo. After peeling off the rather thick rind, the wedges were fairly easy to separate, and it tasted delicious. Kind of like a slightly sweeter grapefruit. In fact it made me envision that this is what eating a Squirt would taste like. The ugly fruit, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as satisfying. It has a similar–if not a little sweeter–taste than a pomelo, and is also very juicy. But the pulp was just so fibrous that it just wasn’t that enjoyable. I ended up just sucking the juice out of each wedge. Stay tuned for further fruit and veggie adventures.