Q: I have recently cut out soda (missing my Diet Coke sooo much). I know you have mentioned giving up coffee but I'm not sure I can do that one! I'm trying to find an alternative for things to drink other than water that #1 don't add calories and #2 tastes good. What do you drink throughout the day besides water or iced tea?
A: Unfortunately, I don't have much to respond with to this question! I drink a LOT of water which means I am rarely thirsty. I drink hot tea (tons of different flavors) with a few drops of Stevia extract and about a teaspoon of heavy cream (the cream adds minimal calories, but it makes a world of difference in the taste of the tea). Something that I like to make in the summer is a big batch of Arnold Palmer--I make iced tea and then mix it with Crystal Light Lemonade (a 50/50 mix). Less than five calories and it's a great summer drink!
I know a lot of people suggest seltzer water with a splash of fruit juice or lemon--I'm not a big fan of seltzer water, but if you're giving up soda, this would probably help you stop craving the carbonation ;)
Q: I recently came across your blog while I was on Pinterest! Imagine that, right?? :-) While I was reading your "about me" on your blog I read that you started a wine club. I thought..... hmmmm ........ how fun!! So I am just wondering how it all works. I would love to start a wine club. What a great reason to get together once a month with the girls. So do you just take turns having it every month? How do you chose the wines and the food? How many different kinds of wine do you have?
A: My wine club is something that I look forward to every month--so much fun! It all came about when my friend Renee and I were talking about how we'd like to learn more about wine, and she said she thought it would be fun to make some sort of "club" to get together, drink wine, and learn about it. I thought it was a great idea!
|Our very first Winers meeting, June 2009 (I'm in purple, obviously before I lost the weight)|
It's evolved quite a bit since we started it in June of 2009, but here is the basic rundown: each month, someone volunteers to be the hostess. The hostess is in charge of choosing a theme (French wines? Wines made in Michigan? Cheap vs. pricey? Boxed wines? The themes are endless). Then she can choose the wines she'd like to have (usually we have 6-8 bottles per meeting, depending on the number of people there). And she can choose the food to go with it, sticking with the theme.
At the meeting (the house of who is hostessing), the hostess pours a small amount (about one ounce) of wine into each person's glass, and we taste it and talk about it. We have a "dump bowl" so we can pour it out if we don't like it. Once we've tasted all of the wines, everyone usually picks their favorite and pours a small glass of it to sip and chit chat for the rest of the meeting.
|I remembered how to fold a note into a pinwheel-thingy ;)|
Yesterday's meeting, for example, was hosted by Stephanie. She chose a "school" theme, which I thought was fun. She gave us school folders, with notebook paper (for passing notes, haha), a quiz about wine, our wine list for the meeting, and a packet of papers with lots of wine info (our "notes").
For food, she chose different cheeses and crackers (because that's what we ate for snack in school!), some fruit, veggies, and chips. And we tasted (and scored!) seven different wines:
|Renee showing off her 90%-correct wine quiz (she beats us all)|
|The wines we tasted|
|Our group photo (we do this at EVERY meeting)|
So anyways, there are about 40ish people in our club, but not everyone goes to every meeting--usually we have between 6 and 10 people show up for a meeting, but we've had as many as 25 before. We have a Facebook group so we can RSVP.
If you're interested in starting your own group, you can invite a few friends, and then let them invite friends, and so on. Eventually, you'll grow to have a pretty big club. But I find that I enjoy the smaller meetings (like yesterday's) more than the big ones. It's nice to interact with everyone and have a group conversation rather than one-on-one, which usually happens in a large group of people.
Sometimes when I talk about the club, people have this image of all of us partying like we're in college. It's nothing like that! Everybody is actually very responsible and sticks with about two glasses of wine total. And we usually carpool, so if someone wants to have a third glass, she won't be driving :)
By the way, if you haven't already seen it, I wrote a post about the very basics of wine for people who know nothing about wine. So you don't have to know wine to start a wine club!
And now, a question for all of you...
A: My go-to lunch is probably a tuna sandwich. I always have tuna in the pantry, so I add some mayo and relish and throw it on some bread. And I have a sliced apple or pear or bunch of grapes with it.