Is Guinness good for you?

A couple of years ago I wrote a post on St. Patrick’s Day after doing some research on Guinness.

I have heard rumors that Guinness is high in iron and better for you than most beers. I also heard that pregnant women have been advised to drink Guinness because of the high iron and low alcohol.

Is any of this true? Is Guinness good for you?

As I am researching there is no real clear answer to whether or not Guinness is in fact actually good for you. Though leaning toward no seems better than leaning toward yes.

The calories and alcohol content tend to be a little lower than other beers.

According to, a 12-ounce Guinness draft has 4% alcohol, 125 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates. (Just a reminder that a pint is 16 ounces.) I looked up a few other beers for comparison, all for 12 ounces: Blue Moon White: 5.4% alcohol, 171 calories and 12.9 grams of carbs; Budweiser: 5% alcohol, 143 calories and 10.6 grams of carbs; Heineken: 5.4% alcohol, 166 calories and 9.8 grams of carbs; Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 5.7% alcohol, 171 calories and 14.1 grams of carbs; and last, a beer … Continue reading

Keeping the peppermint in my cocoa

Once it starts to get chilly I enjoy warm drinks in the evening.

When I was still working full-time a warm drink helped to get me sleepy and ready for bed. I needed all the help I could get for a good night’s sleep.

I will drink hot water with lemon, tea, hot apple cider or hot cocoa.

I like a little splash of Peppermint Schnapps in my cocoa … that was until I found out how many Weight Watcher’s points a shot is. If you are a WW member, you are welcome to look up the points. If not, sorry, can’t share. Just know it is a lot more than I thought it would be.

So instead of having the caloric syrupy goodness I have been adding a mini candy cane to my chocolatey goodness.

One mini candy cane gives me the minty taste I like with my hot chocolate and is only about 17 calories with about 4 carbohydrates, no fat and about 3 grams of sugar.

I found a website called Intoxicologist, which lists many liquors and their calories (as general guidelines). Peppermint Schnapps is not specifically on there. But other Schnapps are. For an ounce, 72 … Continue reading

Review Wednesday: Fitbit Flex

Previously I wrote a review for the Fitbit Zip. I loved it so much that I asked for a Fitbit Flex for my birthday.

I love my Fitbit Flex. I wear it around my wrist like a watch or bracelet.

It does a lot of what the Zip does with a few added features.

It counts your steps (miles), which can calculate calories. The Flex syncs to an app and a website. On the app and website you can track calories in and calories out, you can track your weight and activity (which will adjust calories out).

My favorite feature is that the Flex tracks your sleep. You can see when you are asleep, awake and restless. It also has a silent, vibrating alarm.

When you hit your daily goal of 10,000 steps the bracelet lights up and vibrates in celebration. It’s fun.

It took me time to get used to the fact that on the Flex I can’t see what my steps, miles and calories are, unless I go to the app or website. But if you tap the bracelet it lights up and shows you the percentage you are up to to getting to your … Continue reading

Review Wednesday: Fitbit Zip

About two months ago I got my first Fitbit. I have the Fitbit Zip. It was a prize I won for participating in my company’s wellness program.

The Fitbit Zip (along with the other two mentioned on the website) tracks steps, distance (in miles) and calories burned. They sync wirelessly to computers and my iPhone (and other smartphones).

The Zip has a replaceable battery, which according to the website lasts 4-6 months. It is sweat, rain and splash proof. If you don’t get a Zip for free from your company it costs about $60, which for everything it does is a great price.

There are two other types of Fitbit, which I am looking into investing in at some point. The One Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker and the Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband. They are both $100 and you can read more about them on the Fitbit website.

Fitbit also sells the Aria Wi-Fit Smart Scale, which according to the website, measures weight, BMI and percentage of body fat. It costs about  $130 and uses wi-fi to upload information automatically to

After I received the Zip it took me a couple of weeks to set up. … Continue reading

Lovely day for a Guinness

I have never really been a Guinness fan. While in Dublin years ago I had a couple of the black stuff while at the brewery. And damn, it was good. I haven’t had any since … until today.

After my yoga class Curt and I headed out for brunch. I went all Irish. I had a Guinness and a shepherd’s pot pie. Wow, that pot pie was amazing (and probably super unhealthy). And the Guinness was nice to drink.

Curt and I came home from brunch and put in our garden. After our over-exertion we decided to head to our favorite local bar, McNally’s, for a drink. I decided to go for another Guinness. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Is Guinness good for you?

As I am researching there is no real clear answer to this question. Though leaning toward no seems better than leaning toward yes.

The calories and alcohol content tend to be lower than other beers.

According to, a 12-ounce Guinness draught has 4% alcohol, 125 calories and 10 grams of carbs. (Just a reminder that a pint is 16 ounces.) I looked up a few other beers for comparison, all for 2 ounces: Blue Moon … Continue reading

Bagel vs. doughnut

The other day at work THREE boxes of thank-you doughnuts were delivered to members of my team. And they were shared. I didn’t indulge. But that’s not what this post is about.

Somehow the topic came up that it was “healthier” (not to be confused with healthy) to eat a doughnut than a bagel.

So, of course, that inspired research and a post.

According to FitDay, while bagels only seem healthier because they are not deep-fried like doughnuts, they are surprisingly unhealthy as a breakfast option and may, in fact, even be unhealthier than doughnuts.

FitDay says, a typical doughnut, such as a simple glazed doughnut, already brings with it 229 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates. … One basic, plain bagel has 215 calories and 42 grams of carbohydrates. The real shocker about bagels is their extremely high sodium content. (Nutritional content various on the bagel and doughnut depending on what site I was looking it.)

I did a little extra research on the sodium content in a plain bagel. I got various answers. Anywhere from 620mg in a Dunkin’ Donuts bagel to as low as 470mg.

The glazed doughnut and plain bagel are pretty basic items. If … Continue reading

Full flavor, full calorie … mmmmm beer

I used to hate the taste of beer. Probably because it was a Coors or something.

And I still remember someone telling me that eventually I would get used to the taste and actually like beer.

When I was in college my friend Robert got me into microbrews. Many nights after our shift at the Arizona Daily Wildcat a group of us would go out for beers.

That’s when I really got into trying a variety of beers and what I would refer to as good beer. (I was also drinking a good deal of gin and tonic as well.)

Curt is a beer drinker. So when we first started dating I had my fair share of beer and that continued.

We have gone on vacation over beer: Oktoberfest in Munich; Newcastle, England–OK, that was about football, but I love Newcastle Brown Ale; Prague, London, Barcelona, Dublin–damn good places to drink beer (and eat some good food as well).

In my quest to lose weight and keep it off I have experimented with the light beer imbibing. Hey, I can have “insert number here” of light beers vs. “not as high number here” of regular beers.

But what I … Continue reading

National Weigh-In Day

I saw a commercial the other day for Special K’s National Weigh-In Day, which is today, January 2.

I remember this from last year. I love the commercial where the women step on the ginormous scale and the results are things like pizzazz, confidence, sass … you get the idea.

The campaign is what will you gain when you lose?

The Special K Gains Project website says, At Special K, we believe we should choose a word–a way we want to feel–and let that be our motivation.

As I was researching for this post only last year’s story was available about the campaign. So information comes from the Jan. 2, 2012 article.

The article said, from a survey, 64 percent find a lack of support the reason for getting off track from a weight loss plan.

Lack of support makes me sad. You finally decide to lose weight and/or become healthier and you have no support? That’s not right. That’s one of the many reasons I love Weight Watchers. There is so much support in the meetings and even online. And even though I am not going to meetings right now I have many friends who are currently … Continue reading

Feeding your body after exercise

I really wanted to blog on Thursday night. Mainly because I had skipped blogging for days before. But I got home late and still had stuff to do around the house and work work to do as well. And by the time I was done I was exhausted.

The past work week has been exhausting and busy. And I anticipate this coming week to be busy as well, especially since starting on Friday I will be on vacation for 10 days! I can’t wait!

I found an interesting article on Yahoo about the mistake many people make by thinking just because they work out they can eat or drink anything they want. It’s all in moderation.

I posted the link on both my personal FB page and the GFG! FB page. My friend and neighbor Jessie commented that after she works out in the morning she is so hungry. I know that feeling of needing carbs or protein and sometimes just feeling wiped out.

So I asked her what she eats afterward.

She said she usually grabs a Naked protein smoothie.

So, of course, this prompted some research and lucky for you, a post.

I looked up a Naked … Continue reading

Skinny doesn’t mean healthy

I used to be considered skinny. I hate that term. To me it has a negative connotation.

According to Merriam-Webster, skinny means lacking sufficient flesh, very thin, emaciated; lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities or significance.

But it seems like so many of us strive to be skinny. Why is that? Why do we think this looks better than this?

So here is the skinny on skinny …

A skinny person can have a high metabolism. So they think they can eat anything they want and they won’t gain weight. (That used to be me. I could eat or drink pretty much whatever I wanted and not gain weight.) But that doesn’t mean that skinny person is healthy.

Have you heard the term skinny fat? Skinny fat means a person looks thin but has a high body fat percentage. That can be dangerous.

Someone who ingests a lot of fat and calories and carbohydrates can have health issues. Someone who eats too much fat can be at risk for heart disease. Too many carbs can contribute to conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, according to Livestrong.

When the wellness program started at work … Continue reading