How could you have a mom blog and not talk about beer? I spent some valuable “beer time” with my friends who just opened up Rough Draft Brewery in San Diego. While alcohol certainly has some health benefits, spending time with friends can also be important for good health.
While I was researching my last book, The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies, one of the big premises of their lifestyle is spending time with family and friends. They consider this a very important part of their lives and engage in celebrations and dinner parties several times a week, which may even contribute to why the Mediterranean culture tends to have less chronic disease. Research shows that spending quality time with friends can increase your happiness, decrease stress, increase your immune system, help you achieve goals and decrease grief. One big difference I see between the Mediterranean and American lifestyles is the Mediterranean folks have many stress relievers in their day-to-day life that Americans often overlook as small and unimportant including things like spending time with friends, slowing down to eat a meal, resting, and spending time outdoors. These small lifestyle choices can make a big difference in decreasing the harmful effects of stress on the body.
I knew after writing this book that spending time with friends was a big goal of mine. I have always been a bit of a home-body and both my husband and I aren’t great planners- not a great combination for our social lives! When we were younger it wasn’t too bad, but now adding kids into the mix we barely get out to see friends. Going to the brewery was perfect! We caught up with several friends we haven’t seen in a year, laughed, drank amazing beer (the Amber Ale was my favorite) and met some new people. Heck, I even got to meet popular dad blogger and columnist, Daft Daddy (I have to admit, it felt like I was meeting a celebrity. I know, I know…I’m sort of a blog nerd).
All in all it was a great day and definitely decreased my toddler-induced stress levels and helped me recharge. I’m vowing to stay on this path and my first goal is to get together with friends (with or without kids) at least twice a month. Hopefully before long I’ll be spending time with friends and family weekly.
P.S. To all of you who live in the San Diego area, go check out Rough Draft Brewery, especially if you love great beer. It was a lot of fun! We’ll meet you there!