Celebrating Alcohol Abuse

More and more, on every social platform, there is a recurring theme of fashion magazines promoting and encouraging women to drink alcohol … lots and lots of alcohol.

I know for a fact that we are powerfully intuitive, wise and sensitive, beautiful women who feel everything, all the time. This power is easily and swiftly reduced by the numbing effects of alcohol.

This latest delish promotion from Marie Claire is selling the solution to all your problems, “Did we mention you’ll always have a drink in your hand? … the fruit punch is booze goals”. The insidiousness then goes on to play to your guilt and lets you know that the tour company will give “20% of it’s proceed to [hurricane] relief efforts” and remember ladies, “Ready, set, booze!”. A beautifully edited video with lashings of gorgeous cocktails, beaches, palm trees, crystal clear water and sunshine to tantalise you into booking. Throw in a few shots of hurricane devastation and you have the perfect seductive package to justify a ‘glamourous’, alcohol fuelled vacation that you will send you back to work needing a detox.

Here’s another classic from Marie Claire via Cosmopolitan celebrating how you need a jug and not a glass to drink wine. Actually, don’t worry about the jug, just drink vodka straight from the bottle.

National Vodka Day (is that even a thing?!) was a big hitter for Cosmopolitan with this video getting a tidy 6.2m views – that’s a lot of shots ..

Cosmo are also encouraging hiding wine so you can keep your habit hidden “When you need a desk-side pick me up” or you need to take your meeting from business to boozy”.

Harpers Bazaar are really giving it up for women to start drinking on Friday with this latest offering that has over 62k views (and counting!) and the comments from women celebrating how drunk they get on Friday

Cosmo strike again, I’ll stop for one drink *three drinks later* – 1.7m views!

There are numerous ‘studies’ that are released that celebrate that “three glasses of champagne a day/a glass of red wine is good for you” … Harpers Bazaar’s obvious advertorial piece with this informative embedded video from Elle promoting the benefits of drinking rose is among the many articles promoting alcohol consumption.

Every single one of these videos promotes the denigration of women – and these are only a few examples of the many out there. I know they are seen as just-for-fun and that no-one takes them seriously … but in truth they are celebrating self-abuse and excess consumption and making it normal to need, hide, indulge and binge on booze. It’s on your holidays with you, your Friday night and all your friends are with you when you have it. How can I have fun without it? I deserve it!

We have created a drinking obsessed culture.  According to Breastcancer.org women are now 15% more likely to get breast cancer than women who consume none. Breastcancer.org are really clear in what the facts reveal about alcohol and it’s direct links to breast cancer.

“Compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer. Experts estimate that the risk of breast cancer goes up another 10% for each additional drink women regularly have each day.

Teen and tween girls aged 9 to 15 who drink three to five drinks a week have three times the risk of developing benign breast lumps. (Certain categories of non-cancerous breast lumps are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer later in life.)

While only a few studies have been done on drinking alcohol and the risk of recurrence, a 2009 study found that drinking even a few alcoholic beverages per week (three to four drinks) increased the risk of breast cancer coming back in women who’d been diagnosed with early-stage disease.

The bottom line is that regularly drinking alcohol can harm your health, even if you don’t binge drink or get drunk. All types of alcohol count. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.”

Sobering statistics? One can only hope.

Based on the consumption promoted by our best selling women’s magazines, there’s no amount of breast cancer research that will help one iota of women if women continue to buy into this alcohol infused life that is supposed to be so glamorous and acceptable. A life that is supposed to build amazing friendships and memories …

The fashion mags are being read by young women who are being encouraged to drink a lot, often and with their friends. Where is the responsibility by our elders? Where are the women publishers who are being mentors to our young women? Alcohol related violence towards young women in universities, colleges and schools is on the rise. When are we going to be responsible and lead by example?

These NHS statistics released in May 2017 expose:

“Alcohol-related hospital admissions in England have increased by 64% in a decade and are at their highest ever level, prompting experts to warn that baby boomers are continuing to risk their health through frequent and excessive drinking.

Surveys found 60% of women aged 45 to 64 and 69% of men of the same age had drunk alcohol in the last week – the highest proportions of any age group.”

For women aged 45 to 64, we are in the most divine period of our lives. Our true expression is to mentor, support and nurture people at home, in the workplace and society as a whole.

Step up ladies. It’s time to try another way, this one isn’t working.

New Years Resolution – More of the Same Please!

It was Christmas Eve and I was in the supermarket. Suffice to say, it was heaving. The queue was particularly long, though moving quickly. The store manager was walking along with a tin of chocolates to keep everyone smiling. The mood in the queue was cheery and expectant and some of us were chatting to each other.

The man in front of me in the queue was telling me about his Christmas lunch plans. He was cooking a veal fillet stew for his friends, an Italian recipe traditional in his family. Of course I asked for the recipe!! Sear the cubed fillet in a heavy based casserole dish and add in sliced brown onions, carrots, leeks, tomato puree, bay leaves, fennel seeds, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, pepper, sea salt and almost cover with stock. Place in a slow oven for a couple of hours till everything is divine.

When I finally got to the checkout, the lovely man asked me whether I was looking forward to tomorrow. Quick as a whippet I replied, “I look forward to every day, every single one is awesome”. His eyebrows raised and he smiled. “Wow, that’s unusual!”

I have gathered so many amazing recipes from the ladies at the checkout, people in the queue and my friends at work. What would happen if we connected with people all the time? What if we actually let them into our lives, even if only for a moment?

How often do we really connect with people in our lives? Why do we walk around looking down?

Maybe life is truly about expressing love to each other. Not just our families, not just when we’re drunk and definitely not just at Christmastime. Love thy neighbour rings true – they way we speak to the people in the bank, in the local supermarket and at work should all have the same respect and care we treat our families. Why do we feel we can treat those people differently to our blood relatives?

This year I have made a choice to connect with people and let them in. No matter if they are on the tube, in the butcher or the dry cleaners. Every one has smiled back and even if we don’t utter a word, there is a connection there that lights my soul. It’s so simple and yet we think we are all separate – how wrong we are!

Sharing recipes and ingredients is my way of connecting with people. Whatever way we choose, there is a chance, just a small chance, that we may receive a little treat, a smile, a tip on how to cook aubergine, a fish recipe and a way to make Dahl that we never would have considered. When we are open, we allow for magic to happen.

My New Years’ Resolution is to have a year even more amazing than the last one! More love to be in the magic of my life, to see more butterflies, receive more tenderness, allow more flow, ask more questions, be open to new recipes, to see glory in everyone and most of all, be open to more love.

Who knows… it might just be the best year of my life so far. Give it a try – maybe, just maybe, you will see the sparkle of love too.