Food

Caol Ila on a Lazy Sunday

Just opened a new bottle of scotch and am sitting here enjoying the lovely aftertaste of smoked oak. A Caol Ila Moch to be precise that I bought earlier today at my local supermarket. What a treat!

Next time I am to introduce someone to peated whisky I’ll offer them a Moch. It has a sweet, well-rounded, slightly lemony and fairly lightly peated character. The aftertaste lingers on in your mouth for about 10-15 minutes. Of course, waiting that long before taking another sip is unlikely going to happen here at my household.

On the inter-webs it said that Caol Ila has historically mostly been used in the Johnny Walker blended whiskies which makes me somewhat skeptical about the brand, but it seems that Caol Ila is now growing in its own right as a single malt.

By the way, how do people manage to pronounce Scottish whisky properly? I always get whiskies like Lagavulin completely wrong and I am sure its no difference with Caol Ila which is supposed to be pronounced “cull Ee-la”. Ehm, Carol what?

“Please say that again” I’ll ask the barman and they’ll raise a brow at me as I try to get it right for the 15th time. I’ve got this test that when I am able to pronounce Lagavulin right I know it’s about time I go home.

Of course its not easier when it comes to wine. I’ll call Côtes du Rhône “court ruin” and I won’t even attempt at pronouncing the Mourvedre  grape let alone the Nebbiolo or the Gewürztraminer.

In other news, I went with my roommate Karen for a huge bowl  of mussels, fries and white wine Friday evening. Yesterday I went for a couple of Indian Pale Ales with another good friend of mine followed by a big juicy burger. Today my roommate and I am cooking up some pork with veggies and having a chill evening at home.

Anyway, there really isn’t a point of me telling you these trivial things other than to add an assurance to all of you that I am in fact still alive and well. Considering that my last two posts were a now two year old tribute to a man who had just died at the time (how depressing) and a incoherent babble about not being able to write anything worth reading anymore (even MORE depressing) you’d imagine as far that I might not be coming back here ever again.

(I wouldn’t have bet on me being back either).

Why a Tablespoon of Honey Before Bedtime will Improve your Sleep

Taking the advice of Seth Roberts, who wrote a much more extensive post on the subject, I began taking a tablespoon of honey every day before bedtime, about two weeks ago.

At first, I was quite skeptical about the idea. My understanding was – and still is – that too much sugar (especially refined sugar) will cause havoc to your blood sugar levels, and that eating just before bed will upset your stomach, and thus have negative effects on the quality of your sleep.

This short article does a good job explaining why honey before bed might just be a very good idea. Basically, the human liver stores about 8 hours of glycogen (a form of energy storage)  necessary for proper brain function. If the last time you eat before bedtime is at six, your brain will release the steroid hormone cortisol at 2 am (8 hours later). If you are out of glycogen storage in your body, the cortisol will melt muscle tissue and convert it into glycogen. This process causes your heart to beat faster and will raise your blood sugar levels abruptly. Not a good recipe for a good nights sleep!

Since eating before bed causes the digestive machinery in the body to go hard at work, it will be a bad idea to get our glycogen from processed foods or any substantial amount of food at all. Based on the same reasoning as Seth Roberts applies (keeping blood sugar levels at optimal levels) Tim Ferriss recommends eating something rich on proteins and fat before bed. His suggestion is peanut butter, which might also be worth trying out.

The reason why honey works wonders is because it is half glucose, half fructose. Glucose enters the blood rather quickly while fructose takes a bit longer, therefore ensuring that your blood sugar levels will stay steady over the night period of 6-7 hours where you won’t consume anything else that can provide your brain with the energy it needs.

This advice made a real difference in my life so I hope you will try it out as well. And if you do, please get back to me with your experiences with honey before bedtime!

Note: It doesn’t have to be a table spoon. A tea spoon can be fine as well, depending on the individual. They key is always to experiment, to find out what suits you the most.

Main source: Seth Roberts blog

Other sources: 2007 study, 2010 study, 2012 study

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