What Happens In Your Body When You Drink? The Biology of Getting Drunk

Many adults have experienced intoxication, more commonly known as getting drunk. A biological process occurs in your body when you drink alcohol that causes intoxication. The body rapidly absorbs alcohol, mostly through the walls of the small intestine. The liver processes most alcohol. Alcohol also affects your kidneys, causing increased urination and possible dehydration, which can result in a hangover.

Most people want to know “how much is too much to drink.” The legal intoxication limit is .08 percent nationally for a person to be considered a drunk driver. Alcohol affects every person differently, depending on their sex, how much food they have eaten, their overall health and their tolerance for alcohol. Even two drinks can cause intoxication in some people.

The effects of alcohol also vary based on the amount of alcohol consumed. One or two drinks usually cause a euphoric feeling. Three to six drinks cause sleepiness and a lack of coordination. Increasing alcohol consumption results in confusion, a stupor, a coma and eventual death.

Provided by: BestCollegesOnline.org


Biology of Getting Drunk Infographic

fish on green background

Sneak Nutrition into Your Loved Ones! Tip #2: Miso

Next on the sneaky mission for stealth vitamins… Miso!

Miso is one of the most nutrient packed things I can think of off the top of my head.  B-vitamins, enzymes, protein and goodness (vitamin G) are all contained within small amounts of this Japanese salty paste.  I’ve been told it’s similar to Marmite which hails from Australia, but I haven’t confirmed this for myself, just relying on hear-say.

How do you hide this quite distinctive taste you ask?  Think salty, think savory;  after all it is used traditionally as a soup stock.


  • Mash and mix well with whatever you are combining it with.
  • Use the paste not instant powder for maximum health benefits.
  • Don’t boil, fry, or microwave to keep the nutritional content intact – treat it gently, like a delicate flower of the stock family.
  • keep in mind the different colours have different shades of flavour:  whites to light-yellows are sweeter and milder, yellows to dark-reds are saltier and stronger.

#2. Miso it Up

1. Sneak a bit into that cup-o-soup package when you mix in the boiling water (shhhhh…) not too much though, enough to make the fuss-pots think they are going slightly crazy, but not enough to suspect that you might be the culprit.

2. Mix equal parts Mayonaise and Miso into a smooth (ish) paste and use as a spread for sandwiches or burgers.  I’ve especially gotten away with it on breakfast egg-sandwich-with-cheese type things.

3. Mix equal parts Tahini and Miso and thin with warm water to use as a savoury sauce or gravy on things as diverse as asparagus (haha) to potatoes or meats.  –This tip I gleaned off a friend nutritionist (link soon).

4. Use in a cheesball!  Yes, cheeseball, the creamy, sharp, herby things you bring to dinner parties.  They are always asking for worcestershire sauce or other savoury condiments, just start off light and add Miso to taste, remembering that letting the cheeseball sit brings out more flavour.

Have fun!

Looking for a Green Christmas? Who Needs Snow when there is Frozen Algae!

Need some extra pep to get you though this busy time of the year, with the side effects of good health?

Just a quick note to let you know that on of my favorite products, E3Live is having a Holiday Special!

You can get 20% Off Your Order!
Valid from Dec. 12th to Jan 2nd (midnight to midnight EST)

This will give you a chance to stock up on your favorites, buy extra for friends, or just treat yourself!  They even have a section for gifts under $10 this year.  So if you want something unusual for the person who has everything or who doesn't go for the regular candy-type gifting, this is an option.

*Special Tip: Use coupon code: HOLIDAY2011 during checkout

Click Here to See their Superfoods and Gifts

Cheers and Happy Season even if you don't get many holidays…!

Vancouver & Vitamin D should be a Mandatory Combination

They already make us pay premiums on healthcare here in BC, unlike any other province in the country, they may as well do something useful like give you a discount on your fees if you are taking vitamin D.. especially if you live in Vancouver.  November is the time you start to realize that if you work in an office, you can easily go all week without seeing the sun which rises at 8am and sets at 4:30.

Here, more than anywhere I've ever lived, have I noticed the complete scarcity of sunshine.  When there is a glimmer, people flock to the streets and the coffee shops, hoping to get a little warmth on their faces before the inevitable return of cloud cover and drizzle.

I've recommended Vitamin D a lot in my life for people who work inside or have depressive tendancies, or even wear too much sunscreen, this is the first time I've prescribed it for myself.  I found this great raw form from Garden of Life that has been working well so far.  (On the test subjects of myself and fiance – not exactly a controlled experiment, but we can get very cranky!!)

It's been a short time, but I have found myself with a slightly brighter take on my life, even as my sleep stays deprived.  One thing at a time.

Spring is in the Air, but Allergies need not be

Courtesy of The Vital Planet Health Shop

As winter thaws into spring, most of us look forward to leaving behind the ice and snow to welcome the warmth and blossoming flowers.  For those of us who suffer from springtime seasonal allergies, however, the changing of the seasons can be bittersweet as we face the prospect of days spent with constant sneezing and an unrelenting runny nose.

This need not be the case, though.  There are natural remedies available at your local health shop to help prevent and eliminate the annoyance and discomfort of seasonal allergy symptoms.

Natural Anti-histamines

Many allergy symptoms are caused by the inflammatory compound, histamine.  When there is an abundance of certain substances in the atmosphere, such as tree pollen in spring and grass pollen in summer, the immune systems of allergy sufferers will treat these harmless substances as toxins and unnecessarily produce histamine to combat them.  Fortunately there are natural supplements that can inhibit the release of histamine which, unlike pharmaceutical anti-histamines, have no adverse side effects.  Quercetin, a bioflavanoid found in many common foods, is the most recommended by health practitioners but there are other natural supplements with known anti-histamine properties such as Vitamin C and the herb Nettle.


As well as being natural anti-histamines, Quercetin and Vitamin C are also antioxidants which can assist in combating allergies.  Antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals, an atom or group of atoms that cause damage to cells.  This cellular damage can lead to many health problems including a weakened immune system and susceptibility to inflammation, both of which make us more vulnerable to seasonal allergies.  Coenzyme Q 10 and Grape Seed are other antioxidant supplements which have been shown to help in the allergy fight.

Immune boosters

A strong immune system can help prevent allergies.  Astragalus, Echinacea, and Garlic are among the most highly regarded natural supplements to improve the immune system.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, visit a health food shop near you and they will be happy to assist you in finding the right natural remedy to help you enjoy the beautiful spring and summer allergy free.   

Why I buy food locally for health and politics

 Sometimes when I try to explain to people why I do what i do in the kitchen, I get all caught up over myself trying to describe too many ideas at once.  I realized today that partially it is because I tend to wrap my love of food, politics and nutrition into one pretty little savory pastry package and then try to sugar coat it.

I want to be more eloquent when I describe the direct connection between what we put into our bodies, our health, and the health of the world around us.

Buying locally reduces:

  • the worlds pollution from transporting goods
  • unequal food distribution because of food fads and our exotic preferences
  • chemicals from trying to keep food fresh for long periods
  • irradiation out of fear of our exotic preferences
  • the disassociation of our body with our surroundings

Eating simply lets you explore basic nutrition and the subtleties and possibilities of flavour within certain food groups. 

Trying not to store my food in plastic is a way to conserve petroleum and minimize exposure to estrogen-mimicking compounds. 

Trying to avoid dairy, but also soy milk (and meat replacement soy products) which has sprung up as a replacement industry and still has the damaging effects of mass production/processed food.

Every single thing I do has been thought though at some time or another to the point where I may have indeed strayed from my original thoughts and simply adopted a lifestyle that I see fit.  But then, isn't that the point? 
My lifestyle, and what I choose to spend my time and money on in a daily basis… well what greater control do I have over the world than that? 
It is both political and integral to my health as a cellular and spiritual being.  (and I mean Made of cells! not living in the microwave era!!  –true as that may be)

I guess what I'm pointing out is live conscious, eat conscious, shop conscious, and feed your loves ones with care…and let's take it from there.

P.S. but please don't take away my coffee and cinnamon… or chocolate…and nuts, do nuts grow in Canada? Did I mention we should all try not to judge each other too?….
and bananas, avocados…. cheese from Europe, sushi…

Oh, Water… how do I count the ways?

As I now haunt the west coast of Canada, I constantly think that I have too much water in my life.  This would be external water.  What I am here to espouse is Internal water!  Otherwise known as hydration.

I am still baffled by the amount of people I meet who still don't try for the Doctor (no less!) Recommended dose of 8-10 glasses per day.  If a glass is 8oz… that's 2L of water!  Yes, you unbelievers!… 2 litres, minimum.

Now I have been lucky enough to grow up in a place where water is abundant.  As I listen to the stream outside my window, I do think about how I could possibly get enough water in the desert? Or does the body simply function differently?  I often worry about walking around the planet Dune and having to use recycled bodily water for hydration.  Have I simply been spoiled on water?

Well, those thoughts aside, water has helped me with:

  • PMS: water retention and bloating is caused by the body actually having too little water and having to store it.
  • Dry skin and lips, dry scalp
  • Sports, the muscles react better, faster and with less fatigue than if I have been lax in my water drinkage.
  • Constipation:  a dehydrated colon is a common cause of bowel issues. (magnesium helps the colon absorb the water)
  • Tiredness:  the body is made up of so much water, fluids is how almost every system in our body communicates (lymph, blood, digestive juices, intracellular fluid)
  • Headaches (mild-moderate):  some say that the glass of water you take with your 'Advil' is actually what cures the headache.
  • Toxicity:  soreness, tiredness, brain fog, joint problems, edema.  Water can dilute and flush toxins out of the body.
  • Thirst (haha)


Some books claim that dehydration is the cause of almost every major disease out there.  It's an extreme theory, but it doesn't hurt to try drinking water first, as it is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do for yourself (at least in my part of the world…)  Watch your electrolyte balance if you Only drink water (especially if you are sweating) and try to include some juices, herbal teas or (as all the hot yoga places say) Emergen-C.  Gatorade if you are desparate and in a sea of convenience stores instead of health food stores.

-what you are looking for is H20 with glucose, potassium, sodium and magnesium.  (limes or Apple Cider Vinegar, sea salt, molasses/raw sugar/maple syrup)
I will endeaver to find a tasty homemade substitute as I can't find my notes right now!

Just remember, when in doubt, drink water!

Talking to myself again..

It is time to get your B-vitamins, Bio-K, protein/fibre powder and stop eating that cheese!  You've been a very bad girl and you are starting to feel tired and crappy. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Weakness 1: wheat

why?  it is easy and tasty and cheap.

alternatives? more expensive, harder to find, nobody else wants to eat them with me and i love to share.

what is so bad about it?  it tends to be extremely processed, it is in EVERYTHING, I am blood type O so it produces harmful lectins for me, gluten and my stomach don't get along.  But oh for a good bowl of pasta!  I want it!  It makes me very happy!  and then it sends me into a pasta coma….


Weakness 2:  chocolate

why?  duh!  sugar, caffeine, fat and love all mixed into a food.

alternatives?  no…. just no

what is so bad about it?  the good stuff is pricey, the cheap stuff is full of everything BUT chocolate… The sugar keeps the hypoglycemic addiction running, feeds the yeast in the body, keeps me awake at night, makes me want more the next day.


Weakness 3:  dairy

why?  So very comforting and satisfying, melty, filling for the belly when there is no meat to be had, VERY easy to work with and makes everything taste good.  Oh, and is a very good excuse to drink wine.  Ok, clearly I have an issue as my own category was "dairy"… and clearly all I've written about is cheese…  Well, that is my Achilles heel.

alternatives?  Nothing quite like it (cheese i mean).  I have substituted oil, salt and avocado for the "satisfying-ness" of it in the belly.  Almond milk is a great milk substitute for me, I use it in everything from smoothies, to ovaltine, to pancakes.  Yogurt I am ok with.

what is so bad about it?  hard to digest, bad for blood type O, hard on the liver apparently.  I've been told from a Naturopath, 2 energy workers, Chinese doctors and my own evidence that it is bad for me.  Blocks me up and gives me things like eczema and foggy brain.  My energy is much higher when I don't eat it.


All this self analysis is stressing me out, so i think I'm gonna go make cheese sticks now… but i will eat a carrot too… the colour orange is supposed to be good for digestion

Vegetables are people too!

Has mom spent too much time in the garden??

Carrot man

So you wanna eat or talk philosophy?  Personally, I like doing both..

People gather using the backdrop of food for comfort, company, idea sharing, business, family and a myriad of other reasons.  Filling my belly and my brain at the same time is one of my favorite pass-times.  Not that i don't love eating in front of the TV as well (filling my brain in a different way), but if i don't have a meaningful meal once in a while, i start to feel like something is missing.  Focusing on the food and the people you are with is one way to counteract the isolation of many of our jobs and lives these days (she says while typing on her computer!..)  If i was rich I'd probably find a way to eat out everyday with people i liked.

This idea carries me into the preparing of food too.  Consciously cooking and choosing your ingredients becomes a way of spreading the love and the nutrients!

Weeds glorious weeds!

lovely weeds, wonderful weeds! (to the tune of  "lovely spam, wonderful spam")

My neighbours and landlords usually watch my gardening with  a suspicious eye….maybe it's because i might dig holes in the back lawn to put compost in….maybe its because i rejoice to see a field of dandelions to put that sunshine yellow in my salads and pancakes! 

I skulk around neighbours yards looking jealously at their chickweed and lambs quarters, wondering if they know what nutritional powerpunches they have right under their noses.
When taking care of my mom's garden, i am careful to grab all the weeds and take them home with me to put on my balcony…
They grow well!  They are super tasty, Pretty, and Good for you!

here are my favorites, as a lazy yet opportunist gardener:

  • chickweed (needs wet cool, light sun)
  • violets (same)-tiny wild pansy
  • purslane, i've only found in my garden once, in Hamilton, where it was very fertile but very HOT, interestingly sour and crunchy.
  • lamb's quarters (seems to just grow….you can see it in empty lots, abandoned ground…spinach like in its culinary actions)
  • dandelion, do i really need to describe? mmm, liver bitter….
  • plantain (city sidewalks, with grass, wherever people walk)
  • wild lettuce, grows all over the city with little spiky spines on it…but don't eat much, its a strong relaxant)
  • nettles, if you are lucky enough to live by a fertile creek or park where they hide under the big trees to enjoy the damp…you can identify by the invigorating sting.
  • i also really like aloe, which does grow as a weed in some places! (namely those places where i tend to get sunburned)

I know i have seen at least one example of each this summer, next year i promise to bring the camera with me… but the best thing to do is find someone (the local herbalist) to take you on a weed walk in your particular zone.

Health Yerself!