Sunday, May 1, 2016

Do you have a drinking problem?

I've spent most of April highlighting NC Craft Beer month, but ironically, April was also Alcohol Awareness Month. The April issue of Men's Health featured an article that helped me understand my ability to hold my liquor aka drink with the big boys. According to the article in Men's Health, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism calls my ability Alcohol Use Disorder.

Since college, I've prided myself in being able to consume hefty quantities of quality liquor and beer (often simultaneously). I honed the skill even more in my Paid to Party days. Any given week could include free liquor at events not too mention shots with friends, club owners and promoters or drinks at the house. #Realtalk

I've always known that my ability isn't a healthy indulgence, and nullifies much of my fitness efforts. My philosophy was always that I workout to eat and drink. But in February, I vowed to cut out alcohol for three months. My exception was covering specific events such as beer festivals and bourbon tastings, but I limited myself to a couple drinks at these events. No social drinking with friends or at home.

My goal was to bring my tolerance level down to something more normal for a person my size. It worked for a while. I did well in February and March. In the last two weeks, I've bar hopped in New York and now I'm in Amsterdam. I checked out beer gardens and breweries in Belgian. Truthfully, my tolerance is as strong as ever, but so is my determination to practice better moderation.

If you want to self diagnose whether yourself, take this quiz. It may confirm that suspicion in the back of your mind or give you peace of mind.


Goodbye for now

Sip + Play Charlotte is taking a hiatus. I've enjoyed reconnecting with old friends in the nightlife scene and making new ones for the last year and half. Documenting the city's transformation through the prism of entertainment and nightlife has always been my favorite beat. Since launching Sip + Play, I've said goodbye to the trendsetting Cosmos, reconnected with friends at the Comedy Zone and watched my Irish buddies transform an old barbershop on Central Avenue, among many other discoveries.

It's been fun. It always is.

When I first started covering nightlife more than a decade ago, club owners and promoters aspired to bring Miami and Las Vegas to Charlotte. Clubs like Hom and Phoenix transported us to cooler nightlife vibes. Club goers flocked to neon and club music. NoDa and Plaza-Midwood were beginning to flourish as counterculture hang out spots. 

Today, the nightlife scene is so much more diverse. Craft breweries are new players on the bar scene. The explosion of restaurants has turned eating into a form of entertainment. Promoters no longer simply throw dance parties. There are paint parties, food events and bar fit activities. Charlotte still has fancy clubs, but even more neighborhood bars in Plaza-Midwood and NoDa provide fun alternatives. 

I will continue writing occasional event coverage, especially CIAA, on However, I'm excited to focus more on my other passion - fitness. 

I created several fitness related posts on Sip + Play because I like to marry my passion for working out and partying. My new project is My Workout Buddy, a fun way to get fit. The My Workout Buddy CLT FB page will be more robust in coming weeks. IG and snap chat will follow.

As always, see you in the streets or maybe on a hiking trail...

Dancing allowed, driving isn't

This is my kind of Sunday! Two fitness activities and beer. Yes! See you in the streets...

BeerFit - Take a dance conditioning class and drink beer at Dance.Beer.Repeat. It’s interval training with dance and music. 1 p.m. Unknown Brewing, 1327 S Mint St. Details.

No Cars! - Leave the cars at home for Open Streets 704. It’s a full day of activities from Memorial Stadium in Elizabeth to 36th Street in NoDa. It winds through Villa Heights, Optimist Park, Belmont and First Ward. Bring your bikes or get one from B-Cycle. There are four zones for organized activities: Arts and crafts in NoDa, a Family zone and green zone in Belmont and Optimist Park and a Wellness zone in First Ward. Food trucks will be near the center of the route, with easy access to Cordelia Park and the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. Noon - 4 p.m.

FYI:  BIKE! Charlotte starts today and features more than two weeks of bike-related events and promotions to encourage more bicycling in Charlotte.