Most people think I'm pretty strait-laced and that's perfectly fine with me. But when I started writing this blog, I knew there'd be some things about myself I'd end up sharing. So, here's something you may not know about me: I'm totally addicted to sriracha sauce! The photo above is me holding up some to-go packets of this Thai-inspired chili sauce. My friend Brandon shipped this bag to me a few months ago and I'm eternally grateful. Although Brandon's not a pepper lover (he says toothpaste is hot enough for him!), he knew I'd appreciate this purse-perfect packets of awesomeness!
Actually, I have an affinity for pretty much all peppers—except for those that are so hot they make me cry. I learned there's a reason why I'm so drawn to them: peppers contain Capsaicin, the compound that makes hot peppers hot, causes your brain to release chemicals that make some people feel buzzed or high. So, I guess you could say I'm a hot pepper junkie!
I think it's interesting how when some people learn you're a pepper freak, they'll challenge you to see just how much heat you can handle. This is especially true if they're also into peppers. "What's the hottest pepper you've ever eaten?" they'll ask. Or they may even challenge you to a pepper-eating showdown. This happened to me at a sushi restaurant one time when the person I was with ordered a ghost pepper. "You'll just want to eat a little bit," he advised. "They call them ghost peppers because the heat sneaks up on you!"
Yeah . . . no! Honestly, I don't like anything sneaking up on me! And, it really burns me up (see how I did that?) that with some people, everything becomes a competition. I heard there's actually a game show called Hot Ones. Apparently the contestants compete with one another by answering trivia questions and eating progressively hotter chicken wings. That's definitely not my thing
On the other hand, if you're someone who's up for doing some pepper-popping here are some tips that might keep you in the game:
1. Slow Down While Eating – The more capsaicin you’ve ingested, the stronger your body’s reaction will be. Eating slowly keeps a steady but tolerable amount in your body.
2. Have Ice-Cold Drinks Handy – Ice numbs the nerves in your mouth to the point where they aren’t activated by the spice. Your body will still feel the reactions, but the immediate fire will be quenched.
3. Eat Peppers With Grainy/Bulky Foods – Crackers, bread, and rice give the receptors in your mouth a different kind of signal to focus on, which interrupts the intensity of the heat. Eating starchy foods might also help to absorb some of the capsaicin and keep it from entering your body so quickly.
4. Easy Does It! Build Your Tolerance Slowly – Unless you grew up in a culture with a particularly spicy cuisine, you probably don’t have the tolerance to handle foods with a lot of hot spice. Learning how to handle them takes a bit of determination. By eating a lot of increasingly hotter foods, you’ll build your tolerance gradually and come to appreciate the nuances in the different kinds of spice!
5. Don't Eat Peppers If You're Stressed Out - Studies have show that stress worsens the effects of peppers on the body. (So, perhaps until after all this Covid stuff is over, consider taking a pepper break!)
If you eat too many peppers, just remember, the effects of spicy foods on our bodies only last about fifteen minutes after you stop eating. If you overdo it, just grit your teeth, drink some ice water, and know that all will be well soon.
A final thought on this—some have compared the "high" felt after eating peppers to what happens when you exercise. Since your body is releasing endorphins, you begin to experience feelings of happiness and for some, even euphoria. So, maybe the next time you want to get that "runners high" but don't feel like pounding the pavement, a couple of squirts of sriracha sauce might just do the trick!
2020 Closet ClothesSure Challenge Week 29
Started off the work week with this classic dress from Ann Taylor. It's perfect for business on a hot Texas day! In the colder months, I throw on a black blazer. Love the dramatic draped neckline and length. I purchased this several years ago and will continue to hang onto it for a while!
From White House Black Market, I adore this light, flowing summer dress with its fun, collared neckline. You can't see it in the photo, but it actually ties in the back and drapes down the shoulders.
Interestingly, when I submitted this week's selections, I had a number of people on FB and Instagram who guessed that this outfit was the one getting the boot. Nope! This one's a keeper—but I'll keep it in mind and maybe wear it a couple more times before I say goodbye. After all, I still feel like a ten in it and I've got the perfect matching shoes!
Another great summer dress from Ann Taylor. This one has always reminded me of poppies for some reason. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the accents are actually navy which is why I normally wear it with coordinating navy accessories. Like Monday's dress, this one has been in my closet for years. In the winter, I'll add a navy blazer so I can wear the dress year-round.
Well, we've made it to Thursday and as you've probably guessed, this is the only outfit that I'll be shedding this week.
The jacket and matching trousers are from New York & Company. I'm not a huge fan of wearing tan but I do like pairing it with turquoise. The silk top is from Ann Taylor (I'll hang onto it).
For the record, this suit was overwhelmingly voted "most likely to get the boot" across all my social media channels. I definitely agree! In fact, I can't even remember the last time I wore the pants (aside from taking this photo this past weekend). Now that I have them on, I recall why I haven't put them on in so long—the zipper will not stay up!!!! So, I'm constantly having to make sure my fly is closed every time I get up from my desk. Too high-maintenance for me!
From The Garden . . .
Those of you who've been reading my blog, know that my husband James and I love gardening. I snapped a photo recently of this adorable rabbit (hopping around our neighbor's front yard). I suspect this little guy is guilty of nibbling on our groundcover, but I'm going to cut him some slack knowing that the neighborhood hawks and other bunny-hunters are always on the lookout for a tasty treat. I hope he's careful!
Speaking of being careful, have you noticed lately that instead of people just saying goodbye to one another, they're adding things like, "Stay safe, be careful, or take care." And, of course, most folks are refraining from handshaking and hugging.
I hope that in the midst of everything that's going on, you're not living in fear. Remember, God is in control and hope is on the move. Here's what the Bible tells us in Genesis 28:15:
"Behold, I am with you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you."
Praying for peace over our country and each of you -
In Him -