Tasty safe holiday drinks

Enjoying holidays and special occasions with family and friends doesn’t have to include alcohol. Here are some of our favorite recipes for holiday cheer without the negative side effects.


AAA "Great Pretenders" Party GuideCoco Manila

  • 3 oz.                papaya juice
  • 3 oz                 mango juice
  • 1 1/2 oz           cream of coconut or Coco Lopez
  • 1/2 tsp             orange zest
  • 2 oz                 heavy cream
  • 2 scoops          French vanilla ice cream
  • Blend all ingredients together until desired thickness. Top with whip cream and two slices of mandarin orange slices.


Cranberry Burst

  • 1 oz                 cranberry juice
  • ½ oz                grenadine
  • ½ oz                cherry juice
  • 2 oz                 Sprite
  • 2 oz                 Squirt
  • Blend ingredients and pour over ice. Makes 1 serving.



Yuletide Royal

  • 4 oz.           nonalcoholic sparkling wine
  • 2 oz.           unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1 oz.                    mango puree
  • 1 oz.           raspberry puree
  • 4 each         frozen raspberries
  • In a champagne flute, spoon raspberry puree first, then mango puree. Add pomegranate juice, slowly. Fill with nonalcoholic sparkling wine. Garnish with frozen raspberries.


Whether you serve alcohol or not at your parties, these drinks can spice up the night with something new and different. For a copy of the AAA “Great Pretenders Party Guide,” click here.



Debra Jay honored at Bishop’s Award Ceremony

Dr. Patricia Maryland (left) and Debra Jay

The Love First family is so proud of Debra. She was recently honored at the 54th Annual Detroit Bishop’s Dinner for her work in the field of addiction and recovery. She received the Sister Letitia Close Award, which recognized her efforts in helping women affected by the disease of addiction.


Dr. Patricia Maryland, President and CEO of St. John Providence Health System, presented the honor at a sold-out fundraiser. The event was held in the Grand Dining room the Detroit Athletic Club in support of treatment for Catholic clergy at Guest House.


Debra Jay is the author of No More Letting Go (Bantam 2006). She is also co-author of the best-selling Love First (Hazelden 2008) and Aging and Addiction (Hazelden 2002). She continues to work with families whose loved ones struggle with addiction or are in early recovery. Debra remains committed to moving the field of addiction treatment forward by developing trainings for clinical interventionists. She continues to work with the treatment community to develop new programs. For those of us who work with her every day we are in awe of her energy and creativity. She holds herself to a high standard and expects those who work with her to hold themselves to a similar standard. The next few years will be an exciting time for all of us who work with Debra Jay and Love First.




To Fight Addiction, Feed Your Brain

I’ll admit it. When I got sober, my diet was lousy. Fast food, doughnuts, cookies, ice cream and way too much coffee. The idea of eating right meant getting a salad to go with a full slab of ribs.


Although I was doing a good job of going to meetings, I was still beating my brain up. A constant flow of sugar and caffeine kept me on an energy roller coaster. I’d often stay out late at night talking with people from the meetings at the local greasy spoon, eating apple pie a la mode and drinking coffee until midnight. When I got up for work early the next morning, I often felt as bad as I did in my drinking days.


There’s a brief article on this subject here: Drew Ramsey, M.D.: To Fight Addiction, Feed Your Brain. One of the most important things people in early recovery can do is to start


Here are my top three physical things people should do to bolster early recovery.


  1. Eat three healthy meals a day. The real thing. Just like momma taught you. Watch the sugar, especially if it’s not part of a meal. Rebuild the body and brain you’ve been hammering the last few years.
  2. Limit caffeine after noon. And don’t expect to get a decent night’s sleep if you drink any coffee after dinner. You don’t need to be a speed freak. Eight hours of sleep will revolutionize your life. And if you read something in bed, you’ll sleep like a baby.
  3. Get some exercise every day. I don’t care how embarrassingly puny the exercise is, at first. Take a walk around the block, ride a bike, anything. If you want to give your body a treat, get a few sessions with a personal trainer at a gym to get you going. Or a yoga place. Whatever.


I’m in the best shape of my life now. I feel better, think more clearly and have more energy than I did at 30. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to follow all the directions.


-Jeff Jay



Opana overtakes OxyContin


 In many cases, robbers are asking specifically for Opana when they enter pharmacy stores. This attempted robbery occured on Feb. 27 at a Kroger Pharmacy in Fort Wayne, Ind. Fort Wayne Police Department

Painkiller abuse in the USA: Opana overtakes OxyContin. Good article in USA Today about the next wave of prescription drug abuse in the US. But as with Oxycontin, a new formulation may cause addicts to adapt a different strategy.

Jeff Jay

Welcome to the Phellowship!!!

Concert season is coming, and lots of sober people know how to party, too! Welcome to the Phellowship!!!. I think I’ll let Phellowship speak for themselves:


The Phellowship is a group of Phish Heads who choose to remain drug and alcohol free. We are not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Phish, or any other sober fan group. The Phellowship has absolutely no opinion on the issue of drugs and alcohol, and neither condemns or condones it. Our simple purpose is to provide “phellowship,” support and information to those who seek the comfort and camaraderie of other clean and sober people at shows. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stay substance-free at shows. Though The Phellowship consists primarily of those recovering from addiction, we are open to anyone who wishes to remain clean and sober at shows.”


Of course, this is primarily a Phish-oriented group, but how cool is that? There are others out there…


–Jeff Jay

One drink a day increases risk of cancer by 5%

People don’t like to acknowledge alcohol’s ability to surpass the immune system and promote disease. Still less do they want to talk about it in terms of cancer. But this new research is important to pass on.


One alcoholic drink a day increases rick of cancer by 5%.


Quoting from the article… The researchers from the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the University of Milan, in Italy, wrote in the journal: “Since several populations show a high prevalence of light drinkers among women, even the small increase in risk we reported — in the order of five per cent — represents a major public health issue in terms of breast cancers attributable to alcohol consumption.”

The new, new dumb: Paul Carr’s 12 Steps

Has Paul Carr’s article on alcoholism been popular inspite of being dumb or because of it? My Secret to Getting Sober –


Of course, it’s always popular to mischaracterize and bash AA. Carr isn’t very original; it’s rather familiar ground he re-plows. But he does it with brisk efficiency, and the fact that he’s been sober for more than two years gives him a certain credence, at least to those who don’t know better.



Carr did the usual stuff that alcohol abusers do when they want to quit drinking. He got in shape, got a girlfriend (or at least some dates) and got a new line of work. This approach doesn’t work for alcoholics, of course, but it’s a tried and true method for people with bad habits.


Although he refuses to recommend his quit-drinking-program to others (with a doozy of a disclaimer at the end of the article), Carr nonetheless codifies his method in steps. “Take that, AA!” he seems to be saying, as he runs merrily through the 12 Steps of Paul Carr.


At the end of the article, he seems to veer perilously close to conscious thought when he talks about “repairing all the broken aspects of your life.” But he’s not talking about his life. No! He wants to find new and better ways to preserve his favorite habits, like “reckless spending.” Americans will always love a Brit like this.


In running this fatuous article, the WSJ keeps up it’s storied tradition of running other fatuous articles, like its peerless defense of opaque credit default swaps. Hey, it’s the free market of ideas.


–Jeff Jay

Flying Over the Earth at Night

Fly over the earth from the International Space Station



APOD: 2012 March 5 – Flying Over the Earth at Night.



Astronomy Picture of the Day is part of my morning routine when I first get to my desk. But this video is above and beyond. Great for Sunday morning. Check out the amazing sights…


From the site: “Many wonders are visible when flying over the Earth at night. A compilation of such visual spectacles was captured recently from the International Space Station (ISS) and set to rousing music. Passing below are white clouds, orange city lights, lightning flashes in thunderstorms, and dark blue seas. On the horizon is the golden haze of Earth’s thin atmosphere, frequently decorated by dancing auroras as the video progresses. The green parts of auroras typically remain below the space station, but the station flies right through the red and purple auroral peaks. Solar panels of the ISS are seen around the frame edges. The ominous wave of approaching brightness at the end of each sequence is just the dawn of the sunlit half of Earth, a dawn that occurs every 90 minutes.”



The God of Your Understanding: Religion in AA

Mary Hynes, the CBC Radio host,  did a wonderful show earlier this year on spirituality in AA. More info here: | Tapestry | The God of Your Understanding: Religion in AA.


AA medallionThere is a nice interview with Rabbi Shais Taub, who styles himself “The Recovery Rabbi” and who gives a powerful Jewish perspective on the 12 Steps.


The program is available as a free podcast on iTunes (click on the link above and then look in the sidebar). This program was also broadcast on the Ideas program, also on CBC, and has become quite popular.


I first heard about the show from a non-AA friend of mine. He was fascinated by Carl Jung’s concept of “Spiritus contra Spiritum,” which was influential in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous.


Pass it on!




Paul Williams Is Still Alive Documentary Trailer

Photo by Matt Carr/Getty Images North America

For people who go to meetings in those funky church basements and community centers in southern Callifornia, Paul Williams is a giant. Now, there’s a documentary about the almost-forgotten songwriter and comedian that I can’t wait to see. He is irreverent and inspiring.


Watch the trailer. Paul Williams Is Still Alive Documentary Trailer | Geekscape.


Here are some notes from Wikipedia. Paul Hamilton Williams, Jr.[1] (born September 19, 1940) is an Academy Award-winning American composer, musician, songwriter, and actor. He is perhaps best known for popular songs performed by a number of acts in the 1970s including Three Dog Night’s “An Old Fashioned Love Song”, Helen Reddy’s “You and Me Against the World”, and the Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays”, as well as his contributions to films such as “Evergreen” from A Star Is Born and “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie. He has also had a variety of acting roles in films such as the villainous Swan in Brian DePalma’s Phantom of the Paradise (which Williams also co-scored, receiving an Oscar nomination in the process), as well as television, theater, and voiceover work for animation.


–Jeff Jay