Whether it’s for religious reasons, health reasons or because you’re in recovery, it can really be a challenge to stay sober, but still have fun and maintain your sanity. Most people are not aware of the effect alcohol has on decision-making ability, reaction time, and general behavior. So this holiday, just remember these 3 tips whether you are hosting or going to a party:
- Have something fun to drink – I will share a few mocktails that your friends and family will be jealous of.
- Always have a drink in your hand – People will always offer you a drink if you are empty handed.
- Take advantage of your sobriety – You will save money, you will remember everything that happened, you can drive people back home, and you will save on calories, if you are following any diet.
Now, if you are looking to stay sober but still have one of those fancy drinks in your hand, I got you covered. Here’s my top 3 easy-to-do mocktails:
2 oz aloe juice
1.25 oz no-sugar-added cranberry juice
.5 oz lime juice
.75 oz honey syrup
.25 oz cherry syrup (or grenadine if unavailable)
Shake and strain all of the ingredients into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.
3 oz Torani Blue Raspberry Syrup
9.5 oz sour mix
9.5 oz lemon-lime soda
Combine ingredients in goblet (or glass). Garnish with two blue gummy/marshmallow sharks inside glass/goblet and one on top.
2 oz Pear juice
1 oz Lemon juice
.75 oz Rosemary-infused simple syrup
.5 cup sugar
3 sprigs rosemary
In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of water with sugar and rosemary until sugar has dissolved; allow to steep until mixture is cool and strain. Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into rocks glass (or serve up) and top with soda water. Garnish with a slice of pear.
Live to Create.
As a health and weight loss coach, I often get asked “What about alcohol? Can I still have a glass of wine or a beer?”
I get it. It’s a very socially accepted practice to get together with your friends, loosen up with a drink and talk about your current ups and downs of life. But, if you’re trying to live optimally, where’s the balance?
When it comes to this question, I believe in three things:
- Anything is possible and can work into your plan if you plan it.
- Know what and how the things you put into your body affect your body.
- Lifestyle is an important part of health.
Let’s dive deeper.
- When you know how many calories and/or grams of carbs you are to eat in a day, you can plan to have a glass of wine so that it works with your carb count. Of course, I never recommend that a person avoids eating carbs so that they may have a drink with their partner or friends. I do, however, encourage people to make an informed choice. If you know that you’re going out on Friday, you have the opportunity to start making some decisions around what that event will look like. Check out the menu online and choose what you will eat. If you want to have a drink, perhaps you’ll stick to protein and veggies for dinner and pair that with a great tasting wine. If you plan on having more than one drink, then you must choose how much you’re willing to go over your plan. It’s important to also acknowledge your tolerance with alcohol. If you know that after two drinks, all rules go out the window, maybe that’s not a good choice for you at this time. And remember, not too many people can argue with “I’m making healthier choices”.
- How is alcohol metabolized by the body and is it healthy for you? There have been a lot of talk about the health benefits of wine and some beers. Some even believe that there are properties in wine that have been shown to combat cancer. However, any of the studies completed to see the effects of this compound (resveratrol) have only shown benefits to rodents. No human studies can confirm this myth. Also, you probably already eat enough resveratrol from peanuts, pistachios, grapes, blueberries, cranberries, and even cocoa. When you drink alcohol, your liver goes on high alert to remove the “poison” from your bloodstream. This actually makes your blood sugar drop dramatically, potentially even putting you in a hypoglycemic state. Alcohol raises the levels of fat in your blood, which needs to get stored somewhere if you keep drinking. One of the important things about weight loss, and health in general, is managing blood sugar levels. If you are experiencing high peaks and low valleys of blood sugar, you will be misbalancing your hormones. This impacts your entire system.
- There comes a point in your health journey where you need to look at your lifestyle and circle of friends. Are you so strict in your choices that you’re losing friends? Do your friends respect that you are committing to something right now? Do you need to avoid them so that you can stay on track with your goals? These are all very crucial questions. You want your health journey to make you feel good and to help you enjoy a greater quality of life. This might mean that things in your life, as you currently know them, will need to change. Of course, when you look at this closely, remember that you always have a choice. In my opinion, it’s best to prioritize your health first. You can’t be a great friend to others if you can’t be a great friend to yourself.
Change is always hard in the beginning, messy in the middle and beautiful at the end. Enjoy the Holidays with the people who love and respect your choices. Plan your event and know in advance what are your rules and non-negotiables. And then stick to them. You’ll feel amazing when you do.
Alcohol can be a sensitive topic for many people, but sometimes we have to break out of our comfort zone to really get a handle on our journey and start seeing the results we want to see.
If you look at the history of human nutrition, alcohol has had its place in society since at least 2,700 B.C. with some records displaying alcohol-use as early as 7,000 B.C.
We have viewed alcohol as a way to unwind and relax, get fired up to party (even the Romans did this!), and in some instances, it’s been seen as a religious symbol.
But should we be drinking it when it hinders our ability to heal our bodies, and can increase the risk of certain cancers?
I stopped drinking alcohol before I turned 20, due to personal events that transpired in my life, but I would never pass judgement or tell somebody that they shouldn’t drink. It wasn’t my place.
When I started training and coaching people, however, things changed.
My job as a coach was to guide someone through a journey of exercise and nutrition, to a place of health and vitality. Anything that prevented my clients from achieving their individual missions, I saw as an obstacle to be removed.
There were two common obstacles that seemed to stand out above the rest. Sugar and alcohol. I can’t count the number of clients I had that would over consume alcohol at the weekend, or maintain a glass or two each night with dinner. Then they’d wonder why they hadn’t lost as much weight as they wanted to, or why they feel tired during Monday’s training session.
Everybody discusses sugar and how it should be avoided at all costs, yet we don’t seem to demonize alcohol in the same way – even though it’s the cause of 1 in every 20 deaths, across the world!
Alcohol often leads people to bad decisions, many of those involve food. Pizza, shawarma, Chinese cuisine – you name it. If it’s fatty, greasy, loaded with calories and delicious, it’s been consumed by people under the influence!
A couple of my clients liked to reference articles they read in popular magazines or blogs, about studies that show positive effects on heart health in men and women over 40. What the authors don’t write about, however, is that the researchers specify that it depends on the individual and their current state-of-health.
For example, a 65 year old man with a pre-existing heart condition that enjoys a glass of wine every other night with dinner, may find it more beneficial for his heart-health to continue the habit.
But if you take a young 25 year old female who loves working out and staying in shape, very rarely drinks, and is in great health – the disadvantages would greatly outweigh the benefits of suddenly picking up the habit of having a daily drink.
I’m not suggesting that you follow in my footsteps and stop drinking alcohol altogether, but I do suggest you research and consider the benefits and drawbacks for your individual state-of-health and decide whether it is right for you.
At Low Fat Low Carb, we always want you to take the steps that lead to improved health. If you feel your glass of red wine each night is an obstacle between you and successful eating habits, try making a change.
This is your journey, and these are your results. You are the one who decides what you eat, what you drink, and how active you are – make those decisions count!
To your health and happiness.
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