Less Booze 🍹
I have never been a major drinker (whatever that means), but I grew up in an Italian home and my father made his own wine (don’t be jealous - it was not that good.) So there was regular wine at dinner time and other drinks for holidays and parties. I drank socially when Hubs and I were first married, and then maybe a little more when I was a stay-at-home mom with two kids under the age of two.😬 Fast forward to peri-menopause and I started to notice how alcohol negatively impacted my sleep and how crummy I felt the next day. Now here I am in full menopause (is this TMI? We’re friends, right?) and I pretty much can’t tolerate it unless I jump through a few hurdles:
*not too close to bedtime
*each drink must be balanced with two glasses of water
*no mixing alcohols
*electrolytes must be consumed before bed
*not on an empty stomach
I mean, if I have to work this hard to make alcohol work for me, it’s probably a sign that it’s not worth it. And in fact, there are no benefits to alcohol. No, there are no scientific studies that red wine is good for you. You’d have to consume a ton of red wine to get the benefits of resveratrol, and then you’ve negated the effects with all that alcohol! There may be certain alcohols that are LESS bad for you than others, but it’s pretty much a toxin, a Group 1 carcinogen actually. Sorry. Truly, I am. I still have a drink once every three or four weeks, but I just feel better without it.
Many people have just gone alcohol-free last month either by participating in “Dry January” or following the Whole30 diet. And a lot of you have reported feeling great, better sleep, etc. So let’s discuss how to make alcohol less a part of our lives, if you’re interested. If you’re not interested, no worries. See you for next week’s newsletter!
I have been on a mocktail kick for a few years and I’ve noticed more and more prepared mocktail brands. Personally, I tend to make my own concoctions for the same reason I like to cook my own food - I can control the quality of ingredients, quantity of certain ingredients (e.g. sweeteners), and it’s less expensive. The only prepared mocktail that I have actually liked is Ghia (not sponsored), but it’s too pricey IMO.
Before I share a few mocktail recipes and combinations, here are some tips for you to try, but not all of these may be appropriate for recovering alcoholics:
If you are trying to feel part of the party and you’re not drinking alcohol, put your drink - even sparkling water - in a wine glass or other glass you might serve alcohol.
Garnishes can make any drink more fun. Some of my favorites, depending on the season, are fruits, especially citrus, berries, and stone fruits; herbs like mint, basil and rosemary; vegetables like cucumber slices/ribbons/spears and chili pepper slices; edible flowers.
Have a pitcher of a non-alcoholic base and then have everyone else add alcohol to their own glass.
Juices are a popular ingredient in mocktails, but I try to keep very sweet juices to a minimum since they spike my blood sugar way too fast. Lower glycemic juices can include lemon, lime and grapefruit, pomegranate, straight cranberry, and pre-made green vegetable juice from a juice bar. I make my own ginger juice at home and freeze it in ice cube trays.
Brewed and chilled herb teas make a great base for mocktails! My favorite is hibiscus which is a gorgeous red color, but green tea and mint tea are also delicious.
If you don’t need to eliminate alcohol 100%, try adding some “bitters” to a mocktail base. You won’t have the hangover or buzz, but you may enjoy the botanical element.
Lastly, I’m not qualified to discuss all the reasons everyone drinks and how to replace that, but I have come to accept that limiting alcohol is not a punishment and I can still be fun and relaxed, and enjoy the company of my friends. If you struggle with quitting or at least auditioning moderation, try reading Not Drinking Tonight by Amanda White.
Here are my favorite mocktails, but I would really love for you to share your favorite recipes, tips, mocktail brands, etc. Thank you!
Strong hibiscus iced tea + fresh lime juice + mint + sweetener to taste (I like stevia) + sparkling water recipe here
Fresh ginger juice + fresh lime juice + mint (optional) + sweetener (I like stevia) + sparkling water recipe here
3 ounces cold green tea + 1 ounce apple juice + ½ ounce lime juice + sweetener to taste + fresh cucumber slices
*Spindrift sparkling beverage (try grapefruit) with a splash of apple cider vinegar
*Muddle (mash) ½ cup frozen/defrosted strawberries or mango until pulpy + juice of ½ lime + sweetener to taste + a slice of jalapeno if desired + a few sprigs of cilantro or basil + sweetener to taste + sparkling water (add salt to the rim for a margarita feel)
*Lemon, apple or ginger kombucha + a splash of apple cider vinegar + a sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary
Ok, let’s hear what you have to say!
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I have a few that I like - LMNT is my favorite. I also have tried Liquid IV, Re-lyte, and Hydrant.
I am so curious about Aplos! Thanks for the great tip. It sounds like the perfect mocktail base. I'm going to look for it!