Tagged "Healthy Alcoholic Drinks"


What’s the Deal with Alcohol?

Posted by Julia McVeigh on

When it comes to our health, where do we stand on alcohol, really? The broad consensus is that, generally speaking, cutting back on (or altogether cutting out) alcohol can have positive impacts for our health. After all, excessive alcohol consumption can do everything from shrink our brain tissue to enhance the risk of cardiovascular disease to increase our propensity to develop cancers of the liver, colon, breast, esophagus, and mouth. Phew. That’s enough to scare even the most fervent partier away from the bar for at least one night.

But then there are studies like this one that point to red wine’s antioxidant effects, which include helping our body increase levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. In fact, research has shown that moderate red wine consumption – a glass of wine per night for women, up to two for men – can also help lower our risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And health benefits aside, let’s not forget that for some of us, a casual glass of wine at dinner, a cold beer on the beach, or a fun cocktail out with friends is a source of pleasure. Must we sacrifice that in order to preserve our brain tissue?

The simple answer is no. But the more complex is answer is… it’s complicated.

 

“JUST ONE” CAN BE HARD

Since alcohol is an addictive substance, it can be hard to display restraint when consuming it: Even the most prudent of us will admit to letting one glass of wine slide to three on occasion. At that point, unfortunately, most of its beneficial effects are lost. Add in the fact that some of us our genetically predisposed to have issues practicing restraint (alcoholism is a disease). This creates a situation wherein alcohol simply isn't a healthy choice for everyone. 

 

ALCOHOL IS PERSONAL

Along those lines, alcohol is a depressant – at least, when you over-consume. That’s to say, many people enjoy alcohol for its stimulating effects: It makes them laugh harder, dance more easily, and generally feel “loosened up.” But when that casual drink turns to shots at the bar, alcohol’s depressant effects take hold – which can be seriously destructive if you are already depressed or suffering emotionally. This is why it’s incredibly important to be mindful of your mental and emotional health when consuming booze.

 

NOT ALL ALCOHOLS ARE EQUAL

Moreover, the type of alcohol you are drinking is important. Even though you may love your mojito, it is loaded with sugar and empty calories that immediately get stored as fat. This is why it’s important to choose wisely: We recommend sticking with heart-healthy red wine or high-quality tequila paired with seltzer and a wedge of citrus. Take your time to really enjoy these drinks, ideally sipping on them with food. And, yes, of course you can have your mojito once in a while! 

 

IT’S ABOUT INTENT

Alcohol isn’t the devil. But it should be consumed in moderation and, in our opinion, in settings that bring you joy. I grew up in a very healthy, active family and my parents drank a glass of red wine every night at dinner – mostly because my dad is a bit of an oenophile and it really enhanced the food. It’s a ritual that I think is healthy, enriching, and has been practiced in societies like France and Italy for years. But if you are drinking simply to get drunk, you are drinking for the wrong reasons – period. So, always ask yourself: Why am I drinking? The answer may be sobering.

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Summer Sips: Healthy Summer Cocktails

Posted by Amina AlTai on

Summer fun calls for summer drinks! With all of the BBQs and parties, we might find ourselves reaching for sugary cocktails and calorific beers. If you want to stay looking fierce and tight, look to these delicious low-calorie beverage alternatives! You can finally have your cake and eat it too!  What more could a gal (or guy!) ask for from a cocktail?

 

The Pro-jito

This is one of my favorite recipes and and tastes so much like the real thing, but has significantly less sugar and calories! What’s the icing on the cake? This cocktail has a dose of healthy probiotics to maintain a healthy digestive track.

 

Ingredients

 

1/4-1/2 cup light rum

2 15oz bottles of Kevita Mojita Sparkling Probiotic Drink

Quartered limes

1 tbsp. of coconut sugar

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Directions

Mix your rum and Kevita together and gently stir. Set in the fridge for 30 minutes or until chilled. Moisten your glasses with the lime wedge, and drip in the coconut sugar until the rim is covered. Pour your drinks, add the sprig of mint and enjoy!

Can’t find Kevita in your local Whole Foods or grocery store? Don’t fret. Try this alternate version that is just as healthy and delicious.

2 large limes, peeled and cut into pieces

4 cups water

2/3 of a cup of agave (add more or less based on your palate)

1/4-1/2 cup light rum

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Quartered limes

1 tbsp. of coconut sugar

Add 2 cups of water, the rum, the limes and agave to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve. Add the 2 additional cups of water and place in the fridge until chilled. Moisten your glasses with the lime wedge, and drip in the coconut sugar until the rim is covered. Pour your drinks, add the sprig of mint and enjoy!

The Kombucha Cosmo

We all love a good cosmo from time to time, but this one is sure to make any wellness warrior weak in the knees.

Ingredients

½ a cup of vodka

½ ounce of lime juice

1 16 ounce bottle of Cranberry Kombucha

A lemon twist

Directions

Mix all of your ingredients together and place in the fridge until chilled. Pour into a glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Cucumber Blueberry Gimlet

This one is light and fresh, just like you after a workout.

Ingredients

¼ cup of blueberries

2 ounces of gin

1 tbsp. of agave nectar

2 ounces of fresh lime juice

A dozen slices of cucumber

A few sprigs of mint

Ice

Directions

Add your cucumbers, mint and berries to a bowl and muddle until the juices are released. Add to a cocktail shaker along with the gin, agave, lime juice and ice. Shake well and serve!

The Avocado Margarita

This one might sound like a cross between a margarita and guacamole, but trust me, it tastes like a dream! Plus, the avocado helps prevent blood sugar spikes people often experience with alcoholic beverages.

Ingredients

1 Medium avocado

1 ½ cups of ice

3 ounces of lime juice

2 tsps. of agave

4 ounces of tequila

2 ounces of triple sec

2 strawberries for garnish

Directions

Add your avocado, ice, lime juice, agave, tequila and triple sec to a blender and blend until smooth. If you like a salted rim, go for it, but choose a healthier salt like pink salt. Pour your margarita into your glass and garnish with a strawberry. Sip away, guilt free!

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