Thirty days without alcohol (or very limited alcohol) …. but WHYYYYYYY??!! Let’s get real- for many people, this is the toughest part of the T30C. All week you’ve stuck to balanced, clean meals, resisted the numerous temptations that seem to be around every corner, and sipped herbal tea before bedtime. So Friday comes, and by golly, you want an adult beverage! Let’s talk about how alcohol can fit into a Clean lifestyle…
What’s in for ME?
- Alcohol is often associated with enjoyment, pleasure, social gatherings, and relaxation.
- Moderate alcohol consumption can have some positive effects on health, such as lowering incidence of cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.
What’s the Downside?
- Alcohol has depressant properties, can be addictive, as well as easy to over-consume. In excess, it can even damage the liver.
- Possible side effects of drinking include: loss of inhibitions, coordination, & fine motor skills, dehydration, blood sugar spikes, trouble burning fat, bloating, headaches, stomach aches, lack of energy, brain fog, and anxiety.
- Alcohol consumption often leads to a feeling of hunger, and can cause cravings for un-Clean food choices, once your inhibitions are lowered.
What’s T30C’s “Stance” on it?
On the Challenge: 1-2 drinks on the weekend (zero for Super Cleaners!)
Off the Challenge: Moderation is the way to go!
And because we are talking about alcohol, we have to go a little further and give you even more ways to be smart about your libation intake ;)
ALL DRINKS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL, so here are our top picks:
- Wine– when possible choose wine made with organically grown grapes and without added sulfites. Red wine has the added benefit of the antioxidant resveratrol which can help to combat cancer and reduce signs of aging when consumed in moderation. (Note: a 5oz glass of wine contains approx. 4g carbs, 1g sugar. The drier the wine, the less sugar it contains.)
- Clear, gluten-free spirits such as 100% agave tequila, gluten free and non-flavored vodka (potato or grape), gin, & clear rum
- Low-sugar, gluten-free hard cider (e.: Commonwealth Cider Traditional Dry, Harpoon Cider, Samuel SmithOrganic Cider, Angry Orchard Ginger)
- Mixers: water, club soda, muddled herbs & fruits (i.e. ginger, mint, basil, berries, watermelon), coconut water, kombucha, splash of fresh-squeezed juice (i.e.: grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange)
Here’s what you should avoid:
- drinking anything in excess
- beer- light, dark, and everything in between
- sweet drinks like pina coladas, daiquiris, and mudslides
- wine coolers
- sweet white wines and dessert wines, such as port
- liqueurs (Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Kahlua, etc.)
- drinks mixed with soda, diet soda, energy drinks, and syrups
- drinking and driving
Here are a few additional suggestions:
- Eat a balanced meal beforehand.
- Drink lots of water- before, during and after alcohol consumption.
- Be mindful of how your body responds.
- Finish drinking several hours before bedtime, since alcohol can disrupt your sleep.
- Be responsible!
The Bottom Line:
Make educated choices, and don’t let alcohol sabotage all your Clean efforts! Choose the right beverages and have them in an intentional, responsible way. Keep your overall health in mind and focus on how you want to feel. If you want to have a drink, and you can do it in a way that aligns with your health goals, then go for it :)
Most importantly – Mocktails are ALWAYS a delicious alternative. For a super tasty one, try our Cranberry Lime Mocktail!