Holiday cocktails… a yay or a nay?…definitely a yay!
This time of year is FILLED with drinking, booze, and loads of treats; and even though cocktails get a bad wrap… you can CERTAINLY have and enjoy them without doing too much damage.
I get a TON of questions about whether cocktails are something that should be included, because truthfully many of my clients come to me feeling worried and anxious that their holiday cocktail regimen will launch them off the wagon and into a terrible abyss… but not so fast, friends! You CAN enjoy it ALL.
I want to share with you the tips I share with my clients about holiday imbibing and how to enjoy it ALL while feeling balanced.
Feel Good Tips for Enjoying Your Holiday Cocktails
Watch the anxiety.
Yep, starting with this one. Alcohol can definitely boost anxiety, especially during times of the year when we might be feeling a little more anxious anyway. If you’re feeling like you’ve been drinking a little more than usual and you also feel anxious, be conscious, and work on backing down a little
This is NOT a new one, but seriously it helps. Alcohol consumption can cause your kidneys to produce more urine and as a result it’s easier to get more dehydrated, so including more water during these days can help. Electrolyte rich beverages are also helpful to promote hydration (no more than 12 oz daily and choose as unsweetened as you can).
Sweat it out.
There’s nothing a little sweat can’t help. Including getting rid of the excess booze (sorry neighbor!). Sweating it out after a big night out can help you detox a little faster “literally.”
Take your bitters.
I think bitters can help with everything, honestly. In this case, bitters help to promote better liver function and therefore helps your liver to process the alcohol more efficiently and more effectively. I like these ones.
Up your self care.
Remember I talked about anxiety up top? Not getting enough self-care time can boost anxiety without even adding the alcohol. So make sure you take some time to take care of yourself… and read my post here about self care during the holidays.
Choose the drinks you drink the slowest (and like the most).
In conversations with clients recently we were discussing which drinks various clients found they were drinking most quickly (which do you drink the quickest?)… drinking your drinks more slowly can help with reducing total volume (well duh). So think about it and choose these ones. For example, for ME – I drink wine the fastest… so I choose to do a cocktail if I want to slow down.
Check into any potential sensitivities you might have.
I’m allergic to plenty of alcoholic beverages, so I’m one to speak here, but something that might be helpful to those of you reading this post who are also sensitive. Color changes in your hands (mine turn red), changes in heart rate (now or later), headaches, anxiety… your body may not like the alcohol, or more often the TYPE of alcohol you’re drinking. Safest for me is often Italian red wine, and yes I drink it quickly, but I’ve found that it has the least of these side effects. For those of you with NO sensitivities, drink on (though seriously I have not found a single person with NO sensitivities :)).
Eat while you drink
Another typical tip. But drinking on an empty stomach can get you drunk MUCH faster. So make sure you’re fed while you’re drinking. I like to have my clients think of their drinks as their “carb” in the meal, so if you’re drinking be mindful you’re not loading up on carby carbs for the entirety of the meal… yes it’ll help you slow down your drinking, but it won’t help you feel light tomorrow.
Now I KNOW all of you want these tips too… So which cocktail is the “best” for you to drink?
Safe answer, the one that makes you the most satisfied in the least quantity.
A few more tips for lightening up your classic drinks:
If you’re drinking a classic Cosmo…
Try choosing a vodka soda with a splash of cranberry juice, you’ll save about half the calories and a lot of the sugar as well per every cocktail.
If you’re drinking (or making) a classic White Russian…
Try swapping out the cream that’s often used to make this drink for fat free or low fat organic milk or unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
If you’re drinking mulled wine (gosh I love this stuff)…
Try swapping out regular wine or a wine spritzer instead, you’ll save yourself calories and sugar.
If you’re drinking a margarita (LOVE these too)…
First, try to choose a smaller portion of margarita (you’re like, yeah right Isabel!), and secondly you can save both calories and sugar by having a “skinny” margarita made by choosing simple tequila, limes, lime juice and agave.
A few other drinks I love…
- Manhattan: It’s simple and not loaded with a bunch of garbage.
- Anything with bitters: Add these to vodka or another liquor, and yum.
- Make a spritzer: This is easy, add some soda water to your wine and voila!