Brittany Darling of @wholefoodhealing is an accredited nutritionist and herbalist based in Sydney, Australia. Brittany has a wealth of knowledge in the field of diet and optimum wellness specialising in paediatric and women’s wellbeing.
The silly season is well and truly upon us and most of us are starting to receive our festive invites and looking forward to the various festivities at the end of the year brings. During the next couple of weeks, we seem to loosen the reigns on our strict health regimes and indulge a little bit more, especially in the alcohol department.
The truth is that alcohol can be part of a healthy lifestyle, however, there is a very fine line between alcohol being safe and alcohol becoming harmful. It’s the reoccurring, excessive consumption of alcohol that causes problems, and this is where the festive season becomes a bit of an issue.
When we think of the harmful effects of alcohol the first thing that pops to mind for most people is the liver, but excessive alcohol actually impacts numerous other organs of the body including your teeth and gut health.
Then there’s the dreaded hangover. There’s not many who wake up from a big night and go to grab the a green smoothie. Usually, we crave grease, salt, sugar or more alcohol to take the edge off. Aside from the negative effects of the alcohol itself, our dietary choices following drinking also have an impact on our body. If you are reaching for the fried foods multiple times a week to soothe your hangover you depriving your body of the essential nutrients it needs for the pathways to function optimally, and for overall health and wellbeing.
Although we really do need to be mindful about the effects that alcohol has on the body, it doesn’t mean you need to stop drinking altogether and there are some studies that have shown a few benefits to moderate alcohol consumption, particularly red wine. So it’s really a matter of us needing to learn how to drink more consciously.
10 tips for drinking consciously over the holidays:
1. Enjoy a well balanced, protein and a fibre-rich meal before you go out.
2. For every drink, you have, have 1 glass of water.
3. Look at the quality of what you are drinking. Steer clear of premixes, syrups, sugary cocktails and cheap wine and beer.
4. Avoid mixing chopping and changing your drink order throughout the evening.
5. Always ask for fresh lemon and lime juice over cordial.
6. Opt for BYO restaurants for group events, that way you know what your drinking and you’ve set your limit for the evening.
7. Don’t feel you have to drink at every party. Have a lunch and dinner event on the same day? Enjoy a couple of drinks with lunch and then don’t drink in the evening, or vice versa.
8. If you are having a bad time – leave! Don’t drink in the hope the evening and company will miraculously become more exciting.
9. Day drinking in the heat? Go for a good quality spirit like vodka, gin or tequila with soda and fresh lemon or lime to stay hydrated.
10. Drink a very big glass of water before bed.
Furthermore, ensure that what you are drinking is good quality. This means preservative-free wine, organic if possible, good quality spirits, drinks on the rocks or homemade/kombucha based/low sugar cocktails. Click here for the healthiest alcoholic drinks you can enjoy this festive season!