Whether you’re at a happy hour or a holiday party, these healthy tips and smart sip swaps will help you indulge in the fun without compromising your figure. Alcohol is certainly not a health food, but better beverage choices can support your blood sugar levels, reduce cravings, decrease post-drinking binge eating and lessen a hangover. Now you can partake in the festivities without ending up with a beer belly or hangover disaster.
Strategize Your Splurges
Plan two “cheat” meals per week to indulge. It’s not good to feel deprived or too strict with your nutrition, but you want to plan these meals ahead of time so you don’t take it too far. With that being said, plan your evening out wisely. It helps to make after party plans so you don’t get tempted by too many drinks.
Drink Green Tea
Before indulging in festive beverages or bar food, drink a cup of organic green tea. The high antioxidant content increases fat burning, reduces inflammation, and helps prevent a hangover via liver detoxification.
Keep It Simple
Nix most mixed drinks and beware specialty cocktails like a mudslide, chocolate martini, agave margarita, and any other fancy-sounding desserts in a glass. Stick to the basics to avoid a carb/sugar overload. Opt for healthier libations made from simple ingredients such as wine, lite beer or a spirit straight-up. Choose natural sweeteners like stevia, fresh fruit or 100 percent fruit juice. Replace conventional soda with Zevia, a healthier alternative sweetened with stevia and erythritol.
Alternate With Water
Water supports fat loss, promotes detoxification, and prevents you from drinking too many booze. Stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage consumed. Aim for one drink per hour and call it a night after 2-3 drinks.
Avoid a Liquid Diet
Balance your booze with food. Alcohol is absorbed faster on an empty stomach, which gives you a nice buzz, but wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels. Prevent a hangover and belly bulge by filling up on clean sources of proteins and natural fats, such as deviled eggs, smoked salmon, shrimp, meatballs, etc. Skip the fried foods, buffalo wings and bread basket.
10 Smart Sip Swaps
1. Sangria —> Red Wine
Sangria, the fruity Spanish punch, has about 16 grams of sugar per glass and most people rarely drink just one. In contrast, red wine has about 1 gram of sugar per glass. Pinot Noir is top shelf as it has high concentrations of resveratrol, an anti-inflammatory super antioxidant. White wine is also a good option.
2. Vodka Energy Drink —> Vodka Zevia
The caffeine in energy drinks keeps you from feeling alcohol’s effects, which will likely make you drink more and give you a killer hangover. Replace artificially sweetened energy drinks with Zevia’s caffeine-free options below. Vodka with 100 percent pure cranberry juice is also a good option.
3. Mixed Drinks —> Wood Aged Spirits
Swap those sugary mixed drinks, that are a hangover waiting to happen, for wood aged spirits. Unflavored distilled spirits in general contain zero carbs and research shows impressive antioxidant activity in Bourbon whiskey, Armagnac brandy and cognac. Whiskey, in particular, is rich in free radical fighting ellagic acid.
4. Dark Beer —> Lite Beer
Banish belly fat by choosing a lower carb option, such as wine, spirits or lite beer. Most beers are high in insulin-spking carbs. Higher insulin levels results in carb cravings and prevents fat burning — both contribute to the infamous “beer belly.” Gluten-free beer can also be a less inflammatory option.
5. Margarita —> Tequila, Zevia Soda, and Lime
Freshly made margaritas from simple ingredients are a great choice. Skip the pre-made mixes full of sugar, sodium, fake flavorings, and food dyes. For a healthier Strawberry Margarita, mix together: 4 shots tequila + 2 shots triple sec + handful fresh strawberries + Strawberry Zevia + 1 cup ice.
6. Chocolate Martini —> Grape Apple-Tini
Extra ingredients like crème de cacao and chocolate syrup pack in sugar to make this drink a monster on your metabolism. Try this Grape Apple-Tini… In a cocktail shaker, squeeze a couple fresh lemon wedges, top with 1.5 ounces of vodka and 5 ounces of Grape Zevia. Shake and garnish with fresh apples or grapes.
7. Pina Colada —> Paleo Pina Colada
This healthier, lower sugar version of a Pina Colada is made with only three ingredients. Simply blend 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk with 3/4 cup frozen pineapple and 2 1/2 ounces rum. Extra benefits: pineapple is rich in the anti-inflammatory enzyme, bromelain, while coconut milk is rich in fat-burning healthy fats.
8. Daquiri —> Paleo Berry Daquiri
Skip the syrup and sugar in typical daiquiris and add antioxidant-rich fruit. Combining alcohol to berries can increase antioxidant activity by 30 percent! Try this strawberry daiquiri and swap some honey for stevia!
9. Moscow Mule —> Skinny Moscow Mule
Replace the sugary ginger beer for a Zevia in this “Skinny” Moscow Mule. Pour over ice: 2 ounces vodka, 1 ounce lime juice, 3 ounces Ginger Ale Zevia and optional stevia. Garnish with mint and a lime wedge.
10. Mint Julep —> Mint Julep Twist
Another great opportunity to use Zevia… Fill a glass with crushed ice. Add 2 ounces Kentucky bourbon and 4 ounces Zevia Lemon Lime Twist. Stir and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Additional Zevia Cocktails
RumZe Cola: 2 oz rum + 4 oz Zevia Cola + slice of lime
Zemosa: 2 parts champagne + 1 part Zevia Orange + orange peel and zest
Zevia Screw: 1.5 oz vodka + 5 oz Zevia Orange + orange peel and zest
Orange Creamtini: 4 oz Zevia Orange + 1.5 oz vanilla vodka + 1/2 oz heavy cream
Root Beer Float: Zevia Root Beer + 1.5 oz vodka + vanilla
Zevia Mojito: Zevia Twist + lime slices + 8 spearmint leaves +1.5 oz rum