By: Rachel Werner
When it comes to eating health-forward, there’s a plethora of information available to help keep a lady on track for achieving her wellness goals. But many healthy eating plans or trending diets prohibit drinking alcohol—a noble proclamation, yet one that can be difficult to adhere to. Personally, I struggle with total abstinence from drinking because living a fab foodie lifestyle significantly factors into my profession. Thus, rather than continuing to blindly overindulge at every menu tasting, I needed to invest a bit of time in learning how to imbibe within the nutritional parameters I’ve established as a priority.
As reported in last month’s Runner’s World article, when monitoring caloric intake, the less sugar the better is a good rule of thumb in terms of which alcoholic beverages should remain on your sanctioned list. For example, Bloody Mary’s, dry red wine, light beer and champagne cocktails are decent options for #fitlife enthusiasts. “But if you are going to continue drinking some alcohol, choose your drinks carefully. Healthier drinks will lower the impact on your body,” explained a weight loss specialist. “Go for better quality, more naturally produced wines and spirits…Too much sugar results in blood sugar fluctuations which can lead to energy dips, cravings and lack of concentration.”
Artisanal chocolatier Syovata Edari also strongly recommends going the extra mile to ensure the quality of the beverages at hand before going beyond an initial sip. “There’s a lot of encouragement for people to drink responsibly, but not nearly enough advice readily available on drinking respectfully,” she says. Take the time to do the research on what you’re consuming; purchase from vendors you trust; and inquire as to how they’re making the wine, beer and/or spirits you’re about to consume.” Edari also stresses good questions to ask, including “Is this alcohol biodynamic or organic?” and “Where are key ingredients sourced from?”
Once you confirm the producers have done their homework in regard to creating a quality libation, the next step is deciding when—and how much—to savor from time to time. “When keeping a healthy diet in mind, I recommend my clients have a homemade cocktail; preferably with Tequila. One ounce of Tequila has only 64 calories; it’s made from agave which means it doesn't have additional sweeteners,” explains personal chef and food blogger Sujhey Beisser. “Always be mindful of the drink size and limit yourself to one or two drinks on a special occasion.”
For me, it’s reassuring to know enjoying happy hour with friends does not necessarily mean sacrificing a faster run time on my next race day. Especially, if social drinking outings are always secondary to keeping one’s overall well-being in check. “Consumption of indulgences should be about the joy you can find in moderation,” Edari affirms. “A true pleasure—obtained from occasionally enjoying treats in small amounts—out of respect for the food, beverages and your own body.”
DIY Lime Spritz
The wildly popular brand White Claw has spawned an incessant number of hard seltzer lines to crop up in hopes of capitalizing on this party trend while the mass market is still clamoring for more. But here’s a secret: Making your version of this low caloric alcoholic bevy at home is easy, cheap and quick—the perfect triple threat worth making it a game night staple.
3/4 cup sparkling water (or soda water)*
1 ½ - 2 oz. vodka*
1 lime (quartered)
Add vodka to wine or a highball glass and top with sparkling water. Twist 2 of the lime slices over glass. Shave a segment of the rind of another piece and add to the glass. Then place the remaining segment on the side of the glass as a garnish, if desired.
* Both the sparkling water and vodka should be chilled before use (but feel free to serve over ice).
What's your favorite low-sugar or low-calorie alcoholic beverage? Tell us in the comments below.