A Healthy way to Drink in the New Year!

Standard
A good glass of wine makes everything fine- Thanksgiving 2013!

A good glass of wine makes everything fine- Thanksgiving 2013!

So the holidays are upon us, aren’t they? 9 more days until Christmas and a little over two weeks from the big drinking holiday, New Year’s Eve. Pretty much every adult I know over 21 will ring in the new year with a cocktail or two. Being an advocate for healthy living, I wanted to let you know what I feel are the five healthiest alcoholic beverages to drink, not just on New Year’s Eve, but any time of the year. Now, healthy to me means that not only is the cocktail low in calories, but it also has positive health benefits, and it tastes good too. That’s why you won’t see VODKA TONIC on my list. Yes, it is low in calories, but other than that it basically has no nutritional value and no flavor. Hence it is not a healthy cocktail in my book.

Here’s the thing though, QUALITY IS BETTER THAN QUANTITY when it comes to the healthiness of an alcoholic beverage. No cocktail is healthy if you have more than 2 of them, and if you get to four or more than it becomes toxic to your body. So my advice to you is, BE A MODERATE DRINKER. That’s the best thing you can do for your health. With that in mind, I will share my healthy cocktail list with you.

Number one healthiest alcoholic drink and my personal favorite- WINE!

Number one healthiest alcoholic drink and my personal favorite- WINE!

1. Red or White Wine- This one is one of the healthiest and my favorite so I’m going to call it the number one on the healthiest cocktail scale. First, it contains 5% of your daily nutritional requirements for iron, 9% potassium, 5% magnesium, and antioxidants like flavonoids and nonflavanoids. Resveratrol, which is a nonflavanoid, reduces blood clots and lowers bad cholesterol. Calories range from 110-130 per glass so it’s not a highly caloric option. Taste wise you have many options in flavor. Whether you like dry or sweet, red or white, you can find a flavor that pleases your palate.

Michelada- a recently tasted cocktail and a good one too!

Michelada- a recently tasted cocktail and a good one too!

2. Michelada- I recently tried one of these cocktails at a delicious Mexican restaurant near my daughters’ university and I loved it. It’s a much more interesting and flavorful twist on a Bloody Mary (which is also a healthy cocktail option for you!). It’s spicy, salty, and so refreshing! The ingredients are beer, limes, Worcestershire sauce, Valentina hot sauce, black pepper, sea salt, and ice. Now, beer is not the healthiest ingredient in a cocktail (beer= carbs), but if a light beer is used it’s not too bad since most come in at under 100 calories. The Michelada I had was made with Modelo Especial which though it isn’t a light beer is really delicious, and I only had one cocktail. I don’t even like beer but I really liked this alcoholic beverage. It also contains lime juice which has tons of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your immune system and neutralizes free radicals that damage our tissues. The hot sauce in this cocktail is made from chili peppers, which contain capsaicin (helps in fighting certain cancers). Chilis are used to aid digestion, reduce appetite, and increase metabolism. The sea salt in the drink helps replenish electrolytes, and the Worcestershire sauce has vitamin B6 (builds red blood cells and maintains nervous system function) in it from the molasses, garlic, cloves and chili pepper extract contained within the sauce. It also has antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K (protects against hemorrhaging and bone loss), and niacin, which aids in digestion. Try it, you’ll like it!

Manhattan- not the city but the cocktail!

Manhattan- not the city but the cocktail!

3. Manhattan- I’m not much of a mixed drink girl, but I know many of you are out there so in honor of all of you mixed drink fans, I’ve included the Manhattan as one of the best tasting and healthiest mixed cocktails. The ingredients are bourbon, sweet vermouth and Angostura Bitters. Bourbon is flavorful and only 97-110 calories per 1.5 ounces, vermouth is a wine fortified with herbs and contains 45 calories per ounce, and bitters are alleged to have restorative properties and are used to calm an upset stomach. It’s strong so only one cocktail will be plenty in this case. If you like a mixed drink, this is the one for you!

Mmmm Mimosa!

Mmmm Mimosa!

4. Mimosa/Bellini- Mimosas are champagne and orange juice, and Bellinis are champagne and peach juice. Now these are not particularly low cal drinks because of the juices, but they are delicious and satisfying, therefore one cocktail will be plenty. I had a cocktail while in Las Vegas that contained an Italian champagne called Prosecco, berry puree, and lemon juice that was delicious and so pretty. it was called Berry Prosecco Fizz so I’m including that drink in this category too. All of these drinks contain champagne, which is sweet and slightly caloric at 90-110 calories per glass, but champagne is a wine so it contains a ton of antioxidants. Orange juice and peach juice contain many vitamins and minerals that are great for you. One tip I got was to make the Mimosa with grapefruit juice instead of orange, because grapefruits have more fat burning properties than oranges do. Sounds delish to me!

Guiness is a healthy beer!

Guiness is a healthy beer!

5. Guinness- I’m not much of a beer fan as I said above, but I know many beer fans, so folks this one’s for you! Guinness is low in calories despite how thick it is, 128 calories for 12 ounces. Also, Guinness is made from more whole grains than most regular beers so it’s full of nutrients. Guinness is shown to have similar antioxidant properties to red wine, and a University of Wisconsin study showed that drinking it helps reduce blood clots and heart problems. Good deal!

Some others healthy alcoholic beverages that could’ve made my list are Sangria (wine and fruit), Bloody Mary (vodka, tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, celery, salt, pepper), and bourbon/whiskey and soda, all healthy drink choices. Remember though, that moderation is the way to go here, and please don’t excessively drink on New Year’s Eve or at any time. 2 drinks or less is the way to go, and the drinks that are on my list are so flavorful that you don’t need to drink a lot to get a delicious flavor and be satisfied. Enjoy your holidays with a healthy drink or two at the most. It will help you live a life of vitality- with Valerie! 🙂

Soda=No, Water=Yes!

Standard

Hi all! Since it is summer, I thought I would discuss something very important when the weather is hot: hydration, or more to the point proper hydration. This is a subject that means a lot to me because I think proper hydration is key to a life full of vitality. After all, the human body is mostly water, right? So what I put into my body is critical for my continued good health.

Sodas are bad, but diet sodas are even worse!

Sodas are bad, but diet sodas are even worse!

  • Sodas are a giant no-no- I cannot overemphasize this point enough. Sodas are not a healthy choice, they have no nutritional value, are loaded with sugar, and if drinking a diet soda, are full of chemicals that can be toxic to your body. Studies have linked diet soda with certain cancers because of the fake, toxic chemicals they contain. STAY AWAY FROM SODAS! They should be an “every once in a while” type of indulgence, if at all. I drink water as my go to drink, and if I’m craving a soda, which is seldom, I will drink Izze soda which is natural and contains real fruit juice with no added sugar. I love all of the flavors and know I’m not putting toxic chemicals in my body which is an added bonus.

Sodabad4

  • Water, water everywhere and we should drink a lot of it- I’ve discussed my dislike of soda and how I drink water all day long, however, I need to clarify my feelings regarding water. First of all, I make sure the water I drink is filtered, preferably through reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis (RO) is a process in which water is driven through a membrane that takes out impurities like total dissolved solids, asbestos, lead and other heavy toxic metals, chlorinated pesticides, and other impurities. The process is effective at removing between 90-99% of all contaminants. The only disadvantage I know is that the flow rate is low because of the process of RO, and so the amount of water produced is somewhat less than other processes. When I moved to a more rural environment and drank well water for the first time, I researched filtration processes, and RO was my choice to provide the most pure water for me and my family. What I love most about drinking RO water is that it has no flavor and there are no weird things floating around in it. Water shouldn’t have either of these things, unless it’s intentional. I also stay away from bottled water too. Many of the bottled water companies say their water is from “pure mineral springs” when it is actually from US municipal water, and then they filter it and add minerals. Also, even though the bottles themselves can be recycled, most of them end up in the trash, which isn’t good for the environment. I have a good, BPA free water bottle, I fill it with filtered tap water, put it in the fridge to get cold, and take it with me for the day. I never use the artificially flavored powders to add to my water, if I am in the mood for flavored water I add a slice of organic lemon and that provides lovely, natural flavor to my water. Other great flavored additions to water: an organic orange slice, a chunk of organic pineapple, a sprig of mint, an organic strawberry, really anything is possible here.
Organic fruit in my water- my favorite way to drink it!

Organic fruit in my water- my favorite way to drink it!

So this summer make sure to make a healthy hydration choice, stay away from sodas, especially diet ones, and drink filtered tap water in an eco friendly glass container. Happy hydrating!

VV