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Celebrated the Christmas holidays too hard? With all the parties and family get-togethers, people are more likely to drink alcohol beyond their limits compared to other times of the year. The stress caused by the festivities and horrendous traffic may cause people to indulge in drinking more wine, champagne, eggnog, and other holiday spirits.
As the holidays come to an end, you may feel sluggish and bloated from overindulging in rich, greasy food and drinking way too much booze. The remedy to feeling lighter, more energetic, and maybe even shedding some weight is to join a healthy initiative called Dry January. It’s a 31-day challenge to remove alcohol from your diet. It’s for anyone who wants to start the New Year feeling refreshed and giving their liver a much-needed reboot and rest.
Studies show that refraining from alcohol for just 31 days can produce immediate health benefits such as lower blood sugar, better sleep, improved mood, lower blood pressure, increased physical activity, weight loss, and better concentration. Best of all, you will save money!
Quitting alcohol is not as easy as you think. It’s highly addictive, available everywhere, glamorized, and heavily advertised on billboards, TV shows, and social media. You may ask yourself if you can relax at the end of the day without a glass of wine or cold bottle of beer. For those who can’t quit cold turkey, making delicious mocktails or cocktails without alcohol may help you get through Dry January with ease.
Here are some mocktail recipes that are super easy to make. No fancy equipment needed!
If you like ~Piña Coladas~ then this is the perfect mocktail to cool you down. This tropical drink makes you feel like you’re at the beach. Sans the alcohol, this beverage is not just delicious but also nutritious. Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, and high in fiber and B vitamins. It fights inflammation which makes it a great post-workout drink. Pineapples contain Bromelain which speeds up muscle recovery after strenuous exercise and weight training. Cheers to good health!
Pina Colada Mocktail
½ cup canned or fresh coconut milk
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp simple sugar syrup
1 cup ice cubes
Had a tough day at work? Why not make yourself this refreshing Mango Ginger Beer Mocktail? This drink is so simple to make since it only needs two ingredients. Mangoes are packed with vitamin C and contain nutrients that improve eyesight, digestion, and immunity. Meanwhile, ginger beer has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. Since mangoes are naturally sweet, there’s no need to add sugar. Bottoms up!
Mango Ginger Beer
The flesh of 1 mango, diced
1 bottle of Ginger Beer
- Puree the mango until smooth in a blender. Strain into a bowl to remove lumps.
- Pour the mango puree into a mug with ice.
- Top off with Ginger Beer.
Mimosas are a popular drink to order for brunch. The downside of day drinking is that people will usually struggle to complete their responsibilities throughout the day. Consuming alcohol for breakfast on an empty stomach will make you feel the buzz much faster. Here’s an alcohol-free version that will keep you sharp and feeling motivated. I found zero alcohol champagne from S&R but you can easily replace it with sparkling white grape juice. The secret to making a good mimosa is using fresh orange juice.
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup alcohol-free Champagne or sparkling white grape juice
Pour the orange juice into a champagne flute. Top off with alcohol-free champagne.
What about wine and cheese nights? I have the perfect Sangria Mocktail recipe for you. I used a zero alcohol merlot from S&R but you can also substitute it with sparkling red grape juice. I have to say that chopping the apples, oranges, and strawberries made me feel calm and present. No need to remove the peel! I simply love the smell of freshly chopped fruits.
1 orange, chopped to bite-size pieces
1 apple, cored and chopped to bite-size pieces
6 large strawberries, chopped to bite-size pieces
4 cups zero alcohol Merlot or sparkling red grape juice
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup simple sugar syrup
Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher and store in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors of the fruits to blend and intensify. Serve in wine glasses with ice cubes.
Out of all the mocktails I concocted, this Frozen Lychee Margarita is my favorite. It has the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavors. I used Chi Forest Lychee Sugar-Free Sparkling Water. You can also use Vida Salty Lychee or plain sparkling water such as Perrier or Schweppes. The addition of fresh lime juice makes it more refreshing and adds brightness to the beverage.
Frozen Lychee Margarita Mocktail
Kosher salt or flaky salt
1 (550g) can lychee in light syrup, drained
½ cup Chi forest Sugar-free Lychee Fizzy Sparkling Water
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup simple sugar syrup
2 cups ice cubes
- Rim the margarita glasses with salt.
- Add all the other ingredients in the blender except for the salt.
- Puree in a blender until smooth and serve in margarita glasses.
If you pass Dry January with flying colors and experienced all the benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle, you may consider extending to another month or even longer. It isn’t exactly news that alcohol is not great for you. Now that you have stayed sober for a month, chances are you’ve learned new coping skills to de-stress and to have fun without booze. If you decide to drink again, there’s a chance that you’d be more mindful of how many drinks you are having. Good luck on your journey towards better mental and physical health this coming 2024!
Do you have a problem with alcohol? Is there an alcoholic in your life? For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or DM @thesober_chef on IG. – Rappler.com
Barni Alejandro is an International Certified Addiction Recovery Specialist. She studied in Emeritus Addiction Studies partnered with Asia Metropolitan University. She also co-owns the The Sexy Chef with her sister, Rachel Alejandro (www.thesexychef.ph), a health food delivery service since 2004