END OF SUMMER COCKTAILS
I just spent two glorious weeks in Italy, and when it came to eating and drinking, all bets were off! I cherished the time with my family to unwind and enjoy in the simple pleasures of summer—and in Italia, that means homemade al dente pasta, fresh fish, garden-picked veggies, gelato, and wine—lots of wine!
Particularly in the summer, there are more occasions to raise a glass and enjoy a cocktail or cold beer when socializing. And I’m often asked if it’s okay to drink when trying to lose weight and get healthy. Here’s my answer: Yes! The caveat? That you drink in moderation. In the U.S., moderate alcohol consumption = no more than 1 drink per day for women, and no more than 2 drinks per day for men (1 drink = 12 oz. beer, 6 oz. wine, or 1.5 oz. distilled spirits). Studies even show that moderate alcohol consumption is thought to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
Have a Plan
My strategy for when I know I’m going to be drinking is to eat well leading up that event, packing in as much nutritionally dense food as possible during the day (think GREENS and lean protein). You can also love your liver up by taking a tincture of milk thistle and/or drinking a product called Dandy Blend (a coffee-like mixture made from dandelion root, beet root, and chicory). Also, plan to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink. Alcohol can be extremely dehydrating to your system.
Drink This—Not That
Instead of a strawberry margarita, opt for top-shelf tequila with fresh lime and soda water.
- Why? The number of calories in a margarita can rival that of a large order of fries!
It’s also one of the most sugary drinks you can order; and we all know excess sugar consumption can lead to obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. No thank you.
Instead of craft beer, opt for light beer.
- Why? In a word, calories. Light beer contains a fraction of the calories you’ll find in a microbrew, which can contain up to 600 calories in one pint! It’s literally a meal in a glass (but likely won’t satiate you).
Instead of wine coolers opt for red wine.
- Why? Again, wine coolers are packed with sugar and other additives from which your body needs to detoxify. Red wine, on the other hand, has tannins that contain procyanidins, a class of flavonoids, which protect against heart disease. Wines from Sardinia and southwest France have more procyanidins than other wines.
While I love a good glass of red wine, will you sometimes see me out on our ski-boat with a vodka and lemonade? Yep. But you know I’ve eaten well all day to mitigate any negative impact on my health. Now that you know the risks and benefits of imbibing along with which alcohol to favor over others, you can still enjoy summer parties—without giving your “health kick” a hangover!
I am also excited to report that I had the honor of presenting a talk in NYC last week at the Natural Gourmet Institute on the Psychology of Eating as part of their series on “Cooking for People with Illness.” We did a mindful eating exercise and slowed waaaay down to savor the flavors of our food.
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To your good health, KarenFollow Us