25 Aug WHAT TO DRINK WHEN YOU ARE NOT DRINKING
I hope you all enjoyed your summer break!
Mine has been all about family, food and wine (I guess it must be a European thing). As I am back into our routines, I have now to deal with all the consequences of the big European lunches. Fitness suffered, weight has gone up…it’s time to do something about it! It’s about this time that we have the great idea of doing, what we call a “dry month” (aka a month without alcohol).
Stopping alcohol for a short period (or forever if you are committed!) comes with a LOT of benefits, let me list a few of them:
- Weight loss:
Alcohol, in its pure form, is just like donuts, full of what we call “empty calories”.
Unfortunately, alcohol contains no vitamins nor minerals, plus it slows down the absorption of nutrients from other sources. When you stop drinking, your body can actually absorb vitamin C, vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc, and these guys are quite good to have around!
- Boost your metabolism
Fact: alcohol slows down your metabolism. Your body is so busy trying to get rid of the “poison” you just ingested, that it can’t take care of all the waste you are producing on daily basis, and stores the excess sugar as fat…YUK!
Same goes for muscle recovery, once again, your body is very busy trying to get you back to sober mode, so flushing out the lactic acid is way too much to ask!
- You are less likely to be sick
It is quite common to catch a cold in Singapore (no kidding), and drinking booze is slowly but surely weakening your immune system.
No alcohol everyday, keep the doctor away!
- Save money
We all know alcohol means big spending in Singapore. There is no better way to get instant gratification than seeing the alcohol-free bill at the end of your meal! And maybe this means you can splurge a little more on your next shopping spree 😉
- No more hangovers
I mean who likes them anyway?
Well I know what you’re thinking: That’s all great but how do I get a regular social life without alcohol? You just go to a bar and…not drink? #lifeproblem
I’m going to give you substitutes to look like you are having the best cocktail ever, without the alcohol, and who knows, you might convert a few boozy friends on the way!
1. Detox water
You might have heard of Detox Water, It’s all over the Internet, so it is easy to find recipes to enjoy these hydrating and replenishing waters during your dry month!
So what is it exactly? Detox water is simply water in which you add fruits, veggies and even herbs.
Once you have chosen what to add to your water, let the fruits / veggies “infuse” between 3 to 12 hours in the fridge.
Benefits? You get all the vitamins, antioxidants, the taste from the fruits but with no calories and extra sugar. Heaven right?
Tips: Put it in a pitcher to share with your guests, they’ll no doubt enjoy it.
By the way it is also a great way to reach your daily water intake if you get bored of plain water. Why don’t you give it a try?
My favourite recipe is: lemon, lime and cucumber. You can add mineral water even sparkling water if you feel like a bit of a party and you get the amazing taste of a cocktail, without the alcohol!
2. Mocktails & Agua fresca
We all know about mocktails, so I am not going to write a book about it. Unfortunately, with their syrup and juices I find them to be super sweet and almost as expensive as their alcoholic twin brothers (including all the sugar!). But there is hope, and it comes from Mexico. Yes the country of Tequila!
It is called Agua Fresca, Fresh Water in English and it is absolutely delicious: whether you are on a dry month or not you HAVE to try this out.
Agua Fresca is made of fruits / flowers / seeds that are blended together with water. Some purists do filter their preparation but you don’t have to as keeping all the fiber from the fruits will avoid your insulin rates to go through the roof and it keeps you felling full for longer!
How to do it? (for 1 pax)
Add 1 cup of chopped fruits (my favourites are pineapple & strawberries or watermelon) 1 cup of fresh water, 1/2 lime, 1 teaspoon of honey, a few leaves: it can be mint / basil even lavender…go crazy! Put everything in the blender until smooth, add some ice cubes if needed and serve ice cold.
3. Alcohol free beer & wine
Yep let’s not forget about the obvious!
There are SO many brands now that have a GOOD alternative of their regular alcoholic drinks, so you can enjoy your favourite brand even when you’re not drinking. There are also brands that are specialized in non- alcoholic options, and guess what, they are getting more and more popular. Let’s enjoy a glass of chardonnay, cider or even champagne if you feel fancy, alcohol-free!
My go-to recipe: The Good Girl Sangria: Take an alcohol free white wine with oranges, lemons, grapefruits, a bit of sugar, cinnamon and serve it to your friends super cold. I’m pretty sure no one will notice the difference, and best of all you get to see who acts “drunk”!
4. Ice tea
I know it sounds boring but ice tea can be fun, as it can be made out of any fruits! You don’t have to sip on the same tea the whole month, try and get some original recipes!
This drink is rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, low in calories (we want the sugar free/low option), super refreshing, cost literally nothing to make AND is alcohol free. What else do you need?
Quick recipe: ice green tea with ginger and mint – (6pax)
6 cups of water, ¼ cup of ginger (fresh), 5 bags of green tea, ½ cup of mint leaves (fresh),1 lemon, 1 soup spoon of honey (this might change depending on how sweet you like it) Keep some mint leaves and lemon slices to add to the glass after serving, it really makes it look like a cocktail!
5. Cocoa infusion
Talking about tea, and if you are ready to drink something hot in Singapore to replace your “one last drink for the road”, then you have to try the cocoa infusions.
So much sexier than your regular chamomile, the cocoa infusions are the best after work or night cap alternatives!
Made out of cocoa shells that are cracked and packed in a teabag, it can be drunk at any time as it contains no caffeine (YAY). It is just as easy as making a regular tea, and you get to enjoy the taste + smell of chocolate, without the calories.
Did I forget to tell you you will also get minerals, iron, vitamin D and antioxidants from drinking it? Not bad!
I tried the infusions from Pierre Marcolini while in France although there might be other brands doing it!
Here you go, now you have no more excuses not to do a dry month!
Wait, is September starting next week? Cheers to dry September!
#fitspo #drymonth #aquaspin