As the weather heats up in Australia, so do our social lives. This time of year, brings with it a whole lot of holiday parties and festivities, lots of silliness (tis the season after all!) and of course, alcohol.
While a night out with the girls or throwing back a few bevvies with the boys may seem harmless, doing this for weeks straight can have detrimental effects on your body and wellbeing. Alcohol intake can have a run-on effect too. One glass of wine can lead to two bottles of wine, three packets of hot chips, twelve chicken nuggets and two meat-lover’s pizzas later. After such a big night, your willingness to exercise will probably reduce a whole lot the next day too. If you’re trying to have some balance in the holidays, this sounds like a recipe for disaster!
While I’m all about having a great time, excess alcohol, along with the excess food you consume because of said-alcohol, can inevitably upset the apple cart.
Excess alcohol consumption can also lead to all sorts of health issues including inflammation, allergy, autoimmune diseases, liver conditions and weight gain.
Have you ever noticed after a night out of drinking that your stomach isn’t exactly your best friend? For more on gut health you might like to read my new book Supercharge Your Gut. Alcohol interferes with your ability to digest food. It also inhibits your ability to absorb nutrients, so even if you’re drinking green the next day to ‘repair the damage’, your body will struggle to take all the nutrients in.
And now for the big one - binge-drinking. Binge drinking, drinking lots of alcohol in a short period of time or drinking to get drunk, can lead to falls, mood problems, memory disorders, mental health issues, dreadful hangovers and unnecessary weight gain.
Don’t worry; you don’t need to choose between that bikini bod or pulling a sickie, lying in bed, watching Netflix and crying because you have to miss your work Christmas party (unless you want to, in which case, you have my blessing). You can still enjoy the festivities and the alcohol that comes with it but, if you want my advice, drink mindfully. It's good to let your hair down and not stress about missing a gym session here or there, that’s what new year’s resolutions are there for after all! Just remember that moderation is key.
Here are some of my tips for staying healthy and being mindful of your alcohol intake in the silly season.
Before a big night out, make sure to stay hydrated with water during the day. I also suggest eating something before you go out so the alcohol doesn’t go straight to your head before you even realise (I think we’re all been there) or make you hungry enough to overeat and eat and eat. I also suggest alternating each alcoholic drink with a glass of water to stay hydrated and keep your liver a little bit happier.
I know when you’re taking down shots that you need a delicious chaser to wash it down with, but I recommend avoiding soft drinks. Not only do they add to your overall calorie intake, they’re full of sugar and foreign chemicals and can make you feel even worse the next day.
I also recommend at least 2 alcohol-free days a week. This doesn’t mean you need to put your social life on hold though. If you’re trying to reduce your alcohol intake, why don’t you meet your friends for a tea instead of alcoholic drinks?
All in all, alcohol shouldn’t be feared, but, it shouldn’t be drunk by the 2 x bottle either. Alcohol can be part of your life, it just needs to be enjoyed in moderation and not in excess.
If you are trying to cut-down on your alcohol intake during the festive season or you're a tee-totaller, why not try my New Year Egg Nog? It'll nog your socks off!
New Year Egg Nog
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 5 eggs, separated
- For a turmeric version add 1 TBS Golden Gut Blend
In a saucepan, on the stove top place coconut milk and cream, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and stir gently until combined and slowly bring to the boil.
Remove from heat and allow to steep.
In a blender place egg yolks and blend on high until well-combined and frothy
Add coconut milk mixture then whizz for a couple more seconds
Remove from the blender and serve warm or can be and refrigerated until cold
Serve and garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg
Happy New Year!