It may be the most wonderful time of year, but it's also the most indulgent. There's Christmas parties aplenty, cheese boards everywhere you turn, and cocktails seemingly flowing like tap water. Alcohol can definitely be a huge part of the festive season, but going too hard can result in stressed skin, bloat, a compromised gut, weight gain, and the dreaded hangover. We're not suggesting that you forgo the spritz altogether, but a few tweaks can ensure that your festive season is not one spent laying on the bathroom tiles, wanting to curl into a ball and disappear.
Clinical nutritionist Jess Sepel was kind enough to share with us her top tips for drinking sensibly, and her go-to recipes when she's feeling like a tipple. There's also a few non-alcoholic options too, because, you know, balance. Keep scrolling to read.
"As a clinical nutritionist, I’ve seen first-hand that too much alcohol can be taxing on the liver, which is why I advocate drinking in moderation. I believe that a healthy life is all about balance and moderation, and in particular, enjoying the pleasures of life. When you’re out and about, listen to your body and pace yourself. If you feel like a glass of wine or a cocktail, sip it slowly and savour the flavour. Remember to eat before you arrive at a party and stay hydrated throughout the night."
Alcoholic drink recipes:
- Blueberry and lime mojito: Simply combine organic rum with fresh blueberries, a few sprigs of mint, soda water and a little coconut sugar, if you like your cocktail a touch sweeter.
- Watermelon and vodka spritzer: Mix fresh watermelon juice with organic vodka, sparkling mineral water and a few sprigs of mint.
- Summer sangria: Red wine is also a healthier choice than white wine and champagne, which contain sugar and more preservatives. When selecting wines, choose an organic or biodynamic option where possible, as they’re free from nasty additives and extra sulphites. Chop up a bunch of fresh fruit (preferably organic), skip the sugar (or try stevia), and use mineral water instead of soft drink.
Non-alcoholic drink recipes:
- Vitamin water: In a large jug, combine 500 ml mineral water with ½ a sliced lemon, ½ a sliced lime, ½ a sliced grapefruit, ½ cup mint leaves, ½ a sliced cucumber, a pinch of Himalayan salt.
- Coconut and ginger spritz: Simply combine fresh coconut water with mint, freshly grated ginger, a dash of cayenne pepper and a handful of ice cubes. This is incredibly delicious and refreshing!
- Lychee and kombucha spritz: Lychees are one of my favourite summer fruits and they pair perfectly with kombucha. Simply combine 12 lychees, 10 sprigs of mint, ½ a lime, 500ml low-sugar kombucha and a handful of ice cubes.