Previously written for EcoHabitude.
The champagne is gone, the new year is here and I’ve gotten myself into a deep contract of resolutions. One of these resolutions being to give up alcohol. While I am no means an alcoholic, I do enjoy a seasonal cocktail or glass of vino from time to time- most often when visiting with friends. Now at day 17 of my pact, I’ve learned a few things about myself in the abstinence of alcohol.
The positives (+):
- I feel a lot more productive
- I’m in higher spirits with less mood swings or anxiety
- My skin is looking more dewy and moisturized
The negatives (-):
- I never noticed how tough it was to be social or celebrate events or occurrences without the presence alcoholic beverages
- It can be difficult finding alternatives to alcohol when you are at a bar + it’s hard being around drunk people when you are sober (you may start asking yourself: “These people are my friends?”)
- I crave the bubbly sensation of cocktails and the smooth texture of a rich glass of red wine
Being too proud to hop off the sober boat just yet, I began researching recipes to please my palette and tips to reduce my social woes. In doing so, I bought a soda stream, dusted off my juicer and started pinning like a mad women in search of substitutes. From detoxing juices and cleansing elixirs to down-right delicious mocktails and tea tonics.
Probably the first step in taking the ode of no alcohol for any period of time is detoxing from any damage past consumption has done.
Lemon Ginger Detox Drink
Adapted from The Harvest Kitchen
2-1/2 cups boiling water
1 organic Meyer lemon cut into slices
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
optional: 2 teaspoons honey
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Turm the heat off and add the lemon, ginger and turmeric.
- Let steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain and drink at room temperature or reheat (but don’t bring to a boil).
Maca Chia Morning Drink
Adapted from Free People blog
1 cup almond milk (learn to make your own!)
¼ cup chia seeds (soaked in purified water or almond milk overnight)
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 teaspoon matcha powder* (or way more, depending on how much caffeine you like)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch pink Himalayan salt
optional: 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
Combine everything in a glass jar, tighten the lid, and shake!
Without stimulants like alcohol or coffee (yep, gave that one up too), I’ve relied on beverages with natural whole foods to give me a buzz… those that won’t drop me mid-day.
Photo: Well + Good
Adapted from bitchindietitian.com
¼ cup chia seeds soaked in ½ cup filtered water for 5 minutes
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
2 cups refrigerated coconut milk
Blend together in blender and enjoy!
Cacao Banana Smoothie
Photo from MultiplyDelicious.com
My own personal breakfast replacement fav…
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
16 oz almond milk
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Mix in blender and voila!
A Well Deserved Treat (aka alcohol replacements that are almost like the real thing)
As a society, we’ve been conditioned to operate on a reward-system. Do a good deed, get a treat. Finish a long day at work, have a drink. “You deserve a break today”. It’s up to us to correct our reward-system by swapping out addictive “treats” for something more satisfying for our bodies and brain…
Recipe from The Owl’s Brew
1 Part The Owl’s Brew Pink & Black tea crafted for cocktails
1 part Sparkling Water
Serve chilled or over ice
Garnish: fresh organic strawberries
Iced Green Tea Mojito
Adapted from Primally Inspired.com
1 Pitcher of Unsweetened Iced Green Tea (or a green tea blend for kicks)
3 mojito mint leaves
2 slices cucumber
½ lime, juiced
optional: ½ – 1 teaspoon pure raw honey
Optional: extra lime slices and mint leaves for garnish
- Squeeze the lime juice into a glass.
- Add the mint leaves and the cucumber slices to the glass and muddle until the leaves are slightly bruised.You can also use the back of a spoon if you don’t have a muddle.
- Fill the glass with ice and add your iced green tea.
- Add raw honey to taste.
- Stir well and garnish with additional mint leaves and lime slices, if desired.