We all have vices. Mine used to be sugar…and cheese…and diet soda…and creamy alcoholic drinks and the list continued on and on. However, when I first started researching healing and disease prevention modalities, I quit eating ALL this crud and haven’t looked back. I also prioritized fitness or simply being active and played with mindfulness techniques. The one area, call it my vice, that I have not given up has been drinking wine.
Most doctors and naturopaths suggest limiting alcohol, whether it’s to prevent disease, lose weight or improve sleep. On the flip side, there are a few studies that claim some drinks, such as red wine, can help prevent disease. So, which is it?
While I continue to investigate these questions about wine and health, I’m no doctor, naturopath or nobel peace prize-winning scientist, so I don’t have the answers.* In speaking with my nutrition oncologist, he claims there have been no studies proving that wine increases risk for additional cancer growth after a reoccurrence. Since I consume mostly clean foods and beverages, I know how my body reacts to additional chemicals and toxins. I’ve found a few drinks that I can consume without experiencing all the uncomfortable side effects of drinking. And of course, it goes without saying, I feel better when I drink in moderation. Most studies recommend only one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women.
Now that we’re heading into the holiday season, below are my favorite festive drinks.* Have a happy and healthy one.
1. Organic or Sustainable Wines
Whether it’s beer or wine, the ingredients in these products matter. I get a much better sleep when I’ve been drinking organic wine. Today, many wineries are using organic products and practicing sustainable measures, just not officially bearing the organic sticker. I’ve heard that many of the European wineries use wholesome ingredients and follow organic practices. My favorites are: ConoSur and Natura for red wine.
A little bubbly goes a long way. While the carbonation may fill me up, I’m seldom drinking so much that I feel bloated. I love the sweet taste and a few glasses isn’t terribly heavy on the calorie counter. My organic favorite is Pizzolato.
Most people think of sangria for a summertime celebration, but it’s a refreshing spirit anytime. Create your own winter inspired concoctions with organic white wine, organic vodka and some organic colorful fruit with cinnamon. I favor red wine, so love red sangria, too.
4. Homemade Wine Spritzer
Pour a half-glass of wine into a half-glass of carbonated water to make your own healthy wine spritzer. Make sure you use non-flavored sparkling water. It will keep the authentic taste of the wine. Plus, the so-called “natural flavors” are typically made with a few chemicals and not natural fruit.
5. Seltzer or Infused Water
When you drink, you get dehydrated so it’s very important to consume a lot of water. Serving plain seltzer with a lemon, lime or slice or orange in a fancy glass can be a nice holiday touch. For those that don’t enjoy alcohol or are watching calories, a bubbly and colorful seltzer drink is a fun alternative. Or better yet, bring a fancy mason jar filled with infused water as a hostess gift instead or along with a bottle of wine.
What is your favorite festive beverage?
For Festive Holiday Drink Ideas
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* Please note, I’m not a doctor or medical marvel, just have an interest in health and wellness. See my disclaimer for more information. Talk to your doctor to learn more or check the other sources used: Anti-cancer by David Servan-Schrieber MD, PHD, The Cancer Recovery Plan by D. Barry Boyd, M.D., the Harvard School of Public Health Web site and the National Institute of Health Web site. Also, I don’t advocate drinking, I’m just telling my story. In addition, though I don’t look a day over 13…I’m of course 21+ years.