Holiday Cheer : Mindful Moderation is Key!

by | Dec 27, 2011 | Health & News

“Drink, sir, is a great provoker….Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance. –“
– MacBeth, Act II, Scene III, William Shakespeare

Perhaps the English bard had it right —over- indulging in alcoholic beverages can definitely bring on desire, take away performance….and lead to a major hang-over!

Tis the season to be jolly and imbibe ( responsibly!) in holiday spirits…but when is enough, enough and too much, too much? We all like to join in the holiday cheer and what are some ways to stay mindful during these festive times?

First, let’s cover a few important points about alcohol and its metabolism in the body. In general, women metabolize alcohol more slowly than men. This is due to their smaller body size, different amount of body fat and certain enzymes. Because of these factors, daily “safe” intake of alcohol for women is only ONE drink and for men TWO drinks over a 24 –hour period.

What constitutes a “drink”? Many of you may not know this, but a drink means different things depending on the type we’re referring to.

A “standard” drink is any drink that contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol.

This equates to:
12 fl.oz of regular beer =
8 fl. oz. of malt liquor=
4 ounces of table wine =
3 oz of fortified wine ( sherry or port) =
2 oz. of cordial, aperitif =
1.5 fl oz shot of “hard” liquor – 80-proof ( 40% alcohol).

Here are some holiday tips to stay mindful of your intake:

1) Drink water. Before even ordering an alcoholic beverage, make sure to drink a glass or two of water to quench your thirst.
2) Eat food. Choose healthy options, if possible. By eating, you will slow the rate of alcohol absorption into your body.
3) Alternate with non-alcoholic drinks. This will keep your hands busy as well as keep you hydrated.
4) Don’t cave into peer pressure. If you don’t want to have that extra drink, say “No”.
5) Have a plan to get home safely. Have a designated driver who agrees not to drink during the evening and is responsible for getting everyone home safely. Or consider taking a cab home.

By following these tips, you’ll be more present for yourself, the festivities and your partner!

Here’s one of my favorite recipes for a refreshing non-alcoholic alternative.

Festive Holiday Punch ( Non-alcoholic)
Best to prepare the day before to allow the flavors to blend together. To decrease calories, substitute diet ginger ale and/or diet cranberry juice for regular ginger ale and cranberry juice.

1/3 white sugar
1 quart cranberry juice
2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
2- 3 tbsp. almond extract
1 bottle (2 liter) of ginger ale

1) In a large container, combine sugar, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and almond extract. Refrigerate for 1 day.
2) To serve, pour juice into large punch bowl. Stir in ginger ale.
3) Garnish glasses with sprigs of fresh mint.
4) Enjoy!