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No Alcohol? No Problem!

I know some of you might have partaken in a no-alcohol challenge to start the new year. If you did, are you feeling pretty good? 

The truth is that alcohol can be great! But, it can also be not so great – for various reasons – but let’s just review the basic health and wellness factors for now. 

Alcohol has sugar. Alcohol has calories. Alcohol has additives. It puts extra strain on your liver and kidneys to digest, process, and flush it all out. 

One common misconception is that clear alcohol is somehow better for you. Sure, a vodka soda may have fewer calories than a mojito, but it still has calories. It still has sugar. It will probably still make you feel bloated and swollen. Alcohol can also negatively affect sleep cycles, energy levels, digestion, and more. Not to mention, who likes having a hangover? Prolonged headache? Being dehydrated? No one! 

If you have goals around weight loss, increased energy, better sleep, and just overall improved wellness – you might want to consider taking a break or decreasing how much alcohol you consume. That’s for you to know and for you to decide, but from my experience, limited alcohol or taking a break from alcohol consumption really helps me cleanse and feel refreshed. 

But, what do I drink if I want to celebrate? Or relax? Good question

Limiting alcohol can be tricky because it is often so closely tied with certain rituals, traditions, habits, patterns, and social events. Having a go-to non-alcoholic drink, ordering a mocktail, or just getting a yummy blended smoothie can help to just get a glass in your hand and curb the desire to opt for something containing alcohol. 

I personally like opting for tea, which I find is a nice way to treat yourself  – especially at home. Instead of reaching for that after-work glass of wine, you can try substituting a drink made with tea. For example, prep some tasty iced tea in advance, pull out of the fridge when you get home, and mix with a little sparkling water for a refreshing beverage – free of alcohol. Instead of popping super sugary bubbly, you can opt for something like this to fill in while still feeling festive. 

Or even just steep a pot of fragrant tea, which is perfect for chillier winter months anyway!

Tea Sparrow has some amazing blends. One of my favorites for a festive or celebratory drink is their Strawberry Champagne, with a hint of pineapple this blend is super refreshing, zesty, and fun. So perfect for any Valentine’s Day celebration – especially with some sparkle to stand in for champagne. 

I also love Tea Sparrow’s  Organic Hawaii Cocktail, a blend of pineapple, mango, and papaya – a solid substitute for a tropical fruit flavored cocktail. 

Tea Sparrow will keep you loaded up with new teas, especially through their monthly delivery program. Having so many amazing tea options on hand and at the ready makes it easy for me to opt for a healthy choice either at home or on the go!

What’s your favorite, fun, festive non-alcoholic beverage? Share with me on Instagram – I would love to know!

How to Get Rid Of “Holiday Hangover” 

Aside from getting your flu shot and having Vitamin C supplements at the ready, what else can you do to stay healthy and happy during the holidays? 

The basics are this: get enough sleep, stay hydrated, move your body. 

Getting enough sleep may be easier said than done, but it is so, so essential. If you’re feeling fatigued, every part of your body is going to feel it too. In order to keep all the functions of your body in top condition, you have to get enough rest. 

At least 8 hours is recommended, but let’s be honest…how many of us actually get that much?

But, did you know that while you are sleeping your body does most of its healing?  So, cutting into that sleep you need can really take a toll on your health. Think about it — do you want muscle recovery, digestion, or detoxification working at a sluggish rate?

 Nope. 

Ideally never! And definitely not during the holidays when there are so many yummy foods, desserts, and drinks to indulge in. You want everything functioning at full capacity to enjoy the holidays in good health, even if we snack on a few too many cookies shaped like snowmen!

If you’re somewhere chilly or if you’re lucky enough to be in warmer weather for the holidays, it’s probably not quite reaching summertime heat levels wherever you are this month. Drinking water and iced coffee can be so easy when the sun is scorching hot or you’re enjoying the beach, but sometimes as the weather cools down we have a tendency toward not maintaining adequate water intake. 

Drinking water not only helps maintain normal organ function and cell growth, but it is also a key piece of flushing your system and aiding your liver and kidneys in your body’s natural detox processes.

The average recommended water intake per day is 8-10 glasses per day.  (That sounds like a whole lot of trips to the toilet if you ask me!)

Whether its sweets, a few cocktails, or half a cheesecake that your body needs to flush out, drinking plenty of water will help this process tremendously. I’m a believer in living your life and enjoying that second (or third) helping of your favorite holiday food, but I think you can agree that feeling bloated after eating too much is never, ever fun. 

Water, even with a squeeze of lemon or lime for some extra vitamin C, can help with stimulating digestion and flushing your system. Keep a water bottle on hand, find a water source at every party you attend, and be sure to drink a huge glass of water right when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. 

One of the body’s best detox mechanisms is the lymphatic system, which is stimulated almost purely by movement. Exercise, walking, massage, and yoga are all great ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.

Twists, gentle movement, and gentle stretching is beneficial for the lymphatic system and will ultimately help boost digestion and strengthen your immune system. I’m sure you’re completely out of Thanksgiving leftovers by now, so if you want to get your lymphatic system pumping and feel totally refreshed, try out this Turkey Day Detox Flow!  

The holiday season is always crazy, so we all need to be sure we are providing our bodies (and minds!) with a little extra TLC. Get some extra sleep, drink a ton of water, and be sure you’re moving each and every day!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more information on holiday health this coming Workout Wednesday, where I’ll explain how we can use yoga to help ease anxiety. And keep an eye out for an exciting Holiday Giveaway announcement coming up soon….!