Molly’s annual #AlcoholFreeFor40 challenge starts today, with the goal of going 40 days alcohol free, tracking things like weight, appearance of our skin and eyes, and certain labs pre- and post-challenge to see the impact that alcohol has on our individual bodies.
But simply being “alcohol-free” doesn’t make a drink “healthy”, so today we’re Getting the Skinny on best and worst mixers for DIY mocktails!
Interested in the #AlcoholFreeFor40? Scroll down for full details on the #AlcoholFreeFor40 Challenge!
All-natural mixers with little or no sugar or calories:
Sparkling water + Flavored sparkling water – e.g. La Croix, Dasani Sparkling, and Target’s Simply Balanced store brand. Zero calories, sugar, or artificial sweeteners
Zevia – available in variety of flavors + line of mixers; excellent for cola-style beverage
Herbal tea – Endless flavor options; most herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free, with zero calories, carbs, or sugar.
Coconut Water + bai
Kombucha – Rich in probiotics and low in sugar, its effervescence and ale-like fermented flavor make it a great mixer for mocktails. Big Easy Bucha, local New Orleans kombucha brewery, has a variety of kombucha flavors that are perfect for DIY mocktails.
Swerve Simple Syrup [DIY with 1:1 ratio of Swerve to water. Heat, and use right away]
Diet soft drinks (e.g. Coke Zero, Sprite Zero) – artificially sweetened with aspartame and/or acesulfame potassium
Crystal Light Packets – artificially sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium + artificially colored
Non-Alcoholic Beers: Typically 58-89 calories, with 12-19 grams of carbs per 12-ounce beer
Sugary soft drinks – 30+ grams added sugar per 12-ounce can
Sugary sports drinks
Fruit juice – even 100% fruit juices – ounce-for-ounce, as much or more sugar + calories as a soft drink
Frozen, blended slushy drink mixers – can easily top 400 calories & 40 grams sugar per drink!
2019 #ALCOHOLFREEFOR40CHALLENGE: Give up all alcohol from Ash Wednesday until Easter. Establish the following pre-Challenge metrics and repeat again at end of Challenge. Do this on your own or sign up here to do your pre-challenge metrics for $25 at the #AlcoholFreeFor40 kickoff event at Ochsner Fitness Center's FUEL Café + Market on Thursday, March 7 (more details below).
BENEFITS: Less inflammation, better sleep, less anxiety, improved mood & energy, potential weight loss
METRICS TO TRACK:
- Weight + Body Composition
- Close-up photo of face; details of eyes and skin in particular
- CBC (Complete Blood Count)
- Liver panel including enzymes AST & ALT
- Lipid Panel (includes triglycerides, which can be affected by alcohol),
- GGT (Gamma glutamyl transferase, a specific liver test that’s most affected by alcohol)
- Vitamin B12 and Folate Panel
- hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein; a marker of inflammation)
- ESR (sedimentation rate; a marker of inflammation)
KICK-OFF EVENT: To make it as easy as possible, have your pre-and post-challenge labs checked for just $25 (a value of more than $200) at the #AlcoholFreeFor40 kickoff party at on Thursday March 7th from 4 to 8 p.m. at Ochsner Fitness Center’s FUEL Café + Market at 1200 S. Clearview Pkwy in Harahan
If you’re planning to have your labs checked, please RSVP at Eventbrite.com. Availability is limited to the first 200. Please note that in order for labs to be provided at such a minimal cost by Ochsner, the lab screening is via blood donation. For those who are cannot donate blood for medical or other reasons, Ochsner’s Corporate Wellness team will be onsite for regular blood draws.
Join #AlcoholFreeFor40 group on Facebook to accept the challenge, follow the journey of others, and share your own experiences, successes, mocktail recipes, and photos.
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD