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The 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 specific 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 we’ve got you covered with the best and worst mixers for DIY mocktails!

Interested in the #AlcoholFreeFor40?  Scroll down for full details on the #AlcoholFreeFor40 Challenge!


Kombucha – Rich in probiotics and low in sugar, its effervescence and ale-like fermented flavor make it a great mixer for mocktails.  New Orleans’ own Big Easy Bucha, has a variety of flavors that are perfect for DIY mocktails.

Sparkling water + Flavored sparkling water – e.g. AHA!, Waterloo, Topo Chico and more. Zero calories, sugar, or artificial sweeteners

Herbal tea – Endless flavor options; most herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free, with zero calories, carbs, or sugar.

Coconut Water

Low- and no-sugar Electrolyte Drinks + Mixes – e.g. Body Armour Lyte, Nuun, Ultima & SOS

Vitamin Water ZERO + Bai – sweetened with erythritol, these drinks are zero-sugar alternatives to fruit juice

Swerve Simple Syrup [DIY with 1:1 ratio of Swerve to water. Heat, and use right away]


Diet soft drinks – most are artificially sweetened with aspartame and/or acesulfame potassium

Crystal Light packets – artificially sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium + artificially colored

Ginger Beer:  Most have as much sugar as a soft drink

V8 – main drawback is that it’s high in sodium


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!

Energy drinks – most are artificially sweetened or loaded with sugar



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 Cafe + Market on Thursday, February 27 (more details below).

BENEFITS:  Less inflammation, better sleep, less anxiety, improved mood & energy, potential weight loss

Metrics to Track:

1. Weight + Body Composition

2. Close-up photo of face; details of eyes and skin in particular

3. Labs:

  • 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 February 27th from 4 to 8 p.m. at Ochsner Fitness Center’s FUEL Café + Market at 1200 S. Clearview Pkwy in Harahan. 

NEW THIS YEAR: Ochsner Eat Fit is hosting kickoff events across the state in Covington, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Shreveport.

If you’re planning to have your labs checked, please RSVP via Eventbrite at Availability in NOLA 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, the Eat Fit weekly e-newsletter with links to her FUELED TV segments here on WGNO, and her articles in Thrive Global!   Follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD – and check out her weekly podcast, FUELED Wellness + Nutrition with Molly; just search ‘Molly Kimball’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.