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
Crystal Light PURE – sweetened with stevia and a bit of sugar, and colored with vegetable extracts. Each packet has 30 calories and six grams of sugar – can often use just half a packet or less per mocktail.
Agave Five Drink Mix packets by Madhava (available at stores like Whole Foods Market): 5 calories per packet, sweetened with stevia and agave; nothing artificial.
Herbal tea – Endless flavor options; most herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free, with zero calories, carbs, or sugar.
Virgin Bloody Mary mix like Louisiana Sisters Bloody Mary Mix
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.
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
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!
#AlcoholFreeFor40 Challenge Details:
Give up all alcohol from Ash Wednesday until EAster. Establish the following pre-Challenge metrics, and repeat again at end of Challenge to see the impact that going alcohol-free has on your body:
- 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)
POTENTIAL BENEFITS: Less inflammation, better sleep, less anxiety, improved mood & energy, potential weight loss.
- Molly will be offering weekly reminders, tips & recipes via social media (@mollykimballRD) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using the hashtag #AlcoholFreeFor40.
- Share your own experiences using the hashtag #AlcoholFreeFor40.
- You can also email Molly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to accept the challenge and keep in touch throughout to let her know how you’re doing. All personal information will be kept confidential.
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