So I have recently returned from a holiday in Thailand with my partner celebrating my 30th Birthday .
While I was on the island of Koh Tao I met up with a friend who happened to be there at the same time from the UK. We arranged to meet at a bar and when he rocked up he said he was surprised because I was having a beer.
My response was ‘Well … I’m on holidays and sometimes I have the occasional drink’.
I felt like I had to justify myself.
I am human after all and I don’t claim to be perfect. I’m far from it.
After I had my kidney out I didn’t drink for a very long time. Not a drop. I was terrified. However after much research I discovered that it is your liver that takes most the strain when processing alcohol . So I decided that when I am on holidays or on special occasions it is ok to have the occasional drink. Sometimes its nice way to connect and spend time with your friends. I have plenty of other ways I connect with my friends but this sometimes is a nice way. Especially when I now don’t do it all that often.
I’m not saying drinking is ok or healthy. It’s not. However the question is…. Is it better to be perfectly healthy and not happy or happy and not 100% perfectly healthy 100% of the time?
We all know that happiness is a huge part of your health and so it is important to have times in your life when you relax and let go and enjoy yourself even if its not totally ‘ perfect ’.
I remember Anthony Robbins talks about this at his seminars . He recalled a story when he met his ‘ Super healthy wife’ and on their first date she ordered a ice cream sunday . He said he was totally shocked ! She just told him to loosen the hell up . She called it ZIG ZAGGING. Sometimes its ok to not be 100% perfect 100% of the time. You need to live a little.
So I do sometimes have a drink. This is me zig zagging.
If your thinking I’m giving you the ok to get wasted every weekend then think again. That type of behavior has a huge emotional and pyhscial toll on your body. However I know that the reality is that most people are not going to go stone cold sober all the time(myself currently included ).
So what I am saying is if your going to drink know your limits and have a few ground rules in place.
Here are some tips to follow so that you are still respecting your body and not pushing the limits too far.
- Try to have organic wine or beer when possible. This means that the beverage does not have other hidden nasties in it such as pesticides from the fruit and hidden additives and preservatives which will put even more strain on your liver.
- If drinking wine go for a dry white or a red wine because of the minimal sugar content
- Avoid dessert wines as they are super high in sugar
- If drinking spirits DO NOT mix with soft drink. This includes tonic water that is loaded with sugar. Go for soda water and lime or even water and ice.
- Go for a clearer spirits as the darker ones contain more congeners which are more toxic to the body.
- Avoid the USA brands as well as brands like Corona . They use genetically modified ingredients. They also have lots of other hidden nasties such as colourings and preservatives
- Australian Carlton beers made in Australia do not use GM ingredients in their beers( this was confirmed by Carlton ). They do however use colouring E150 which is a considered a carcinogen in California USA.
- Food Babe talks about beers on her website . Heineken, and Amsteel Light seem to be good choices, as they have confirmed that they only use non-GMO grains and no artificial ingredients, stabilizers, or preservatives
- Limit your intake to only 1-2 drinks.
- Alcohol = Energy = kilojoules for the body to burn.I’m not one to count kilojoules but if you bringe drink or on a regular basis you may find that you have some extra weight that you can’t ditch it is because of the extra energy your drinking that your body is not burning and then therefore storing as fat. This is why its important that when you do have a drink you have something that is low in sugar so that your body does not have that energy to burn as well. Alcohol even though it provides the body with energy it has no other nutritional benefits. That’s why along with the other health risks ( it interferes with the body’s growth maintenance and repair) it’s uber important that you drink in moderation. This is why sometime you may hear alcohol being dubbed as ‘ empty calories ‘.
- Stop drinking early on and switch to water.
- Drink loads of water in between drinks.
- Avoid rounds. They always end badly because you always will have someone that drinks faster than you.
- Find a good non alcoholic option. Sparkling and lime is always a good one as you won’t feel dorky by not having a drink in your hand but you’re not getting drunk.
- Make sure you hydrate and drink plenty of water before bed.
- Get back on the healthy horse the next day and nourish your body with what it need. Coconut water is great as its high in potassium and electrolytes.
- Read my guide to surviving a party here
- Have periods of no alcohol…. I’m not talking days here. Have a few weekends, weeks or even months off ( yes seriously ). If you drink every weekend your body will thank you for the rest.
- Remember that you don’t NEED alcohol to socialise. If you do then ask yourself why ? How comfortable are you in your own skin ? Do you do things with your friends that don’t involve drinking?
Have a favourite drink? Why not investigate the ingredients and see if they are ok? If you have any insights on this topic I would love to hear about it in the comments below.