The festive season brings with it many associations with alcohol consumption – from Christmas work parties to toasting in the New Year with a bottle of Champagne to burning off that brandy in the Christmas pudding.
We’re even led to believe that sipping on mulled wine and eggnog are simply ways to ‘get into the Christmas spirit’, but what about those who live a sober life? With more and more people giving up the booze for good and a reported fifth of the adult population in the UK said to live a completely teetotal life, the festive season can be a trickly one to navigate, especially if you are new to this way of living.
Perhaps you have been avoiding the alcohol for a while now or maybe you have just made the decision to go booze-free, you may have even recently sought out treatment in a detox rehab clinic, well we are here to show you that an alcohol-free festive season can not only be achievable but healthy and enjoyable too.
Benefits of a booze free life
Of course, we aren’t here to preach – if you enjoy your life with a little wine or spirits in it, then go ahead and enjoy – but if you are firmly on the wagon then you will no doubt be keen to hear of the benefits that abstaining from alcohol can bring. There are plenty of short, and long, term benefits that you are likely to experience, and perhaps the most obvious is the hangover. Nausea, headaches, tiredness, grouchiness (alcohol related) will be gone the moment you decide to give up.
Add to that improved mental health, clearer skin, better quality sleep and improved energy levels and potential weight loss that you are likely to notice in the short term and you may be wondering why you didn’t consider this before. Long term benefits also include lowering your risk of certain cancers, liver disease, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and sexual dysfunction. (Source drinkaware.co.uk)
What foods can help you through those early detox days
Your body may be going through the mill so it’s important to treat it well and provide it with the essential vitamins and minerals and fluids it needs to endure and thrive. Plenty of fluids rich in electrolytes while B vitamins will be useful. Protein is great for repairing the liver, so that Christmas turkey will be a welcome treat and complex carbohydrates and healthy fats are important. As ever, it is helpful to steer clear of junk foods high in sugar as you want to nourish the body with all those nutrients found in fruit and vegetables.
So, how does this apply to the Christmas season?
When it comes to socialising, so many more people are doing this without the need for an alcoholic drink in hand, and if you don’t want to reach for a bottle of water or orange juice, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are a range of options you can choose from. Mocktails may not come cheap but these alcohol-free cocktails could be just the ticket to make you feel included in the festive fun.
With pubs, bars and restaurants facing an uncertain December this year, you may be keen to learn a few mocktail recipes for yourself to try at home – BBC Good Food boasts a selection of favourites from the passion-fruit martini to a mulled wine that will have you feeling festive but without the hangover. Food-wise, that Turkey dinner with all the vegetables you could desire will provide you with plenty of nutrients, so if you do manage to meet with friends and family on a number of occasions then enjoy as many as you like or whip up some other healthy Christmas treats – maybe just leave all the junk that comes with Christmas and you’ll be feeling free of the negative feelings associated in less time.
We are not medical professionals. Please seek advice from a medical professional if you feel you may have an alcohol dependency before stopping suddenly. Drinkaware.co.uk is a helpful resource as a starting point and your GP surgery will be able to guide you through any issues/questions you may have.