You’ve probably heard the news: alcohol and dieting don’t always mix. Now, of course, you can have alcohol over the course of your Stronger U journey. But like cake, cookies, or any other indulgence it makes sense to limit your alcohol intake.
That’s why SU suggests a couple of things:
- We need to account for alcohol properly in our tracking and there’s a specific way to do so. No, it’s not scanning the label. (search MyFitnessPal for “SU Craft Beer” to see what we mean.)
- Drinking less. Just like having less cake is probably a good idea for your goals, less alcohol is probably a good idea as well. We’re not anti-alcohol or anti-cake, we’re just champions for your success.
Number one is usually met with groans. Yes, alcohol adds up quickly if we’re not careful. But, again, those calories count and we need to account for them.
Number two is usually met with questions about what to have instead. And that’s what we’re talking about in today’s blog. The world of non-alcoholic drinks has exploded in recent years and it’s clear: it’s never been easier to not drink alcohol and still enjoy plenty to drink.
Making drinks with no alcohol is a fun way to get creative, make new things, and take a culinary approach to beverages.
We wanted to offer the group a bit more depth so you can confidently abstain while still enjoying yourself. So this week we’re going to be looking at a few mocktails to put a sober spin on some old classics, courtesy of Coach Ben Matthews Johnson. We’ll also be looking at a few pre-made options that you can turn to in a pinch.
- 2 Ounces Watermelon Juice
- 1 Ounce Cucumber Juice
- 0.5 Ounce Lemon Juice
- 3–5 Ounces Ginger Beer (I used Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light)
- Fresh Dill (and if you want to get fancy, a cucumber ribbon) for Garnish.
- Combine watermelon, cucumber, and lemon juices in a shaker glass with a bit of the fresh dill. (The dill is optional, but adds an extra note of freshness. Can also use fresh mint.)
- Fill the shaker glass with ice and shake.
- Double-strain the mixture over ice into your serving glass and top with the ginger beer.
- Give it a stir, garnish, then go in for that first sip of refreshing goodness.
Note: You can either get fresh watermelon and cucumber juice at the store or make it at home. To do the latter, blend the flesh (without the rind or skin, respectively) and run it through a fine-mesh sieve. Voila. Or, obviously, you can use a juicer.
- 2 Ounces Jalapeño-infused Seedlip Garden
- 1 Ounce Fresh-squeezed Lime Juice
- 1 ounce Blue Agave Syrup (50/50 mix of blue agave nectar and water)
- Rim Salt and Lime Wheel for Garnish
- Quarter a jalapeño and let it infuse overnight with Seedlip Garden in the fridge. (Substitute: Seedlip Grove or cucumber water.)
- When it comes time to make the drink, salt the glass by using lime to moisten the outside of the rim and dip it in your salt. Then chill the glass.
- Pour the infused Seedlip, fresh lime juice, and blue agave syrup into a shaker cup.
- Add ice and shake it like a polaroid picture.
- Double-strain the margarita into your chilled, salted glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
- 2 Ounces Seedlip Grove
- 1 Ounce Fresh Lime Juice
- 4–6 Ounces Ginger Beer (I used Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light)
- Lime Wheel for Garnish
- If possible, build in a copper mug starting with the Seedlip and lime juice.
- Fill with ice.
- Top with ~4–6 ounces of ginger beer and give it a stir.
- Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy.
Hop Water and Tea
Non-alcoholic beer has been around for quite a while. But it still comes with added carbs and calories that might be unwanted when you’re trying to lose weight. The craft beer community caught onto that problem and engineered a solution — hop-infused waters and teas! These 0 calorie non-alcoholic drinks pack all the flavor and satisfaction of a craft beer without the guilt. Our favorite brand is HopTea by craft brewer Hoplark, which can be purchased online or at your local WholeFoods.
Poppi Probiotic Soda
Bubbles? Check. Festive and macro-friendly? Double-check! Kombucha has long been a favorite alcohol alternative for Dry January participants, but its pungent nature and high sugar content can scare some off. Poppi probiotic soda has similar benefits, but a much more approachable flavor and contains less than 5g of sugar. Our favorite is the raspberry rose flavor that tastes like a semi-sweet sparkling rosè. We recommend pouring it in a wine glass for the full mocktail effect. Poppi comes in many varieties and can be purchased at Whole Foods, Publix, or on their website.
Sometimes, all we really want is a beverage to break up the monotony of chugging plain h20 all day from the same old water jug. And we totally get that! So if true mocktails or alcohol alternatives aren’t your thing, try pouring some sparkling water into a festive glass of your choice. We love San Pelligrino, Perrier, and all of the La Croix varieties (did someone say Pamplemousse!).
Remember, when and what you decide to drink are choices that are up to you. If choosing to abstain from alcohol right now is the choice you feel is right for you then these options will make it easier to stick to than ever before!