Liquid Holiday.

( kind of like liquid lunch) 

Drinking is a part of most of our Holidays. Whether it is Egg nog, wine, beer, soda or cocktails. It is fine to enjoy yourself around this time of year and splurge a little, but lets take a look at how many calories a few drinks can add to your Holiday meal. 

Alcohol. 

It’s a Holiday Tradition throughout most of the world. “A wassailing we will go” as the song goes. Wassail is a beer and hard alcohol combination from the 1850s. 

Mom, Uncle Pete and the kids are driving me nuts… I need a glass of wine… who doesn’t feel like that at some point this  time of year. 

A few alcoholic drinks can add hundreds of calories to your Holiday celebrating. 

Wine, my personal favorite. 

Wine is good, or is it bad? Wine can: 1. help you digest food, 2. lower your cholesterol, 3. is associated with cancer, and/or 4. relaxes you. Which is true? Well, they are all! 

An average glass of wine is about 100 calories. Red wine has a few more calories than white. Red wine does have some antioxidants but who really knows if the actual health benefits are worth the added calories. If you have a glass of wine before dinner, with your meal and a cocktail after dinner, this can add up to 500 calories; about the same amount of calories in a small meal, or a snack. 

The Hard stuff: 

A shot of hard liquor is about 100 calories. Vodka has the least calories. If you go to a Fitness Business Party everyone is drinking Vodka. One of those fancy drinks such a  Daiquiri or Margarita can pack up to 500 calories. If you want to enjoy one of those just have one. If you want to drink more, have the liquor that is in the fancy cocktail with seltzer and lemon for the rest of the night. And don’t mix hard liqueurs…ouch, I can feel your hang over from here if you mix Vodka and Whiskey. It is best to drink alcohol slowly and with your meal. 

The Nog

EggNog! I love egg nog. It’s sweet, milky, spicy… what is not to love about this childhood favorite. But kids, it is 500 calories an average serving. The serving size says 1/2 cup on my carton in my fridge. Who is drinking half a cup? The average person is probably drinking a cup and a half of this. Add some rum and you’ve got a 600 calorie drink. I am putting a few table spoons of egg nog in my coffee so I can enjoy it but not get the fat and caloric intake of a serving of ice cream all at once. You can take the half cup at 150 calories and add Seltzer to the rest. You can get that sentimental flavor without busting a gut. 

Soda… boo! 

 I swore off soda, sweetened teas and fruit juices years ago. All they do for you is add unneeded calories to your diet and dump a bunch of sugar directly into your blood stream. But if I do want to splurge on a special occasion, I mix 1/4 of an 8oz glass with soda and pour seltzer in the rest of the glass. It tastes like soda with 1/4 of the sugar. And no that ‘ Mexican Coke”  and ‘ Natural Soda’ with cane sugar is only so slightly better for you than the soda with corn syrup. 

CBD Cocktails: Point /Counter point. 

What is the point of adding a powerful anti- inflammatory ( CBD)  to something that will make you blow up like a balloon ( alcohol) ? I am not sure, maybe to be trendy. CBD is wonderful stuff. I use it myself. I am not sure why I would want to drink and use it at the same time. I mean, it does not taste very good. With CBD being one of the hottest health trends in recent years , you might be offered one of these at a hip and trendy gathering. At least you will have tried CBD. CDB has a cumulative effect, kind of like pharmaceutical antidepressants. You have to take it for 2 weeks to get the effects, so drinking one CBD cocktail won’t do much for your health. CBD cocktails – try it and maybe you won’t need so much wine to soothe your social anxiety at Holiday time. 

Coffee

Coffee is poison, caffeine is bad. Coffee is: 1. a mild natural antidepressant or 2. contains antioxidants. Which one is true? Well again, both are true. Coffee has next to no calories if you drink it black, 4 calories for an average serving to be exact. 

The nice flavor in coffee and the caffeine may help you digest a huge Holiday meal. Again watch the cream and sugar those can add up to 300 calories to your drink.  Those fancy coffee house Holiday drinks are full of sugar and fat. So much so you might as well drink a milk shake. They also contain added hidden fat and flavor-enhancing chemicals. Why do you think they taste so good? These type of coffee drinks would count as a once-a-month treat if you must. Don’t go for the limited-time-only advertising. You can have a milkshake any time!

For the 50 plus crowd: 

Did you know that as you age your body produces less of the enzyme that digests alcohol? You may notice that you get more of an effect from alcohol than you used to, and feel more hung over and dehydrated than when you were in your 20s.  If you are on any type of medication, the effects of alcohol is even more pronounced. This means your pancreas will have to work extra hard to digest alcohol, making you hungry the next day after drinking. This hungry feeling can lead to over eating. 

Enjoy some Holiday Libations especially during these difficult times. Just be aware of the additional caloric intake they can add to your celebrations.

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