Pomegranate Mulled Cider is a delicately spiced, antioxidant rich, and delicious way to ring in the New Year ~ this healthy mocktail has helped me give up my daily drinking habit!
So I’ve made a pretty big change in my life lately ~ I’ve given up my nightly wine. It’s definitely been challenging, but I feel really good about it. Let me just say I didn’t realize how much I looked forward to the ritual of settling down at the end of the day with a couple of glasses of wine, and to be honest, it was the highlight of my day!
I made the decision after the latest round of news about the ill-effects of drinking came out last month. It’s been so confusing ~ I always thought red wine was supposed to be heart healthy, and that’s the story I clung to for years. Now that the connection between alcohol and other health issues like cancer are coming into focus, especially for women, I decided to do a little research and reconsider my habits.
I was surprised to learn that what I considered to be light or moderate drinking was actually an unhealthy amount. Especially since I’m a woman, and at 5’2″ a small one at that, I learned that the alcohol in my nightly drink or two was affecting every cell in my body, and not in a good way. Men and women metabolize alcohol differently, and women’s bodies don’t break it down as effectively. It means that glass of wine is effecting me more powerfully and for a longer period of time than it does the guy sitting next to me with the same drink. Totally unfair!
I figured I had a few choices ~ I could reduce the amount of alcohol I drank daily, I could give up alcohol entirely, or I could decide to drink only on social occasions, which is what I ultimately did. I think it helps to be honest with yourself and pick a strategy that works with your personality and lifestyle. I didn’t want the daily will power struggle of trying to keep to a very small glass of wine. I didn’t want to give up drinking completely because it gives me a lot of pleasure and I do believe it can be healthy. So for me, occasional social drinking seemed like a good compromise.
I didn’t make a big announcement about it to friends and family, I just quietly stopped one day and replaced my wine with water. I’m not even sure my husband noticed right away. I will admit that the water thing got old really quickly, and it hasn’t been a super easy process. I still think about that glass of wine every evening at about 6:30. But I’m really happy I followed through ~ it’s given me more energy, I feel more alert, and I sleep better. My body tells me in a hundred ways that I made the right decision.
some tips to help you reduce or give up alcohol ~
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated so you don’t turn to alcohol out of sheer thirst.
- Find a substitute non alcoholic beverage to stand in for your cocktail so you can maintain your sipping routine. It might be a mocktail, or a cozy after dinner latte.
- Reward yourself with something small to take the place of your booze, I get myself a spoonful of Nutella after dinner :)
- Brush your teeth ~ this is really effective! I’ll brush earlier than usual and that helps to signal the end of the eating ~ and drinking ~ day.
- I make a ritual out of brewing a really good cup of coffee first thing in the morning and I look forward to it the night before.
- It helps to do this with a buddy, if possible, I’ve teamed up with my sister.
- Be clear about why you want to stop drinking…and remind yourself of it regularly to keep motivated.
- Don’t be worried about false starts, it might take you a few tries to accomplish your goal.
- Every little bit helps and even if you just give up drinking for a week or a month it gives your body a chance to detox and reset. You’ll gain a valuable sense of control over your health, too.
- Pat yourself on the back for having the resolve to change an unhealthy behavior. Feeling good about yourself makes the effort easier.
Luckily there are other ways to get those good antioxidants that are present in red wine without the unhealthy ethanol…
- red and purple grapes
- red, blue, and purple berries
all have high levels of heart healthy and cancer fighting superpowers so I’ve been experimenting with using them to make delicious non alcoholic drinks. One of them is this hot Mulled Pomegranate Cider. I’ll make up a batch, keep it in the fridge, and microwave a cup when I feel like it.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m still cooking with wine and I’ll still post cocktails and other alcohol related recipes ~ the key here at tvfgi is moderation, and that holds true for everything, including alcohol. If the news improves on the health benefits of red wine any time soon, you’ll know where to find me ;)
- 128 ounces apple cider
- 16 ounces pure pomegranate juice
- several sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 1 tsp white peppercorns
- 10 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 5 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
- Put the juices in a large pot, or slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring up to a simmer. Turn down the heat and let steep for at least an hour.
- Strain before serving.
Here are some other anti-oxidant rich non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails ~
- BLUEBERRY LEMONADE
- TART CHERRY SPRITZER
- HOMEMADE SUGAR FREE GRAPE SODA
- CRANBERRY KOMBUCHA
- FESTIVE CRANBERRY FIZZ
- RASPBERRY MOJITO MOCKTAIL
- POMEGRANATE CIDER PUNCH
- BLUEBERRY LAVENDER SHRUB
- WILD BLUEBERRY LEMON SPRITZER
- GRAPE SLUSHIE
- NON ALCOHOLIC SANGRIA
- CRANBERRY SAGE SHRUB
- ACAI POME BLUE MOJITO
- ACAI POMEGRANATE BLUEBERRY AGUA FRESCA
- SAFFRON GOLDEN MILK
- CHIA FRESCA WITH PINEAPPLE AND TURMERIC
- MACA CACAO HOT CHOCOLATE
- TURMERIC TEA