Balancing Alcohol Consumption With Healthy Living

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The other night, I drank half an alcoholic milkshake with my friend Kaitlyn. At 9:30 pm. It wasn’t my proudest moment, I’ll be honest, but I was a little bit buzzed. The shake was calling our names, and you know what? It was delicious.

Surprise! Sometimes I like to have a drink or two (or more). Maybe even in milkshake form. If you’ve been reading for even just a month, you probably get that by now. So, yeah, I do indulge in a little drinking now and again. Does that make me any less healthy than a non-drinker? In my opinion, no.

We all know that alcohol is not at the top of the 100 healthiest foods list (actually, it’s probably pretty close to the bottom of that list). Still, alcohol is something that the people I hang out with, including family, drink. It’s not going away anytime soon. I used to freak out about the calories in alcohol and the potential health risks that can incur in the future from consumption, but recently I’ve learned a big lesson in moderation.

It’s okay if you want to have a fun night out, or even a glass of wine at home. Like I said, though, moderation is key. I’ve learned that if I have only one or two drinks in a night, I’m infinitely happier than if I have four (or more). I feel clearer the next day, both in body and mind. But that’s not necessarily what I’m meaning to get at here.

For me, indulging in nights that include alcohol usually lead to some pretty fun and happy memories. Going out with friends or catching up with someone over dinner and drinks is a kind of release. It’s a way to unwind and tighten friendships. I know that not everyone treats alcohol in this way, but it’s how I personally treat it. It’s all about balance, like most things in life, really.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- healthy living is about more than just quinoa, kale, and running. Someone I met the other night while I was having a drink got to questioning me about this. If I was so “healthy,” why was I drinking? My answer was basically that if I restricted myself from alcohol merely because it’s not traditionally good for you, I wasn’t doing myself any mental favors. It’s one thing to actually not be able to consume something but it’s another to tell yourself you can’t.

So I’m going to keep eating oatmeal, making salads, and guzzling water. I’m also going to have a drink now and again. And that’s perfectly okay with me.

Questions of the Day:
>> How do you feel about incorporating alcohol into a healthy lifestyle?

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12 comments

  1. yes. Something I think is key when it comes to balance. I used to be full fledged over the top with alcohol then cut it out completely- now I’ve found the happy balance too- most of the time.

    Someone’s Saturday night was a little different eh 😉 Me and D have the evidence!

  2. I agree that there can definitely be a place for alcohol in a healthy diet, just like there can be a place for ice cream. Those less “healthy” foods are usually the ones I associate with socializing and being with friends/family, and I think it would cause more mental stress to stay away than it does to have a little bit.

  3. I’m definitely with you on this one — easing up on trying to follow the 100% clean eating mentality is WAY better for you than actually sticking to it. The stress, deprivation, and restriction is worse for you than drinking alcohol or eating sugar. I think people tend to forget that mental health probably has a bigger impact on our physical health than clean eating does. There’s food that’s good for our bodies, and food that’s good for our souls — the later being absolutely necessary.

  4. I’m completely amazed by this alcoholic milkshake you talk of. It sounds delicious & I’m not sure I’d even want to share (if I weren’t pregnant of course). Haha

    Going with your post though, Healthy eating is all about balance. Nothing wrong with drinking up a bit more one weeked compared to the next.

  5. I’m 100% with you on this one. Last Thursday night, I went out to a bar with friends, drank more than I should have and stayed out way later than I meant to, considering that I had to be up before 7 the next morning. But I had an AMAZING time and don’t regret it in the slightest. I don’t do that often, so when the opportunity comes up with friends and I’m in the mood, I take it. I made awesome memories and hung out with people I haven’t seen enough of in the past few years which is way more important to me than the calories I could have ‘saved’. I’ll have a glass of wine with you anytime! 😉

  6. I definitely have my fair share of occasional drinks. I am a bit of a wino and won’t turn down the occasional vodka soda at 1am if I happen to be out and not fast asleep grandma status. I completely agree that being healthy is so much more than eating “healthy” foods and exercising, it is about balance an moderation.

  7. How did I not comment on this? Anyway, I would rather have an amazzzzing glass of wine/champagne or cocktail instead of a vodka soda with lime like the old days and truly enjoy it rather than drinking to black out. Whoops.

  8. This is THE BEST post I have read on any blog in a longgg time, missy. Seriously. This quote, “healthy living is about more than just quinoa, kale, and running” is everything. You know I am all about the balance these days, and I couldn’t agree more that completely restricting yourself from alcohol (or anything, for that matter!) does way more harm than good. And it’s so true / important to know that drinking 1-2 drinks versus binge drinking (whoops, been there) on any given night will leave you feeling so much better and totally ready to kick butt the next day. Love, love! Xox

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