This year for Alcohol Awareness Month, I decided to cut out alcohol completely. In fact, I started my alcohol detox a few weeks before April and am proud to say I’m still on it and have not caved. Being a chef and around incredible food and wine everyday makes it really hard for me to give up alcohol and truth be told I’ve never actually tried it as I didn’t think I would be able to give it up. For me, food pairs so well with drinks like wine, sake, and cocktails and is a form of enjoyment. However, as a Chef, I would say I over-indulge in alcohol like I over-indulge in food sometimes. I catch myself having a bit more wine every weekend and like anything else, tolerance builds up and it can become habit forming. So what better way to celebrate Alcohol Awareness month by being aware of your alcohol intake and cut back or better yet, detox completely.
Below are a few tips on how I maintained my alcohol-free journey successfully thus far.
1. It’s not actually as hard as you think. Be positive and go into it feeling confident about your goals. You may surprise yourself.
2. Talk about it with your friends when you are out, especially when everyone else around is drinking, it helps to just say you are going on a detox from alcohol. I’ve found that a lot of people tend to be interested in it because it’s something they’ve thought about doing before. It makes it more encouraging for you and for others to try it out. People are also less likely to peer-pressure you if you tell you are going on an alcohol cleanse.
3. Not drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you have to be boring at dinner or on a date and drink water. Order a mocktail or ask the bartender to make something you would typically like in a cocktail sans alcohol. I tend to like citrus a lot and aromatics in my cocktails, so I’ll describe flavor notes as such and bartenders will make me a drink that looks just like any other cocktail.
4. Get creative with mocktails at home on the weekends. Weekends at home are days when I like to relax and indulge. That used to mean popping open a bottle of wine. Now, I scour fruits at the market to get inspired to make a delicious indulgent drink. It’s relaxing and fun. Below is one of my favorite mocktails that I started making that I absolutely love and it gets my weekend started right!
Mango Orange Creamsicle
1 whole mango (cut in half)
2 tablespoon condensed milk
2 cups of low fat coconut milk
1/2 of ice
1/2 cup of frozen oranges
1. Scoop half of the mango in a blender along with all the other ingredients
2. Blend until smooth or until their is little bits of mango pulp if you like to bite into little bits of pulp
3. Pour into a mason jar and garnish with the other half of the mango. Score the other half of the mango so it folds open. Looks stunning on the jar and makes for easy snacking.
This drink tastes, tropical, decadent, satisfying and filling. You won’t be missing any alcohol in this mock-tail.