“I’ll start next week on Monday!” People always say they are going to start getting healthy after the wedding, party, or holiday. They don’t want to let healthy eating and sobriety get in the way of their weekend. You aren’t ever going to get healthy if you keep waiting for next week. Start Somewhere today and make cleaner upgrades for foods including your adult beverages. There are growing options for organic alcohol options and healthier mixers. Make it fun and being healthy will come easier!
While you aren’t going to find drinking as tip in The Non-inflammatory Diet Book, we know it’s a lifestyle choice many make, so make sure to do it as cleanly as possible. Organic alcohols, wines and beers offer options, minus the pesticides, herbicides, GMOs and extra ingredients. Starting somewhere doesn’t have to ruin your weekend!
Know what to look for and check out some good options to give your weekend drinks a healthy upgrade.
We all know it is important to choose a quality liquor that has been distilled and filtered a few times to remove impurities. Especially those who have experienced the rail liquor hangover. There are a few other things to look for when shopping for spirits.
When shopping for liquor you have less to fear when you go clear. Vodka has the fewest impurities followed by gin and silver tequila. Golden colors in tequila can mean added caramel coloring and other junk you don’t need. These liquors can also be easily found in gluten-free varieties.
Brown liquors are often made with grains that contain gluten plus they have more congeners. Congeners are toxic byproducts produced during the fermentation process and can make your hangover worse.
You also want to look for organic liquors to avoid the pesticides, herbicides, GMOs and other nasty chemicals in your liquor. You also want to be aware of your allergies, so you aren’t inadvertently getting a potato vodka if you are allergic to potatoes. There are corn options or vice versa if you have a corn allergy.
Vodka and Gin
Rain Organic Vodka- This vodka is made from organic Kentucky corn and distilled several times. The filtration process includes activated charcoal and diamond dust. That is serious filtration!
Prairie Organic Vodka and Gin- This Minnesota vodka is also made from organic corn and is gluten free. They also offer a gin! This vodka is distilled to taste, and they don’t compromise to keep it free of chemicals, GMO’s and gluten. Their farmers prepare the field for 3 years before growing the corn and have a buffer crop around their fields to keep the corn crops safe from neighboring pesticides. Bats and birds control the pests instead of pesticides and natural prairie fires eliminate weeds.
Schramm Organic Vodka- This organic vodka is a potato vodka coming from the Coast Mountains of Canada. This vodka is produced in small batches. They use a natural fermentation process that does not use chemicals, synthetic anti-foaming agents, or additives.
Art of the Still Vodka and Gin– Trader Joe’s Organic Gin and Vodka is affordable and organic. These organic options are made from corn from the heartland. The Minnesota farmers rely on bats and birds to control pests and natural prairie fires to eliminate weeds. This sounds a lot like Prairie Organic Vodka and Gin. Wonder if it is Prairie Organic Vodka packaged for Trader Joe’s?
Tito’s Vodka This is another great option. While it isn’t organic, it is Certified Kosher and cleaner than many other liquor options. Because you can find this one widely available and affordable it made our list.
Wines like other liquors that have an alcohol level over 7% do not require traditional nutrition and ingredients labels. You probably think that means there are only grapes and yeast in your wine. Oh no! There can be added sugars, sulfites, stabilizers and ingredients to enhance the feel of your wine. What can that include? Egg whites, milk products, fish bladders, gelatin, or bovine pancreas. Plus, if your wine isn’t organic you are getting pesticides, herbicides and all the other chemicals. That’s why you are safest with a vegan, organic wine from a reputable vineyard.
Frey Organic Wine- This vegan, biodynamic winery is also America’s first organic winery. They offer a wide variety of wines with over 20 options. This California Winery brings you affordable and tasty wines with no added sulfites. They are also dedicated to being good stewards of their land.
Girasole Organic Wine- Another vegan friendly wine that has been using organic practices for 60 years and certified for the past 20. The winemaker follows strict CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) guidelines throughout the winemaking process.
Badger Mountain Organic Wine- You can luck out and sometimes find this organic wine at Costco for a good price. This vineyard in the state of Washington offers a variety of organic wines for Cabernet to Riesling lovers.
Traditional beers are high in gluten and have been off limits for many with wheat allergies. Gluten is highly inflammatory and should be avoided by anyone who is looking to make healthier choices. Inflammation is at the root of all chronic diseases. It can also cause acne, weight gain, gastrointestinal distress, joint pain and more. We recommend avoiding gluten even in your beer. The breweries have been hearing the call for more gluten-free beers but gluten-free, organic can be harder to find.
Lakefront Brewery- America’s first gluten-free beer is also organic! It’s made without wheat or barley. Ingredients include sorghum, rice, hops, water and gluten-free yeast. Each batch gets tested for gluten before it’s bottled! This organic option is a great choice.
Brunehaut- This import hails from Belgium and the Brunhaut Amber won a gold medal at the 2011 US Open Beer Championships. Not all their beers are gluten-free, but they have several that are gluten-free plus organic and vegan. These beers are brewed with gluten and then de-glutenized so be cautious if you have an allergy.
Hard Ciders- These are a favorite around here and an easy gluten-free option. If you are in an area that offers one, like Sonoma Cider or Samuel Smith’s, scoop it up.
Mixers can be an easy source of unhealthy sugars and chemicals. Sugar is an extremely inflammatory, antinutrient that goes by names like high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose and many more. So, avoid it in your mixers along with unnecessary chemicals and non-organic ingredients.
Tres Agaves- This company offers ready-made mixes in 4 different flavors all sweetened with agave nectar and USDA organic. Just add your favorite clean liquor to their Bloody Mary Mix or Margarita Mix.
Fever Tree Ginger Beer, Lemonade and Tonic Waters- This company travels the world to bring you amazing ingredients. You can find options that are made with fruit sugar rather than cane sugar to make your drink a little healthier.
Make Your Own- You can make your own simple syrup using honey and water. Infuse your water with fruits or essential oils. Get creative and make your own version of a healthy drink sweetening with maple syrup, xylitol, or honey.
Start Somewhere: Adult Beverage Upgrade
Don’t wait until next week or next Monday. How long have you been saying that? Start Somewhere now! These easy drink upgrades will get you started and before you know it you will be getting creative with your healthy lifestyle. Being healthy isn’t a sacrifice- it’s an opportunity to be kind to your body.
Written By Dr. Patrick Flynn
For more check out Dr. Patrick Flynn’s Quick Tip on Alcohol: