Health and Mardi Gras
“Laissez les bon temp rouler” … and the good times will be had by all when the Mardi Gras season gets rolling this month. But that doesn’t mean the revelry of the season needs to completely take center stage over our health and wellness, right? Keeping that in mind, I wanted to look into alternatives. I first thought of the biggest vice of the season: alcohol. For anyone with specific health issues, like my inflammatory disease, alcohol can be a huge factor in flare-ups.
So how can we make this Mardi Gras a little easier on our body? Especially when the most popular consumptions are a 32-ounce daiquiri picked up from the drive thru or a six-pack you got at the corner store before walking to the parade route?
I immediately sought the help of New Orleans Magazine “Last Call” columnist, and knower of all things libation, Tim McNally. With his foray into the New Orleans drink scene and vast knowledge of wine and spirits, I knew he was the right person to contact.
McNally, pointing out that alcohol can’t exactly be considered “healthy,” made some great suggestions on which areas of your Carnival beverages to substitute for better options.
Some fast facts:
• “Clear” alcohol is better than “brown,” while white wine is better than red
• Try adding fresh fruit, which is always healthier than refined sugar
• Choose a wine spritzer over a thick daiquiri
• Soda is bad, tonic (or a mixer without sugar) is good
• Toddies are always a good choice because hot water is a main ingredient
• Sangria isn’t “low-cal,” but can be full of antioxidants and different fresh fruits
• Use fresh ingredients, never bottled or frozen
Keeping these tips in mind before heading out to the parade route has a multitude of benefits. However, when you break it down quantity matters, and whether you’re consuming a six-pack or four martinis, they’re all equally as bad. Moderation is key, fun is necessary and always keep the good times rolling. Happy Mardi Gras!