Wine and Wellness: The Inside Scoop on Enjoying Wine While Having a HealthyLifestyle

If you missed the Facebook live I taped with Leslee Miller of Amusée (you can watch it here on her Facebook page), I've got you covered with a summary of all the goodness we shared. 

Leslee and I shared these tips on enjoying a healthy wine night in, cooking with wine and why wine is healthy.


Leslee's tips on what makes wine healthy: 

  • Enjoy wines from the "old world" vs. "new world" to ensure you are getting a more natural wine.  Also, choose a small family winery.  These wineries have held very clean and sustainable practices forever, so while we are trying to "clean up" our farming in the US, the old world winers just naturally have good clean practices that deliver wines that are so much healthier for us, without dies or additives. 

  • When choosing an old world wine pick a wine that is lower in alcohol count (less than 12.5% and is "dry".  The result will be a glass of wine with less than 1 g of sugar (about 4-5 g of sugar per bottle) vs. a new world wine such as Apothic Red that will give you a whopping 20 grams of sugar per bottle or about 800 calories, plus has not been produced within "organic" farming practices.  I really have no desire to drink all my calories!  If you pick an extra dry or Brut bubbly you will be rewarded with a glass of bubbles with less than .5g of sugar.  Ok- yes please!

  • It is a falacy that we are allergic to tannins.  These are compouds found in the skin of the red grape.  So have no fear, drink up. 

I shared a few thoughts for preventing a hangover, all based on the Crowd Out Theory, which simply suggests we fill our body full of good stuff, so that we leave little space or crowd out the bad. 

  • Drink water while you are enjoying your wine.  Did you know that a hangover is your body telling you to drink more water and that you are dehydrated?  Our bodies are 70% water, so we have to keep this balance.  This is the single best way eliminate headaches and keep digestion going so you can process the alcohol.
    • Avocado and Pea guacamole with sliced peppers and rice chips or gluten-free Beanitos.  Avocado's have over 20 vitamins and minerals. They are very low in sugar, have healthy fats, good carbs, fiber and anitoxidants. Peas are loaded with fiber and vitamins and minerals. Chips: With more than double the protein of corn and potato chips and a whopping 5 grams of fiber, these low-glycemic chips are great for keeping blood sugar stable.
    • Brussel Sprout and Bacon.  Substitute the bacon for artichoke hearts if you don't do bacon (both of these are paleo friendly).  There are a ton of nutrients, fiber and disease-fighting compounds in the brussel sprouts and a little protein and good fat in the bacon. A little  bacon is good, just maybe not everyday. Eat nutrient dense food.  Back to the crowd out theory, fill your body with fiber, healthy fats and vitamins, minerals and you will so much better prepared to enjoy your wine and feel like a champ in the morning.  Enjoy these recipes that are all nutrient dense and so good for you, plus taste friggin' amazing.
    • Grilled Shrimp with Eggplant and walnut salsa or fire roasted tomato salsa. Shrimp are a great protein, plus low in calories and are loaded with quality nutrients like selenium and B12. 
  • If you didn't take any of this advice and find yourself feeling a little "off" in the morning:
    • Be sure to hydrate right away, drink plenty of water.  
    • Sweat.  If you can muster the energy, do 20-30 minutes of cardio or anything physical that will generate a good sweat and speed up your detox.  
    • If you aren't up to moving, go take a steam or sauna.  
    • Eat a very nutrient rich breakfast.  Try our detox smoothie. It is loaded with berries, avocado, spinach, ginger and coconut water (the electrolytes in the coconut water will help you rehydrate). Recipe here
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Tips for Cooking with Wine:

  • Leslee suggests when cooking with wine to go back to her advice on choosing a wine from the old world, which will ensure you are getting a good quality, naturally produced wine that would meet your "organic" expectations.  Also, marry wines with like flavors, so if the label says bluebery and sage, then combine it with like ingredients.  Do not cook with anything you would not drink. This is not the time to use up old cheap wine (or old wine that's been sitting on your counter for a few days too long).  And, Leslee is a fan of box wine (!!!). Ok we are not Franzia, but there are great top quality box wines that are not only good for cooking, but great for enjoying with your meal. 
  • My best advice is to buy quality ingredients for the actual food (and spices) part of your meal.  If you are going to entertain, put your best self forward and serve healthy ingredients.  That means starting with organic and grass-fed meats. If you can't afford organic for everything, then buy orgainc ingredients that are the most dirty.  Use the Dirty Dozena and Clean Fifteen list as a guide.  Your grass-fed meat is not only better for our environment, but will give you much higer levels of Omega 3's and CLA's. 

Leslee also shared some great tips and information on why wine is actually healthy and tips on etiquette:

  • Pick those old world dry wines from small family winers that are low in alcohol to start the night and then move to a big bold Cabernet to finish the night off, when you are serving a big bold dish. 
  • If you wear lipstick, sip from the same spot every time to avoid a ring of lip marks on your glass, so tacky.  (Ok, but honestly, I am guilty of this one! oops!)
  • When drinking wine, the acid in the wine interacts with our teeth and weakens our enamel so do not brush right away after drinking wine. Instead swish with a mouthful of water and then brush about an hour later.
  • Wine is food.  Treat your wine as food. Savor it, repsect it and you will have such a better experience. 

I love to remind us all that in moderation, wine is acutally really good for us!  

  • Wine is loaded with antioxidants...resveratrol and proanthocyanidins (from red) and tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol (from white), but we also get phosphorus, potassium and magnesium (a mineral know for helping to relax our muscles, among many other benefits).  Red wine tends to rate higher overall in health benefits, but white still provides small amounts of micronutrients. Experts tout that wine helps to control blood sugar, boost brain power, protect our heart and help skin remain young, fresh and dewey. 





darci eckermann