Should you have alcohol?
Alcohol is empty calories, meaning zero nourishment, interferes with absorption and assimilation of nutrients leading to many nutritional deficiencies. Alcoholic beverages contain substantial quantities of ethanol or ethyl alcohol that can lead to intoxication and other psychoactive effects. It is a widely used beverage and is a part and parcel of many social and cultural gatherings where it is used as a recreational drink.
Very often, it is peer pressure, fear of social rejection, addiction, lack of activity, festive season like Christmas and New Year or boredom that makes you take up alcohol to fill up the gaps. This is where awareness and moderation have to be exercised.
Alcohol affects people in many different ways. Some experience intoxication with just one drink, others are able to consume 3 to 4 drinks before they begin to feel its effects. Regular consumption of alcohol has numerous negative side effects. It is a toxin and the abnormalities it can cause are many. A few are listed below:
1. Alcohol reduces energy levels, strength, and affects muscle growth.
2. Alcohol and its abuse or over use can cause damage to the liver, pancreas, kidneys and the central nervous system.
3. It causes metabolic damage and affects our immune system.
4. Excess use of alcohol can shorten life span.
5. Long term use of alcohol can cause reduced coordination, balance and a number of sexual dysfunctions like diminished sperm production, reduced libido and menstrual abnormalities in women.
6. Over use of alcohol interferes with the absorption of nutrients leading to anemia and B complex deficiencies.
Family and friends definitely play a huge role in the rehab and wellness plan for alcohol reducing programs. There are many support groups and counseling centers that help women and men that are suffering from alcoholism. It is necessary to bring awareness about such programs.
Dealing with an alcoholic is a full time job and a long drawn process. Talking to the affected person at length, having several counseling sessions with the addict as well as the addict’s family and friends is extremely important. Joining a support group where the addict can openly discuss her/ his fears to her/ his fellow friends will go a long way in helping them to de-addict.
Life is a wonderful gift that we are all endowed with and it is up to us to nurture the different dynamics of life like the physical, physiological, emotional and spiritual aspects of our wellbeing. Vices if at all, need to be enjoyed at will, socially, occasionally, and not by habit. Unfortunately, you are not consuming it; it is consuming you. Be a victor and not a victim of life.
Moderate drinking is perfectly fine and enjoyable. It is the chronic or daily consumption that causes health issues. So keep a safe limit, enjoy it! Let the cleansing and purifying process be optimised , Get Mickeymized!!!
How much alcohol should one consume? Choice of Alcohol
This really depends on your moods and the situation where alcohol is served as an aperitif or as an appetite stimulant. Christmas and New Year are the festivals celebrated all over the world with festivities, feasts, parties, exchange of gifts and family get-togethers. This is a typical excuse to splurge!
So, I would like to stress upon the virtue of moderation to manage and maintain your wellness quotient. If you want to drink, go for red wine! It is known to have anti-oxidant properties which are good for your health, is a heart relaxant and a de-stressor. Ensure that the pedigree is good and it is purified and distilled to the highest level, But, mind you, I am not promoting alcohol. The next best thing would be white wine. Avoid hard liquor as far as possible. A strict abstinence is suggested for all the persons suffering from any illness at all; acute or chronic.
How much is too much in a day is speculative? My recommendation is you stay safe within safe limits of 1-2 pegs if you really enjoy a drink and strictly adhere to the Government’s guidelines to avoid external complications.
Regular and heavy drinking has many health risks which have been already listed above. The size and strength of the drink poured can be deceptive. Do not assume you have a great capacity to tolerate alcohol just because you don’t get “drunk” always. For some people, moderate drinking may show certain health benefits like calming the cardiovascular system and as a stress reducer. 3-4 drinks a week for women and 4-6 pegs a week for men are considered safe limits as long as do not have any health problems like diabetes, liver or pancreatic disorders, if you are under medication, or if you are driving or during pregnancy. For such people even moderate drinking isn’t risk-free. My suggestion is that you avoid drinking under pressure from friends/relatives and while partying and drink with responsibility.
Spirits that you can opt for are whiskey, single malts, vodka, cognac, brandy, gin, tequila, red wine, white wine, champagne, beer, rum etc in moderate quantities. You can also opt for single malts, other scotches, vodka, cognac or brandy.
So celebrate your Christmas and New Year with Joy. Let your cleansing be maximized, purifying be optimized and health being naturalized. Get Mickeymized.
How to neutralise alcohol
Since it is a season of festival, people tend to drink. While moderation is always the key, here are few tips on how you can be naturally awake, control your hangover and neutralise the alcohol.
1. Have a light snack before you start drinking. Try and eat something which has antacid properties and small amounts of proteins, grains and veggies like a light cheese or cottage cheese or cucumber sandwich of multi grains, fruits, plenty of salads and whole wheat crackers with the drinks; this will do a bit of damage control and will help to neutralize the toxic and harmful effects of alcohol. Know your limit and don’t overdo the drinking.
2. Have a glass full of water between every two drinks. This will dilute the toxins and other harmful effect of the alcohol. Choose a drink that gives you less hangover by avoiding cheap booze. Clear ones like vodka, cognac, rum, Scotch etc have fewer impurities.
3. Lemon juice, orange juice, tomato juice, coconut water etc are good to reduce hangover in the morning. Avoid caffeinated beverages.
3. Fruits can be incorporated into the fruit punch as well as the deserts! Do make sure that the amount of added sugar is nil or minimal! Healthy substitutes can include soda with lemon, a cocktail of fruits like pomegranate, apple and orange without added sugar, a glass of red wine, smoothies with soy milk, or low fat milk or yogurt and fruits, green and herbal teas, soups etc are recommended. Never give in to temptations that can sabotage your efforts.
Have potassium rich foods like banana as dehydration after a heavy drinking session sets in and can lead to lethargy, nausea and weakness.
4. Another good option for dessert can be yoghurt sweetened with honey or fruit puree and chilled. It will have the natural sweet.
5. Regular exercises with Yoga helps as recovery as it releases the natural “feel good” chemicals called endorphins. These brain chemicals help ease the hangover symptoms, boost mood and self- esteem and give an added impetus to resist temptation. The deep breathing exercise that is part of yoga promotes oxygenation, boosts energy and reduces fatigue. Both yoga and breathing exercises help to maintain calmness, concentration, inner peace and at the same time helps to cleanse detoxify the body of toxins by promoting digestive and intestinal harmony.
6. A lot of energy is expended by dancing. Don’t spend your whole evening sitting with snacks and alcohol.
7. A warm shower before sleep will prepare your body for a good restful sleep and can reduce the effects of a hangover in the morning.
Besides alcohol, stimulants like nicotine, cocaine, amphetamine, caffeine increase the risk of coronary artery disease. These stimulants besides the various negative effects on the body and the mind chemically stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn increases the level of adrenaline and other stress hormones in the body, which raises the blood sugar level, blood pressure, the pulse rate and the heart rate.
Smoking causes most damage to health and wellbeing. Thousands of people all over the world stop smoking every day – by dying. Graham Hemminger rightly put it as – ‘Tobacco is a dirty weed. I like it. It satisfies no normal need. I like it. It makes you thin, it makes you lean; it takes the hair right off your bean. It’s the worst darn stuff I’ve ever seen. I like it’. I think smoking is fairly an honorable and a sure-shot way of committing suicide. A cigarette is merely a tube with a fire at one end and a fool at the other; a cigarette does the smoking, you are merely a sucker.
Smoking cigarettes tops the list as a major risk factor of our number one killer — heart and blood vessel disease. Smoking also harms thousands of non-smokers, who are exposed to cigarette smoke.
With each puff of smoke you burn-out the alveoli and the life-force by millions of moments in quantity and quality. If you are a smoker and choose not to stop it then you might become one of those who gave-up his life in a smoke. When you quit, you reduce that risk tremendously. Fortunately, smoking is a modifiable risk factor and in theory at least, can be eliminated immediately.
Every cigarette you smoke damages your physical, mental and spiritual health. Like alcohol, you no more consume it; it consumes you. Enslavement to it degrades you and your being. Diseases caused by them are many; to name few – Avoid smoking! It is a known fact that smoking has adverse effects on health at any age. Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, irregular heartbeats or arrhythmia, kills one’s sense of taste and smell, speeds up the aging process, reduces immunity to such an extent that you become susceptible to bronchitis and respiratory infections, is dangerous to others and is addictive. Women smokers need to be extra careful as they are more prone to developing skin, breast and ovarian cancers. Smoking during pregnancy leads to premature births, miscarriages, premature births and birth defects. Smoking damages the elasticity of the skin and accelerates the aging process. The nicotine in cigarettes is the killer as it is extremely addictive and id one of the most difficult addiction to break free from.
What you need to note is that even passive smoking is known to increase the risk of falling prey to fatal and disabling diseases caused by active smoking.
The best way to liberate you from this malaise is by spending less time with relatives or friends who smoke a lot. Do productive physical exercises, yoga, meditation, pranayam to de-stress you and to give you clarity of mind. It also requires a strong mind, will power and commitment to want to make this change. The first improvement is increased energy levels and a drop in blood pressure to near normal which reduces your chances of strokes and heart problems. Gradually even your sense of smell and taste, your immunity levels improve and you reduce your risks to cancer, bronchial problems and strokes.
Here are a few simple steps to help overcome your vices:
- Be internally motivated, have focus, self-love and self-confidence to overcome your vices.
- Give yourself positive affirmation like, “From now on I am in charge of my life, and I choose to overcome my vices and feel totally healthy and happy”.
- When you desperately feel like either smoking or drinking, mediate on the act; become aware of the thought process, the body sensations and your feeling during Find out what works better for you – to gradually decrease or to stop all-together.
- Find a friend who too wants to quit his/her vices, and support one another.
- Daily practice breathing techniques, yoga and meditation.
- Exercise regularly and increase your physical activity in any way you enjoy most.
- Relax more often by listening to music, or enjoying your hobbies.
- Keep plenty of raw fruits and vegetables handy, to munch on, and keep eating them regularly.
- During a drinking session eat more salads to neutralize the acids, and the day after have lemon shots.
Take lots of warm baths and showers. Indulge yourself to good aroma massages, and aroma filled rooms. The single most important factor for those who overcome their vices will be the confidence and self- belief in them and in their efforts to become the victor. Make the most of your life, be optimised and Mickeymized!!!
This festive season give a gift that will enhance the quality and the lives of your loved ones as well as the under-privileged and reap the benefits of good soul health all the year through!
I would like more people to take the path of my religion; that is “let wellness be your religion No 1” for cleansing, purifying and for complete wellbeing. Our body is the temple of our soul! Let us take care of our body and soul by bringing in the higher values into our lives and by adhering to a healthy lifestyle. We will not only do ourselves a favor but also set a good example for the generations to come!
So please do accept my gift of motivation for the coming year to stay maximized and energized and Mickeymized!!!
I will wish you A Healthy New year and many more years to follow!
Have your drinks with awareness and responsibility while celebrating New Year Eve parties – from a wellness point as well as fun point. Let cleansing be maximized, get Mickeymized!!!