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Drink Smart

Have you just completed Dry January, or want to take a break or reduce the amount you drink,

This is fantastic news for your health, bank balance and a host of other areas of your life. But as we know from the nature of habits, you’ll need to replace your drinking with a healthier habit

How many time do you go out and someone asks you “what you are drinking – you just say gin and tonic or ½ lager” – just from habit.

You need a plan a back up that is an alternative that can become a new habit Otherwise you’re likely to fall back into your former drinking ways.

So what do you replace the alcoholic drink with during those moments? It should be easy to replace your booze with non-alcoholic drinks, but people genuinely struggle. They’re so used to drinking alcohol that finding a non-alcoholic replacement is like learning algebra for the first time.

So I’ve decided to try and make the decision a little easier by offering six non-alcoholic drinks options, and I’m not talking about elaborate, hard-to-make, mocktails or some other concoction. The following suggestions are easy to make at home, or out and about at any event.

Carbonated water (mineral water)

Let’s face it, water is pretty boring for most people, especially those who like their drinks with a little more kick. If you’re booze of choice has bubbles, then replacing it with another bubbly drink makes sense (unless that other drink is something like Coke, then it’s seriously stupid). As such, carbonated mineral water is a natural progression from boring old water for those who want to replace their alcoholic drinks with something healthy

In a bar, a mineral water with a wedge of lemon or lime looks like an alcoholic drink, potentially keeping some people from interrogating you as to why you’re not drinking. I don’t recommend you lie to people and say you are drinking, but a little deception doesn’t hurt!

Milk varieties

If you’re going to drink cow’s milk, it’s important you drink the full cream version. It has less sugar than low-fat milk, it might be hard to believe, but compare the nutritional information on the carton for yourself. If cow’s milk isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other milk varieties, i.e. almond, rice, coconut, oat, soy, goat, etc. Give it a go

Fruit juice and fruit smoothies

A well made fruit smoothie or a freshly squeezed juice is like nothing else, they taste like heaven in your mouth. Blending up a combination of your favourite fruits for a refreshing drink can be one of the highlights of your day. It may take a little experimentation, but once you’ve got your fruit smoothie mix just right, there will be no looking back. Just one word of warning, fruit is packed full of natural sugars, some more so than others, so I wouldn’t recommend you knock them Keep it down to one a day to ensure the belt line doesn’t head in the wrong direction –or mix that fruit juice with some of the carbonated mineral water.

Tea and coffee

The world of tea isn’t limited to the milky, sugary, English breakfast style or builders tea. There are literally thousands of different styles, and there is no doubt there’s one out there with your name on it. Kambucha is the latest tea variety in the spotlight for various health benefits, but there aren’t too many teas that are bad for you. Perhaps instead of cracking open a lager in front of the TV after dinner every night or pouring a glass of wine, your new thing could be trying a different tea instead. Try teas like masala chai tea or chai latte for a change. And there are just as many varietys of coffee out there I but a lovely chocolate orange flavoured one which feel like a real treat

Something that feels a bit special

There are times when you want something a little more out of the ordinary

Here are some of the best according to the independent

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