3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Yes, yes, yes one of my absolute favourite parts of New Years’ is the socializing with all my friends and having a fun party, where everyone is happy and in a great mood. There’s something about the new year that fills us with excitement and that feeling of potential, like things can be different with a new year and a clean slate.
This new year, my husband Stuart and I are really excited as we are expecting a little bundle of joy in March! It will be a wonderful celebration and a very special 2015 in our home!
Along with all the celebration, there will probably be a few cocktails and some alcohol in the mix. (Well not for me this year!) Aside from experiencing a typical headache the day after accepting one too many cocktails, those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other digestive issues have to worry about the negative effects cocktails can have on their digestive systems as well.
This week the team and I want to help you prepare for your celebration! We have some advice for alcohol and a few lovely cocktails that will cause the least amount of trouble for your gut. And a special little mocktail for all you baby mama’s out there like me and anyone who needs to put the breaks on and enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage. Our drinks may not cure you of your headache, but they will ensure you don’t start off the New Year bothered by stomach pains, gas, bloating, and nausea. Before we get there, here are a few tips regarding certain alcohols.
Tips for Drinking Alcohol on the Low FODMAP Diet
- Stay away from creamy liqueurs that are usually mixed with coffee, for example” Bailey’s Irish Cream, as they are high in lactose, a sugar found in dairy products that trigger the uncomfortable digestive symptoms of IBS.
- The same goes for alcoholic drinks that are carbonated, such as sparkling wine or a liqueur mixed with pop – avoid these. While they don’t contain lactose, the carbonation will irritate your gut as well potentially causing you discomfort.
- When it comes to adding the universally loved sweet flavour to your cocktail, make sure you stay away from these sweeteners: agave, high fructose corn syrup, honey, and sugar alcohols (mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol). Stick to raw sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, or stevia as they are all low FODMAP sweeteners.
- Alcohol is a gut stimulant, so even if you choose low FODMAP alcohol and ingredients – you still may find you are experiencing digestive distress. A gut stimulant increases the movement of food through the digestive tract. So if you already suffer from diarrhea, multiple bowel movements a day or loose stools – as many people suffering from IBS do, it might be best to stick to a low FODMAP mocktail instead and avoid or limit alcohol. Maybe you can tolerate a few drinks, you know your body best, so use your judgment.
For an extensive list of alcohols that will and won’t make your belly ache, check out this article. Meanwhile, I’ll take the trouble out of modifying your cocktails based on the above tips. Here are some awesome recipes to try:
Low FODMAP Recipes: Cocktails
Mixed Berry New Year’s Punch
Makes: 4 servings
1 bottle (750 mL) of dry white wine
2 cups cranberry juice
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 tbsp white sugar (quick dissolving will work best)
In a large pitcher or bowl, mix wine, juice, fruit, and sugar. Refrigerate and serve over ice. Garnish glasses with a sugar-coated rim to add extra flair.
Makes: 1 serving
2 ounces gin
1 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon white sugar
In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, sugar, mint and ice cubes. Strain and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a wedge of lemon.
Low FODMAP Recipe: Mocktail
Makes: 1 serving
1/2 cup 100% cranberry juice
1/4 cup 100% pineapple juice
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Fresh lemon and lime wedges
In a cocktail shaker, combine all the juices and ice cubes. Shake well. Strain and serve in a chilled glass. Garnish with lime and lemon wedges!
A Note on Alcohol Consumption
We don’t encourage you to drink, alcohol is purely a choice and we want to help you make the best choices when it comes to your body and good digestion. It’s important to note that alcohol, even low FODMAP alcohol, is a gut stimulant and can lead to symptoms. So be mindful of your body and bring awareness to note what works and what doesn’t. Our recommendation is to keep it to just one alcoholic drink per meal.
The team and I wish you the most fun on your New Year’s Eve and hope that this year is the very best yet! I will be raising a mocktail to you this year to toast your best health and your great support in my amazing journey to build and contribute to this practice I have to help thousands of IBS and digestive health sufferers improve their lives around the world.
Wishing you good gut health & wellness,
Stephanie and the Team