We’re delighted to have the positively glowing Hanna Sillitoe, founder of Beyond Fit as a guest blogger on Vitalicious. She’s going to share her adventures in becoming a teetotaller and a juicing fan. You’ll get some great mocktail recipes too…
It’s been over a year since I’ve had a drink. Believe me, as someone who loved the stuff, seeing it there in writing, that statement looks even more surreal to me than it does to you!
My reason for quitting alcohol was part of a life changing journey to heal my skin. I’d suffered from severe psoriasis and eczema for over twenty years and was fed up with the endless cycles of medication which would only ever offer temporary remission. I wanted a healthier, more permanent solution. A complete diet overhaul eventually healed the disease which doctors warned me I could never control naturally. Goodbye gluten, dairy, sugar … and alcohol, hello plant powered, fresh pressed, juiced nutrition! It sounds a little extreme but believe me, that’s a small price to pay for clear skin.
Alcohol was a normal part of my every day life. I loved drinking and considered myself somewhat of a wine connoisseur. How could I ever enjoy a meal for two minus that vintage Rioja? What girls night out would be complete without shots and cocktails? And how does one go about easing the stress of a long day at work if the fridge is devoid of an ice cold beer? In truth I could simply not picture life without drink.
My friends were equally surprised at my vow of abstinence. I was the good-time girl, the last one standing (or more sort of falling) at parties. My commitment to sobriety was regularly called into question. ‘When can you start drinking again?’ was a common one. ‘but what will you do if you don’t drink?!’ was another. The answer is … everything I did before, I just remember it all much more clearly these days and I never have to suffer that awful, dehydrated feeling and banging headache the following morning. I feel secretly smug at thai boxing on a Sunday morning when half the class are still suffering the after effects of the night before.
If we’re honest, alcohol doesn’t actually taste very good, it’s the effect it has on us that we’re addicted to. In fact pure alcohol is masked with a myriad of flavours to make it palatable. Nevertheless after quitting I found the most difficult part of my booze-less lifestyle was choosing what to drink instead. The diet coke got ditched along with all the other unhealthy stuff and whilst I’ve grown to love my water, I drink enough of it throughout the day and crave something more exciting at parties.
I’m a big fan of juicing. Extracting the liquid nutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables played a huge part in my healing. Friends who watched my health transformation began asking how to go about it themselves. Freshly juiced mock-tails are a great introduction. My alcohol-free pineapple mojitos often go down better at parties than the boozy, sparkling fizz – though I’ve no doubt some friends sneak a drop or two of vodka into their tumblers!! The brilliant thing about making these, is knowing exactly what goes in to them. They’re not full of those sickly sweet syrups and synthetic fruit flavourings you so often get in alcohol-free bar cocktails. Not only are these beauties free of refined sugar, each offers a multitude of additional health benefits.
Mint promotes digestion. It also soothes stomach ache, indigestion and inflammation. It’s a natural cooler so it actually alleviates the inflammation and temperature rise that is often associated with headaches and migraines. Besides its wonderfully settling properties, mint acts as a natural energiser, perfect for recharging your batteries, particularly if you’re feeling lethargic, nervous, dispirited and drained. So …far from avoiding mojitos on a Monday – we say celebrate and rehydrate with this sparkling beauty.
Wash the pineapple and lime. Gently run a little cold water over the mint leaves and ginger to clean them. Juice everything keeping a few mint leaves or slice of pineapple to one side to decorate. Stir into sparkling water and pour over crushed ice and fresh mint.
2. The Ginger Shot (per shot)
- 1 Pear
- Chunk of ginger
- Chunk of lemon
Wash the ingredients, pop the lemon and ginger in the juicer chute with the pear on top. Juice and drink as a shot.
If you’ve never necked a ginger shot before, go easy on the lemon and ginger! They’re super tangy and spicy and give this shot a wonderful kick, but don’t add too much the first time around. If your friends are lining up the party shots of sambuca, this little number will ensure you’re not left out. I drink mine every morning through out winter as the combination of antiviral, antioxidant and antiseptic properties of ginger and super high concentration of vitamin C in lemons, is ideal for keeping sore throats, colds and flu at bay.
Hello I’m Hanna. My passions beyond all else are food, photography, fitness and travel. Sporty, spontaneous and adventurous, I love the outdoors. Definitely a little adrenaline junkie, I ski, scuba, paramotor & flyboard. I love inspiring health and educating on the incredible benefits of food as medicine.