SHA Magazine Health & Beauty
Sobriety tourism: the latest trend for healthy holidays
Eliminating alcohol from the diet is key to achieving optimal physical, mental and emotional health.
In recent decades, the way we enjoy our days off has undergone a huge evolution. First came active leisure, which consists of taking advantage of free time to do activities such as reading, playing sport or chess, which give us pleasure while improving our physical and intellectual capacities. Then came workations, a combination of work and rest, which at SHA we turn into wellness workations. The latest holiday trend is sobriety tourism, an alcohol-free alternative and, therefore, very beneficial for our health.
As Vicente Mera, head of the Genomic Medicine and Healthy Ageing Unit at SHA Wellness Clinic, tells us, “as soon as you stop drinking alcohol, the entry of toxins into the body is minimised. This means an improvement in liver function and an optimisation of cognitive abilities, such as memory or attention. In addition, there isnoticeable weight loss (a glass of wine contains 125 calories), irritability is reduced, your sex life becomes more satisfying and insulin tolerance increases, which translates into a lower risk of diabetes. Cutting out alcohol also has a noticeable effect on telomeres and longevity and a very positive impact on mood, self-esteem, vitality, energy and overall quality of life“.
The problem is that alcohol is a socially accepted legal drug and is associated with times of celebration and happiness. For this reason, during the Christmas holidays its consumption soars. To raise awareness of the dangers and risks of alcohol, the British charity Alcohol Change UK launched Dry January in 2013, which invites people to go 31 days without drinking alcohol to reset their body and mind and live and feel better. It should be noted that, in Anglo-Saxon culture, there is no Twelfth Night, so Christmas celebrations end on New Year’s Eve. More and more people all over the world are joining this healthy initiative that SHA supports and extends to the rest of the year.
As Melanie Waxman, Natural Therapies Specialist and Healthy Nutrition Consultant at SHA Wellness Clinic explains, “when you stop drinking alcohol, it is important to follow a consistent exercise routine and a nutrient-rich diet based mainly on vegetables. In addition, you will notice that your body becomes much less dehydrated, which prevents cravings for unhealthy foods. Because of their cleansing and nutritional properties, certain foods will help you feel good after giving up alcohol, such as miso soup with ginger, pureed sweet vegetable soups, lightly sautéed vegetables, fried brown rice with vegetables, sauerkraut, vegetable stews, hummus and fresh berries. For snacks between meals, always carry a handful of nuts and sultanas and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, green tea, herbal teas, especially dandelion or fresh ginger and lemon, and fresh juices such as carrot, green apple and celery juice. In short, sobriety tourism is the ideal holiday option for all those who wish to enjoy an optimal state of health and wellbeing, eliminating alcohol and its harmful effects from their lifestyle.