More stories

  • in

    Your Christmas Menu Is Sorted With These 6 Healthy Festive Recipes

    Want healthy festive recipes that will leave you seriously satisfied?! These are delicious, fresh and allergen-friendly! Therefore you have a Christmas menu that suits (and can easily be tweaked for) all dietary requirements. Below is a healthy menu that’s perfect for our hot sunny, South African festive season: indulgent, but feel-good.

    If you have a gluten-free guest: no adjustments necessary! All these recipes are gluten-free.

    If you have a vegetarian guest: replace the fillet in the Beef Tagliata with gorgeous grilled mushrooms. Then replace the salmon in the Trout Tartare with heirloom tomatoes (think different colours and sizes and textures).

    If you have a vegan guest: Do the above step and simply leave out the ricotta in the Herby Cress Salad and replace the yoghurt in the Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets with coconut yoghurt.

    READ MORE: I Tried 3 Viral Recipes And Here’s How It Panned Out

    Healthy Festive Starter: Trout Tartare

    Start off the menu with a refreshing recipe that requires minimal prep and no cooking. A few quality ingredients and you have a crowd-pleasing, effortless festive appetiser. Because what could be better than silky diced fish seasoned with zesty lime, sesame oil, spring onions, chives and a hint of chilli?

    Healthy Festive Main: Beef Tagliata with Roasted Rosa Tomatoes

    Who said your table had to be adorned with gammon, turkey and lamb? This Beef Tagliata is light and succulent and perfectly complemented by sweet and flavourful roasted Rosa tomatoes. Bon appetit!

    READ MORE: 5 Low-Calorie Smoothie Recipes That Legit Taste Like Milkshakes

    Healthy Festive Side Dish 1: Herby Cress Salad with A Crunch

    This watercress salad with flavour-packed homemade dressing is fresh, easy-to-make and uber crunchy thanks to the assortment of nuts and seeds. Best part? It’s easily customisable. Don’t add the cheese if you have vegan or dairy-free guests.

    Healthy Festive Side Dish 2: Whole Baked Baby Sweet Potatoes

    Everyone loves garlicky, well-spiced potatoes. And you’re going to love these sweet potatoes even more. With very few steps, you’ll be able to pop these in the oven and basically forget about them. We love fuss-free festive recipes!

    READ MORE: The 2 Hangover-Curing Recipes You’ll Need This Festive Season

    Healthy Festive Side Dish 3: Asparagus, Bean and Tenderstem Broccoli Salad

    Every festive feast needs a salad that no one can get enough of and every one demands the recipe for. This will be that dish. Fresh, crunchy and perfect for South African summer, this is guaranteed to be on your table every year from now.

    Healthy Festive Dessert: Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets

    Here at WH, we love recipes that make use of seasonal ingredients. Take full advantage of the summer berry season by treating yourself and your guests to the tangy and slightly sweet goodness of our Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets! This is a perfect summer dessert of creamy Greek yoghurt, fresh raspberries and zesty lemon. Yum! More

  • in

    Healthy Alternatives To Fried Chips

    We all know that traditional fried chips can be a guilty pleasure, but who says you can’t enjoy a tasty plate of chips while still making nutritious choices? We sure as heck won’t say it. What we will do, is show you how different vegetables can be transformed into scrumptious healthier chips that will satisfy your cravings without compromising on flavour or nutrition. Get ready to discover some creative ways to serve and enjoy some guilt-free delights.

    How to Incorporate Healthy Fries into Your Diet

    When it comes to incorporating nutritious chips into your diet, the possibilities are endless. You can experiment with different vegetables and flavours to create a variety of deliciousness. One idea is to start by choosing your base vegetable. Sweet potatoes, beetroot, parsnips, butternut the choices are limitless. Simply slice them into thin strips or wedges, toss them in olive oil and seasonings like garlic powder or rosemary, then bake them in the oven until they’re golden brown. You should try:

    Packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fibre, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C

    Carrots contain many nutrients, including beta-carotene and antioxidants, that may support your overall health as part of a nutrient-rich diet.

    High in potassium, which can help keep your blood pressure in check, butternut squash is a rich source of fibre, antioxidants, and minerals

    Rich in several important nutrients and antioxidants that may improve immunity and enhance digestive health

    Peppers are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fibre.

    Sweet potatoes are nutritious, packing a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese into each serving.

    By using different vegetables and a few simple cooking techniques, you can create a variety of tasty options that are not only satisfying but also good for your body. The best part is that you can customise them to suit your taste preferences by adding various seasonings and spices. Here’s how to make some.


    A nutrient-rich food, eggplants contain fibre, vitamins and minerals that can benefit your overall health.

    Eggplant Chips

    There’s a crispy coating on this medium-soft vegetable, which helps the chips keep their shape. Eggplant has a mild and subtly sweet flavour that can easily pair well with bolder seasonings and sauces. 

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 12 minutes mins

    Servings 1

    1 Medium sized eggplant¼ cup Flour1 Egg white 1 cup Panko¾ cup Grate Parmesan 2 tbsp Olive oil½ each Garlic powderKosher salt to tastePepper to taste
    Cut eggplant into 6cm-long sticksIn one bowl, combine flour, garlic powder and ParmesanIn another bowl whisk egg whites. Then dip eggplant into whitesLastly dip into panko cupPlace on sheet tray and drizzle olive oilRoast in oven at 200°C for 12 minutes, flipping every 8 minutes

    READ MORE: 5 Healthier ‘Adult’ Ice Lollies To Eat If You’re Watching Your Weight

    Baby Marrow

    Baby marrow, also known as courgette or zucchini, contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. Cooked baby marrow is particularly high in vitamin A, though raw contains slightly less.

    Baby Marrow Chips

    These chips are especially good and incredibly crispy and flavourful. Baby marrow has a mild flavour, slightly sweet and slightly bitter, with a rich feel.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 20 minutes mins

    Servings 1

    2 Medium babymarrows 1 Egg white¼ cup Flour or panko½ cup Grated ParmesanSalt and pepper to taste
    Cut marrows into 6cm-long sticks and 1cm thickDunk marrows in beaten egg whiteThen dip in cup flour or pankoThen dip into ParmesanPlace on a sheet trayRoast in oven for 220°C for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes Then add salt and pepper to taste

    Green Beans

    Green beans help fight inflammation and are a good source of folate and potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. Green beans also are a good source of protein and fibre.

    Green Beans Chips

    Green beans are slightly sweet and have a slightly grassy or earthy flavour. They go nicely if you mix with garlic, onion, parsley or toasted sesame seeds. These are not pretty but they are deliciously flavourful.

    Servings 2

    3,5 kg Green beans¼ cup Flour1 Egg white1 cup Panko ¾ cup Grated Parmesan2 tbsp Olive oil1 tbsp Onion powder½ tsp Salt and pepper
    Trim your bean endsIn a bowl mix flour, egg white, panko, ParmesanPlace on sheet tray and drizzle olive oilRoast for 220°C for 10 minutes, shaking pan at 5 minutesThen sprinkle salt and pepper

    READ MORE: Magnesium Is Brilliant For Sleep And Cramps – Here’s How To Get Enough Of It More

  • in

    Try This Tasty Snowy Angel Cake Recipe For Christmas

    Angel cake is made with egg whites alone – no yolk or butter – and is magically light so it’s perfect for summer and its pure, white snowiness is an ingenious nod to Christmas. Cook’s Tips: To cool, place the neck of a wine bottle through the ring of the cake tin, with the cake facing down – this helps the cake shrink away from the sides of the tin. Omit the filling and icing and simply serve slices as a base for strawberries and cream. More

  • in

    12 Of The Best Vegan Protein Powders You Can Buy Right Now

    Raise your hand if you’re a vegan who’s sick of people asking you how you get enough protein. Same.

    Even though there are *plenty* of ways to get protein on a plant-based diet, vegan protein powder can help you meet your needs in a pinch.

    And, yes, dieticians say they’re legit. “Some misconceptions about vegan protein powders are that they don’t provide enough protein and that they won’t keep you full,” says Carolyn Brown, a dietitian.

    What’s in vegan protein powders?

    However, today’s vegan protein powders do both. First of all, many vegan powders contain 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving, which is totally on par with most popular whey protein powders, according to Brown. (Btw: If you’re wondering whether whey protein is vegan, the answer is a huge no. “Whey protein is one of the primary proteins found in dairy products,” says nutritionist Charlotte Martin.)

    Many plant-based powders also provide some fibre, which helps them keep you fuller, longer — and boosts their nutritional value, adds dietician Priya Khorana.

    Oh, and about that flavour issue. While vegan proteins long had a rep for tasting pretty revolting, times have changed. “Many newer proteins come in flavours like salted caramel, coconut, or even chai,” says dietician Andy Bellatti. These days, popular powders are made from hemp, brown rice, or pea protein. Not just soy.

    When hunting for vegan protein powder, consider these three major factors: protein content, types of proteins used and sweeteners. First, Martin recommends looking for a powder that contains at least 15 to 20 grams of protein per serving.

    READ MORE: Here’s Another Reason You Should Probably Stick To Your Plant-Based Diet

    Getting the most from your vegan protein powders

    Then, since most plant-based protein sources are “incomplete” (meaning they don’t contain all of — or enough of — all nine essential amino acids) on their own, opt for a protein powder made out of multiple sources, Martin says. Combining different proteins ensures your powder provides all of the aminos your body needs.

    Finally, limit any added sugar to five grams per serving, max. “I steer clear of artificial sweeteners since some research suggests they may have negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite,” says Martin. Instead, opt for natural, zero-calorie sweeteners (like stevia).

    Whether you’re spiking your smoothies, iced coffee, or pancake mix, today’s vegan protein powders are better than ever — and totally worth your while, whether you’re a carnivore or not.

    The Top Vegan Protein Powders

    My Wellness Super Vegan Protein

    This protein combines hemp and pea protein for a rich source of essential and non-essential amino acids. They’re also bioavailable and easily digestible, a big win. It also has high levels of L-isoleucine, L-valine, L-arginine and L-Leucine, which are beneficial after a strenuous workout.

    Go Good Plant Protein Isolate

    Here, you’ll find no allergens like soya or dairy. Just the good stuff. Based on peas blended with organic vanilla beans for flavour, you’ll find this nutrient-packed vegan protein powder works wonders. Protein also boosts your immunity, FYI. A winner.

    Nutritech Vegan Pea Protein Isolate

    Nutritech Vegan Pea Protein Isolate contains 25g of naturally sourced protein per serving to increase your protein intake and further enhance your diet and lifestyle. Not only is pea protein isolate gluten, dairy and lactose-free, but it also has excellent bioavailability properties.

    READ MORE: How To Add More Vegetables To Your Diet, Even If You’re Busy

    Wazoogles Protein Blend

    This protein powder is delicious and stands up with its additions of essential vitamins and minerals. Loaded with the purest, most ethically sourced, nutrient-dense superfoods around, rich in plant-based protein, nutrients, living enzymes, vitamins and vital nutrients, without any fillers, artificial colours or flavourants to spoil it.

    Soaring Free Superfoods Protein Superfood Mix

    This vegan protein powder blend, with its short ingredient list, takes out fillers and additives, leaving you with the essential stuff. The entirely organic plant-sourced protein mix that contains natural sources of protein, antioxidants, fibre & omega 3. You can expect a chocolatey flavour from raw African Cacao powder.

    NPL Go Green Vegan Protein

    Get a full profile of amino acids and proteins from this blend. It tastes good, mixes easily and helps you hit those protein goals in one easy sip.

    READ MORE: Magnesium Is Brilliant For Sleep And Cramps – Here’s How To Get Enough Of It

    Biogen Plant-Based Protein

    Rice and pea protein is free from gluten, dairy, and lactose making it easily digestible, especially with the added bamboo fibre, an excellent ingredient for fibre enrichment. Try it in smoothies, making vegan, gluten-free treats like protein date balls and more.

    Phyto Pro Thrive Protein Shake

    Great taste? Check. Easy to digest? Check! Clean protein? Check! This concentrated pea protein isolate is a 100% plant-based protein powder with the addition of raw vanilla bean powder and sweetened with xylitol and stevia for a protein shake so tasty it doesn’t need anything else.

    Harvest Table Vegan Protein Powder

    Made from a blend of organic pea and brown rice proteins, this blend includes a proprietary blend from Harvest Table of CollaV, a natural, plant-based mix. CollaV is also a source of bamboo silica, which helps your bod make collagen. And, the Harvest Table’s vegan protein blend is 81% protein and every serving contains the same quantity of glycine and proline (the amino acids that make collagen so powerful) as an animal-based collagen.

    READ MORE: What To Eat Before A Morning Workout, According To Nutritionists

    Noa & Co Replenishing Protein Powder

    This is a plant-based supplement that contains a potent probiotic along with other extras. It is carefully blended with brown rice, pea and hemp which are three plant superstars that contain more optimal amino acids.

    WILD Natural Beauty Vegan Protein

    Made with low heat to maximise the bioavailability of the pea protein, this mix is GMO-free, easy to digest and delicious, per devotees. Get 25g of protein per serving. It’s also supercharged with an exceptional amino acid profile of 4g IBCAAs per single serving.

    USN BlueLab 100% Plant Protein

    Get a high-protein formula that works with USN’s vegan protein powder. This formula is free from sugar, dairy, gluten, soy, and artificial flavourants and colourants.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Prices are subject to change. More

  • in

    The Healthy & Crunchy Watercress Salad That’s Perfect For Summer Lunches

    Looking for a new favourite healthy salad recipe for the summer? You’ve come to the right place. This watercress salad (with flavour-packed homemade dressing) is fresh, easy-to-make and uber crunchy thanks to the assortment of nuts and seeds.

    READ MORE: Exactly How To Make A Healthy Pizza With 6 Delish Topping Variations

    The best part? It’s easily customisable. Don’t add the cheese if you are vegan or dairy-free. Alternatively, you can substitute with your favourite vegan cheese (Woolworths has a large range).

    Either way, you’ll use this healthy salad recipe time and time again, whether it’s for al fresco dinners with friends or when you’re meal prepping to help you reach those goals.

    READ MORE: This Tinned Tuna Nicoise Salad Is The Ultimate Quick Dinner Or Work Lunch

    Herby Watecress Salad with Crunchy Nuts & Seeds

    This watercress salad with flavour-packed homemade dressing is fresh, easy-to-make and uber crunchy thanks to the assortment of nuts and seeds. Best part? It’s easily customisable. Don’t add the cheese if you are vegan or dairy-free.

    Prep Time 10 minutes mins

    Course SaladCuisine Healthy

    Servings 6 people

    2 Tbsp Flaked almonds2 Tbsp Pumpkin seeds2 Tbsp Sunflower seeds1 Tbsp Sesame seeds3 Handfuls Watercress1 Handful Coriander1 Handful Basil50 g Ricotta or chevin (optional)Salt and pepperFor The Dressing:1 tsp Mustard1 tsp HoneyJuice and zest of half a lemon2 Tbsp Extra-virgin olive oilPinch chilli flakes
    Toast the seeds in a large dry pan until you hear a popping noise and the sesame seeds and almond flakes turn slightly golden.Toss the leaves together in a large bowl. Next, add the seeds.Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour into the bowl. Then toss the leaves to coat.Plate the dressed leaves and seeds on a large platter before dotting small pieces of cheese among the leaves. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

    Keyword Easy Meals, healthy, Healthy Recipes, vegetarian More

  • in

    These Raspberry And Yoghurt Tartlets Make The Tastiest & Cutest Summer Dessert

    Looking for a delicious and fresh summer dessert? This easy raspberry tart recipe uses ingredients you probably have in your pantry.

    READ MORE: This Is The Best Coffee Ice Cream Recipe Ever… And It’s Healthy

    So take full advantage of the summer berry season by treating yourself and your guests to the tangy and slightly sweet goodness of our Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets!

    This is a perfect combo of creamy Greek yoghurt, fresh raspberries and zesty lemon. And if you have a vegan or dairy-free guest, you can easily replace the Greek yoghurt with dairy-free coconut yoghurt.

    READ MORE: 5 Healthier ‘Adult’ Ice Lollies To Eat If You’re Watching Your Weight

    Quick And Easy Raspberry Tart Recipe

    Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets

    Take full advantage of the summer berry season by treating yourself and your guests to the tangy and slightly sweet goodness of our Raspberry and Yoghurt Tartlets! This is a perfect summer dessert of creamy Greek yoghurt, fresh raspberries and zesty lemon. Yum!

    Prep Time 15 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine Healthy

    Servings 6 people

    1½-2 Cups Cashew nuts7 Medjool dates, pitted1 Pinch SaltBaking Spray1 Cup Double-thick Greek yoghurt/dairy-free coconut yoghurt1 tsp Vanilla extract or pinch vanilla seeds1 Tbsp Honey/agave syrup200 g RaspberriesFresh mint leavesSprinkle Powdered sugar
    Place 1.5 cups of cashew nuts and the dates in a food processor. Blitz until well-combined (add more cashews if needed, so the mixture is sticky, but workable).Spray six mini tartlet trays (or one large tart tray) with a baking spray. Then press the date and nut mixture into the tray(s) and place in the freezer for one hour.Mix the yoghurt, vanilla and honey together.Remove the tart(s) from the freezer and spoon the yoghurt mixture inside. Top with the raspberries.Serve the tart(s) with a few sprigs of mint and a light sprinkle of powdered sugar.

    Keyword dessert, Easy Meals, healthy, Healthy Recipes More

  • in

    10 Low-Calorie Cocktails Worth Sipping On This Summer

    Even the fastest and fittest like to let their hair down (and so do we!), but we might as well get some nutrients out of our cocktails, right? These low-calorie cocktails pack a punch and are nutritionally dense, too. Each low-calorie cocktail contains fruits and veg that deliver nutritional benefits beyond the buzz you’ll feel while sipping away. Let Happy Hour begin!

    Cocktail Essentials

    Get your cocktail on with these essential tools – and consider yourself the bartender aficionado of the party.

    Cocktail Making Kit

    With this kit, you’ll find all the essentials you need to create any cocktail. You’ll find a strainer, stirrer and multiple other tools.

    Woolworths Vivi Coupe

    These are so pretty to drink from and are the correct size for cocktails, including margaritas and zingers. Pour away.

    Humble & Mash Spirit Stones

    These won’t dilute your drinks and keep them cool while you shake up your infusion. Plus, they’re neutral-coloured and can complement any drink.

    Beat-The-Bloat Zinger

    Big up the beet – the plant pigment betacyanin, which gives the veg its rich colour, has been found to ward off cancer. Beetroot also stimulates the liver’s detoxifying function, making it the ultimate damage-minimising mixer for a boozy blend.

    Prep Time 15 minutes mins

    Course Appetizer, DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Servings 2Calories 125 kcal

    5 cm ginger4 beetroot50 ml vodka or ginice to tastesplash soda waterrosemary sprigs to garnish
    Peel the ginger, then juice with the beetroot. Pour into a shaker with vodka or gin (not both) and shake well.Pour over ice, add a splash of soda and garnish.

    Keyword Beetroot cocktail

    READ MORE: Make These 4 Low-Calorie Cocktails If You’re Watching Your Weight

    Kickstarter Kiwi Margarita

    With 12 kiwis, this is only three short of a rugby team. Packed with vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium, the kiwi is the rugged forward of fruits, tackling the fat in your blood and kicking sleep problems into touch.

    Prep Time 10 minutes mins

    Course cocktails, DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Servings 2Calories 444 kcal

    1 lime12 kiwis peeled50 ml tequilaice2 tsp Himalayan salt2 tsp coconut sugarpinch Cayenne pepper30 ml organic rice syrup
    Juice the lime and kiwis; blend with tequila and ice.In a saucer, mix the salt, coconut sugar and cayenne; set aside.Put the syrup into a second saucer.Dip the glass rims in the syrup, then the salt concoction. Pour in the cocktail and serve.

    Keyword kiwi margarita

    READ MORE: 5 Healthier ‘Adult’ Ice Lollies To Eat If You’re Watching Your Weight

    Vodka Sour

    Put the sweet in this sour with rice syrup – a fructose- free alternative to the traditional cocktail syrup. Like the rice it’s made from, the syrup contains energy- enhancing B vitamins.

    Prep Time 10 minutes mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Calories 165 kcal

    5 cm ginger70 ml vodka20 ml organic rice syrup20 ml lemon juice2 egg whitesicepinch cinnamon
    Peel and juice the ginger, then add to a cocktail shaker along with the vodka, rice syrup, lemon juice and egg whites.Mix first without ice, then add ice and shake. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

    Cucumber Spritz

    Glugging your cucumber is just as good for your skin as donning two slices monocle-style – its inflammation-busting antioxidants soothe puffiness. The fruit is also rich in elasticity-boosting silica. Bottoms up!

    Prep Time 10 minutes mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Servings 2Calories 78 kcal

    1 cucumber50 ml gin50 ml sparkling watermint handfulcucumber slices to garnish
    Chuck cucumber into juicerStir with gin and sparkling water, then pour into highballs and garnish with mint and cucumber.

    READ MORE: The 2 Hangover-Curing Recipes You’ll Need This Weekend

    Pear Sipper

    To keep your diet from going pear-shaped, load up on, well, pears. A Brazilian study found those who ate them daily consumed fewer overall kilojoules thanks to satiety-boosting fibre.

    Prep Time 10 minutes mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Servings 2Calories 169 kcal

    2 pears, peeled2 tbsp cinnamon50 ml spiced rumpinch of nutmegpear slices, to serve
    Toss the pears into a juicer, then mix the juice with the cinnamon in a shallow pan and warm gently over a low heat.Stir in the spiced rum and serve in glasses garnished with nutmeg and pear slices.

    Hail Mary

    Deadlines doing your face no favours? Lycopene, found in tomatoes, can boost levels of procollagen to help keep your skin elastic and youthful. Sip those eye bags away.

    Prep Time 10 minutes mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Servings 2Calories 102 kcal

    4 tomatoes1/2 beetroot1/2 cucumber1/4 lemonpinch ground Cayenne pepper50 ml vodkaicecelery sticks and cherry tomatoes to garnish
    Juice the tomatoes, beetroot, cucumber and lemon, then add a pinch of cayenne.Mix in a shaker with vodka and ice, and showcase your third-base wrist action.Serve in highballs with celery and a cherry tomato, then knock ’em back!

    READ MORE: How To Add More Vegetables To Your Diet, Even If You’re Busy

    Power Daiquiri

    This packs a potassium one-two punch, thanks to the bananas and spinach. A trial of cyclists found that the humble banana powered them through intensive exercise as effectively as a sports drink. It’s recovery fuel and a party starter.

    Prep Time 2 hours hrsCook Time 10 minutes mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Servings 2Calories 78 kcal

    1 banana1/4 lime, plus wedges to serve15 g baby spinach30 ml organic rice syrup50 ml light rum
    Pre-party prep: cut the banana into six pieces and freeze.Juice the lime and add to a blender with the banana. Juice the spinach and whizz with the rice syrup, then the rum and serve with lime wedges.

    Berry and Basil Bellini

    Studies have shown basil to be antifungal and antibacterial, bolstering your immunity as you rack up countless bar tabs on the party circuit. And strawberries can reduce the risk of heart disease in women by 32 percent if consumed three times a week. Cheers!

    Prep Time 10 minutes mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Calories 113 kcal

    50 g fresh basil, finely chopped plus extra to serve400 g strawberries200 ml sparkling white wine
    Purée the basil and strawberries.Divide between two Champagne flutes, top up with sparkling wine and decorate with extra basil.

    READ MORE: The 27 Best Wines For Any Occasion You Can Imagine

    Mocha Martini

    Being caffeine-free, the buzz in this Martini comes from its theobromine, a compound in raw cacao that triggers mood- lifting “happy hormone” serotonin. It gets better: polyphenols in coffee (even decaf) sharpen cognitive function!

    Prep Time 1 hour hrCook Time 10 minutes mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Servings 2Calories 158 kcal

    120 ml decaffeinated espresso30 ml organic rice syrup4 tsp raw cacao powder70 ml vodkaice
    Brew four shots of decaf espresso and leave to cool. Meanwhile, create a paste by mixing rice syrup and raw cacao powder.Combine everything with ice cubes and shake. Pour from a height into two Martini glasses. Dust with cacao powder to serve.

    Piña Colada

    Coconut oil’s lauric acid wards off infections and boosts collagen for healthy skin.

    Prep Time 1 hour hrCook Time 10 minutes mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Cocktails

    Servings 2Calories 321 kcal

    1 pineapple, chopped2 tbsp coconut oil50 ml golden rum32 ice cubespinch unsweetened desiccated coconutpineapple wedges, to serve
    Freeze half your pineapple in advance.Come cocktail hour, juice the fresh pieces, then blitz in a blender with the frozen chunks and coconut oil.Add the rum and ice and blend for 30 seconds.Serve with a sprinkle of coconut and a pineapple wedge.

    This story was written by Julia Scirrotto; Photograph by Helena Yankovsk/Unsplash More

  • in

    How To Do The Festive Season Sober, Plus The 15 Best Alcohol-Free Drinks

    SoberSeptember, OcSober, DryJanuary or even going #StraightEdge (no stimulants at all!) – there’s no end to the sober bandwagons you can jump on. Whether it’s for health and fitness reasons, a way to detox and reset or manage your tolerance levels, many people are opting to ditch the booze and embrace a teetotalling lifestyle. Here’s what you need to know about having a sober festive season.

    The Sober Trend

    According to Janet Gourand, founder of Tribe Sober, a South African membership programme helping people change their relationship with alcohol, they have seen more people wanting to decrease their consumption of alcohol or cut alcohol out completely lately.

    And women are leading the charge. Gourand says that 80% of those in Tribe Sober are women with most of the women being 40+ but despite that, there is still a trend for younger women to drink less. Plus, local non-alcoholic G&T brand The Duchess reported that 74% of its buyers are women between 18 and 34 years old.

    The truth is many millennials are driving a huge trend towards cutting booze completely – or never starting. Hashtags like #SoberSaturday and #SoberLife (over two million tags on Insta) are being seen more and more and form part of what has been dubbed the “sober curious” movement. The number of alcohol drinkers in the world has decreased by nearly five percent since 2000, according to reports by the World Health Organisation.

    In fact, 49% of Women’s Health readers said they would buy non-alcoholic beers or cider (up from 34% when we asked you in 2019), while 31% said they would be choosing Castle Free over Castle Lite this festive season. 47% of Women’s Health readers said if they were offered non-alcoholic wines – that actually taste good – they’d try it.

    READ MORE: Mindful Drinking: How More And More People Are Becoming ‘Sober Curious’

    Reasons To Have A Sober Festive Season

    According to Gourand, the stress and the “working from home” impact of the pandemic have created more dependence on alcohol.  “People who would only use alcohol for ‘socialising’ have now discovered that they enjoy drinking alone and their drinking has become more about self-medicating their anxiety than having fun,” she says.

    This has been dubbed “Grey Area” drinking and it has seen an increase since the pandemic. Healthline describes “grey area” drinking as the realm between healthy levels of alcohol consumption and a diagnosed alcohol use disorder. 

    It’s no secret that South Africa is known as a drinking nation, with 2.1% of total household spending in South Africa going to beer, according to Stats SA (only 1.5% is going to veggies). And the festive season is a period that sees a dramatic increase in consumption. But many people, even South Africans, are taking the downsides of drinking alcohol more seriously.

    “People are becoming aware that drinking more than a bottle and a half of wine a week puts their mental and physical health at risk.  The wellness trend is resulting in more people eating organic, doing yoga and meditation and they are realising that drinking alcohol doesn’t really fit in with this lifestyle,” explains Gourand.

    READ MORE: 17 Super-Stylish Stocking Fillers & Gifts Under R150 – That Aren’t Socks

    The Sober Life

    “The smart people are getting sober curious.  The wine industry has been marketing directly to women for the last 25 years – and they have been stunningly successful.  Many women cannot imagine having fun or socialising without it.  As many women get older the fun turns to self-medication and drinking alone,” says Gourand. 

    If you want to change your relationship with alcohol, finding your tribe helps. “Community is a big part of recovery,” says Gourand. In his TED Talk, writer and journalist Johann Hari explains the science behind the fact that connection is the opposite of addiction.

    “There is so much shame around drinking (especially for women) that joining a community of others with the same issue is a huge relief and we feel less alone.  We learn so much from hearing about other people’s experiences and as we progress in our alcohol-free journey we are able to inspire others,” explains Gourand.

    “Even if people are just “sober curious” or not even sure that they want to make a change they can join a tribe, listen and learn and it will help them decide which direction to take,” she says.

    READ MORE: The Top Gifts WH Team Want Under The Tree This Season

    Tips For Going Sober

    Janet Gourand has been sober since 2015, leading her tribe at Tribe Sober and inspiring people to have an alcohol-free life. These are three tips for people who are sober curious or looking to cut down their alcohol consumption:  

    1) “Take a look at your life”

    “What would it look like without alcohol in it?  If all your social activities involve drinking then it’s time for a change.  The first step is to increase your awareness – keep a drinks diary and note your consumption.  Are you drinking more than the low-risk limit of a bottle and a half of wine a week?”

    2) “Take an alcohol-free challenge – at least a month.”

    “If you can get through it easily then you are probably fine.  If not (or if you can’t even contemplate taking a break) then it’s time to make some changes.  Join a group like Tribe Sober to connect with others who are looking to quit drinking and to learn to thrive in their alcohol-free lives.”  

    3) “Start discovering the vast choice of alcohol-free drinks.” 

    “Try everything and you will find your go-to alcohol-free choice.  Integrate that into your lifestyle.  Alternate it with alcoholic drinks when you go out and make sure you have at least 4 alcohol-free days a week.”

    The Best Alcohol-Free Drinks For Adults

    Designated driver, watching your calorie intake, fitness stole your alcohol tolerance or realising it might be time to cut back? Going booze-free is a health trend that celebs, brands and just about everyone else is getting behind! 

    Below you’ll find the best wine, gin, beer and cider 0.0 versions. With half the calories and no need for a stash of painkillers in your bedside drawer, your sober summer is sorted!

    If you like fruity beer, try Bavaria 0.0% Pomegranate.

    If you like light lagers or Pilsners, try Beck’s Blue.

    If you like Castle, or lagers in general, try Castle Free Alcohol-Free Lager.

    If you like IPA, try Devil’s Peak Zero to Hero.

    If you like Weiss beer, try Erdinger Alkoholfrei.

    If you’re a Heineken gal, try Heineken 0.0.

    If you like an aperitif, try Babylonstoren BitterLekker.

    If you like gin and tonic, try The Duchess Virgin Gin & Tonic.

    If you like gin cocktails, try Seedlip Garden 108.

    If you like red wine, try Van Loveren Radiant Red Almost Zero % Alcohol.

    If you like white wine, try Natura De-Alcoholised Classic White.

    If you like bubbly, try Lautus De-Alcoholised Sparkling.

    If you like cider, try Savanna Non-Alcoholic Lemon.

    If you like a full-bodied beer, try Non-Alcoholic Super Bock 0.0%.

    If you like mocktails, try Fehmz Mocktails in various flavours.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More