Alcohol… we love it, we hate it. It makes us happy in the moment but a little worse for wear the next day. Some say that it is a harmless social lubricant acceptable in moderation while others maintain that its toxic effects just aren’t worth it. And yet, what about the Europeans? Their collective habit of regular, convivial imbibing doesn’t seem to negatively affect their overall longevity. A divisive topic in health and wellness circles, the fact remains that drinking in its various forms has been around since the beginning of time and is only increasing in popularity. Craft cocktails, craft beer, small batch bourbon, Chartreuse this and Campari that, the choices and drink lists are never-ending. So if the reality is that this holiday season we most likely will be partaking in a tipple or two, how should the thinking girl best go about it?

Enter Ariane Resnick– a West Hollywood certified celeb nutritionist, wellness advocate, Lyme disease survivor, tattoo enthusiast and yogi. Perhaps best known for her ingenuity as a paleo chef who can juggle multiple dietary sensitivities at once (think gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free chickpea chocolate cake) and still produce something that you would want to eat. If she is good enough for Pink and Gwyneth, she is good enough for us. Her latest venture is the follow up to her hugely popular book The Bone Broth Miracle and is about how we can make our cocktail habit a little bit healthier. The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking is not preaching the unrealistic (how we should be avoiding alcohol) but how we can engage in mindful drinking by adding the right juices, tonics and even superfoods to the mix thus creating a beverage whose toxic effects on the body- while not eliminated- are lessened considerably.  Think your choice of alcohol with additions such as beetroot juice (a potent blood cleanser), kefir and kombucha (for gut microbiome integrity), fresh berries (for antioxidant value), and even E3 live (for just about everything).  We recently chatted with Ariane about her newest oeuvre and how we can drink more like a thinking girl.

  •  Please tell us a little about your personal path to health and wellness.

I grew up in a very holistic home, so I had a strong foundation in the wellness realm. My own struggles with two different illnesses (late stage Lyme disease and chemical poisoning) both of which I was able to eradicate completely without Western medicine, is what gave me my sense of purpose for helping others with health. I was ill for several years and healed them both holistically. I’ve been well since 2013. I wouldn’t take them back, as my recovery from being sick is how I found my purpose in helping others feel better.

  • What do you consider to be the biggest health challenges associated with alcohol consumption?

Short term would of course be how you feel the next day if you over-indulge. Even the best laid plans of girlfriends can go astray! Long term, the fact that consuming too much is just plain hard on your body can lead to a multitude of issues. There are many ways…alcohol is dehydrating, it’s full of toxins, and it’s aging, to name a few.

  • Speaking of aging, how does alcohol consumption affect the health of our skin?

In my book I focus on various food groups that can be used to help mitigate the negative effects of alcohol—and one of the things that alcohol does not do for us is improve our bodies’ collagen-making abilities. I devoted an entire chapter to cocktails and mocktails that are full of ingredients to assist your body with increasing its collagen production.  It’s impossible to talk physical beauty without talking collagen: collagen is a protein found throughout our bodies, and plays a vital role in the youthfulness of our skin. As we age, our collagen production decreases leading to sagging and wrinkling skin. The foods that aid in collagen production are all healthful ones for myriad reasons—that they serve this function too could be seen almost as a bonus! Leafy greens are a prime example of a collagen promoting food, as are assorted berries such as raspberries and blackberries, white tea, ginger, red vegetables such as peppers and beets, avocados, citrus, and wild fish. Some of these foods increase hydration, which in turn improves skin elasticity, some offer beneficial oils, and others offer the vitamin C needed to convert amino acids to collagen.

  • Why do you think we should be incorporating superfoods into alcoholic beverages?

They help prevent hangovers, make for a cleaner feeling buzz, have health benefits that make them worth consuming period, and help mitigate long term effects of alcohol as well.

  • Which herbs, superfoods or tonics do you take regularly and are there any new ones that we should know about?

I love Longevity Power, a brand of powdered elixir herbs. One of my favorites is their Levity, which is roasted red asparagus root extract. That isn’t common at all and it makes you feel blissful.  I really try to not buy into the movement of consuming whatever is the newest and trendiest expensive superfood.  That said, I do enjoy coloring foods with Blue Majik (blue spirulina) and dragon fruit.

  • If we are going to drink then we should also detox.  Do you have any detox tips or rituals that you can share?

My book has a big section on this because there are so many. The quickest would be charcoal or zeolite before bed if you’re worried you drank too much, as that reduces your chances of a hangover greatly.

  • LA is known for being on the cutting edge in terms of health and wellness trends. What are your top 5 local spots to eat/do yoga/be well?

I love Yoga West for Kundalini Yoga, Wanderlust (a yoga studio with a café) for their beautiful outdoor patio, Red O for their happy hour (which has many items from their organic/wild ingredient-focused menu), Erewhon Market for their prepared foods that are as good as any local restaurant and much healthier, and Sushi by H for how much they make in-house, such as their own soy sauce.