A pot of steaming organic sugar-free apple cider with lemon slices as recommended by naturopathic doctor Micheal Rahman in Toronto

A pot of steaming organic sugar-free apple cider with lemon slices as recommended by naturopathic doctor Micheal Rahman in Toronto

Hello. once again this is Dr. Rahman, a doctor of naturopathic medicine from the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre here to answer a question posed by many of my patients during the holiday season which is “What kind of festive holiday cocktails can I have if I am not allowed to have alcohol?”

There are a lot of reasons you might be asking yourself this question during the holiday season. You could be on a minimum calorie diet, trying to minimize Candida yeast in your body (the growth of which is exacerbated by alcohol) or simply living a sober lifestyle. Alcohol consumption can also contribute to fibromyalgia pain, raise blood sugar (not great if you are insulin resistant) and interfere with medications.

The main complaint I hear from my patients about non-alcoholic holiday drinks is that consuming the same old water, soda water with lime or lemon while everybody else is sipping on champagne cocktails, egg nog and Bailey’s Irish cream can be a bit boring. Also, many patients are staying away from diet colas and drinks that contain sugar substitutes such as aspartame or sucralose as these two additives are poisons that cause cancers, joint pain, rapid weight gain and other disorders.

Here are some suggestions for exotic, aspartame and sucralose-free non-alcoholic drinks that are festive yet healthy enough for most people to drink without sabotaging their health goals

Some of these drinks are made with Truvia sweetener, which is a type of Stevia sweetener but you can substitute Xylitol, agave syrup, maple syrup or a dash of unsweetened orange or clementine juice if you do not have Truvia

Pomegranate Blush

This makes a very refreshing and pretty pink drink. It looks great served in a fluted glass and garnished with a few sprinkled pomegranate seeds, a wedge of lemon and a mint leaf.

Pomegranate seeds are packed with vitamins and nutrients that protect from cancer and heart disease and make the skin look beautiful.

Makes 1 drink.

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • A couple of ice cubes
  • A 1/4 cup spring water
  • A dash of Truvia sweetener or orange juice
  • A dash of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • Soda water

Freeze the pomegranate seeds and then macerate them into a pink slush in a blender along with a quarter cup Spring water, dash of lemon juice, Truvia and 2 sprigs of mint. Pour into a champagne flute. There should be a frozen layer at the bottom of the glass, a clear layer and foam on top. Top this up with soda water. Drop the pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with mint sprig and lemon. 

Egg-Free Egg Nog Recipe

This recipe for egg-free egg nog suits vegans and those who are on a dairy-free diet. This drink looks great served in a tall glass with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nut bean on top. If you want to be extra exotic you can serve it with a vanilla bean pod stir stick.

A medjool date is a very soft date that is great for making smoothies and that adds a natural sweetness to this drink. If you want a bit more sweetness you can add stevia or a dash of maple syrup.

Drinking almond milk has extensive benefits because thy contain riboflavin and L-carnitine which benefit the brain. Almonds also have calcium, which is good for brain health and can help reduce bad cholesterol.

Makes 1 drink

  • 1 cup plain almond milk
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 Medjool date
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (alcohol-free)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of cloves
  • dash of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • a couple of ice cubes

Mix all ingredients in a blender and whip together until frothy. Garnish with sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Cranberry Clementine Spritzer

This is a non-alcoholic version of the classic Christmas drink. It looks great in either a champagne flute style glass or in a high ball glass packed with ice and garnished with whole cranberries and a lime twist or slice. It’s a little more interesting than the raw cranberry and soda water with lime drink that is often offered to people on sugar=free diets at parties.

Cranberries are packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C and help protect you urinary and bladder infections as well as flus and colds.

Makes 1 drink

  • Freshly squeezed juice from three clementine oranges
  • 4 ounces raw unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 4 ounces grapefruit flavoured Perrier
  • ¼ teaspoon Truvia, Xylitol or Stevia
  • a splash of lime juice
  • limes for garnish
  • cranberries for garnish

Pour the cranberry juice, clementine juice, lime juice

It is easy to multiply this recipe by eight times to make to make a pitcher of Cranberry Clementine Spritzer punch.

Organic Sugar Free Apple Cide

You can make this apple cider using apples put through your own juicer or you can buy unsweetened organic apple juice at the store. You can serve this drink with a cinnamon sink and sprinkle a few star anise buds in the drink to symbolize Christmas Stars. It is delicious served hot but you can also serve it icy cold with slices of orange and lemon.

This Christmas cider has anti-inflammatory benefits, lowers blood pressure and protects from viruses and flus. Phytochemicals in the apples help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Makes 12 cups

12 cups freshly squeezed apple juice made from organic apples OR unsweetened organic apple cider

  • 10 whole cloves
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cardamom pods
  • 4 Chinese star anise
  • a 2 to 3 inch chunk of fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 oranges, sliced thinly
  • Dash of pink Himalayan sea salt

Place everything into a big pot and simmer for thirty minutes. There is no need to bring this to a boil. You are making an elixir.

Remove the pot from the stove and strain the cider through a colander into serving pot. Pour into cups hot and serve with anise stars and cinnamon stick garnish.

For more information about naturally boosting your immunity or to book a consultation about anti-aging, naturopathic testing Yotonyo, weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.ca or call our Toronto Office at  (416)-656- 8100.  We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.


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