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Wine O'clock? 9 Tips for Drinking More Mindfully from Wendy Narby of Insider Tasting

We know that moderation is the key to drinking well, but in the hospitality industry, it’s not always easy. When it comes to alcohol, it’s like living in a sweet shop, it’s always on tap. Sharing a glass with guests is often part of the job and booze is a handy pick-me-up or way to wind down after long hours at work. *

Wendy Narby
Wendy Narby in the vineyards of Bordeaux, France

Women, wine, and wellness

As a wine educator and yogi, with thirty years of working in the French wine business, I’ve developed some hacks and habits that help me. By sharing these, my goal is to help women create a healthy passion for wine.

Why women?

Women have a physiological disadvantage when it comes to metabolizing alcohol. We break it down more slowly than men, it hangs around in our system for longer putting us at greater risk.

1. Think before you drink

Why are you reaching for that glass? Exhaustion, celebration, habit, enjoying a great meal, stress relief or the pure pleasure of a delicious glass of wine. None of these are inherently wrong but being aware of your motivation is the start of a healthy relationship with booze. Make it a choice rather than a reflex.

2. Less is more

If we’re embracing moderation, we can embrace quality. Use the booze budget for quality over quantity.

3. Winefulness

Choosing better wine, paying attention to what’s in your glass, and really enjoying it rather than just letting it slide down without paying attention, that’s mindful drinking. Learning a bit about what’s in the glass, appreciating it, paying attention, swirling, and sniffing like a pro all slow down consumption and heighten enjoyment.

4. Size matters.

How big is that glass? Serving sizes have increased for everything and wine is no exception. Rather than one large glass, why not choose tasting portions that allow you to try small amounts of several different wines, Moderation and education all in one sip.

5. Eat before you drink

An empty stomach allows liquids to go quickly from the stomach to the small intestine. The presence of food slows everything down and allows some alcohol to be metabolized before reaching the bloodstream.

6. Rule of 2

Drink enough water. Hydration is really important for our health, for our energy levels, for our skin, liver and kidney function, and so much more. I set myself a rule of 2: at least 2 liters of water a day, no more than 2 glasses of wine a day, and no less than 2 days off (booze-free) days a week. I like to follow an easy rule book, so this works for me and helps me hold myself accountable.

wine and wellness for women

7. Stimulate

We can help our body detox by stimulating the lymphatic system. Movement, (some yoga poses are particularly good for stimulating digestion) body brushing and massage all help this parallel circulatory system remove toxins from the body and reduce water retention.

8. Bitter truth

Some foods help detoxification by stimulating the liver. Bitter foods, in particular. Did you ever wonder why a lot of aperitifs contain bitters? They stimulate the appetite and the liver. Get your bitters from veg, bitter greens and cruciferous veg are packed with elements that help digestion.

9. Daily detox

A great morning routine can set you up for the day: incorporate drinking a large glass of water, body brushing, and some movement. Other things to consider, are a cold shower, lemon in hot water, and oil pulling. For more about my morning detox routine, watch the daily detox video. It should set you up for the day whether you’ll be enjoying that glass of wine or not.

Author Wendy Nardy has spent the last 30 years working in the French wine business. As a yoga teacher, she’s also passionate about wellness. In 2018, she brought these two passions together in ‘The Drinking Woman’s Diet’ book. The tips and tricks from the book are now an online course, "7 weeks to a Liver-friendly Lifestyle." It’s a fun series of webinars and videos that cover everything from understanding your liver, foods that help and foods that hinder, what is moderation and how to get there, detox tips and so much more. There are motivational habit trackers to help keep you on the program and a free e-copy of The Drinking Woman‘s Diet.

hertelier readers an early bird offer runs until the end of September, use the voucher code earlybird47 at check out for your discount.

Sign up for Wendy's free Daily Detox webinar here. It’s a taster for the course with a few morning habits to set you and your liver up for the day.

*If you think you have a problem, resources are available to help. Please talk to a health care practitioner to learn what would work best for you.

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