Truly Happy Hour

I am a self-proclaimed homebody. While I love getting together with friends and having great food and wine, it takes a lot to get me off the couch, away from my $8 bottle of wine, my DVR, my kitty and Aaron. Now that we have moved to Sacramento, I am finding more and more reasons to get out of the house – I have a lot of friends to catch up with.

Last night I had plans to meet up with two great friends and sorority sisters for happy hour and it was my mission to have a responsible happy hour. I am such a light weight now and two glasses of wine knock me out and make me feel like crap the next day. I have such a routine that if I have an extra glass of wine or greasy food I can totally feel it the next day.

Here are some of my favorite tips for keeping myself on track before, during and after happy hour:

Drink water: This is the most important factor that affects how I feel the next day. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and in between sips of your cocktail/wine.
Eat throughout the day: Do not save up your calories in order to splurge at the bar – this never works. Eat normally throughout the day and make sure to have a snack before you go. Last night I had a nectarine and 1/4 cup of pistachios for some fiber, protein and fat to fill me up and keep my satiated.
Move your body: If you know you are going out after work, make sure to get some sort of physical activity in during the morning or on your lunch break. Also make sure to do something (anything) active the next day. Even just going for a walk or doing some yoga at home will make you feel so much better.
Do a lot of the talking: If you are talking, you don’t have time to eat or drink. Get together with friends you haven’t seen for awhile or those friends you never run out of things to talk about.
Share: The great thing about happy hour is that often times appetizers are offered at a reduced cost. Order a few appetizers to share so you don’t go overboard on any one thing. Also, having a variety of flavors will keep your tastebuds interested with less food. Last night four of shared bruschetta, chicken skewers, coconut shrimp and a quesadilla. We each had one piece of each and it was just the right amount of food.
Choose your drinks wisely: Just like you do with restaurant menu items, educate yourself on keywords that will alert you to high-calorie cocktails. Your safe bets are clear liquor with soda water, wine, champagne, and light beer. Anything that requires a blender should be off limits, along with margaritas. If you love margaritas, make sure they are fresh, or save them to make yourself at home. All you need to make a great, healthy margarita is good quality clear tequila, agave nectar for sweetness and lots of fresh lime juice – perfection! Remember, the sweeter the drink, the worse you will feel the next day.
Head home when the drink specials end: How often does it happen – you plan on just have a drink or two after work at happy hour and before you know it, you are passing out in bed at midnight after who knows how many drinks? Make a deal with yourself (and your friends) that once the specials end you will call it a night. Not only will you feel better the next day, you will save money too!

As always – have fun and just pace yourself. Everything in moderNation! Do you have any great happy hour tips?


One thought on “Truly Happy Hour

  1. Lisa says:

    I agree that water and food are key! I love happy hour because that means I have a few drinks, go home, eat dinner, and fall asleep early. I think it’s a great way to still go out and be social but not have to do it between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. I do not have that kind of energy anymore!

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