It’s that time of year, and you know what that means…party time! Holiday parties are filled with good cheer, friends, and booze. While we thoroughly enjoy alcohol, we often wonder if we can drink it. The writers behind this blog follow a paleo-vegan way of eating. In other words: We are pegans, healthy vegans.
What’s a pegan diet? Well, we see it as a lifestyle that combines the foundational principles of Veganism and Paleo – a way of eating fresh, whole foods, free of preservatives, GMOs, refined carbs and additives. As vegans, first and foremost, we don’t consume meat, eggs dairy, or any other animal product. Taking the most healthful qualities from the paleo diet, we also avoid high glycemic veggies/fruits and limit sugar and processed foods.
You don’t have to be a pegan to wonder if you should be drinking alcohol. Those who are vegan or paleo should ask: Does alcohol fit into my diet?
The answer to this question depends on who you ask. The answers range from “Duh, absolutely” to “No way!” to “Umm, maybe.” The fact of the matter is that alcohol (beer, wine, and spirits) is not paleo, but there are vegan options!
While it's not paleo and barely vegan, having a few drinks can foster a great social experience and give you a chance to relax. We believe this: Consuming alcohol is not the healthiest choice you could make. Booze messes up your fat metabolism, sleep cycles, and blood sugar. Even though these effects exist, its okay to have a drink and fit it into your diet!
Are you with us?!
If you want to stay lit and fit, you must do your research and figure out what your most paleo-vegan friendly options are. Luckily for you guys, we create the Paleo-Vegan Guide to Alcohol.
In general, you want to stick to drinks that are low in sugar. The less sugar, the better! Our drinks of choice are hard cider, dry wine, or spirits.
Hard Cider (Beer Alternative):
Beer is not paleo approved because it has tons of gluten in it. You want to avoid it at all costs. Additionally, beer is not vegan because many breweries use animal by-products to process their beer. For example, casein (a milk protein), gelatin (animal protein), and glycerin (fat from animal bones) are popular animal products found in beer.
You can find out more about vegan beer here.
Most hard ciders, however, are made without gluten! Thus, they are a popular paleo alternative to beer. You can find delicious vegan options by looking them up on Barnivore. Barnivore is a trusted site with an extensive list of drinks that were verified as being vegetarian and vegan. All 34,047 entries on their site were tripled checked! In essence, Barnivore is a Vegan Alcohol Directory. Cool, right?
Here's a list of hard cider that we like to drink:
Crispin Cider (All but Honey Crisp)
Strongbow (Pear, Cloudy Apple, Citrus Edge)
ACE Cider (All but Honey Cider)
Colorado Cider (Grasshop-Ah, Glider Cider, Ol’Stumpy)
Pro Tip – Look out for ciders that have added sugars or preservatives. Sugar is your kryptonite!!
We all know wine is made from fermented grapes. The fermentation process removes a lot of the sugar, but some wine varieties contain a crap ton of sugar. Hence, wine is not paleo. Not all wines are vegan either! Just like beer, wine is clarified using casein (a milk protein), gelatin (animal protein), and isinglass (fish guts).
If you still want to drink wine and remain healthy, we recommend a dry wine. Dry wines are low in sugar.
BUT WAIT! Which dry wines are vegan? Head to Barnivore and type “dry wine” in the search bar. You will get a list of wines that are vegan-friendly!
Here's a list of dry wines that we like to drink:
Ten Spoon (Dry Apple and Dry Pear)
Dry Farm Wines (Not certified vegan, but none of their current wines are made with any animal products)
If you are gonna go hard, aim for distilled liquors like vodka, brandy, rum, and tequila. These distilled liquors have very little traces of gluten in them.
You can also type “vodka” or “tequila” in the Barnivore search bar. It will populate a list of liquors that are vegan-friendly!
Here's a list of liquors that we like to drink:
Pro Tip – We recommend mixing tequila with soda water and fresh-squeezed lime. Don’t add tonic water or fruit juices because they are laced with sugar. Flavored liquors like strawberry or amaretto are packed with sugar as well. Stick to straight liquor mixed with mineral or seltzer water, and you will be fine!
In short, you can enjoy the holidays and stick your diet! Hard cider, dry wine or distilled liquors are your best paleo-vegan options.
Let let me know what you think in the comments below! Do you try to stick to your diet during the holidays?
Stay lit and fit!
Until Next Time,
“Your life is happening now. Make it amazing!”