leftovers and hangovers

You look about the house. The best stemware got nicked (that could mean chipped, stolen, or both!). The marble counter is red-wine stained. The wood furniture is white stained from drippy glasses. Your belt is tight, your budget tighter. It's enough to dr

You look about the house. The best stemware got nicked (that could mean chipped, stolen, or both!). The marble counter is red-wine stained. The wood furniture is white stained from drippy glasses. Your belt is tight, your budget tighter. It’s enough to drive you to drink or dip into the dark chocolate Lindt.

Wait. Wasn’t that how you arrived at this depressing moment?

December overindulgence and entertaining in has January consequences on you and your home. Pantry shelves, beer haunts and wine cellars have morphed into dens of iniquity.

The first week of January may see you craving a few greens and green tea.

Come the second week January most of us are right back at the food trough. The news is not all bad. Two steps back from the trench and three toward calisthenics ought to rid you of the gathering girth tout de suite.

Every January issue of every lifestyle magazine offers tips on tipping the scales in your favour with their calorie cutting recipes and exercise regimes. But they say little about booze—except forget it. Must we abstain for a month? We can. I guess. Some imbibers go for February. (Think about it). Due to my wining/dining vocation I go for AFDs (Alcohol Free Days). I reach for water instead of wine with my (low fat) meal when not out and about.

Even then I skip beer, the aperitif, the reception bubble or the reception period, dessert drinks and night-cap (aka beer for me)

Adapted (OK—pretty much cribbed) from an article called The Booze you Choose, here’s an eye opener (no—not a Bloody Mary/Caesar—but since we’re mentioning it, a decent choice, calorie-wise) into a few boozy bevvies to keep in mind when you belly up to the bar over the next weeks.

PS. Skip the peanuts and the bits-and-bites.

Beer

140-150 calories, zero fat. Light beer can save you around 40 to 50 calories per 12 ounces

Manhattan

128 calories, zero fat Made with bourbon, vermouth and bitters.

Martini (classic with gin and white vermouth)

150 calories, zero fat. My favourites. Take them on the rocks for easy sipping.

Scotch

130 calories (40 per cent ABV) Consider stretching the drink with a splash of water (brings forth the spirit’s esthers anyway) or club soda

Wine

120 to 150 calories per 6 oz.

A 750 ml. bottle works out to about four six-ounce glasses. Whether you’re drinking Chateau Petrus in a French villa or Boone’s Farm in an El Camino, the calories per glass are the same. (Writer’s note: dry wines and (yes!) German wines provide slightly fewer calories per glass

Brandy Alexander

179 calories, two grams fat. Pass entirely for a snifter of brandy.

Rum & Coke

180 calories, zero fat Diet Coke will save you about 60 calories.

Screwdriver

184 calories, zero fat. At least this one’s got the nutritional benefit of orange juice. IRISH

Irish Cream

240 calories, 10.5 grams fat Forget it or substitute for three nights’ worth of dessert

Pina Colada

253-347 calories, three to 11 grams fat, “pina coladas are one of the worst drinks—all calories and saturated fat.

Margarita

340 calories, zero fat Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, (unless you are a woman) but you know the truth: It’s your own damn fault.

On hot days, grab a Tecate but keep the Jimmy buffet CD.

Julie Pegg is a Vancouver-based food and wine writer.