This week we're getting answers for questions regarding "healthy" happy hour drinks and anxiety issues. ChickRx routinely receives questions on a variety of subjects, including birth control, stress, dating, health issues, and even exercise. Don't forget to post your questions in the comments section, so we can work on getting some answers! And remember, you can submit questions anonymously.
Question: My co-workers and I often go out for drinks after work. Are there any drinks that are "healthier" or contain fewer calories? What types of drinks should I avoid?
Andrea Garman, RD, LDN (Registered Dietitian) answered: This is a realistic question facing many women our age. While it's a bit of a stretch to claim that any alcohol is "healthy," there's no doubt that some alcoholic beverages are lower in calories than others. Here are some tricks to minimize your calories when you're out socializing after work (or on the weekend):
Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â¢ Skip the "fun and fancy" cocktails such as daiquiris, margaritas, and specialty martinis. The average margarita contains over 300 calories, not to mention loads of sodium, and the average apple martini has approximately 235 calories.
Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â¢ Drink light beer instead of regular. The average light beer contains 100 calories versus 145 calories for the same amount of regular beer.
Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â¢ Choose low-calorie or calorie-free mixers when drinking liquor drinks. Soda water with a splash of fruit juice can be vodka or rum's best friend, and it adds minimal calories.
Ã�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â¢ Don't be afraid to ask for a glass of water. Drinking water with and between your alcoholic drinks will both slow you down and help you stay better hydrated.
Andrea Wilcox (Registered Dietitian) answered: My go-to drink is vodka soda with a tiny splash of cranberry or just as is with a lime wedge. Light beer and wine are also better options than the fancy, sugar-loaded cocktails. As always, enjoy your beverages safely and in moderation!
Question: I'm generally anxious and compulsive, but how do I know if it's serious enough that I need medication?
Dr. Dana Season (Clinical Psychologist) answered: Consistent anxiety and compulsive thoughts can be difficult to cope with. Before you try medication, it is usually best to explore non-medicinal treatments. If after a concerted effort the therapeutic intervention does not relieve your symptoms, it would be appropriate to consider medication.
Often times if you can discover how the compulsive thinking serves you and what is causing it, you are more likely to successfully remedy it. One way to uncover triggers and themes of your anxiety along with your compulsions is to use a CognitiveÂ Behavioral Thought Record. This worksheet provides easily understandable prompts to help you diary your daily thoughts. I recommend you use this anytime you have bothersome symptoms. Using this thought record consistently will help you feel a greater sense of control and understanding over your anxiety as well as compulsive thoughts. If you want to explore your concerns in depth, you can bring your thought record to a psychologist to help you interpret it.
Do not forget that change takes time and can feel uncomfortable until you get used to thinking in new, more adaptive ways. So have compassion for yourself and believe that you can change the way you think! Good Luck!
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