Snap Shots: Heart of Agave
A History of Australian Bars and Bartenders

Some Healthy Living Advice for the Cocktail Community

During the Bacardi Global Legacy Cocktail Competition in Sydney, Australia, several speakers were brought in (including me!) to talk to the 34 competing bartenders on various subjects. I'm writing up a couple of them here. 

JfGeorgia Van Tiel is a nutritionist and former cocktail waitress with many friends in the global cocktail world. She has given many talks on health and wellness within the bartender community, but this was my first opportunity to see her speak. (That's not her to the right; that's Jane Fonda.)

Typically her talks span two hours but this one was limited to just one and diverted with many questions from the bartenders in attendance, so what follows are just some notes I took down. In a way it's more of my to-do list than an in-depth or fact-checked story, so just bear with me.


  • You can tolerate anything for 30 days. Give one or more of these ideas a try for a month to see how it goes and you may form a good habit. 
  • 2-3 days off of alcohol in a row helps the liver regenerate, rather than just a day here and there

To Drink Less:

  • Have a glass of water with every alcoholic drink
  • Avoid salty snacks – they encourage further drinking
  • A lot of cocktail consumption comes from being thirsty, so take care of dehydration and you'll have less desire to drink
  • Electrolyte tablets help stave off dehydration, so carry them with you but watch for sugar content in the brands you buy.
  • Do not drink at home (WE'LL SEE HOW THAT GOES)
  • Start drinking later – go out later, or make your first drink non-alcoholic before moving on to cocktails

Food Advice

  • Sugar hits the liver as hard as alcohol
  • Cold pressed juicers are better than the centrifugal ones- put more nutrients into the juice. If you use a standard juicer, add fiber back into the glass as it helps you absorb nutrients better.
  • Digest your meal – for an hour or so- before you start drinking. 
  • Don’t be scared of fat (but limit meat intake OKAY)
  • Complex carbohydrates are better than simple/processed ones (potatoes are better than pasta; white rice gives you calories but not energy)
  • Eat whole foods, closer to plants/nature
  • Eat within 2 hours of waking up – otherwise you go into starvation mode
  • Eating a lot of meals per day means your digestive system is always working. She says this isn't a good plan. 
  • High-protein foods are good. She likes protein powder and hard-boiled eggs. 
  • Olive oil is better served cold (heat can even make it carcinogenic); she recommends coconut oil for cooking (look for lower-flavored versions)
  • Stay clear of simple carbohydrates late at night (NOT WITHOUT MY PIZZA)
  • Coconut water and exercise are great for getting rid of hangovers. Also hang your head upside-down. (MENTAL NOTE) 

Fitness and Sleep

  • Try jumping rope – good for hotel rooms as a jump rope is easy to pack
  • She packs a jump rope and a yoga mat in her travel luggage
  • Sleep is important (duh)
  • Meditation is good for your sleep – Give your mind a break. She recommends meditation apps
  • Move the phone out of the bedroom



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Walda Woods

Nice work on this article. It certainly covers it all. Once in a while you may see a blog regarding what alcohol is the best in terms of low-calorie, how it metabolizes, etc.

People don't typically talk much about alcohol consumption when discussing weight loss or healthy living. And there are many people out there who are trying to live healthier lives but can't give up their nightlife. Let's face it, the party scene is the coolest it's ever going to be.

Thanks for hitting a spot-on topic.

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