Cheers to Your Health!

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It’s finally possible to savour wine and beer, and still stay slender.

We checked in on Zoomer’s Breakfast Radio with Neil, Sam and Jane during the second week of the Hill Street Challenge to go alcohol-free. Here’s what they shared, including the impact on their health and fitness habits.

“All week, I drank a lot of Vin(Zero) Merlot,” Jane says. “I enjoyed it with dinner as an excellent food pairing.” Since it’s alcohol-free wine, “in the evening I had a clear head, so I did some gardening and went to the gym.”

“Even though I drank wine, I could still get stuff done.”
~ Jane Brown

While alcohol gives some drinkers a fuzzy perception, going alcohol-free has given Sam some insightful clarity. “I’m not much of a drinker yet I’ve already become more aware of other people’s drinking habits. I went to a concert on the weekend where other people were drinking beer and I wasn’t. The Hill Street Challenge has magnified my awareness of our choices.”

At Neil’s house, he enjoyed sharing his Hill Street Challenge experience with his spouse. “On the weekend, my wife had her first taste of the Vin(Zero) Brut Blanc sparkling wine. She was surprised – she couldn’t tell the difference between the alcohol-free Brut, and other Champagnes and sparkling wines she’s had in the past.”

Sipping suds – and staying svelte
Many studies link alcohol to health and fitness concerns ranging from beer gut, belly bloat, and weight gain to serious liver damage. Since going alcohol-free, the Happy Gang has already noticed a few changes to their health.

For instance, Sam discovered new options for her fitness routine. “Now if I have a glass of [alcohol-free] wine in the early afternoon, I can work out after dinner because I have more energy in the evening.” As a result of the Hill Street Challenge she says, “Now my workouts can take place at any time of the day.”

“I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.
Drinking doesn’t slow me down.”
~ Sam Houston

As Jane confides, “I step on the scale between Tuesday and Friday (but not Saturday through Monday). Since drinking 27-calorie wines all week, I’ve noticed it’s easier to maintain or even lose a pound or two during the week.” By choosing alcohol-free wine she finds, “my maintenance program is easier.”

Neil’s lifestyle is already alcohol-free, which gives him a unique perspective. “I feel like I have new options. My wife and I opened a bottle of the Brut sparkling wine at 8:30 on Sunday night because we knew we wouldn’t have any hangovers on Monday morning.”

(Notably, Neil’s wife, Mrs. Hedley, is expecting so alcohol-free options make it easier for her to safely enjoy sparkling wine during her pregnancy.)

“It’s like things are being added to my menu
rather than being eliminated.”
~ Neil Hedley

It’s summer, which means beach season and the temptation of brewskis on a patio. Has the Hill Street Challenge influenced the Happy Gang’s health and fitness habits?

Sam mentioned she quenched her thirst with a post-workout alcohol-free beer, an effective sports-recovery drink. We asked if the Happy Gang would ever consider bringing a can of Hill Street Craft Brewed Lager with them to the gym or yoga studio.

“I’ll try that,” Jane replies. “I’ll have one after I get off the elliptical and before I do weights.” If fellow gym members raise an eyebrow when Jane cracks open a cold one after cardio, what would she do? “I would tell them the truth. I’d say I’m involved in a campaign to go alcohol-free for a month.”

Even beyond the gym, Sam notes the beverages spark intrigue. “There’s a lot of curiosity around the Hill Street products. I took some drinks to the hair salon the other day and to Ottawa for Father’s Day. As I introduce the drinks to other people, the drinks are gaining attention because they’re fun. People are really like them, and support my efforts during the Hill Street Challenge.”

Sam also noticed from the online comments submitted to the #HillStreetChallenge campaign that “many people already know about and drink Hill Street’s beers and wines.”

As a proud partner of Weight Watchers, Hill Street Beverage Company offers lower-calorie alternatives. For instance, the assortment of Vin(Zero) alcohol-free wine is just 2 SmartPoints per 5-ounce serving, providing healthier options during bikini season.

Craft beer creates cheer
For this week of the Hill Street Challenge, the featured beverage is Hill Street Craft Brewed Lager. The Happy Gang shared that on Monday, they rushed down the hall of the studio (admittedly with the beer can jiggling up and down) so they could open it on air on time.

“When we drank it, it wasn’t even cold – and it still tasted good. And guilt-free,” says Jane. She plans to share it at home, saying, “If my husband likes the craft lager, you’ll know it’s a winner.” According to Sam, “It tastes exactly like a regular beer. It’s not a near beer – it’s a beer beer. Hashtag #beerbeer!”

Amid this enthusiasm and laughter, Neil quips, “We had more placebo effects around here.” Looking ahead to culinary creations, he adds, “I plan to cook with the Hill Street Craft Brewed Lager. I’m excited to share some of the recipes.”