Mocktail Recipe Book - I caught up with Kerry Benson and Diana Licalzi, authors of Drinking for Two: Nutritious Mocktails for the Mom to Be and I’m so excited to share this book with all of you! It was created by two friends who are registered dietitians. Health and wellness is near and dear to me since it was what I studied in college and practice in my daily life. It’s so great to hear the story of these amazing women, who are not only best selling authors, but have a passion for creating healthier beverages for moms to be.
Read a little more about them and their journey.
Kerry and Diana met while attending graduate school at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. They bonded over the fact that they were transitioning from other careers into the field of nutrition and dietetics.
They are both registered dietitians, meaning that they have completed several years of required coursework, over 1200 hours of supervised training, and passed a board certification exam to earn our credentials. These are two smart ladies!
Diana is passionate about diabetes and co-founded Reversing T2D, an online platform that helps individuals manage pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Kerry works as a clinical dietitian in acute care facilities.
They found that mocktails, as well as cocktails, can be juice-heavy and are often loaded with sugar and syrups. These sugar beverages are also full of empty calories. The recipes found in their book mindfully use 100% juice and are low in added sugars . This pregnancy mocktail recipe book has recipes that are lower in sugar. Their recipes are able to do this because they rely on nutritious ingredients such as whole fruits, fresh herbs, and coconut water to add flavor and sweetness.
What's more, the recipes in Drinking for Two feature ingredients that may help alleviate common pregnancy symptoms: e.g. we use fresh ginger in several of our recipes, which may help combat nausea. I know when I was pregnant I would have mango smoothies because they really helped with the heartburn. I didn’t want to talk medication, so having something more natural and healthy was the way to go for me.
They were inspired to write the pregnancy mocktail recipe book because of the recommendations by reputable organizations, including the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, that say abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy and while trying to conceive is the safest option and best advice. Kerry, in particular, is passionate about the topic of drinking during pregnancy, because she worked in a research lab for six years studying the effects of alcohol exposure during pregnancy on the developing brain.
Before they published their book, Drinking for Two, there were very few mocktail recipe books on the market aimed at pregnant women, and none that were designed with nutrition in mind. So they set out to fill this gap and provide moms-to-be with alcohol-free drinks that are nutritious and functional! And, since they are registered dietitian, they have the science and education behind creating a drink that is truly healthy for pregnant mamas!
Here’s their favorite mocktails from their book:
Kerry's favorite recipe from Drinking for Two is the Mocktail Mule.
Diana's favorite recipe from Drinking for Two is the Berry Mock-jito
Many of the recipes in their book are inspired by popular cocktails, but the majority are their own creation. (Sound like such a fun job!!)
They put a lot of thought into what flavors work well together, how to maximize the nutritional value of their drinks, and how to simplify recipes so that they are easy to prepare. They also said it’s great to have the two of them to brainstorm and test recipes out on.
I’m working to change the mommy drinking culture of mommy needs a glass of wine. I asked these ladies how they’d like to change that culture too. “We hope to combat mommy wine culture by raising awareness on the risks of harmful drinking behaviors and challenging cultural norms surrounding alcohol. We want to show others that you don't have to drink to get through the day or to have fun.” Their best advice on making the switch from drinking alcohol to drinking the healthier way is to have alternatives on hand. The ladies also have many more tips on their website thesoberdietitians.com and on our social media.
Instead of drinking, Kerry and Diana recommend engaging in yoga and meditation since they both are healthy activities to "unwind" without alcohol. Also, focusing on a healthy diet and regular exercise also helps to support overall health and reduce stress.
I tell people that it’s as easy as walking - there’s no need to have a gym membership or fancy workout equipment. All you need is a pair of walking shoes and time. Start with as little was 15 minutes a day to get your heart rate working and you will start to experience the effects and rush of those feel good feelings.
Kerry and Diana have plans for another book. They said that, “After we released Drinking for Two, we noticed considerable demand for a book that would appeal to a larger audience. We are excited to share that we are publishing a second mocktail recipe book called Mocktail Party: 75 Plant-Based, Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Every Occasion. It comes out May 25.”
I’ve always wanted to write a book. So, I asked them for advice for moms who want to write a book. They said, “Breaking into the publishing industry can be a challenge, and we were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to write a book with an amazing publishing company. For anyone who wants to write a book, our best advice is to pick a topic that you are really passionate about but that is niche, so you are addressing a specific need.”
Their journey to being alcohol-free began with their books. While writing their second book, they became more aware of how obsessed our culture is with alcohol, and started to learn more about the health benefits of reducing alcohol intake (and experience them ourselves). We decided to do an alcohol-free month in the summer of 2020. Diana has been alcohol-free ever since, and Kerry went alcohol-free in January 2021.
Check out their book Drinking for Two: Nutritious Mocktails for the Mom to Be
Visit their website https://thesoberdietitians.com .
Pregnancy Mocktail Recipe Book Article Written by Natalie Jones, Mama with a Mocktail and told by Kerry Benson and Diana Licalzi.