We’re in that weird only-in-New Orleans limbo phase, where we have noble New Year’s intentions, feeling motivated to look, feel and be our best. But we’re also just kicking off the Carnival season with its excess of king cakes and cocktails.
Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. On the back-end of Mardi Gras, we’ll launch of our fourth-annual Alcohol Free for 40 Challenge, starting Ash Wednesday (March 5).
The challenge: Give up all alcohol from Ash Wednesday until Easter. And before you do, take the time to establish your baseline health metrics. Do this before you stop drinking. Do this on your own with your health care provider, or sign up here to do your pre-challenge metrics for $25 at our #AlcoholFreeFor40 kickoff event at Ochsner Fitness Center’s FUEL Café + Market on March 7 (more details below).
· Record your weight.
· Take a close-up photo of your face so that you can see the details of your eyes and skin.
· Ask your doctor to run the following labs. Some of these labs are indicators of overall health; others are specific markers of inflammation, liver health, and alcohol toxicity: CBC (Complete Blood Count), CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel), Lipid Panel, GGT (Gamma glutamyl transferase), Vitamin B12 and Folate Panel, hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) and ESR (sedimentation rate)
To make it as easy as possible, participants who commit to the full 40-day challenge can have their pre-and post-challenge labs checked for just $25 (a value of more than $200) at the #AlcoholFreeFor40 kickoff party at on March 7, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Ochsner Fitness Center’s FUEL Café + Market at 1200 S. Clearview Parkway in Metairie.
The event is free for anyone to attend and will feature Ochsner Eat Fit-approved mocktails and small bites.
If you’re planning to have your labs checked, RSVP atEventbrite.com. Availability for lab screening is limited to the first 200 attendees. Note that for labs to be provided at such a minimal cost by Ochsner, the lab screening is via blood donation. For those who are cannot donate blood for medical or other reasons, Ochsner’s Corporate Wellness team will be onsite take blood for testing.
Even if you can’t make it to the event, you can still join the #AlcoholFreeFor40 Challenge. Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or visit an urgent care clinic to get your labs done, before starting you go alcohol-free.
Join our #AlcoholFreeFor40 group on Facebook to accept the challenge, follow the journey of others and share your own experiences, successes, mocktail recipes, and photos. I’ll be there to respond and answer questions.
Use the #AlcoholFreeFor40 hashtag to on social media as you go through the challenge. Feel free to email me directly if you’d like, at EatingRight@nola.com. The Facebook page is public, but all personal health information will be kept confidential.
Planning to participate? Find more guidance from past #AlcoholFreeFor40 challenges here: