Loving the BITE: 12 Grape New Year’s Champagne & New Healthy Habits


Happy New Year! As you look to the beginning of 2016, I hope you see the opportunity for another blank page and new start. It’s one of my favorite Holidays, one of my favorite times of year. It’s refreshing.


Along with my well-wishes, I’ve got some easy New Year’s drinks made with real-food ingredients and my tips on forming new, positive habits in 2016. I’ll let you know why thoughtful goals & habits, rather than New Year’s Resolutions, will help you achieve what you want to achieve in 2016.

Recipe of the Week: Annual 12 Grape Champagne New Year’s Drink + 2 More Optionsgrapescham

Coconut Grape Champagne:

Mix 17.5 ounces coconut water and 8 ounces 100% white or red grape juice; refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, fill glass ½ full with juice mixture.  Add 12 grapes to each glass.  Top with champagne or sparkling wine*.

Coconut Water & Strawberry Champagne Cooler:

Mash 12 chopped strawberries in a bowl until mostly mushed. Add 4 tsp agave and 8 chopped mint leaves. Mix well. Transfer to large pitcher and add remaining ingredients 8 ounces vodka, 6 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine, and juice from 1 lime. Mix well and serve using spoon to add strawberries and green to glass.  Optionally, garnish with an additional lime.

Coconut Water Fruit Punch:

Thread 1.5 cups fresh fruit on 4 skewers and freeze for an hour or more.  Meanwhile, mix the 17.5 ounces coconut water and 8 ounces orange or pineapple juice.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

To serve, fill glasses about 2/3 full with coconut mixture, add a skewer and top with champagne.

*To make any of these recipes non-alcoholic, either replace champagne with sparkling water OR omit champagne and substitute sparkling juice for any regular juice.


We’ve long established coconut water as a great hydrator on and off the bike.  It works well with alcohol, too (but not on the bike, of course!).  In fact, by sipping a drink made with coconut water, you may save yourself any post-party hangover, as the electrolytes and fluid can keep you from dehydration-induced symptoms.   But there’s more to these drinks.

If you’re gonna drink a mixed drink, you might as well use real-food ingredients rather than junk, chemical-laden commercial syrups and cheap mixers.  In these drinks we’ve chosen delicious fresh fruits & herbs. And, in the first one, a very special New Year’s Day fruit.

Grapes are a wonderfully nutritious fruit.  In fact, they provide key polyphenol antioxidants that increase nitric oxide, reduce blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, reduce oxidative stress and protect the heart.  And, at the New Year, they’re lucky.  Some cultures bring in the New Year by eating 12 grapes at mid-night, to signify prosperity and luck for 12 months. Works for me. (To read my full write-up on the health benefits of grapes, click here).

But we’re actually not here to talk about grapes. This week, we’re gonna talk about habits.

“A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit.” Desiderius Erasmus

I’m all for devoting time and energy to habits. These are what you commit to doing daily, weekly, and monthly in order to obtain your longer-term goals and resolutions. Resolutions without the habits to support them are merely wishes destined to fail. Here are my tips for setting goals in the new year, so you can have a positive start, middle, and end to 2016.

1)       Set long-term goals (sure, you can call this a resolution).  However, these should be set, reworked, adjusted, accomplished, and re-set constantly.  Set 1 year, 6 month, 3 month, and 1 month goals.  Then, write them down & sign it like a contract.  Get excited…even a little fanatical.  If you need some help here, check out these motivational posters: https://www.google.com/search?q=quotes+habits&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=606&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=CBGYVNXnB9emyAT-mICoAw&ved=0CDEQsAQ#tbm=isch&q=motivational+quotes&imgdii=_ (it can help!)

And, of course, check out Darryl’s Make it Happen Mondays to get you going for the week!

2)      Next, for each goal, write down the daily habits required to reach it.  These should be action statements that you can control.  “Lose a pound per day” is not an action you can control.  “Omit carbohydrates at dinner 5x/week” on the other hand, is…see the difference.

3)      Then, enlist accountability.  That’s what I’m here for!  Or, try using a food journal (if you’re not already) for self-accountability, or, a friend.  Usually, it works best if your accountability partner is NOT in your immediate family or household. You can also try out www.stickk.com or www.dietbet.com.

4)     Have fun!  I’ll be the first to tell you that whole-food, healthy eating is delicious and fun.  Make it enjoyable by trying new foods, joining a friend in healthy eating.  Really work on your thoughts to see this as fun rather than drudgery…this can make all the difference.

5)      Reward your efforts (reward yourself with new gear, adventures, etc, NOT food) and when you reach your goal, celebrate for a moment, and then set new ones!:)

Sound a bit fanatical? Well, it is.  And, while “resolutions” sound all sparkly and important, mundane habits are what get it done.  I’ll leave 2015 with this thought:

Good habits are worth being fanatical about. – John Irving

And, if you’d like help with setting up your habits, I can surely supply the help. To start, here are 2 downloadable programs I’ve created to help you learn to eat to meet your goals.

  1. For athletes who want to eat well to meet weight goals using a full meal plan PLUS optimize training nutrition for their sport, take a look at Fuel Right Race Light here: Apex Nutrition Plans for Endurance Athletes(click to read details).
  2. For anyone looking to lose fat through a healthy 3-day smoothie cleanse jumpstart, long-term meal plan, fat-burning workout, and metabolism boosts, take a look at my Apex Nutrition Fit & StrongProgram.

Special Coupon for Readers: As a LovingtheBike reader, you can claim a 15% discount on Instant Download Plans by using coupon code: lovingthebike. You’ll be on your way to meeting your goals in no time.

I hope it’s been a great 2015, and here’s to 12 great months in 2016!

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body. 

image c/o: history.com

Enjoy Your Ride
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    March 2024
    M T W T F S S


Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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