I've been mainly paleo/ primal for 9 months or so. The only thing I could not give up was alcohol as it's always been a huge part of my social life - and I really enjoy it.
However, after developing a Pulmonary Embolism back in November, I had to compeltely give up alcohol (I understand it reacts badly with the warfarin I'm having to take). Before this my "asthma" had got worse and worse - I was having to use my inhaler several times a day. The oddest thing is that my asthma has completely gone - there has been absolutely no trace of it since my last drink 2.5 months ago. I'm now left to conclude perhaps it was some kind of an allergy all along?
I love not having asthma; but I hate the social side I'm missing out on (I didn't drink that much - mainly at weekends).
So over to you, do you have similar experiences? Are there any alcoholic drinks that are likely to be less allergenic? (I'd tended to drink more wine and beer as I felt they were more natural)
Full article on alcohol and paleo here.
These days me and my other athlete friends just mix up some of Robb Wolf's NorCal margaritas when we feel like drinking. We've found that this is the best way to avoid as many negative effects as possible- Try to drink early and eat some protein and fat before you go to bed.
Here's why this drink rocks:
Tequila is fermented agave juice, which makes it gluten and starch-free.
Insulin release is blunted by lime, helps maintain insulin sensitivity.
Alkaline kidney load from limes
CO2 bubbles help ethenol enter blood stream more quickly, so you can drink less for same effects.
Also check out Martin Berkhan's Alcohol recommendations. This stuff I'm not so sure about, but it seem to work really well for his clients.
If you're drinking alcohol, I figure you're already compromising the paleo diet, but you might as well do it safely. By safely I mostly mean gluten-free (sorry beer). I stick to the following:
Tequila (Distilled from agave)
Vodka (Find brands that are distilled from grapes or potatoes. My favorite is Ciroc - distilled entirely from grapes. Warning, cheaper brands no longer distill from potatoes, be cognizant of what you are buying)
Gin (All include some sort of botanical. Some are distilled from sugars, others from cereal grains, so be on the lookout)
Veev (Just sampled a new liquor called Veev which is from Acai berries. Very tasty.)
And finally, as the closest substitute for beer:
Hard Cider (Typically high in sugar, so this is really just a rare treat vs. an everynight sipper. Stick to organic brands lower in sugar)
"Are there any alcoholic drinks that are likely to be less allergenic?"
I think what I would do is get myself to an allergist right away and try to pinpoint what is going on. I work in the beer industry and I have seen a lot of odd allergies out there. A former business parter was allergic to a strain of hops. A STRAIN, there are over 200 out there, she was allergic to one of them. Once you get checked out, you can make an educated choice about your alcohol intake, instead of just stabs in the dark and risking your health.
a lot of hard liquors have sugary additives and other garbage. but pure stuff like tequila is good. most margarita mixes are just high fructose corn syrups and fake ingredients, so you need to make your own version if you want it to qualify.
red wine is good in moderation
and i don't give a rip what anybody says about beer. i don't drink cheap beers, but unless i develop a severe reaction to grain glutens, i will always be down for an occasional micro brew from a quality source. there's just nothing like a frosty glass of good brew, like a pale ale or a bitey IPA. Paleo or not, I just don't care.
cheers (yes, i know)
I usually drink a weak gin & soda, with 2 limes. I actually tell the bartender to make it WEAK! haha
This concoction is similar to Robb Wolf's NorCal Margarita, but with more of a "ginny" taste. To me, it tastes much better than my previous default, vodka & soda (bland!).
(Full disclosure: ricechek = heavy-drinking paleo)
I am a very social person as well, and often it's for professional purposes that I go out. I've found that Robb Wolf's NorCal Margarita is ridiculously strong (he recommends two shots per drink), and it gets expensive. Instead, I just ask for a shot of tequila with soda water and a lime. Because I'm trying to drink less than I used to, I also ask for it in a tall glass (most often a pint glass). This allows me to have a drink, and to keep being social, but drink slowly as the soda water makes the tequila last quite a while.
Also, I can then alternate between just soda waters, too. If I don't want to be the guy "not drinking" I order one tequila drink, then the next just a soda water. People ask what you're having the first time, and assume all your drinks are that. For me, it's trying to be able to go out, enjoy myself, and not overconsume... for the sake of calories, sobriety, and health.
In terms of your sensitivities, I'd keep trying different liquors. And try different qualities. Usually, the more expensive liquors have fewer impurities and thus fewer things to upset your reactions.
And if nothing else, have you tried red wines?