I live in Manhattan, the capital of food and drink. I've also worked in sales for five years. Suffice it to say, I know what it means to entertain. I do it for a living. And more often than I care to admit, entertaining means alcohol.

Finding the right balancing act of health, fitness and fun has been a struggle and something I always look for ways to better manage. I've tried everything in the book in terms of excuses to limit my intake of alcohol. I've done the two-drink limit rule, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I've pulled the "I'm on antibiotics" card to avoid drinking. I've flat-out canceled plans to avoid certain situations and to buy myself another desperately needed alcohol-free evening.
 
I'm sure this is familiar to some of you and something that you've had to experience as well at some point in your life depending on where you reside, what you do for a living and the types of situations you're involved with and company you keep. There's really no great way around it, especially if you are a social drinker who enjoys the occasional glass of wine.
 
One thing that I've come up with though, is this idea that I don't have to all-out avoid certain situations or make excuses anymore. I can still show up at the dinner party, cocktail affair, or casual night in at a friend's house and not feel like I have to have a glass of wine. What I do instead is lean towards other fun drink options that will still put a glass in my hand but keep the alcohol out of my body. Try some of these healthy, interesting options instead:
 
1. Ginger ale and orange juice. My father, who doesn't drink, gave me this idea: Put a few ice cubes in a glass followed by equal parts of ginger-ale and orange juice. So refreshing with the citrus and carbonation and almost resembles a mimosa!
 
2. Cider. I was just with my girlfriend Kelly who is expecting her second child and while I sipped on a glass of white wine, she had cider. It's just as delicious and helps you to feel as though you're taking part in the festivities without the alcohol-induced buzz.
 
3. Sparkling water with or without fruit. Either way, sparkling or soda water is always a nice substitute. Regular water can be so boring. Add a few bubbles with some lemon or lime. Or get even fancier with it and cut up a mixture of fruit and make a pitcher for a really revitalizing treat!
 
Do you have other ways that you've cut down your alcohol intake? Please tweet your thoughts to @shape_magazine. I know we'd all love to hear what you guys think!
Signing Off Drinking Less,
Renee
 
Renee Woodruff blogs about travel, food and living life to the fullest on Shape.com. Follow her on Twitter or see what she's up to on Facebook!
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