Thwack! The sound of Serena’s racket slamming the ball across the net brought the crowd to its feet. She just won the first round at the U.S. Open.
“This was epic!” shouted an excited Annie. “Thanks, sweetheart, for getting the tickets.”
L.J. laughed, “I knew you’d enjoy this. Grab your bag; we’re going to meet Richard and Sherry at Sunday in Brooklyn.”
“Oh, what’s that?”
“Sherry says it’s a great place to meet for mocktails.”
Annie and L.J. got out of the Uber just in time to greet their friends, walking up to the restaurant. “Hi! It’s been too long. I am so glad to see you,” said Annie.
“Likewise,” said Richard as he hugged her and bumped elbows with L.J, “This is perfect timing for our reservation, which is good because there’s always a waiting line at Sundays.
As the couples settled into their seats, the waitress approached with menus. “Hello, I’m Marta; I’ll be waiting on you today. I’ll come back with water and answer any questions.”
“Thank you,” said Annie as she turned her attention to Sherry. LJ says you recommended this restaurant for its mocktails?”
“Yes, I hope you like them too. We became mocktail drinkers several years ago. It started when my father developed liver disease. I started researching liver health and learned that
“Nearly 1 in 10 Americans (thirty million) have some liver disease. About 5.5 million people in the U.S. have chronic liver disease or cirrhosis.”
The liver is the second-largest organ in the body (skin is first) and serves multiple critical functions. It breaks down all the food we consume. It removes toxins, clears medications from our bodies, builds proteins, modifies cholesterol levels, stores sugar, regulates hormones, and makes bile, the substance that helps absorb fats. So, it is an organ that is vital for good health. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17179-liver-disease
There are several types of liver disease; lifestyle choices cause some,
like Alcoholic Liver Disease, which results from alcohol abuse, and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, from poor food choices, eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, and being overweight.
L.J. looked at Sherry, “I’m sorry about your dad.”
“Thanks. My Dad was a wonderful man, but he abused alcohol, smoked, was overweight, and did not exercise consistently, so his liver became damaged, and then he developed liver cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis occurs when your liver cells are replaced by scar tissue, and your liver loses its ability to function due to liver damage caused by obesity, prolonged abuse of alcohol, or viruses like hepatitis B or C.
Sherry continued, As I was researching ways to support Dad, I came across the Cleveland Clinic’s recommendation for liver health:
Avoid or limit alcohol.
Avoid food and drink that contain trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup.
Carefully managing your intake of prescription and over-the-counter medications to avoid liver damage, as medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) are a common cause of liver injury.
Get regular exercise.
Limit consumption of red meat.
“Sounds like mocktails, a plant-based diet, and regular exercise can be one answer to preventing liver disease,” Annie said thoughtfully.
“I agree.” Sherry smiled, “Non-alcoholic drinks are gaining in popularity. It seems every day, we hear about a new non-alcoholic watering hole. And a plant-based diet appears to go hand in hand with mocktails. Richard and I are all into this new trend of recognizing that pharmaceutical prescriptions and doctor visits can be avoided by consuming whole-healthy food and drink. The result leads to healthy organs including your liver which means aging well over one’s life span.”
LJ raised his glass, “In the words of Williams James, Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.