Woman celebrating the new year 2019

HAVE AN UPLIFTING NEW YEAR — Instead of giving things up for the New Year, resolve to expand your horizons.

Most of us start out the new year with a list of resolutions — things to do — or not to do, or to do better. 

If you’re wanting to trim down, you’re on your own in 2019. Haywood County’s ‘Healthy Haywood’ Fitness Challenge has been discontinued. It’s a sad commentary on the fitness (or lack thereof) in WNC.

So here’s a suggestion. Why not resolve to shaping-up your booty in 2019, by shaking-up your food and beverage choices? In addition to trimming calories, resolve to explore new foods and beverages.

If you favor white wines, don’t label yourself. Instead, go to a wine tasting that includes a variety of red and white wines. You just might surprise yourself. Bosu’s Wine Shop in Waynesville (www.waynesvillewine.com) holds regular wine tastings — and so does Sentelle’s Seafood Market in Clyde (www.facebook.com/sentelles.seafood).

If you’ve haven’t tried craft beer, shame on you. March yourself into a nearby craft brewery and tell the bartender, “I want to give craft beer a try.” Chances are, he or she will recommend a lighter beer style to start with or suggest a flight of beers — which is a small glass of four or five different beer styles. I bet you’ll find a beer you like. Either way, cheers to your adventurous nature.

If you don’t like beer at all or are gluten intolerant, try ginger beer. A range of refreshing ‘flavors’ of Ginger’s Revenge ginger beer are on tap at the GR tasting room in the north end of Asheville’s River Arts District. May I recommend the Ginger’s Revenge the Viau family chose as the aperitif for our 2017 Christmas Dinner — Pear Rosemary. Or try GR’s Lime, Agave — It’s the best seller. Visit  www.gingersrevenge.com.

Also, make a visit to Urban Orchard Cider Company’s new tasting room in Asheville’s South Slope. Your taste buds will thank you. The new tasting room is beautifully decorated — like a fresh, juicy crisp apple. Visit www.urbanorchardcider.com.

While we’re on the subject of being adventurous, why not take a distillery tour? Maggie Valley’s Elevated Mountain Distilling is one of the region’s nicest distilleries, offering inexpensive and informative tours. For information, visit www.elevatedmountain.com.

Also, Leap Frog Tours, Waynesville, can take you out of your comfort zone in very comfortable vans — destination: The Asheville Distillery Experience. Visit www.leapfrogtours.com.

For other adventurous ways to approach the New Year, keep reading “Eat, Drink and Be Merry.”

Paul Viau is an award-winning creative director, with a 30-year career in advertising and marketing. Originally from Denver, Colorado, he met his wife, Carol, when they worked for rival advertising agencies in Miami, Florida. They became permanent residents of Haywood County in 2008 and reside in Waynesville. 

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