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Alana Fravell:  How To Live Life Of Quality, Simplicity

Feeling Best Starts With What's Consumed

Alana Fravell is driven to help people live their best lives by sharing the knowledge she honed as an entrepreneur, hospitality degree holder, horticulturalist, master gardener, farmer, dog mom, designer, small business owner, aspiring private chef, and, as she calls it, a “walking freaking Pinterest board.”

Alana grew up in the greenhouse business, working each summer with her parents’ business, Jan’s Plants in St. Charles County. She and her husband, Bob, currently run Sugar Grove Growers in Troy, Mo., started by Bob’s parents in 1979. Bob can be found at the farm most days, growing the plants and seasonal produce sold at Sugar Grove Growers, and Alana can be found at the store, working with customers – sharing cooking and gardening advice.

"Feeling our best starts with what we put in our body," Alana believes.

She suggests how people feed themselves is a form of self-care. She has taken that message, along with what she’s learned on her personal health journey, her expertise, and sense of entrepreneurship, to a new level by expanding her brand to that of speaker, workshop host and blogger -- teaching about lifestyle and wellness. “I help people increase their quality of life through nutrition, nature, homelife and self-care,” she explains.

She even offers personal catering and cooking lessons.

“The meals you eat and the drinks you consume matter for showing up the way you want in your life. One example of that is what you are drinking while in social or even professional settings,” she adds, suggesting a healthier alternative to alcoholic beverages in the form of mocktails.

“Mocktails provide an opportunity to explore fresh, seasonal flavors while ensuring you’ll still feel great the next day. When I’m hosting workshops and sharing handcrafted mocktails, I am always surprised at the number of people who tell me they abstain or only drink occasionally, sighting health reasons, or they don’t love the way it makes them feel. I believe when we offer non-alcoholic options, we’re being more inclusive and accommodating to our guests," she says. 

“If you’re making them at home, it’s a way to treat yourself without any of the highs and lows that come with alcohol. Alcohol permeates our brains within minutes of consumption, and as a depressant, it suppresses neural activities in the brain. When I’m looking to meet new people or create a meaningful connection, I don’t want my brain activity reduced.”

Alana says she has been enjoying an alcohol-free lifestyle since 2021. “I wasn’t always enjoying it. When you choose not to imbibe, it can feel isolating. But I have embraced the opportunity to highlight seasonal ingredients, try unusual combinations, and select elements that make the beverages I consume feel truly special.”

To make delicious mocktails at home, start the base with flavor. “I like flavored sparkling water, kombucha, infused water or fresh fruit juice. Club soda works in a pinch but offers less flavor. Then, you need something fresh, like a squeeze of lemon or lime, muddled seasonal fruit, herbs like the ones we offer at Sugar Grove Growers, and don’t forget about crisp cucumbers. This is a great place to highlight seasonal ingredients. Lastly, you need a little flair to make the drink feel special. I like to add a few drops of high-quality citrus essential oils to add some real flavor depth. Source handcrafted local elixirs and syrups like All Things Elderberry’s Elixir, or make simple syrup with seasonal ingredients, then add fresh or dried herbal garnishes. Use fun paper straws, hunt down thrift store finds for unique glassware, or select cocktail napkins that express a theme.”

Here’s one recipe to enjoy:  Kombucha Bubbly Mocktail

“You don’t need an excuse to substitute a mocktail for a cocktail when it tastes this good. Something about the fermented effervescence of kombucha makes you feel like you’re imbibing a real spirit. This drink is a crowd-pleaser because it has everything you want in a special occasion beverage. It is sweet, tart, fizzy and fresh,” Alana assures.

Mix these ingredients and pour over ice:

● 3 ounces ginger kombucha

● 3 ounces of a fruit-forward kombucha, such as pomegranate or peach

● 1 ounce maple syrup

● 1 flamed orange peel or a drop of doTERRA wild orange essential oil

● 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Full recipe and instructions can be found online at Her other classes and workshop offerings also are summarized online, with topics that include: cooking and nutrition, self-care, time in nature, alcohol-free lifestyle, making your home your sanctuary and adventure.

“The meals you eat and the drinks you consume matter for showing up the way you want in your life."

"Mocktails provide an opportunity to explore fresh, seasonal flavors while ensuring you’ll still feel great the next day."