You know how occasionally the Universe sends you messages? It gives you little hints about one thing over and over until you can’t ignore it anymore. That is how I decided to give up drinking for 30 days.
I have been studying nutrition lately. I’ve been reading books, blogs, and attending seminars. Of course, none of them approve of booze. Maybe the occasional glass of red wine, but that is about it. Now, I should say, I am not a heavy drinker. Since getting involved heavily in fitness and CrossFit, it doesn’t fit as well in my lifestyle. For a couple of years I was getting up at 5:00AM to work out, and that isn’t something you want to do with a hangover!
Nowadays I don’t work out that early, but still, I rarely drink on the weekends. It only happens once and a great while when I am with friends. I would guess that I drink on the weekends maybe once a month or so. But I do have a small routine on the weekdays. I typically go to the gym after work. Then after my class, I head home, eat a light dinner and walk the dog for a mile or two. Afterwards, I come home, get into comfy clothes and curl up on the couch with a good book, my cuddly dog, and frequently, a glass of booze.
I like “sipping” alcohols. I’ll pour a couple fingers of bourbon or whiskey, or maybe a small cordial glass of port. I almost never drink beer at home and these days, rarely wine. So, I have one drink a night during the week.
So, What Happened?
Last weekend when I attended the Inspired Life Conference one of the speakers said something that caught my attention. It was a throwaway comment, not part of her main talk, but she mentioned that she had a theory that older women lose some of their ability to easily process carbs, like wine. Hmmmmm… Then a friend of mine at the conference, in reference to something completely different, said that she wouldn’t be surprised if her husband had a gluten allergy. She also said that she had heard “it’s the foods you crave that you are most likely to be allergic or sensitive too.” Hmmmmm… I can’t say that I crave booze, but I do really enjoy my evening ritual.
Neither of these statements were about me or scientifically backed or anything like that. They were just random little comments. But they stuck in my head. I’ve also been thinking a lot about stress. I think I tend to have that drink on the weekdays because it is my way of winding down after a stressful day at work. But, what if it was working the other way? What if that taste of alcohol was giving my body a Pavlovian response? What if by drinking I was telling myself I was stressed – whether I really was or not.
Could I be accidentally contributing to my stress levels?
The more I thought about it, the more my intuition suggested I do an experiment with giving up alcohol. The thing is, the ritual of curling up with a book and my dog on the couch is lovely. It doesn’t require booze. That’s just kind of nice. But actually, I get just as much enjoyment out of a big mug of herbal tea. So, Monday I decided to go dry for a while.
Then, last night I attended a seminar put on by Universal Health Solutions called The Evolution of the American Diet: The Inflammation Super Highway. The speaker, Dr. David Johnson, mentioned that green, herbal and oolong tea is really good for an anti-inflammatory diet. Hmmmmm… That seemed like a confirmation to me. I could spend a month replacing my evening cordial with a big cup of herbal tea. It would also have the benefit of promoting sleep (which alcohol definitely does not.) And then, once again today, while researching something else, I ran across this article on the benefits of tea in lowering blood sugar. Hmmmmm…
I don’t foresee this being a particularly difficult experiment, except for one thing. I’ll be doing some traveling for work this month, and my coworkers like to drink. Unfortunately, the one who doesn’t, isn’t going to be on this trip. I don’t really expect peer presure, but there is that “thing” where you all unwind from a long day with a glass of something boozey. I’ll just have to let them know ahead of time that I will be sipping club soda instead.
If anything interesting happens as a result of this experiment, I will be sure and let you know. Here’s to a dry March!