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My March Without Drinking – An Update

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I thought I would give a quick update on how my 30 days of going dry are going.

For the most part, it’s been easy as pie. I haven’t missed it at all, and my replacing my evening glass of port with tea has been lovely. But I did have one night that was a little different.

It had been a long day. Work was rough. It wasn’t anything terrible, but just one of those days where you feel like you are putting out fires and taking care of other peoples’ problems from the minute you walk in the door to when it is time to leave. A busy, kind of ugly day when it just seemed like nothing really got done. Yuck.

After work, I headed to the gym. Normally the gym is the perfect cure for that kind of day. Just being there puts me in a good mood. After a workout, I usually feel great and ready to tackle anything. But this was just one of those “off “days. My lifts didn’t go well, the energy in the gym wasn’t quite there. I don’t know if it was residual stress from my day, or just “one of those workouts.” I mean, they happen occasionally. Not every workout can be perfect, after all!

After the gym, all I really wanted to do was curl up on the couch with a glass of wine, a good book, and my dog. But I had to go to the grocery store.

I had to get the following:

  • My prescription
  • Dog treats
  • Something from the stationery aisle that is part of a present I am making for my niece
  • Frozen fruit for smoothies

I was tired, feeling a little battered and beat, and frankly. I might have skipped going if I could have, but my pooch needs his treats! (And I really did need to grab that prescription.) So, after the gym, I drove to Meijer. Now, these four things are about as far apart in that store as is possible. And as I wound my way through the store, something stood out. You know what two holidays are coming, right? Yep.

St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. 

Here I am, tired and feeling a bit blue, emotionally rough and wanting a little glass of booze but on a 30-day break… and packed into every aisle in the store is rack after rack of booze and chocolate. I don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for a number of reasons, but I do like the traditional St. Paddy’s Day tipples. I mean, Irish Cream? Oh yeah. Whisky? Absolutely. I’m not a huge beer drinker, but when I do indulge – yep, I favor dark, thick ports and stouts. Sigh…

And while I have not sworn off chocolate for this month, (and I totally will admit I seriously eyed a few of those dark chocolate bunnies,) there is a big difference between having a little treat and cramming a chocolate bunny head down my gullet because I’m emotionally eating. And that is really what it would have been – and I knew it. And hey, sometimes that is what you need to do. But I knew it wasn’t the right choice for me.

Despite all the temptations – I had two brilliant thoughts.

The first was when I grabbed fruit for my smoothies. I tend to buy frozen blueberries, (they are so good for you!) but this time I went with strawberries, and I will tell you why that was brilliant in a minute. The other idea was to wander over to the tea aisle. Even though all I really wanted to do was head home, I took a few minutes to look at the different varieties of tea. I have a cupboard full, but dang it, if I wasn’t going buy booze, I’ll at least get myself some delicious tea. And then I saw it:

Have you had this? Oh my goodness, this tea is one of my favorites! Tim Ferriss mentioned in on one of his podcasts for better sleep, but I’ve been drinking it for years. However, you used to only be able to get it at Natural Food stores here in town. Apparently, now you can get it anywhere. This tea knocks me right out and it is delicious!

I figured after the day I had had, a good night’s sleep was exactly what I needed.

But first I had to head home. And by the time I got there, it was really late and I was even more tired, plus now I was cranky and starving. But the groceries had to be put away and the dog needed to be walked. So, (and here’s where the brilliance came in,) I threw together a smoothie. Perhaps inspired by all the Easter candy, (or more likely by the one end-cap of clearance Valentine’s Day candy,) I grabbed a big mason jar, threw a cup of milk in it, some water, plus a few handfuls of frozen strawberries, a scoop of my favorite protein powder, and a few shakes each of Penzys Vietnamese Cinnamon and Dutch Cocoa. Then, I blended the whole thing with the immersion blender. I was hoping for something that was vaguely chocolate covered strawberry flavored that I could drink while getting ready to walk the dog. But I was blown away by how good it turned out! It was a total treat! And one with absolutely no guilt attached.

Then I took the little guy out for a walk. And it was one of those cold, clear Michigan nights where the stars are shining. I treat dog walks like walking meditations and it was just what I needed. Followed it up with a hot cup of tea and I was off to bed. Not a bad way to end the day.

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