Repairing Health After Alcohol

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

-Jim Rohn

So, maybe you’re taking a break from drinking or decided to give it up for good – whatever the duration or reason there are some lifestyle adjustments that can be made to maximise the break to your mind, body and soul.

Steps for Repairing Health After Eliminating Alcohol

  1. DRINK MORE WATER. Even if you are a religious drinker of water throughout the day, after kicking the sauce, you are going to want to switch to water and make sure that you stay hydrated and flush the body out by consuming a litre or more (6-8 glasses) of H2O each day.
  2. INCORPORATE VITAMINS AND MINERALS DAILY. Alcohol consumption inhibits the body’s ability to fully absorb all of the nutrients it needs, so a great habit would be to incorporate a multivitamin and B Vitamin regimen daily. Many vitamin supplements these days include all the essentials (including B complex), antioxidants and probiotics. An excellent all-in-one to check out is the Complete Multivitamin Complex by Bulk Powders.
  3. EAT A BALANCED DIET. I don’t know about you, but even though I tried my best to eat a healthy diet when I was a drinker, I cannot deny that after a few glasses of wine I would automatically want crisps, pizza or chocolate. Drinking screws with our insulin and hunger regulation and therefore we can feel like we have no control over the food choices we make while on a night out — or through a hangover. Incorporating a diet full of balanced whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, whole grains and beans will help to regulate blood sugar, meet nutrient requirements and help to create usable energy the body can access throughout the day.
  4. LIMIT REFINED SUGAR. Many people increase the amount of sugar and sweets they eat after they quit alcohol (as well as after quitting smoking). Sugar can have the same effect on our brains as drinking can as the same response of dopamine release occurs when we consume sugar just as when we drink alcohol – especially when paired with a conditional habitual response pattern. Even if sweets are convenient and help to keep you from ordering a glass of chardonnay, the better choice would be a piece of fruit or a handful of almonds (which are fabulous for liver health, btw).
  5. GET A DEFICIENCY SCREENING. If you’ve been a regular drinker – or what would classify as a heavy drinker, you may have been missing out on the absorption of vital nutrients. A nutritional professional can help screen for any deficiencies that you may have to determine the best course of action for your dietary needs going forward.
  6. REJUVENATE YOUR LIVER. The liver takes a beating throughout our lives as it serves as a filtration system of toxins, metabolises drugs, and makes essential proteins required for many vital bodily functions. After making a lifestyle change, such as eliminating alcohol, it is a good idea to focus on rejuvenating your liver by choosing a balanced, whole foods diet that includes fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. So, to get started, here are some foods you can include in your diet today are carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, almonds, and oats.
  7. GET EXERCISE. Regular exercise helps the body by promoting lung, kidney, intestinal, and overall immune system health which all support the body’s efficient natural detoxification processes. Aside from the physical health benefits of a fitness routine, exercise helps to produce endorphins which can help reduce anxiety and depression. If the root cause of your alcohol habit was stress or response to stressful events, finding healthier strategies to cope with these feelings will encourage positive behaviours and better health choices overall. Check out my free eBook for jump-starting fitness as well as my workouts for free guidance on how to get (and stay) fit!

And in case you need a reminder of how you can work on repairing health after alcohol, I have created this handy-dandy infographic. Be sure to pin this graphic and share with friends and family or anybody who may be looking for ways to start repairing their health after eliminating alcohol from their lifestyle.

Have you recently eliminated alcohol from your life? Check out these 7 tips for repairing your health after alcohol. #alcoholfree #soberlife #sobrietytools Click To Tweet

These tips are great for anyone looking to take charge of their health – knowledge is power and you do have the power to change your life mind, body and soul.

5 of My Favourite Mocktail Recipes

It might seem that alcohol is everywhere and tough to avoid, but according to statistics, young people (and I don’t necessarily count myself as one of them!) are drinking less than people in the same age group did 10-15 years ago.  Remember when everybody used to smoke and now when a person lights up we are like:

via GIPHY

Is it possible that drinking is on the same trajectory?  I live in Glasgow, and the drinking culture seems alive and well and thriving; this is especially evident when I go out for my early Saturday morning run and have to dodge piles of uneaten chips and other unpleasantries of the night before.

All of this information is more confirmation that I have made the right choice to embrace sober living and steer clear of alcohol and its short-lived-fun shelf life.

Just because I have given up drinking alcohol doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy a delicious and pretty beverage.  Mocktails are on the rise; I even attended Club Soda’s mindful drinking festival in Glasgow back in October.

I never thought I would be typing enthusiastically about a festival without alcohol.

I also never thought I would be typing enthusiastically about my passion for making mixed drinks without alcohol in them, but here I am.

5 Mocktail Recipes That Won't Make You Miss the Booze #mindfuldrinking #alcoholfree Click To Tweet

Here are five of my favourite mocktail recipes

Raw Raspberry Shrub (via BBC Good Food)

5 of My Favourite Mocktail Recipes

Cucumber, lime and elderflower cooler (via Tesco Real Food)

Mountain Mojito Mocktail (via Town and Country)

Rose Lemon Spritzer Mocktail (via Elle Decor)

Non-Alcoholic Pimms (via Club Soda)

CHEERS!

Do you have a favourite non-alcoholic drink?  Do you think that it is becoming less of a stigma not to order non-alcoholic drinks on a night out?  Would you attend a mindful drinking festival?

Super Quick Mock Sangria Recipe

Ole! I remember the first time I had a glass of Sangria. It was fruity and bitter and sweet and kinda perfect.

As I got older (and more into what kind of alcohol I liked), I absolutely loved to purchase the sangria you could buy in a carton (shout out to adult premium beverages in tetrapacks — because if you’re gonna drink, you might as well be environmentally friendly about it!) and just stick a straw in it.

Easy, breezy, beautifully buzzed.

My go-to for ready-made sangria was always Don Simon — which is basically red wine and fizzy citrus soda.

So, now that I no longer drink alcohol, I have to get creative in the ‘mocktail’ category.

So, one day I started thinking about the ready-made Sangria and what it actually tasted like — despite the alcohol and a lightbulb went off in my head.

I always have ideas but, like 25% or less of them ever work out in my favour — let’s be real.

Here is my go-to, quick mock sangria (done two ways)

If you're looking for a yummy alcohol-free option try my quick go-to mock sangria (done two ways)! Click To Tweet

If you’re making this for a party — or you really wanna go crazy with things:

If you’re just making one glass for yourself (you’ll probably make at least two, though):

Do you have a favourite mocktail recipe? Please share!

Three Things I Learned About Myself After I Quit Drinking

Strength of mind rests in sobriety;  for this keeps your reason unclouded by passion.

-Pythagoras

I love that quote.  The reason I love it so much is the bit about reasoning clouded by passion.

I believe that passion and passionate people can struggle with logic and reasoning; I put my hands up entirely and say I am a super emotional person and this is why I believe in the struggle.

I know that passion clouded the way that I thought and made sense of the world around me and I attribute a lot of this to the fact that I used to drink at times when I needed to be clear-headed the most.

For the majority of my adult life, having a drink was synonymous with relaxation, de-stressing, celebrating, mourning, fighting, socialising and the list goes on.

If you see a theme in that laundry list of things I associated the reasons to drink with you can probably gather that I drank for a number of reasons and most of them were the for the wrong ones.

And to be clear, I have known my entire life the perils of drinking as my mother continuously reminded me that my grandfather wasn’t around for her life because he drank himself to death.  I have known multiple people who lost their lives because of alcohol.  I had numerous mental and physical health professionals tell me that they thought I drank in response to anxiety and stress, but I never thought that what I was doing was any more hazardous than the people around me.

I wasn’t wrong (to an extent) I wasn’t really drinking more than others around me, but here’s the thing, we are always surrounded by a culture of addictions.  Whether it be to food, sex, gambling, drinking, drugs, social media, exercise, approval and so on – people are addicted, compulsive, and it’s everywhere.

So, sure, I wasn’t drinking more than the people I was surrounded by, but the thing is, most of those people were drinking too much too.

You know the saying, “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”? — that’s where I finally landed a year ago and here are three things that I have learned about myself since then.

THREE THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF AFTER I QUIT DRINKING _ ERIN'S LIFE BITES

3 Things I Learned About Myself After Quitting Drinking

I can handle things without booze.  My go-to solution for any problem (and I mean any problem) was wine.  Red, white, whatever shade, it was what I needed on-call to deal with whatever stressors or emotional triggers I experienced.  It probably seems like common sense to people who don’t drink or deal with the mishaps in their lives without a “crutch”, but I truly believed that if I didn’t drink when the alarm bells in my head went off, I wouldn’t be able to cope. I was wrong. It turns out, I can deal with what life throws at me, and I don’t need a giant glass of Merlot to do it.  Truthfully, at first, it was extremely uncomfortable for me to deal with things in the absence of wine, but stepping back, breathing, and even writing down what I am feeling has helped me to work through things; the emphasis being on “helped”.  Approaching bumps in the road with a clear head and a steady hand has helped me realise that I can handle more than I ever gave myself credit.  It’s not easy, but it is possible.

I am a morning person.  People who know me will probably argue with me about this discovery, but I will urge them to hear me out.  I am still a bit bitchy and groggy first thing in the morning, but once I am up, I can get things done.  I have always been a morning exerciser, even when I would wake up dehydrated and hungover, but now I can tackle the workout, emails, chores, etc. without the feeling that I am forcing myself to do it because if I don’t do it now, I won’t do it. Which isn’t something I could have ever said with a straight face ten months ago.

I am an introvert, an INFP-T if you will.  Now, I believed for my entire adult life that I am extroverted because I can be chatty in most situations and that for some strange reason I don’t have a massive amount of stage fright when talking in front of large (or small) groups.  However, it turns out that what I was is what I like to call an “alcotrovert” – a reserved person who becomes outgoing after drinking and conflates that enthusiasm for extroversion.   Do you know what can confuse the hell out of you when you’re an introvert who drinks? Going to an event centred around alcohol and not drinking.  About two weeks after I stopped drinking, my husband and I went with friends to a comedy “pub crawl”, and I was on the non-alcoholic Kopparbergs and soda water while everyone around me was slamming down pints of liquor.  I had severe anxiety about going out to a pub-centred event just weeks after giving up drinking, but I discovered that I could not only have a good time without drinking but that I am quite observant when I am sober.  As a self-professed shit talker, I was most surprised by this fact.  I was happy keeping to myself and didn’t need alcohol to be in social situations because I finally realised that nobody cares what you look like, drink or do when everyone is out for a good time.  Also, if you ever want confirmation that not drinking is rewarding, spend five hours around shitfaced people when you’re not drinking and realise how terrific it is not to have to point and stammer when telling the same story four times to the same three people.  Seriously, try it.

Of course, there are more things that I learn and discover about myself with each day that passes, but so far those are the three things I have learned that have made the most significant impact on my self-awareness.  I have also noticed physical and spiritual changes since the day I quit drinking, but that is for another post!

I never honestly thought that I would gain anything out of quitting drinking, but what I’ve acquired in exchange is too valuable to give credence to at the moment.  As I learn more, I will share my thoughts and feelings.  I also know that this is a one day at a time journey and the minute I start to think I’ve figured it all out is the moment I could potentially backpedal on my progress.

Have you thought about quitting drinking? Read about the three things I learned about myself after I quit drinking! Click To Tweet

I would love to connect with other people who have had similar or different (or whatever) experiences after they decided to give up drinking alcohol.  If you would be interested in sharing your experience with quitting drinking, email me at erin@erinslifebites.com and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for new content!

Until next time!

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