It is so easy to get to a place where having a glass of wine several days a week, if not almost daily, becomes the norm. The habit sneaks in so slowly you barely notice that your feet ache when you get out of bed, that your energy is a little low in the afternoons and that your brain feels a little foggier than you’d like. You may even blame these little problems on getting older.
In reality, the wine habit is accelerating aging. While there can be a time and a place to indulge, drinking alcoholic beverages several times a week is hard on your body because your liver prioritizes eliminating the toxins from alcohol before clearing excess estrogen, for example.
Avoiding alcohol is an important part of the HEAL phase of the Migraine Freedom program – a time when we are setting the optimal conditions for your body to heal and repair itself.
Yet if having a glass of wine is an integral part of your social life, your time with your partner or just a go-to way to unwind after work – giving it up is a lot easier said than done!
Here are the 4 most common things I hear from people during our coaching calls on why they find themselves pouring a glass of wine when they get home in the evening AND the key things we’ve discovered are effective for our clients when they are wanting to shift away from this daily habit.
1. “I don’t want to get drunk and I’m not addicted, but I crave the taste.”
Do you feel a strong craving, similar to having a sweet tooth that is hard to say no to? It is possible that blood sugar swings are part of the problem. While adults may have developed the common sense and restraint not to have cookies or candies, when your blood sugar crashes before dinner time, you may not realize that a beer or wine is also providing a quick sugar hit.
- Plan for a healthy snack around “happy hour” time – you may just be hungry after a long day of work. Here’s a list of my 10 favorite blood-sugar balancing snacks that are ready to grab and go.
- Diffuse a blend of grapefruit and cinnamon essential oils, which can help with food cravings.
- Try L-Glutamine, a powerful craving quencher. Stir 5 grams of the powder into tea or coconut kefir or whatever else you are into next time you feel like raiding the pantry or fridge.
2. “Work is so stressful right now, having a glass of wine while I cook dinner helps me relax and shift gears.”
Are you reaching for a glass of wine because your day was just TOO nuts? Because “today was crazy and I need a drink!”
If you realize the habit is more about escape than enjoyment, then talk to someone about why you want to numb out. A friend a life coach, therapist, hypnotherapist, or EFT tapping coach will all be able to support you in different ways.
Did you love to dance, sing or draw as a child but loose touch with your creative side over the years? Dancing or creating art regularly are beautiful ways to express emotions and tapping into these outlets are a powerful way to beat stress.
Substitute the wine with healthier alternatives to manage stress such as:
- Herbal Teas like Holy Basil, Chamomile and Lavender (buy the best quality organic teas to actually get the adaptogenic and soothing properties of the herbs)
- CBD oil, a hemp extract that is exploding in popularity because of its positive impact on mood and energy. (Bonus: CBD has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties as well. Learn more about it on this free webinar: What is CBD Webinar)
- Create rituals with essential oils like putting a few drops of eucalyptus in the shower when you get home see how refreshed you feel for your evening.
3. “Having a drink with friends or my spouse is how we catch up and spend time together”
Be the one to break the routine and initiate a new way to catch up and socialize!
For example, plan for a happy hour date at the gym or the park with a buddy after work instead of at the bar. You may be surprised that your friend is relieved at having a healthy alternative!
4. “I’ve tried to work on my blood sugar balance, but still find that I have cravings for certain foods or drinks.”
Food cravings, mood disorders and headaches can all be linked to common nutritional deficiencies, which occur either because of a poor diet, poor absorption or because or nutrient-depleting medications.
Alcohol inhibits the absorption of B1, B12, folic acid and zinc, so over time, frequent consumption can contribute to deficiencies as well.
Instead of endless trial and error with supplements, I like to use an intracellular test that looks at the last 4-6 months of someone’s nutrient status to see functional nutrient deficiencies. With this targeted approach, you can see exactly what you are missing and how to replenish it with foods and only the supplements that your body needs right now.
When drinking is more than a bad habit
Of course, sometimes “the glass of wine to unwind” has become a bigger issue in your life than you really want to admit and you know it is time to get serious about getting sober -> why not look into AA to access a wonderful worldwide community for support and the book The Addicted Brain by Dr. Hyla Cass, which presents the underlying biochemical imbalances that need to be addressed for healing addiction?
Leave us a comment: What would you suggest as a fun activity that is a social and stress relieving alternative to happy hour at the bar?