If you like to drink alcohol, read this post with caution

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Monique Nelson

Founder at Choose to Cook
Monique Nelson is the founder, chief organizer and editor at Choose To Cook, and is highly motivated to help people of the world take charge of their health through simple and delicious nutritional changes.
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I would like to start by affirming that I like to drink alcohol. Quite a bit actually – I am a pretty big fan of beer and red wine. I probably drink more than I should, especially for someone who claims to be as health conscious as I do.

If I’m being honest, when it comes to alcohol, I kind of stick my head in the sand a bit. I know drinking too much is bad for you, but I have hesitated to do too much research on the topic because I don’t really want to know how bad. But here are a few thoughts I have found over the years.

  1. I am not as young as I used to be and, on the rare days where I pass my responsible limit, I definitely feel the impact the next day. I typically like to laugh this off and make an “I’m just getting old joke” about myself, but when I take 5 seconds to think about it, obviously my body is telling me it cannot process the toxins I am giving it, and it is hurting me in retaliation. That sounds like a silly way to explain it, but it is basically the truth and I know it.
  2. I know that drinking red wine regularly makes me break out. As a 30+ year old woman the last thing on earth I want to deal with is a pimple in the morning, but if I drink the wine, I deserve the consequences. Again, this is my body telling me that it does not appreciate all the wine. More than 1 glass a day is too much.
  3. Drinking too much alcohol will dehydrate me and, even if I don’t feel the symptoms physically, it will show up in the form of dry skin on my face.

None of those things, thus far, have been persuasive enough to stop my habits. Now, I’d like to clarify. I am not an alcoholic. I do sometimes go for days without drinking just because I don’t feel like having a drink. I don’t binge often. But I really enjoy the taste of red wine and beer and I generally have a glass or two a day. I would admit, however, that really and truly not wanting to quit is probably a problem of sorts.

Moving on, more recently, I have listened to two separate podcasts which has made me really sit up and listen, and think more critically about my drinking behaviour. One of the podcasts I have mentioned a few times in my posts already and it comes from Food Heals Nation. The episode I am referring to is 8: Healing Cervical Cancer Naturally with special guest Amanda Deming. It is very interesting to listen to the entire episode, but at the very end the ladies got together to do an organic wine tasting.

Organic wine. All the food I eat I search out organic whenever I can. I still watch my budget, but to me, it is ENTIRELY worth it and, in time, I will be dedicating an entire section of this website to explaining why I eat organic foods. But I have never drank organic wines or beers, except maybe by accident. Why? I honestly never even thought of it. But grapes are heavily polluted with pesticides and fertilizers that I would never buy to eat so why am I drinking them! WHY!? Well, this will be changing immediately. I have started researching and I think I will end up doing my own tasting night and then just buying a case of my favourite to cut costs and reduce risk of reverting to non-organic wine again in the future.

Do you drink organic wine? Organic red wine, specifically? Please tell me your favourites – I need to know! Leave a comment below.

The second podcast comes from Ben Greenfield Fitness, which I just discovered over the weekend and listened to about 6 hours worth of great content while I cleaned and cooked. At some point, I found an episode titled “How Quitting Alcohol Helped Today’s Guest Lose 30 Pounds, Make More Money, Attract Better Friends and Lovers, and Got a Job Hosting SportsCenter on ESPN (And Your Formula For Reducing or Quitting Alcohol).” Honestly, I almost skipped it because, as I have mentioned previously, I just didn’t want to know. But…since starting this site I am holding myself much more accountable for my actions. Also, as I mentioned last week, I actually developed a bit of a cold last week which was really disappointing to me. I blame it entirely on poor diet and too much alcohol. Since getting sick, I really hadn’t drank much at all, maybe a glass of wine all week, so I was feeling rather empowered when I came across this episode.

In another post, I tell you a bit more about myself and why I focus so much on health and nutrition in my life now, so I am not going to get into it here. But I have to explain to you that when I was younger I was really skinny. And I hated it. As I hit my mid-20s I started gaining weight finally and I loved it, but the one thing that I didn’t like was my “fat face.” I liked my skinnier face shape. When I gained too much weight I changed a few things and I am now perfectly 100% happy with the weight I am at, which fluctuates between 125 – 130 (because I know you are all wondering and I really don’t mind sharing!). I noticed recently, however, that my face shapes is still kind of chubby. I thought about that probably 2 weeks ago. Briefly and in passing, and then I forgot about it again.

On Saturday, however, I looked in the mirror and realized that I had my skinny face shape back. I had no idea why, but I was pretty happy about it.

And then yesterday, Sunday, I found the podcast. Only a few minutes into it, James Swanwick, the guest in question who was talking about his life after alcohol, mentioned how he had lost weight after quitting alcohol, but the most noticeable change was in HIS FACE. If you follow the link there is even a picture. And then he explained why…alcohol causes inflammation. His face had been kind of permanently puffy from inflammation. It makes total sense but it is one of those instances where if it had never been pointed out to me, I probably never would have figured it out on my own.

And then here I am, 1 week away from alcohol and I can definitely see a difference in my face! And it was NOT a placebo, self-fulfilling profesy, you see what you want to see kind of situation because I saw the reality before I understood WHY! It’s so simple and I totally understand now!

To conclude, I find it highly unlikely that I will stop drinking alcohol any time soon. But I will be much more aware of the quality and quantity I drink.

What is your relationship with alcohol. Have you had any “aha” moments that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and please, everyone, remember that this is an educational and supportive environment and negativity will not be welcome or tolerated!

Post Author: Monique Nelson

Monique Nelson is the founder, chief organizer and editor at Choose To Cook, and is highly motivated to help people of the world take charge of their health through simple and delicious nutritional changes.

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