I am 5 months into being alcohol-free and it feels amazing! I’ve never been a big drinker, but I found that I’d go weeks without a drop then go on a night out and get super drunk. I’d be having the best time, but my high mood would last only so long, or I’d be super excitable but completely crash the next day. I’d get the worst onset of anxiety, something that started only slightly but developed into something I could no longer cope with. I decided it was the right time to go alcohol-free.
Apparently it’s becoming a thing for people to go alcohol-free these days, people are far more aware of their health and the mixture of negative effects alcohol can actually have on the mind and body. Alcohol will pick you up, but my gosh can it bring you back down again and my great nights were slammed right back down with awful hangovers. I wasn’t just feeling physically sick, I was feeling sick from the ridiculous surge of anxiety. I would have lost control because I’d let my hair down, get super happy then crash and be analysing everything I said and did. Have I offended that person? Did I do something stupid? Was I an idiot? Looking back it had got quite out of hand and sounds completely ridiculous. But this was happening.
So the straw that broke the camels back so to speak was a night out I had where I became that girl who cried. Oh goodness, I never ever wanted to be that girl, but there I was at 12.30pm sobbing. Funny thing is I haven’t a clue why! But not only was I sobbing, but I was also sobbing on an old school friend who I barely spoke to. My delightful, let your hair down and relax evening, had got so out of hand I slid right down the other end of the emotion scale. What an utter idiot. I’d had enough.
The day after a night out many of us reflect on the choices we make like, I shouldn’t have had that extra shot, why did I decide to do the floss in front of that crowd and oh gosh did I really give out my number! I’m not saying all nights out are bad, some can be the makings of hilarious stories and memories, but for me at this stage, the bad outweighed the good. After that night out in May, I stopped drinking, I needed to revaluate it being part of my life.
Time to go alcohol-free
Some people crave that evening drink after work as their ‘wind down’ after a hard day, but I had never been like that. I actually never really drank, but when I did I’d drink too much than I could handle if we were out for long periods of time. It was easy not drinking if I’m honest, the difficult part was social events and other people. I did find that sometimes I fancied a drink for the environment aspect, for example sitting in the garden in the summer would be the ideal spot for a glass of prosecco, but to me, this was drinking for the sake of it. Did I want prosecco or would a sparkling elderflower drink be just as good? I said I’d have a toast of prosecco where I felt appropriate, for example, a wedding. FYI if you go to a wedding and say you’re not drinking, everyone immediately thinks you’re pregnant!
The alcohol-free options
I have found it to be one of the best things I could have done, and whilst I don’t want to drink I’ve not written it off completely. I personally find that if you tell yourself you can’t have something you’ll want it more, along the same lines if you were to be trying to give up a food item. Making some switches has been the best thing for me, and whilst some might argue, why have an alcohol-free beer instead of an actual beer? I’m just not wanting the alcohol, I like the taste.
I love prosecco possibly the most out of all the drinks I could choose from, so this was the drink I missed the most. I was sent a bottle of the Thomson & Scott Noughty sparkling wine to try on my birthday. This Noughty option comes from the creator of Skinny Prosecco. This is their organic, vegan alcohol-free sparkling wine with almost half the sugar content of traditional alcohol-free sparkling wines. The perfect alternative wouldn’t you agree?
A chilled gin and tonic can really set the tone for any evening, with so many flavours to tempt your tastebuds, the gin market is overloaded with choice. Losing all those options can be difficult when you go alcohol-free, but fear not, Seedlip have another option to add to your tonic. This company have three distilled non-alcoholic beverages that are essentially nature in a bottle.
Beer – Erdinger Alkoholrei
I’ve never been a big beer drinker, I just never enjoyed the flavours until we visited California. This beer, Erdinger become a firm favourite for me post-race as many runs or triathlons will end with a cup of Erdinger. It has vitamin B9 and Vitamin B12 in it, which has many health benefits.
Fruity Cider alternative – Cawston Press Ginger Beer
Cawton Press has a range of fruity drinks, but my personal favourite is Ginger Beer. All their drinks are not from concentrate and they use only pressed fruit juice so there are no added sugars. Delicious option if you like a fruity alcoholic drink normally.
A cordial – Bottlegreen Cordials Light
If you’re not drinking, you might as well drink something good! I often drink a cordial now, but instead of drinking a cheap own brand juice, I like to have something with a variety of flavours. Bottlegreen cordials are free from artificial flavours, colours & preservatives… and they come in delicious flavours too!
So have you considered making a switch to alcohol-free? It’s easier than you think! It has been a really good choice for me on so many levels and I’m feeling far healthier because of it. Do you fancy giving it a go?