As I was rolling my cart through the aisles of Whole Foods last week, I stopped and stood contemplating which variety of wine would pair nicely with that night’s dinner creation. After excitedly pondering for a few moments, the harsh reality came crashing down. No alcohol October means no wine October.
Why did I ever agree to do this?
It’s been 31 days since my challenge began and, despite repeated temptation at the end of every Whole Foods aisle, I am proud to say that I succeeded at completely eliminating alcohol from my diet during the month of October.
The first part of my challenge was to break up with my nightly glass of vino. After two weeks into the challenge, I realized that I missed the taste of wine and not the actual alcohol or “buzz” feeling that came with it. Sure that part is nice, but I missed scouting out the flavors of oak, berry, vanilla, chocolate, pepper, and leather. I missed the smell, the color, and the way it complimented a good meal. I had heard through the grapevine that non-alcoholic wine was sold at the grocery store, so I ventured down to my neighborhood market and picked some up.
Blech! Lessoned learned, alcohol free wine does not taste good! Just don’t go there people. After this unfortunate encounter I stuck with my go-to drink of San Pellegrino with lime juice in a fancy goblet to replace my nightly glass of wine. Without my nightly glass of vino, my workouts have been easier and I’ve been sleeping better too. Without my standard glass of wine after dinner, I’ve had the energy to go work out after an early dinner or happy hour. I don’t feel bloated and gross and my mom said that I look like I have lost weight, and you know moms always give it to you straight.
The second part of the challenge was figuring out what to do in social situations. I can’t tell you how many times I had to vehemently deny being pregnant. After explaining my challenge and the lack of a baby in my belly, it was all downhill. I’ve been to barbecues, book club meetings, bar concerts, and even a poker tournament without having a single drink. Going alcohol free really confirmed my belief that you don’t have to drink to have a good time. I was just as happy sipping my soda water with my friends at the pub as I would have been drinking a beer. Plus instead of feeling groggy, bloated, and semi hung over in the morning, I wake up feeling refreshed and ultra-hydrated!
So what happens after October?
I think I will be enjoying a celebratory glass of wine on November 1, however, I will definitely be refraining from going back to my old habits. When going out with friends or co-workers during the week I will probably opt for a soda with lime instead of a margarita and save myself the mini hangover and the calories. I’m planning on saving my alcohol consumption for weekend evenings out with friends – and even then I may sneak in a few virgin drinks just for the extra hydration!