Replacing Alcohol With Green Juice
Updated: Dec 16, 2019
So, I've recently decided to give up alcohol.
It's only been about a month, but I am pretty certain that this is the best decision I could have possibly made for myself and my life. It's interesting the things your body will go through when you give up ingesting copious amounts of a toxic substance.
I don't want to discourage anybody who is currently considering making the same change and choosing to live sober, but I just want to share my honest experience (thus far).
When I first thought of giving up alcohol, I thought about all of the benefits I would receive from it. Clear head, healthy body, more energy, more productivity, less anger, less depression, less anxiety etc. And I am confident that a time will come where I will in fact experience all of these amazing benefits, however, it is a process.
At this point in time, I have been noticing an extreme change in my appetite (i.e. no appetite for normal food), extreme appetite for sweets, as well as headaches, drowsiness, irritability and my sleep pattern is totally off. On top of it all, even with the sugar cravings, I have managed to lose about 10 lbs (which is an issue).
"There are adjustments on a chemical level when you stop drinking. Alcohol touches many systems in the body and touches almost every neurotransmitter. Your brain almost goes into hyper-drive for awhile after you stop drinking and are no longer numbing it. It can take up to a year to reach a baseline again and feel better after drinking! You didn’t get this way over night.Not only is your brain repairing itself, it’s also sending signals to your organs, your muscles and every area of your body to start working towards reestablishing the homeostasis you’ve long disrupted. Your body has had everything slowed down for so long – you thought process, reaction time, digestion, etc that it can’t fix everything all at once. It’s going to approach this systematically and logically.So when can you start to feel better after drinking? You can start feeling better within days of quitting drinking but very rarely is it an overnight and instantaneous recovery. Think of it as a car accident that took your whole body through the wringer. You’re not going to walk out of the hospital tomorrow but you’ll notice small improvements each day. Journal those improvements so you can look back on them to see how far you’ve come and can revel in the fact that your body is in fact healing!" -This Naked Mind
This may all sound negative at first, but let me tell you about the amazing benefits I've received so far:
1. More time for meaningful activities.
When I used to drink, it used to take up a majority, if not all of my spare time. It made me lazy and unproductive. I am now finding myself having time to cook more, work on my blog, have lunch with my dad, go for walks, clean our apartment, talk on the phone with friends and family, see my therapist... all of these things seem so simple, but when you are constantly consuming alcohol, all of these things are nearly impossible to accomplish.
2. Having more meaningful conversations, and actually remembering them.
My first sober night I remember making dinner, watching TV, taking a shower, brushing my teeth, washing my face, putting on moisturizer, and laying in bed with my boyfriend Connor just talking, and talking and talking for about an hour. Typically, I would have passed out not remembering dinner and (shamefully) neglecting to wash my face or brush my teeth. Neglecting to take care of myself. Thank GOD those days are over.
3. Improved workouts
Even with a hangover, I've always been the person who consistently continues to wake up at 4:30 AM and get a workout in. This is a big part of the reason I never thought my drinking was a problem. As I am realizing, not drinking the night before and not trying to get through a workout pushing through the nausea and fogginess, allows you to really reach your full potential and actually start to see results (yay!).
4. Not waking up feeling embarrassed, shame, regret, anxiety etc.
This has to be the #1 reason for my decision to give up alcohol. I was tired of letting my friends and family down, hurting people I care about, making decisions I normally wouldn't if I were sober, and ultimately breaking promises to myself over and over again and creating self hatred in my heart.
With all of that being said, I now want to talk about my new juicer. It may seem off topic, but let me explain.
Since quitting drinking, I have had this weird aversion to my normal foods (chicken, rice, veggies, smoothies, turkey sandwiches/wraps etc.) and instead craving sweets (ice cream, cake, donuts, chocolate etc.). I've always enjoyed sweets but never CRAVED them like this.
I've heard multiple explanations, the main ones being-
"Sugar in particular can temporally raise serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. So, when you remove the main substance upon which a person has become dependent to feel good or normal (alcohol), the brain screams to get that relief from other substances (carbs and sugar, caffeine and nicotine, pot, etc.). Caffeine also increases serotonin concentration in the brainstem."-HipSobriety
"The body converts alcohol to sugar, which causes a spike in blood sugar levels, Kane-Davidson says. When alcoholics quit drinking, their blood sugar levels drop, and they develop sugar cravings. Their bodies perceive they need more sugar, and they start looking for ways to spike their blood sugar levels. Keeping blood sugar levels stable is crucial for alcoholics and addicts in early recovery, because dramatic fluctuations could make people feel anxious or depressed and more likely to relapse." -U.S. News
I have a good friend, who has been sober for years, and is probably one of the healthiest people I know, and his advice to me and many others has always been "focus on your nutrition, rather than your addiction." His main point is to load your body with as many nutrients as possible and watch your body heal itself, and your addictions fade away... Thank you Adam!
So anyways, in an attempt to test this theory, and heal my body, I finallyyy purchased a juicer!
I had to go IMMEDIATELY to Sprouts and pick out some of my favorite fruits and veggies! ($23 for 2 people)
bunches of spinach
cucumbers (provided the most liquid!)
bag of carrots
ginger root (I used the whole thing)
Cheers to HEALING!
(will be back with updates!)