What about Alcohol Substitutes?
It was a Friday night and the after-work crowd was in fully swing…
I was just a few months into my sobriety, and while I admit, some outings had been super challenging, this time I felt calm and confident.
Some of my favourite people were at the bar and I knew I’d have a good time, even though I wasn’t drinking.
As I held my cranberry, lime and soda, a friend passed a glass of wine right under my nose.
One whiff was all it took.
To my absolute shock, I experienced a full body shudder of revulsion.
Before my mind had a chance to make up stories about how ‘wonderful, glamorous or romantic’ wine was, my body told the truth.
Boy, this was fascinating to a woman who once guzzled the stuff!
This reaction absolutely floored me. It felt like such a magical moment of freedom from a belief system that had kept me trapped for so long.
A few months later, a friend gave me a sip of a mocktail she’d concocted with an energy drink, and once again, my body shook with repulsion.
I couldn’t believe how one sip could turn my stomach and twist up my insides. It felt bigger than just not enjoying the taste; it felt like my body was having a strong reaction to a flavour it had always associated with alcohol.
Although it’d been decades since I’d guzzled Red Bull and vodka pints, my body remembered. It felt like experiencing a full-body flashback. Gross.
So many beautiful souls ask me what my thoughts are on non-alcoholic beer, wine, and distilled spirits.
The truth is, some people find these products helpful in the transition to alcohol-free living, which is wonderful. I’m a huge fan of anything that works for YOU.
The choice is always yours. As always, my advice is:
Listen to your body. Be deeply honest with yourself.
Avoid anything that feels in the least bit triggering for you. Give yourself the very best chance for success.
The magical thing about humans is that we are all different and unique.
Personally, I avoided these products entirely in early sobriety because I wanted to retrain my brain, and allow my body to experience entirely new flavours. Back then, I found alcohol-removed drinks to be highly triggering and way too reminiscent of the real thing.
The beautiful part about choosing fresh mocktails and simple elixirs, is that it signalled (to myself, and to that darn Beast in my head!) that I was choosing something better than booze; that I didn’t buy into the worn-out old story of alcohol as ‘glamorous, romantic or exciting’ anymore.
Those full-body visceral reactions were a twist I’d never seen coming. But they felt like a very happy, welcome surprise when they did.
This is precisely why I created the mocktail recipes in Mocktails over Mayhem without any brand-name ingredients or alcohol substitutes.
Because I wanted this little eBook is accessible for everyone, whichever side you land on.
The great thing about these recipes is that they stand up all on their own.
Created with easy, healthy ingredients (and with all sweeteners completely optional), each elixir is filled with substance and sass, inviting you to embrace your creativity with garnishes and serve each mocktail in your own way.
Scrumptious drinks that your body will love. Cheers to that!
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3 Magical Mindset Shifts for Early Sobriety
3 Things I'd Tell Myself Before I Stopped Drinking