Well friends, it’s official. For the first time since I was….ten maybe? Just kidding. 18. I mean, 21 of course…. I have gone 4 full weeks with no alcohol or coffee.
I decided to focus this blog on alcohol, as alcohol is such a prevalent and expected part of society. In the past month I have given up alcohol and coffee. Reactions I get when I say I gave up coffee are usually along the lines of “good for you!” “that is awesome!” “you’re going to feel so great!”. Reactions I get if I start off saying I gave up alcohol are usually “are you serious?” “Why would you do that?” or simply….”Ha.”
Why the difference? Alcohol is actually 100x worse for you than coffee! Well, the difference is alcohol is a huge crutch in society. Coffee is an admitted addiction – but alcohol is not. Even one glass of alcohol at dinner can cause serious health effects such as lack of sleep, sinus congestion, digestive issues, acne/premature aging, and liver/blood issues. On top of that, we drink at the worst possible time for our bodies – before bed.
So in celebration of my 1 month detox coming to an end today, I am reflecting on this month by highlighting the 4 things that will happen when you cut out alcohol for even just 4 weeks.
1) YOUR SKIN GLOWS AND YOUR SINUSES CLEAR UP
Your liver’s health is reflective in your skin. Alcohol is actually a poison – or – more commonly referred to a “toxin” (sounds better right?). We all know this, and we all know our liver is responsible for breaking it down. When your liver cannot break down the large amounts of alcohol, it has to be rid of your body in other ways. So, your body can rope in your skin for reinforcement. Side effect? Your skin looks dehydrated, old, and “flat” or not glowing, and break outs can even occur. You ever heard of why pregnant women “glow?” a big part of that might be because they aren’t drinking! Ditch that $30.00 face cream that promises you “glowing skin”. If you really want to see an improvement, you will, in 4 weeks of no alcohol.
Additionally, there are very large levels of histamine in alcoholic drinks (especially beer and wine) which directly attack your sinus cavities. We usually drink at night as a society, when sinuses naturally get worse anyway. Even one glass of wine at dinner is enough to dehydrate you, increase histamine levels, and keep you awake. The combination of not sleeping well, not being hydrated, and having increased levels of histamine leave you waking up with a head ache, stuffy nose, and wrinkled/dehydrated skin.
2) YOU WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR ALARM
Did you know that one night of poor sleep takes your body roughly 10 days to recover from? You may think drinking a glass of wine or whiskey before bed can help you fall asleep (and you are in a sense correct…) but your quality of sleep is going to suffer. Drinking even one glass of alcohol puts your body in “overdrive” trying to break down the toxins in your body. Your cells basically freak out because they know the alcohol doesn’t belong there. This makes your body work 10x harder when you are “sleeping” (which probably won’t involve REM cycles because alcohol typically makes your body skip REM completely) which makes you either wake up around 2-3am unable to fall back asleep, or makes you feel very uncomfortable and unrested when you wake.
Ditching the alcohol brings your body and your brain back to a place of comfort and routine. You will begin to dream, and remember your dreams, and wake up at the same time every morning happy and energized – and fully rested.
3) YOUR STRESS LEVEL GOES DOWN
When you are supplementing your body with toxins and stimulants and depressants, your body gets stressed out. You may feel stressed and blame it on your job, or your coworker, or your dumb boyfriend (who let’s admit it needs to grow a brain), when in reality your body is stressed by what’s been going into it. Taking out alcohol and coffee brings your body to a level playing field, and your brain is satisfied and isn’t over-working and over-stressed. When your brain can finally relax, so can you. Stressful situations seem manageable, and you can attack issues from a strategic, calm place vs. a place of haste, confusion, and anger.
4) YOU SAVE A LOT OF MONEY
Wine bottles are expensive. So is a drink at a bar. So is getting a cup of coffee from your favorite breakfast place every morning every day of the week. I can’t even begin to tell you how much money I have saved this month. Should I buy a pony?? (Seriously, though).
So there you have it. I’m beginning to think this was the best thing I’ve ever done – regardless if the sinus infections come back or not.