I’m not the type of person that needs alcohol to have fun. I am the type of person that enjoys the taste of it. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to help me wind down after a long day or to pair with my meal. But I’ll admit there are times, more often than not, that once my first glass is finished I pour myself a second without even thinking- that is until now. My recent trip to the doctor gave me more paranoia than peace of mind. She not so subtly cited a statistic that women who drink more than three alcoholic beverages per week were shown to have problems with their liver. After she saw my eyes bulge out of my head she suggested it would probably behoove me to get my liver enzymes tested. But I barely heard that part. I was still processing the information.
Three!? Three!?! I can put three alcoholic beverages away in one evening if I’m hanging out with friends. I don’t abuse alcohol, but the fact that my weekly allotment almost matched my daily intake freaked me out. So with the onset of the new year I decided that I’m am going to save drinking for special occasions and to kick it off, I decided to go completely without any booze for one week. Here is how it went down:
Day 1: It was force of habit to reach for the wine bottle along with the veggies when I started cooking. Luckily before I started this little experiment I made sure my house was dry. I didn’t need wine but I’ll admit it was less exciting to sip on sparkling water while sautéing.
Day 2: I woke up feeling refreshed and happy to have made it past the first night. I flew through the second night still very conscious that I wasn’t drinking but didn’t have any problems.
Day 3: I started to miss my nightcap. I missed the taste. I missed savoring each sip. I felt old and boring and like something was missing while I was eating and watching TV, but I didn’t give in.
Day 4: I had to stop checking Instagram and Facebook. Scrolling through everyone’s photos of their dinners and drinks dampened my spirits. I wasn’t missing the sauce as much as I felt like I was missing out on having fun. I could go out to dinner without drinking but it’s no fun to watch everyone else partake, and no fun for them to watch me pout.
Day 5: Day five came and went with me only thinking about having a glass briefly when I remembered how well it paired with steak. I wasn’t annoyed I couldn’t have any though.
Day 6: I forgot about wine. Yes. I forgot about wine. I’d tricked my brain into not associating it with the evening and the thought of having a glass didn’t even cross my mind. This was weird.
Day 7: I made it and I didn’t cheat! Mission accomplished!
On Day 8 I didn’t run to Pavilions like I was trying out for the Olympic team. I *gasp* waited until I went out to dinner with friends a few days later. When the first taste hit my lips I appreciated the peach notes more than I ever had before. A week without wine isn’t the most fun for a bona fide wino but it’s doable and does your body good. Hello 2014, and hello healthy liver.