Back in January I decided to do a cleanse to give my body a break after a long month of December debauchery. That cleanse consisted of a vegan, veggie-centric diet and no booze. The first week or so was kinda tough, but as the time went on, I found that I didn’t really miss the booze at all.
During that time, one of my foodie friends mentioned that she had also given up booze–the year before. She said that she couldn’t be happier in her booze-free lifestyle and like school girls we emailed back and forth about all of the benefits of booze-free-ness. Well, folks, I have asked her to share her story with you all, as well as a flavor packed, booze-free beverage to give you an idea of the world of possibilities open to you, sans alcohol.
I will give this declaimer though, so that nooooooooo one out there claims I am a hypocrite. ;). Since February, I have indulged in a libation here and there (and there) :). I do not see anything wrong with drinking (precluding certain health conditions, of course) and am not preaching sober-dom for all.
I think the biggest thing for me is that in my new life in DC, which consists of a lot of ‘networking’ and engaging in after-work activities, I was drinking mindlessly. I was a robot. Work, go out with colleagues/friends, drink. Repeat. Never asking myself, ‘do I actually want a beer today?‘ ‘Do I actually feel like a glass of wine?‘
My cleanse in January provided the space for me to see that I had been drinking on auto-pilot and brought me closer to drinking mindfully. Sometimes the answers to those questions will be ‘yes! I absolutely want a glass of wine’ (i.e., see my last post :)). But other times, that answer will be, ‘actually, I really want sparkling water or some other beverage.’ Anyhow, not to beat a dead horse, but I just wanted to put that out there. And now… I introduce you to Parsley Sage! 😀
* * *
So my super-chef hero, Tiffany, has jumped off the booze-cruise of life. Well done! It seems like grown-ups are just expected to drink alcohol these days. You might even get a ‘stink eye’ flashed at you or some snarky remark about how uncool you are for not drinking. Apparently peer pressure exists out of high school! I know all about it because back in August, I too made the decision to stop drinking booze. For no other reason than I had a ‘God, if you get me out of this I’ll never drink again’ moments during the world’s worst hangover. As I laid my face on the cold toilet seat, slowly willing my stomach to not spontaneously combust, I thought to myself ‘I didn’t even have that much fun last night…’
And that was it. No more alcohol. It turns out there are some benefits from me not drinking as well:
1) It saves me money.
2) I can stay out and party longer because I don’t get alkie-drowsy
3) It has increased my social life because now everyone wants me to be the DD
4) And most importantly, I’m the one that has all the funny, drunken photos of my friends to post on facebook 🙂
That being said, you do need some special non-alcoholic drinks to treat yourself to when you’re out on the town. Mine are cranberry and soda, grape juice and ginger ale or tamarind juice.
You will need:
2 packets of sweet tamarind
8 cups of water
1/2 cup sugar
- Soak the shelled tamarind in water for half an hour, stirring regularly
- Strain the juice into a container and add sugar
- Chill and serve