It is important for me to be honest here and share with you an internal struggle that has been in the front of my mind for a while now.
My diet has become dissected in search of foods that may be causing my multiple sclerosis or at least will aid in giving me more energy and feeling better.
It began before I was diagnosed with eliminating coffee from my diet. This was huge. I remember Starbucks lattes getting me through my days as a new mother. My infant and I would venture out of the house once daily that first winter to get my caffeine fix.
Replacing coffee with tea was actually a satisfying replacement and I realized in retrospect coffee made my heart race, my stomach uncomfortable and my teeth yellow. I do enjoy the smell of a freshly brewed cup of Joe, but never enough to go back there.
Next after a brief stint at eliminating gluten, a doctor revealed I was “allergic” to dairy. This was a tougher challenge to overcome, but I’ve found substitutes like almond milk and Smart Balance butter (there is absolutely NO substitute for cheese, and I will forever miss pizza or a dinner of brie and crackers).
From my readings and speaking with allergists and doctors, I’ve learned that in evaluating this type of food intolerance it is important to notice how your body reacts hours and days after consuming said food. In being super aware, it was obvious to me that my eating habits were very clean, free of chemicals and hormones except for that one nagging item.
I tried to ignore it and tell myself I deserve a glass of wine at night. This is my celebration of surviving another day of cleaning up poop, getting the door slammed in my face and surviving Costco with two whining children.
In observing my wine intake the last few months I have noticed a few things.
1. As the wine goes in, the healthy diet goes away. Suddenly it is all right to eat one or eight (dairy free) cookies. Which might prove my theory that wine is making me fat.
2. Although falling asleep is easy, I often wake up in the middle of the night wide-awake and unable to fall back asleep.
3. In the morning I would be greeted by a headache or stomach ache even after one glass on wine.
4. Wine takes away those inhibitions and sometimes I let out my negative thoughts and emotions that I have been holding in hopes of avoiding conflict.
My drinking wasn’t to the point of Alcoholics Anonymous or reason for my family to be concerned, I never drank on nights I was at yoga and never felt out of control. It was only at a point that bothered me and I decided to make a change before I hurt anyone else.
Night one was really hard. I ate cookies to try to satisfy my need for that little buzz and once I got past that first hour the kids were in bed, I was content. Day two, three and four were not too bad and I was amazed at how quickly a bad habit can be turned around.
My yoga teacher discussed how we need to accept and feel our emotions. My wine-free week has allowed me to do that and I realized I might have been trying to hide feeling sad, bored or frustrated.
In conclusion, I think the idea of giving up my wine was much harder than actually doing it. I hope to still be able to enjoy a drink at a special occasion dinner or wedding. Now I am really proud of myself from eliminating wine from my daily schedule and I’m interested in observing the changes in my body and mind that are to come.
Can you quit wine?