Because I realize blog posts aren't supposed to be Tolstoy sized, I'm breaking things up. TLDR (too long didn't read) was an acronym that not only offends me, but jars me into reality. I get it. I don't think I should shorten stuff if YOU are too lazy/busy/burnt to read it. Read it on the toilet. Don't read it at all. Many options. Anyway, here's the second part.
"So is this FOREVER?" the namesake of this post...comes from a friend who I haven't talked to in over a year or more. Sent me a recipe for Mahogany Chicken and I said, 'sounds good...can I make it vegan?'
And lots of NO WAY! What??!!??!! ensued.
Less impressed with my dropping of wine or smoking. Meh. But MEAT??? What about your Cassoulet? Duck Confit?
Well I can still cook...but I'm not eating that stuff. And also, it's late July in Georgia. NO ONE should be eating these sorts of rib sticking heavy pork laden peasant recipes! Gazpacho? Yes.
But here's the thing. There are MANY many ways to be. I know people who don't drink because they spent 20 years of their life putting vodka in their Starbuck's and lost it all at the track and their marriage dissolved. And some of us just don't drink because we are 50 and we don't like it anymore. And that's okay too. When people say, Good For You for being Sober! I mean, whatever. I was never not sober, so I don't think labeling is a good way to get over the peer pressure. Can you drink a glass of wine at a vineyard in Italy on vacation with dinner? I dunno, do you want to? It's not all black or white. The exact kind of socially acceptable "wine time" mommy's little helper wink wink peer pressure that makes it OKAY to scarf a bunch of wine, is the same kind of pigeon holing that makes Good For You, feel insulting. It's not a struggle, I'd be lying if I said it was. It was absolutely time. And the Universe supports you when you go with the flow.
I got rid of a LOT of things that weren't serving my highest and best self. Including but not limited to:
1. Clothes, friends, old contacts, furniture, haircuts and family members that no longer fit
2. Heavy meat based cuisine and a total bacchanal at every dinner
3. Extra real estate
4. Zappos shop/return/shop/return
5. Vitamin overload
I'm truly serious when it comes to simplifying my life and ditching the burdens to my body and soul and giving myself the best chance I can with good health. If you take a long hard look at all that shit in the garage, seasonal storage, your pantry, shoe rack---you're taking care of a lot of stuff. Little benign habits need care and feeding too. Drop 'em.
And if you've gotten around the it's not too much money argument by buying garbage wine like $2buck Chuck or whatever Yellow Tail grocery store swill, do a little research on the allowable practice in the US (and Australia) to add what EVER to wine to make it drinkable, sweeter and horrible for your health. European wines do not engage in this practice.
Additives, sugars, added sulfites to speed up the process. Do your research. Buy European wines if you decide to drink at all. This new startup club promises to deliver 'safe' wines with no added sugars, it's worth a try, but remember, everyone has an agenda. I'd bet money that you won't polish off a bottle of French or Italian alone in a night because Euro wines are designed to go with food. American wines are designed to give you the "mouth feel" you're after and other triggers like high alcohol and sugar. Glug glug glug. $$$ I wouldn't touch a soda so I was kind of disappointed to find out that a lot of those cheapo domestics have just as much sugar as one. And worse things. Fructose. Sulfur. Chemicals. And guess who doesn't like all the weird additives because it's busy doing all these other things like processing enviro toxins and hormones and all of it? Your LIVER.
Oh so is this the middle age spread? Short answer. HELL YES. It's a multi edged sword. Lowers inhibitions and makes it easier to say yes to late night pizza or goes so well with a steak dinner with all the trimmings or wine and cheese! And yea, have at it, but around 45 your body says, okay, well. That's enough. And here's a headache to go with your apple body. And hormones can't clear the system quick enough because your liver is too busy digesting alcohol and that filet and bernaise. And so now you're estrogen dominant in peri-menopause. And in a bad mood. You know what will turn that frown upside down (temporarily)? Wine Time!
I know. Damn it.
And for sure I didn't drop weight immediately. I lost 20lbs over a YEAR. Which is zero incentive, I get it. But it's not why I did it anyway. I did it because I started to wonder, what am I looking for in this? Is it social? Not when you're alone it's not...is it good for you? You can take reservatol for the wine bennies without the alcohol. And I dunno, at this stage of life, if I'm unsure if something is adding to my life, it has to go. When I talk to people and they go into the "oh, I could NEVER give up my wine, that's what keeps me SANE!" I feel soiled. Sad for them. And really, has booze ever helped anything ever? Ask that truthfully. No, it has not. It's a trap.
So you tap into your intuition. You say, what do you want to eat body? (your good mind, not the gremlin mind that says, bready carbs and melted cheese!) organic seasonal veg and lots of pre/probiotic fiber? yes, please. Clean water with no fluoride? Yes!
Ethically you'll feel better, you'll save a lot of money and you'll be embarking on that journey of Self Care and Love that we all seem to be missing from our daily routines. I was for sure. I don't know why humans 'reward' themselves with things that are no good for them, but you can break the pattern. And how? People ask. How to start? Just freaking do it. Just don't go to the liquor store. One day turns into two and before you know it a month and a year and if you're not an alcoholic but someone who has just decided that this isn't necessary in your life you don't have to count the days and hope to get a pat on the head. Which is demeaning to even the worst addicts, but that's not my journey so it's not my place. But like I said, I think I'm having a sorta anniversary. And it's a good one.