Welcome to my new Friday series. Well, it is not exactly “my new” series but more accurately Cupcake Caramel’s original series. I have always loved French Fridays on Rebekah’s blog–it is always refreshing to find someone else in this big world who loves everything French as much as I do. Rebekah didn’t blog for some time due to other obligations and I found that I really missed reading her French Friday posts. And then she returned! Yay French me!! French Fridays were suddenly back and I found myself inspired. I wanted to do French Fridays posts too…but I didn’t want to “steal” her brainchild. I contacted Rebekah (who has been a regular reader of my blog as well) to see if we could collaborate. She said, “Oui!” We are working out the details of how we will do this in tandem. In any case, I will be linking up with her every Friday so all of you francophiles can enjoy a double dose of French whimsy. What could be better?
Coincidentally, we did agree on the subject for this first post: Alcohol. To abstain or not to abstain, that is the question. We are both abstaining but have come to this decision by different means/motives.
Like Rebekah, I enjoy imbibing in a lovely cocktail, a smooth Malbec, bubbly pink champagne or a fantastic craft brew. A nightly drink (or two) has been my routine for a long time. Whether it was wine with dinner or beer with popcorn, I always looked forward to a tasty glass of empty calories (and yes, I have always known that is what they are–simply didn’t care). And despite my enjoyment, always in the back of my mind, I was wondering if it was really worth it. The main reason?
Without fail I would find myself waking up in the middle of the night, sometimes unable to get back to sleep for a good long while. Not cool. Another reason?
Drying out my skin.
Yes, I could tell a difference in the mornings with how my skin was looking…especially around the eyes. I am too vain to let that continue. Do I really need more reason? Well I have another:
Potential detriments to my health.
Opinions on alcohol seem to differ in the medical community. Some say 1-2 glasses of alcohol a day is OK for women. Others say just 1 is better–helps the heart. And yet others are now saying even 1 glass a day can increase a woman’s chance of cancer. Recently I read in a journal that “Middle-aged men who drink more than two beers or the equivalent amount of alcohol a day speed up their memory loss by six years.” (The Guardian; U.K.). Added to this, “Strangely, the researchers didn’t find similar, drinking-related memory loss in women, although women who drank a lot did show deficits in organization and planning skills”. Well, whatever! I don’t need to lose my memory or organizational skills (which are often challenged in the first place).
In other reading, I found this great post at Fiona’s lovely blog (How To Be Chic) discussing the hows and whys she has been able to give up drinking (her habits were similar to mine). Oh! From her I learned I can substitute Diet Coke for champagne noir! This will be in moderation as well since I don’t want to get back to my old Diet Coke addiction. And in the book, “Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty”, chapter 2 discusses the subject of alcohol. Guess what? The belief that French women are drinking copious amounts of wine and remaining beautiful and thin is a MYTH. In general, they go very light on alcohol–reserving it more for just special occasions. In the book the author quotes two different French doctors who agree that alcohol is very aging for the skin. The author asserts that in all the years she has lived in France, she has only witnessed extreme moderation with alcohol among women–and then only wine or champagne. Very interesting. If my French sisters are abstaining, then I can do it too.
Plus I am vain about my skin.
All this mounting knowledge was taking its toll on my conscience. Could I live without it? Would I feel better? Lose some weight? Enjoy my evenings? Sleep better? All these questions are slowly being answered. I am only about 2 weeks into my new alcohol-free life. Do I miss it? Yep. Have I caved? Yes, twice. Do I feel a little better? I think so. Am I sleeping better? NOPE but that is thanks to my dog (pent-up energy from lack of exercise due to evil winter vortex that has us in a vise-grip). Once Rockefeller starts sleeping through the night again, I know I will too (another post for another day…this dog is killing me–he’s making me want to drink! grrr.).
Wish me well on my new lifestyle choice. How about you? When do you choose to drink alcohol? Or do you refrain completely?
What do I drink now you ask? Besides the aforementioned champagne noir, I am enjoying fruit infused (lemon or lime), Pellegrino. Always in a wine glass or champagne flute. Bien sur.