Filed under: Heath + Beauty, lifestyle, personal | Tags: alcohol, benefits of sobriety, reducing alcohol consumption, sobriety, wine
Every day since my last sip on Monday night I have wanted to come home and have a glass (or 2 or 3) of red wine. And every day I have succeeded in reminding myself of my goal. My disappointment over not completing the challenge would ruin any enjoyment from having even a sip of wine.
My commitment to completing the week without alcohol began from a desire to start making some sacrifices in my life. I’ve been a bit glutinous in the last year – indulging in food & drink and skipping exercise for no reason other than laziness. After a year of my laissez-faire lifestyle, my body started telling me it wasn’t really up for that sort of behavior anymore. Cutting out alcohol for a week seemed an appropriate first step towards making a change. While I was contemplating the change, I thought back to this time last year and remembered training for the Austin Half Marathon. I remembered that I wasn’t partying as much because I had workouts to complete. I made sure to get enough rest, to eat intelligently, and to drink in moderation. I was consciously taking better care of my body so I could complete my goal. Though I haven’t set any fitness goals yet this year, it seemed natural to mimic those lifestyle choices from a year ago in order to get my body back into a good routine. I refused to have to buy new clothes because of weight gain. No stinkin’ way.
The most surprising discovery from this experiment was how I felt during the business week. I slept SOUNDLY through the night. That never happens. For years I’ve blamed Milo for my restless nights. But now that I realize that it may have been ME keeping HIM up, not the other way around. I was so surprised by this that I did a little research and found that in most cases, even though alcohol is a depressant and can help people initially fall asleep faster, alcohol can be disruptive to the second half of sleep for a variety of reasons. This in addition to the obvious fact that if I’m going to sleep with alcohol in the system, I’m probably going to sleep a lot later than normal. As a result of my restful sleep, I felt energetic and refreshed during the day. Having a clear mind, positive attitude and more energy made my work day much better.
Though I fully intend to celebrate on Tuesday with a glass of wine and a pat on the back, I expect to cork my imbibing for at least one more week. Most likely it will be longer. I see it as a long-term weight and spending reduction plan, and also a way to feel better day in and day out. I have a handful of celebrations coming up that I will make exceptions for (can’t take all the fun out of life), but I hope to find a more moderate, less excessive way to enjoy myself in 2010.
Cheers to those who’ve supported me & to those of you trying to do the same for yourselves!
Filed under: food, go green, lifestyle | Tags: austin chronicle, Bota Box, box of wine, wine
I don’t know what’s gotten into me. Three posts in one weekend? Unheard of…
This time I’ve been inspired to write about my latest foray in the wine world: wine from a cardboard box. I know what you’re thinking: “I tried Franzia when I was 17 and I will never ever revisit that experience again”. That’s what I thought too. So it was with a bit of reluctance (and a few nauseous flashbacks from the 90′s), that I hefted a Bota Box into my shopping cart today at H.E.B.
I’d been considering the option since I’d spied Wine Cubes and other box of wine products gracing the counters of friend’s kitchens. If they’ve taken the plunge with success, I figured I could try it too. At $15 a box, it wasn’t a huge risk. I was thrilled to see that 1 Bota Box was the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine. My mind instantly geared up into carbon footprint counting mode. I recycle all of my glass bottles curbside (about 2 a week on average). At my current consumption rate I was looking at 104 glass bottles headed to recycling each year! The Bota Box is made of recycled cardboard, and can be recycled itself. Switching to boxes would reduce my waste to just 26 recycleable boxes a year!
As a brand, Bota has made a commitment to green packaging, which was another bonus with my purchase. Not to mention the financial benefits – I usually spend about $10 on a bottle of wine. That’s just over $1,000 a year (yikes!). A years worth of Bota would be just shy of $400! Suddenly the Box of Wine wasn’t looking so bad afterall…
Still not sold? You’re worried about the quality, right? I know that Franzia left you with a bitter taste in your mouth (and perhaps some vomit stains on a parent’s rug). But this stuff is GOOD, no kidding! I’m on my second glass right now! Again – no kidding! I came across a great article in the Austin Chronicle from last fall. A few local wine celebs were gathered to blindly rate boxes of wines in all colors & varieties. Their rating system went like this (paraphrased from the article);
Gold = a wine that we would happily buy and keep around the house for personal consumption.
Silver = we’d buy it for parties, cooking, and infrequent drinking.
Bronze = we would happily drink it for free at someone else’s party.
No medal meant we wouldn’t even swallow the stuff; we’d spit it out.
Only 8 of the 50 wines they tasted achieved “No Medal” status. Not bad! I encourage you to check the article out for yourself, to help determine what your next choice will be from the box of wine world.
*sidenote: Devon Broglie, sommelier for Whole Foods downtown, was a juror on the panel and taught a wine-tasting class that a co-worker and I took this spring. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class with him, do it! It was the most entertaining and educational 2 hours I’ve had in recent memory.
**sidenote2: Bota Box does not appear in the article’s list (I think it came out after the review). However, Bota is an offshoot company of Delicato Vineyards, which does show up in the top of the list.