Day 7 – Alcohol

We all know it is bad for you. Point and case. But I am betting that there 99% of people reading this are NOT teetotallers, and I can also put a wager on almost every person in the health coaching industry is promoting themselves as a picture of perfect health – minus partaking in the consumption of alcohol.  But the reality would be very different.

So for the record Alcohol can play a pretty big role in upsetting your autoimmune condition, from increasing the permeability of your intestinal tract (leaky gut) to messing with your blood glucose/insulin levels. If you want the down low on how alcohol can run rife with your system then check out this Article

But the purpose of this blog wasn’t to tell you not to drink as I’m sure no one would listen to that advice anyway. I wanted to share my experiences with Alcohol, and how I manage this with an autoimmune disease and with life in general.

For some people this is a non issue, avoiding alcohol is easy, they don’t like the taste, they don’t like the effect. That’s great! I am truly envious of these people as it is a weakness of mine. But on the flip side, exercise and preparing good whole foods is a non issue for me – it’s quite easy and enjoyable for me to do this daily, whereas I know it is hard for others to stick to that part of the AIP.

So do I have any parting wisdom? Kind of… Be prepared before you go out to a social gathering. I will take a leaf out of Robb Wolfs – The Paleo Solution (Check this youtube video)

Drink early in the evening to give your body time to process the alcohol, get some GOOD food and water into your body before bed and get a full night’s rest. Alcohol affects your sleep, most of your hangover exists due to the poor quality of sleep. Just try to have an all nighter during the week (soba) and you will see how similar it feels to a hangover. Drink clean spirits with Soda/Mineral water and lime, the less sugary mixers are obviously far better for you however the carbonated water delivers the alcohol to your system more efficiently (ever wondered why champaign makes people go silly!) giving your body more time to process it out of your system (the trick here is to actually stop drinking early). The LIME also has an awesome effect, Alcohol will affect your insulin response, sometimes even incorrectly, kind of like a false signal, the Lime however will dull down this effect making Vodka Lime Sodas possibly the healthiest (and I use this term lightly) alcoholic beverage to drink.

But if you are like me and live in a very hot climate, the very last thing you want to drink after a big day working in the sun – is Spirits… Beer is so much more satisfying! There are a few options here, plenty of Gluten Free Beers are now on the market albeit they are more expensive. And depending on your level of gluten tolerance, Coronas and Heineken for example, have less than 20ppm (parts per million) giving them the classification of gluten free, however if you ask a coeliac if they can drink this they will most definitely say no.

The balance here is a very fine line, personally I wish I could say I have mastered this balance, but I have always been a social person, with an addictive type personality, everything I tend to do in life I give it 100% and unfortunately that seems to transfer over into an epic drinking session when there is an occasion on. The consequences are obviously felt physically in my body and that is the immediate regret of my actions but I more so feel the weight of alcohol emotionally and mentally, stalling any progress I am making in my career, reducing my motivation levels, and knocking my AIP routine out of whack. Sometimes it makes no sense to drink what so over, but here in Australia we live in a social culture where alcohol consumption is accepted if not encouraged.

If anyone reading this has similar experiences and wants to share, this is a topic I most certainly would love to talk more about. Hit me up onTwitter or Facebook . We are all here to help each other on this journey. #nosugarcoating #PaleoDave #WholeNutritionLCHF