I sure do. I have always been fond of fermented beverages....wines especially. I have even prided myself in years past on my knowledge of wines and champagnes, giving much attention to the detail of paring my heavily cooked, gourmet dinners with just the right varietal to impress and captivate my guest's palates. Then I went raw. Then I became a vegan. Then I gave up alcohol.
I knew the day was coming. My body and my complexion told me the time was fast approaching that I needed to relinquish my daily companion of spirits. Once over 40, the "mornings after" weren't cute anymore. Once high raw, my system grew more and more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, yet my beverage of choice was my friend, my comfort and my fun. So I believed.
Recently I had a routine blood test. The findings were disturbing. My liver enzymes were actually good, yet I had a condition called Macrocytosis, which is the appearance of enlarged red blood cells. My doctor told me that it was most likely my diet....the number one cause of this condition is anemia. The only other cause would generally be alcoholism. As she told me this, my heart sunk within me. Could it be that I was actually an alcoholic? She went ahead and ordered further testing.
Two weeks went by. My doctor was baffled by the second set of results. No real sign of anemia. Liver was in decent condition....so what's going on? She told me that she was pretty sure it was my diet and that I should probably not do "the raw thing." "Most vegetarians suffer from anemia," she said. I came back with, "But you say I'm not anemic?" "Well, no, but you're probably not getting enough protein. So just add meat back into your diet and we'll recheck you in a few months." I left her office that day, and I have not been back.
Intuitively, I knew what the problem was. It had to be my evening past time. I researched everything I could find on macrocytosis....everything pointed to the booze. I went ahead and started a B complex and folic acid supplementation program for good measure, but I was face to face with the fact that the time was now to put down the champagne glass and get on with my true goal of getting completely healthy.
I decided to set a realistic goal. Get through the holidays and give up the sauce on January 1st, 2008. So, that's what I have done. I haven't looked back and I very honestly haven't missed it a drop. I don't miss the headaches, the sinus drainage nor do I miss the feeling of something having control over me. I hadn't looked at it like that before I quit, but I now see that it had me in it's seductive little clutches.
I do have a powerful secret on how I've made this transition so smoothly, which is the main reason I've even gone into this saga. I have been experimenting with kombucha and rejulevac and making my own raw cocktails at happy hour. My husband and I have been loving the flavors and the way we feel. Drinking a raw concoction about 30 minutes to an hour prior to dinner really aids in the digestion and assimilation of meals. These drinks are completely satisfying and the perfect transition away from traditional cocktails and away from alcohol of any kind.
Here is an example of one of our favorites:
Blood Orange Raw Mojito
the juice of two blood oranges
the juice of two limes
a bunch of muddled fresh mint
a good squeeze of agave nectar
16 ounces of rejuvelac or kombucha
Place all ingredients into a martini shaker and gently mix. Pour into chilled martini or wine glasses. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Savor and allow the tensions of the day fall away.