Dry for March final roundup

It’s the final day of an alcohol-free month, with a side order of reduced caffeine. Not the easiest month, but it’s definitely highlighted a few things, not least the ridiculous price of soft drinks in restaurants and pubs.

Dry for March final update

I’ve managed to stick to it for the whole 31 days without cheating, which is very encouraging, and also managed to avoid landing myself with a caffeine withdrawal headache. Bonus. Anyway, it’s nice to know that I can still stick to a plan, if nothing else – after all, it was only a month and I fortunately don’t have alcohol dependency.

There was one other wobble during the last few days. Once again it was a social event and I found myself craving a beer at a comedy evening, even toying with the idea of sneaking a glug out of Beau’s pint. In my defence, he was drinking a really good craft beer that’s made up the road from here. I think I’m always going to enjoy a drink when I go out to the theatre or to a comedy evening, as it’s part of the experience for me so I’m kind of looking forward to doing that again. I don’t feel like I need one, I just enjoy it.

The main thing with with the alcohol was that I’d noticed myself getting into the bad habit of nightcaps, and I’m going to make sure I don’t go back to that because it’s not fun. I will be going back to the occasional social drink and the odd glass of something with food instead though.

I also went to an informal meeting in a pub a couple of weeks ago, and realised that everyone at our table was drinking soft drinks, not just me. It felt perfectly normal to not have any alcohol on that particular occasion and it simply wasn’t an issue. It’s been interesting to ring the changes with soft drinks, even if some of them are overpriced, and I’ve remembered my love of ginger beer and various juices. Will be keeping a better eye on pound shop stocks from now on, and I managed to pick up a carton of cherry juice last week which was gorgeous.

Tomorrow evening we’re going out for a meal at a pub where they do a monthly curry night, and they always offer a special cocktail to go with it. I WILL be having one, unless it’s a recipe made with egg white in which case I’m with Dale DeGroff on that particular issue, because yes, I still love proper cocktails and I probably always will.

Because I’m not a heavy drinker in the first place, I have to be completely honest and say that I haven’t felt much benefit from giving up the booze. The caffeine situation, though, has been very different. Limiting total caffeine intake to three cups of tea per day and three cups of coffee per week has had much more obvious effects. My sleep patterns have pretty much normalised, and the only time I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep was after having a late afternoon coffee.

So I guess I’ll be sticking with what works – no coffee after 4pm, and no tea after 7pm. I might not be so strict about numbers because there are days when a morning coffee really helps me to tick everything off the to-do list, but I’ll certainly be having a caffeine curfew on weeknights from now on.

You might also be interested in these posts:

Could caffeine be affecting your sleeping patterns? Are you brave enough to go cold turkey or is it better to cut down slowly?

And what the heck am I going to do for April? Time for a new theme!

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