Liver Let Live
Want to give your liver a bit of extra support during your booze break? These herbs and plant-based foods are known for their beneficial properties and can be found at your local natural-foods store.
Look for this potent herb in tincture, capsule, and tea form. It's one of the most effective (read: strong) herbs that helps repair damaged livers and support healthy function.
Lemon and Water
This simple formula, when sipped on an empty stomach, helps stimulate the liver and kick-start the beneficial bile-production process.
This potent root is sold in fresh and dried, powdered form, and is a super anti-inflammatory that also stimulates the liver and helps it produce bile.
Taking A Vacation From Alcohol Could be the Best Trip You Make This Summer
by Aurelia d'Andrea
This past January, I did the unthinkable. I stopped drinking for the entire month. All 31 days. Not a drop of wine, spirits, or beer passed my lips.
It was definitely an experimental undertaking--part “new year, new me!” and part “Hmmm. Can I actually do this?” I survived, unscathed, maybe a pound lighter, and with a glow-y and utterly clear complexion. And you know what? It wasn’t even that difficult! Not even for a girl who loves—and often relies on—her tipple.
Even though I thoroughly enjoy a drink a few times a week, I know that it’s not really all that great for my body. For vegans, especially, it’s important to remember that alcohol inhibits the absorption of Vitamin B and other nutrients. It also interferes with the body's ability to regulate hormones, which is particularly critical for pre-menopausal women. And I haven’t even gotten to the part yet about our bodies converting alcohol to fat!
Throughout adulthood, alcohol has been my go-to panacea for everything from anxiety to insomnia. It’s been my faithful sidekick at countless celebrations, and a beloved ritual that marries too well with a good meal. Tucking into giant plate of Italian pasta without a glass of Chianti to wash it down? Relishing a festive wedding without a flute of Champagne in hand? Practically impossible! Or so I thought before I leapt into the experiment.
My approach was simple: Take it one day at a time. I had a month as my goal, but told myself that I wouldn’t beat myself up over it if I slipped. Much to my own surprise, I didn’t waver in my resolve to be alcohol-free for 30 days, though there were challenges.
Socializing was particularly tricky; what are you supposed to drink at a party or other social events? Hello, H2O! There’s also coffee, juice, green elixirs, Italian sodas, lemonade, bitters in soda water, and plenty of other quaffables that give you something to do with your hands a do a good job at quenching thirst, too. One unexpected benefit I found was that my social anxiety decreased substantially. And all this time I thought I needed those bottomless glasses of wine to loosen me up for chats with strangers! With a clear head, I felt more confident and in control of both thoughts and actions.
I also thought I’d have trouble sleeping, or at the very least, difficulty relaxing, but revisiting the video journal I kept throughout the month, I was surprised at how often I expressed having drifted off to sleep quickly, slumbering deeply, and dreaming heavily. And I was actually less stressed out than normal, partly because my brain was functioning at an even keep, without anything to slow it down or distort reality. My social interactions improved and felt more meaningful because I was more present and engaged, and less interested in debates with my partner so often fueled in the past by a glass or two of wine.
Since January, I’ve done a second booze-free month (spring cleaning!) and I’m planning on spending August basking in the sun without a cold beer in my hand, and I’m actually kind of excited about it! If you’re thinking about a booze break, too, here are a few ideas to help you power through. Courage!
# 1 Take it Easy!
Don’t feel like going out and being social? Then don’t! Use your month-long booze break to catch up on reading, watching all those films you’ve got lined up on Netflix, and giving yourself nightly facials and pedicures.
#2 Have a Response Ready For Social Situations
If you do find yourself out at a social event and someone offers you a glass of wine or another tipple, have a canned response ready so you’re not tempted to say, “OK: Why not?” Some easy phrases to pack in your arsenal include, “No thanks, but I’d love a glass of bubbly water!” and “I’m not indulging tonight, but thanks anyway!”
#3 Remember Why You’re Taking a Break in the First Place
Taking a booze break means giving your hard-working liver much-needed respite from processing all those toxins it encounters on a daily basis. This downtime can help re-set the dial on excessive drinking habits, and support you on your quest to break dysfunctional relationship patterns affected by drinking.
Swell! editorial director Aurelia d'Andrea will be replacing her usual summer swill (chilled rose) with a copious amounts of fizzy water throughout the month of August.