Wine is bottled poetry.Robert Louis Stevenson
I’m half Sicilian/Italian and my European ancestors owned a vineyard. Wine flows through my veins like blood. It is my birthright; how can it be unhealthy, right? Not so fast!
For those of you who aren’t glued to your social media, Dry January consists of not drinking alcoholic beverages for all of January. And after all the celebrations and parties from the American Thanksgiving to New Years Eve, I thought it would be a good idea to give my liver a break. My husband and I decided to partake in this strange, yet potentially healthy fad. Let’s just say January was one LONG freaking month!
So what did I learn? Well, for one thing, I learned that it is more fun doing a dry month with someone, instead of by myself. Last year I did dry May and dry September. It was no fun watching my family and friends have a rip-roaring good time, while I sat in the corner, unamused at their spirited shenanigans.
Here’s my summary of a month-long of self imposed “dry dock.”
My sleep quality was markedly improved. I went from getting 4-6 hours per night of sleep to 7-8 plus hours. I saw a huge improvement in all the heart and breathing sleep gages, as recorded by my Fitbit.
I almost doubled my REM and deep sleep cycles and woke up less during the night. If I did wake up, I had no problems going back to sleep.
My heart rate variations did not bottom out and I did not have any breathing episodes, which occur frequently when I drink wine before going to bed.
Increased Energy Level
I woke up every morning refreshed and clear-headed. I did not feel like I needed as much coffee to get me going in the morning.
My ability to focus seemed to improve. I became more productive and accomplished my daily goals.
Household chores did not seem to drain me, and my exercise level improved. I had increased stamina.
A 5-oz glass of red wine has about 125-140 calories. For someone drinking 2-4 glasses every other day, this can certainly add up to a lot of extra calories.
In addition, it’s easy to break healthy eating habits with a little wine on board. Midnight snacking or what I like to call “something to soak up the wine” was problematic.
I lost 10 lbs in January, but I also followed a strict intermittent ketogenic diet regime that just happened to coincide with the dry January experiment.
My experience with Dry January was fun, but there were a few times when I almost had a glass of wine. My sisters and I like to have long telephone and video chats while we imbibe. But I found that I still really enjoyed these chats, even while sober!
Now that Dry January is in the rear view mirror, I plan to start enjoying a glass or two of wine at dinner time. But my new goal is to try not to overindulge. 🍷
Thank you for reading! – Barb, the River Blogger (Btrb)
Feel free to reblog anything I post. I welcome all comments and discussion.