As you know, I easily made it through the month of August without touching a drop of alcohol. However, since breaking my alcohol fast I’ve had a couple of boozy weekends, the last of which has wreaked havoc on my delicate constitution. I may as well have drunk petrol, that’s how raw my insides feel. Starting the week on the back foot reminds me of too many weekends spent drinking away my 20s; I’m 33 now – far too old for this shit!
It got me thinking though, about what’s actually happening in my body. What are the mechanisms behind these shit feelings? Firstly, alcohol is acidifying, and us humans like to be slightly alkaline. Secondly, alcohol is corrosive on the digestive system, I can definitely verify that, and it’s probably what caused the pain. If you’re trying to hold on to your good gut bacteria, as I am, alcohol is not your friend. But it’s not just your gut flora at stake here; did you know that 95 % of serotonin (the neurotransmitter that regulates your mood) resides in your gut? So, if your gut is acidic and being corroded by alcohol, is that likely to affect your mood as well? I think so. Sarah Wilson wrote a great article about it here.
Alcohol is also pretty high in calories – seven per gram, but has very little nutritional value. As a comparison, carbohydrates and protein both contain four calories per gram, and fat contains nine. As alcohol is usually additional to the food we eat, these calories provide an excess to what we need, which gets stored as fat which or may not be used later. I know I’ve stored some over the last couple of weeks, but it won’t be sticking around for long.
I’ve also noticed that my hand has gotten sore again. I sprained it months ago attempting to arm wrestle someone who has 20 kg more muscle than me. I didn’t win. I can’t think of anything physical I’ve done that would aggravate it. Could I be producing more or eliminating less uric acid as a result of drinking alcohol? Probably. Could the uric acid be flaring up an old injury? Maybe.
So what am I doing about it? I managed to get out for a run today which improved my mood exponentially. Often, the times I feel like exercising the least are the times I need it the most. I had no energy or inclination for running, but I knew I’d feel better if I could pull it off, and I did (pull it off and feel better).
I’m also on a mission to eat as many probiotic foods as possible. Jason Shon Bennett talks about eating raw, soaked, sprouted, and fermented foods every day. I’ve got some sprouts soaking on the windowsill, sauerkraut in the fridge, I eat yoghurt and raw greens every day… I’m also drinking slippery elm – it soothes my inflamed innards like nothing else.