View Full Version : Let's talk about The Grape...
02-02-2005, 10:17 PM
Long post, bear with me:
I wrote in my journal tonight about my decision to stop drinking wine when I went raw in mid October. I know that wine is considered raw (although not organic or vegan unless stated, correct?) but in my quest to detoxify and heal my fibro, I decided to cut it out.
I also was inspired to end my emotional neediness around food and wine...And though I'm not an alcoholic (food has WAY more been my drug of choice!) I was drinking a glass or two of wine most evenings for the past year. As a raw newbie in October, I described this wine-drinking as "dependent" and "addictive" but now I'm beginning to wonder if tee-totalling is best for me. I am so confused so I thought I'd see if anyone has an opinion or experience to relate.
Pros/Cons: On the Pro side, wine helps me relax during the demands of my dinner/post-dinner routine (which involves feeding my depressed and picky MIL who lives with us, and coping with a bouncy "I don't wanna go to bed" 8 year old") Without the wine, I've been a "rhymes with witch" many evenings because I'm tired, feel harassed and can't cope. I've been a wine-lover for years --what one person calls "dependent" another might just call a normal part of enjoying a meal. (Denial? Justifications?!)
On the Con side, I'm concerned that wine might loosen my resolve to stay raw at dinner, might increase my sugar cravings (I've seen this happen already the few times I've had a glass since Oct.) and might make an itchy skin rash (yeast?) flare up.
I used to joke that my food groups were wine, cheese, bread, butter, and chocolate (eek, no joke!) That's all changed since going raw..but should I continue to exile wine from my life? Thoughts appreciated.
02-02-2005, 10:34 PM
Melissa, i understand how you feel...wine, cigarettes and chocolate were my three "loves" ...i loved the way red wine made me feel...instant relaxation and headache reliever...i would also, on many evenings have one or two glasses...but i found that if i drank wine, i would want cigarettes and then chocolate and then pizza and then and then and then etc...i toyed with the idea of including wine in the raw diet but decided against it...technically it is raw if you get organic grapes or fruit and make the wine that way, but it still has alcohol, which is a toxin, and therefore should not be consumed...i mean what we're trying to do here is to detoxify our bodies and alcohol would just slow down that process...maybe it would work if we have a glass of fresh organic grape juice with some nuts (for the relaxation factor) instead...hmmmmm it's worth a try...sorry not much help but i think like any other addiction...it just takes time to get over it :)
02-02-2005, 11:08 PM
I thought you were talking about the restaurant "The Grape," my best friend is opening three in S. Florida....
Well, I don't drink much wine, but my mantra has always been "in moderation..."
Regarding fibromyaliga, I was bedridden two years ago but got better using a protocol by Dr. Lowe (www.drlowe.com). He has treated 95 % of his patients with thyroid. It has changed my life. I am not completely there yet, but compared to being unable to drive, or do anything but lie in bed or a couch, I'm much better.
I am using raw to get the rest of the way there...
02-03-2005, 12:13 AM
As a child of two alcoholic parents, I have a hard time with alcohol in general. Mind you, my parents were never, ever "drunk". They are fine, upstanding members of the community with great jobs and tons of friends. They also get very cranky when they don't have their nighly fixes. :(
I agree with Amethyst about trying the organic grape juice. Perhaps if you mimic your regular wine routine-put it in a pretty wine glass, sip it slowly as you would wine, relax while you are drinking it-it will have the same calming effect. I think it is definitely worth a try since you are obviously concerned about it.
By the way, my food groups used to be: cigarettes, coffee, soda, pasta, bread and *anything* sweet!
02-03-2005, 01:28 AM
I'd stay clear of the wine - and agree with what Amethyst & Autumn said. Depending on your resolve - maybe just a glass on special occasions?? (As long as every day doesn't end up as as "special occasion"...lol)
02-03-2005, 06:51 AM
I too agree with the census here. I know how hard it can be to have to deal with those stresses you have described - just because we love our loved ones does not mean that can't stress us.
Perhaps, you can consider another way to destress -deep breathing will truly help you relax, which is one I am thinking of right now, sparkling grape juice as Autumn suggested to assist you by the mere action, and slowly sipping.
I have seen too many family members with a dependecy on the grape and it frightens me, because they are just as Autumn described, and although I know that is not where you are, nor am I suggesting that you are headed that way, I would like to see you investigate some less toxic way.
02-03-2005, 07:15 AM
Just my thoughts...........it's just another addiction that you have to relieve yourself of. It is amazing all of the things in life that we are addicted to. Aside from the usual drinking, smoking, gambleing,etc.....I would have never thought that I was addicted to all these other little harmful everyday things. Especially cooked stuff. That's a tough one to get over. My main addictions were also coffee and ciggs. And every now and then I would "treat" myself when going out or on a special occasion because I didn't want to deprive myself or lose the social aspect of my life BUT then finally I had to stop and think what the heck am I doing.........I work so hard to detoxify and then one night put all kinds of crap back into my system. AND it is unreal that one night of binging on whatever my weakness was (cigs and coffee maybe a beer) would cause me to crave those things for weeks later. It was like a long term punishment for me. I would have to break the addiction all over again.
Getting to my point.............I just wanted to let you know what worked for me. I am an avid believer of yoga and have recently found out that meditation and deep breathing have really helped me to "chill" when the moment of anxieyy arrives. Even if I just take 5 minutes to remove myself from the situation. Believe it or not, IT really helps me to take the edge off. It may or may not work for you but I though I would just suggest it. Take a few minutes for yourself and hopefully it will help you to relax. If not, I do think the idea that was previously stated about the grape juice and the pretty wine glass is a great idea! Good luck with your ventures!
02-03-2005, 07:32 AM
Thanks. I'm taking this in. I am really listening and deeply appreciating you're input. I've got that feeling...you know the one...when you deep-down KNOW what the right path for you is but you're also trying to talk yourself out of it. And I'm VERY persuasive :rolleyes: But I think that's why I started this thread...I knew I'd attract folks who'd call me on this. Part of me is peeved about that too! Where are the pro-wine people who will help me justify this?! (Kidding...Kind of.) I also loathe the idea that I've become some kind of holier-than-thou pleasure-denying, tee-totalling super-vegan (okay, I'm totally exposing my "self talk" here, not esp. proud of it but there it is) and I fight the idea of (organic) red wine being toxic since there seem to be real health benefits to drinking wine moderately. I can take three hours to drink a single class of wine over the course of an evening. And I have no alcoholism in my immediate family. I'm coming to the conclusion that I should keep cutting the wine out for now...but I can see from typing this that I have some negative stereotypes about vegans (I don't yet see myself as "that type" of person whatever that means) that I need to get over to enable me to grow as a person on this journey. Which I really really really really want and need to do. (Deep breath) I'll check back after work today. Any more thoughts (be candid) always appreciated!
Helen Of Tennessee
02-03-2005, 08:09 AM
Like you, I got rid my Fibromyalgia the same way you did.
Now I'm eating raw, and my thyroid meds have been cut back. One day I'll be off of them totally.
My story: http://www.shazzie.com/raw/transformation/helen.shtml
<>< Helen of Tennessee
02-03-2005, 10:22 AM
Just to weigh in here. I have personal convictions that I won't state here. But I do believe in testing things. Have you noted what you felt like in terms of mood and overall health once you have not had ANY wine for 30-60 days? When you mentioned the moodiness and the "rhymes with witch" disposition, could that be some sort of "withdrawal" symptom? How many days does that last? I just wonder what would happen if you just ate raw and didn't have wine for a good block of time to see how your overall being is. That would be more of an indicator as to whether its something you need to curb, not curb or totally abstain from.
btw, what is MIL (or do I really want to know?)
02-03-2005, 10:38 AM
Hi Melissa, I like what Todd had to say (below). I also think that if having wine in your life will keep you raw, that's much better than going back to cooked.
I just wonder what would happen if you just ate raw and didn't have wine for a good block of time to see how your overall being is. That would be more of an indicator as to whether its something you need to curb, not curb or totally abstain from.
02-03-2005, 10:41 AM
(This is coming from someone who grew up with acres of vineyard in her backyard...my dad is a winemaker) I personally looked at my life in a similar way yrs ago...what things can I get rid of in my life that are holding me back from optimal health...and alcohol was one of them. But like you, food has been my addiction, and that's why I 'm here too:)! I think it is very interesting you are questioning this. Just the fact that you are, makes me wonder if your "inner physician" is telling you to cut it out. Like Todd said...experiment and listen to your body. It's an excellent way to determine what's really going on.
Oh, and if you do choose to....something that might help with calming your nerves in the evenings is :some org. herbal chamomile tea...and you may want to start with 2 bags per cup of tea. It has such a wonderful calming affect on the nerves, and will help you sleep great too !
02-03-2005, 10:49 AM
Melissa...i do agree that you should go with your gut...if you feel like drinking wine, well, go ahead...it is still a toxin though...and as for the studies that showed that red wine is good for you...well...there are also studies that show that chewing on cheese is good for your teeth and all sorts of other ridicilous studies....it always depends on who funded those "studies"...to me, it's all just marketing ploys...it's them trying to brainwash us out of the truth...hehe...i'm a little bit of a conspiracy theory nut :)...but really...for me it's like, ok...i really like chocolate, but i'm not gonna give in to it, because as soon as i do other things are gonna come...i mean either i'm gonna commit to this or not...if we give in to one thing, then we might as well give in to other things as well...just my two cents :)
Sharon in Colorado
02-03-2005, 11:00 AM
Prob if you feel a very strong pull to drink wine every single night there's some kind of an addiction involved. Your body could be yearning for the effects that wore off from the last 24 hours you had it. More so if you don't get wine and you have some kind of physical symptoms with it. That would be a sign for me, at least.
I've never had a withdrawal symptom from not getting my daily banana or fruit shake...why is it that way with bread/chocolate/sugar/iced tea? Because my body has become dependant on whatever those substances are doing to it, that is why.
Surprised good o'l Monkey Boy hasn't chimed in on this one yet!
02-03-2005, 11:17 AM
Your post could have been me talking! Like you, I really enjoy a couple of glasses of wine in the evening- usually while I'm preparing dinner and visiting with my husband after a long day! For me, I think it's more of an "emotional addiction" rather than a physical one- I just associate that glass of wine with "winding down" and relaxing with my family. Since being raw, however, I really am drinking less as, for me, the wine really went better with cooked, heavier foods- especially BREAD!!!!! :D I have always been a terrific cook, and enjoyed pairing wines with my meals. Anyway, now that I'm eating much lighter and healthier, I find that my craving for wine is much less! Make sense???
Another thing.... with lighter foods, the wine goes to your head MUCH faster, don't you think??
02-03-2005, 11:41 AM
I like to have a glass of wine one night a week, when dh has a night free, after the kids are in bed. And I won't be giving that up, it's the one and only thing I plan to continue regularly.
But, it's not an every day thing. You sound like you know deep down that you need to consider being a tee-totaller, so I suspect that's what's going to work for you.
02-03-2005, 01:23 PM
It's another one of those complicated emotional/physical health things, isn't it? Myself, I LOVE gertz's, viogners, rieslings. Any fruity white wine! Ah, and port! Honestly, there's part of me attached to the cultured, sophisticated image that wine drinking lends itself to. Plus it is relaxing, comforting and tasty. For myself, I'm really trying to get away from using food and drink as a coping tool, and trying healthier more introspective options. Not always easy or appealing (or successful) though. The only alcohol consumption I haven't given up at this point is a wine tasting trip every November with family and girlie froufrou drinks when I go on a cruise. I've been contemplating giving those up too.
I recently took a class on drugs and the body and I learned some interesting things about alcohol. Even in small amounts, our bodies regard it as a poison. Alcohol molecules are minute and can pass through any bodily barrier, including the blood-brain barrier. For a test of its effectiveness, you can overturn a cup of alcohol on your forearm, hold it there, and about 15-20 minutes later, the other side of your arm will smell like alcohol, because it was able to go straight through the tissue. I also learned that one of the reasons small amounts of wine are seen as healthful is because alcohol is a blood thinner. Since most SAD eaters have at least partially clogged arteries, this helps the blood pump more smoothly. Personally, I think the health benefits don't apply much to vegans and raw foodists.
Oh, like another poster said, I'm also noticing that much smaller amounts of alcohol make me feel lightheaded than pre-raw. Half a glass and I'm woozy!
02-03-2005, 01:57 PM
Melissa, I am a wine drinker. I usually have 2 glasses every night. Some nights I don't have any and other nights only 1 glass. This has to be a personal issue with each person. I can hear what the people who say NO, don't drink the wine, are saying. At the same time, I hear what the one who say YES, go ahead, it's okay.
If you feel you really need a glass of wine, you can try it and see how you feel afterward.
Do what you think is best for your body.
02-03-2005, 02:20 PM
Hi Melissa ~
The fact that you're questioning it at all is probably a very powerful indicator that it's not okay now. 'Course, you're so self-reflective, you already know that. I personally don't drink now although a daily glass of red wine was a ritual for me. I don't think you're being holier-than-thou or judgmental; it's your personal quandry, and you don't seem to be condemning anyone who does drink.
Have you checked out http://therawartist.com/ ? She eliminated her fibromyalgia with her raw food diet and has written a book (free download!) and has a support group site about it. I haven't read all of the stuff in depth, but she may also discuss alcohol.
You mentioned that the wine mellows out the stress (as you stated, dealing with MIL and child and food prep) at that time of day. Especially when you add working to that mix, it's a challenging time. Maybe making some changes in those end-of-the-day and suppertime tasks might make things easier. I don't know you; you might be born organized and extremely efficient. But, if like me, you aren't, you might find browing the flylady.com website helpful for some hints. Many people have thrived using her methods.
Like others, I say listen to your body. You'll know what's right for you.
02-03-2005, 03:41 PM
You and I are really too much alike- same name, same height, same weight, same addictions! I am struggling with this same issue here- I was a really heavy drinker last year. Once I started looking into raw, I stopped drinking the hard stuff and moved to wine. Well, on my 30 day challenge I only had I think 1 glass during the 30 days, and I had a rum and diet coke which made made me very sick afterward. Anyway- my husband sits down every night with his beer and I just crave to have that glass in my hands to sip at my cocktail and get relaxed and drift away for a while-
Well, I did have a glass of wine last night and the night before- just 1. I got a terrible headach the first night and the next night before I got it all down, I was so sleepy I just wanted to lay down- which really ruined my evening with my husband because I went to bed early rather than stay up and watch tv and chat and have our special time together- so that made me sad. Why am I working so hard to be 'alive', and then drink this wine that is supposed to make me relaxed and happy (like it used to when I was on SAD) but now it just makes me tired and foggy? I just decided that it wasn't giving me the effect it used to and I was more addicted to the 'ritual' rather than the wine- so now I am going to try hot tea like a few have suggested to see if that will help. I think that if I sip at a steamy cup of tea, it will give me that down time I had with wine without the ill effects- and the ritual will still be there...
I don't know how you feel when you drink the wine- but think deep down after you drink it- do you really feel like you did when you drank it before raw? Is that effect still there? Or, maybe you are just addicted to the 'ritual' like I found myself to be...
Joke said it best- these things we love so much are like an old friend we need to say good-bye to. Saying good-bye to an old friend who comforted us when we were down, a good friend who helped us cope and get through a rough evening at home, a good friend who numbed the pain of reality. Well, the reality now Melissa is that you are eating healthier than you ever did your entire life- you are losing weight- you look great! You are feeling better than ever and you feel great about yourself! Lets not bait that hook that brings us down anymore! So lets do it Melissa- lets try the hot tea and see where it takes us????
Oh, and I also know how you feel about being 'holier than thou' now that you are not eating this and that- It really sucks because we just want to be healthy and people hassel us about it. That word 'extreme' is driving me up the wall! I hear it daily it seems! I think it is jealousy myself- they can't imagine giving up their 'cheese and meat'. We must be crazy they think- But, as long as you don't preach to people and just do your thing- it will fade. They will see how great you are looking and feeling and then, as they pop their pills, they will get curious about it and maybe take a look at things your way rather than the 'sad' way...
Anyway, sorry for the rambling...
Here's to hot tea and relaxation!
Your twin- Melissa from CA
02-03-2005, 04:09 PM
Sorry to interrupt your thread, Melissa because I don't have any advice on the wine (never liked it to begin with) but Todd posed a question about the acronym MIL - It means Mother In Law :D
Okay, back to our program...:p
02-03-2005, 05:59 PM
I love the wine posts.
I just got back from Boston. Rainy and miserable. Big meeting with the big car guys. Tested a great new vehicle and really took an up close look. America is going to love this. Coming to a market near you in late March.
Wine......................As you know it's one of my passions.
Don't drink every night
Drink with food .....primarily
Don't drink alone
Enjoy the color, the smell (nose), the way it lingers on the glass, swirl and hold in your mouth, drink slowly and savor.
Try wines from different countries like Spain, Portugal, South Africa, and states like New York and and Oregon.
Wine as a stress reliever is good only to a point. No need to self medicate with wine. That's a bad road to travel.
Wine is an adventure.
P.S. Look for the new Monkeyboy poster coming soon.
02-04-2005, 07:26 AM
Thank you to everyone for the ideas and empathy. It is more helpful than I can say. I've decided to work on my health and my emotions w/out the nightly wine because (although I enjoy wine on lots of other levels) it definitely became a self-medicating (thanks MB) crutch over the past challenging year. I definitely see this raw lifestyle as going beyond just eating raw food...For me, it is also about trying to "clean house" emotionally and to grow in inner strength and clarity.
I love the idea of grape juice in a wine glass...but what kind of grape juice? Is bottled organic concord grape juice okay? I think it's pasteurized though.
I don't have access to organic grapes to make my own juice.
I also like the idea of herbal tea (chamomille etc) and I had some last night. I'm also repeating some affirmations to help me. I'll start another thread to share them.
If anyone else struggles with the wine issue, feel free to keep posting or PM me any time. It's great to support one another in this way. Thanks again everyone.
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