sober adventures

The benefits of not drinking - realized by Huffington Post writer who completed Whole30

Jamie Feldman.jpg

Words matter. Sharing your experience matters. Sometimes I think that maybe I should stop sharing the benefits I have realized by not drinking. I start to devalue sharing my experience with women who are wanting to achieve the same in their lives.

And then I read this Huffington Post article, written by Jamie Feldman, and it reminded me how we need to keep talking about the reduced anxiety, happier mood and other mind and body benefits realized when we remove alcohol from the equation.

She completed Whole30 this past January and made a connection between how excessive alcohol intake affects anxiety, panic attacks, strength during workouts and productivity.

But the 30 days I spent going out less, making plans with friends to do things other than drink or meeting friends who were drinking and choosing not to drink myself were illuminating. I suddenly had more time to read, more time to watch movies, more time to be alone in my thoughts and as a result, more time to be comfortable with hearing them.

And while she admits that she isn’t interested in denying the occasional fancy cocktail or glass of red wine she enjoys, this experience has made her more mindful about her drinking choices - and not just drinking “just to drink.” I love these stories. Everyone’s experience with alcohol is different - but I believe there are tremendous benefits that can be realized by anyone who takes a break. What do you think?

Feature on Euphoric - celebrating alcohol-free stories!

Have you met Karolina at Euphoric? She is doing so many awesome things to celebrate the alcohol-free lifestyle - through a variety of channels, including a podcast, blog, alcohol-free drink recipes and more.

Her words and experience are deeply inspiring and there really is a euphoric feeling to this life that cannot be matched with anything in a bottle.

I’m so honored that she has included an interview with me in her Our Stories section. I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! xo Kim

Start enjoying YOU

Start enjoying You.jpg

Well that didn’t take long. The shiny new goals, crisp and clean calendar pages and promise of new ways of living have started to wear off and fade.

And it’s no surprise to me! While secretly I had hoped that the excitement of a new year would hang on for just a big longer, this is just a good reminder to me that there is no magic connected with the January 1 date. We have the chance to start over or improve ourselves at any given moment.

I get caught up in a New Year, A New You! messaging. I imagine myself being a completely perfect, shining soul beginning promptly at 12:01 a.m. on January 1 - but by 9:30 that same morning, I’ve already lost my temper (broke my I’m a patient person resolution), had milk with my coffee (broke my Whole 30 resolution) and have complained about something that doesn’t warrant complaining about (broke my I am brilliantly and abundantly grateful resolution).

I have been battling a cold for the last few days (woe is me!) and I’ve been in a funk.

  • I haven’t been writing in my gratitude journal

  • haven’t been meditating

  • haven’t been reading my daily devotionals

And I KNOW that all these things help improve my outlook on life, help me improve my perspective. So this morning (after a fitful night’s sleep on cough medicine and stuffy sinuses), I woke up and told myself,

You have the power to make this day whatever you want it to be.

  • So, I wrote in my gratitude journal.

  • I prayed. I prayed with thankfulness but also asked God to help me with my negative thought patterns

  • I meditated and envisioned a bright light white surrounding me with peace and positivity

  • I went for a walk

  • I read my devotional

And I feel a lot better. Today’s devotional encouraged me to “Start Enjoying You.”

This is so timely and always a great reminder that we shouldn’t set our hopes, happiness and heavenly sights on the end goal. I see my children get a new toy - and for the next 30 minutes they are in heaven. They are happy and easily entertained. But just as easily as that joy comes, so does boredom of the new, shiny object.

So it’s a great reminder to me to enjoy me today! I can strive to be a better person. I can strive to accomplish great goals but I must find content with myself in the day to day journey - rather than chasing bright and shiny objects and depending on them to make me happy.

Just wanted to share. xo Kim

Headed down memory lane

The Bald Head Island Incident

Several years ago my husband and I traveled to Bald Head Island in North Carolina for a long weekend to celebrate a friend’s wedding.

We rented a house on the small island with 10 other friends.

I’m drinking water in this picture - because the night before I went crazy with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.

We stayed up ALL night drinking. And FYI I have a super fun feature about myself that, the more I drink, the louder and nasally I get.

We were so loud we kept one of our other friends - who had just had a baby several months earlier and was looking forward to her first trip out of town without the baby - awake all night. 

She was planning on a few good nights of sleep, and we were so loud talking nonsense and listening to music at decibel 22 that she couldn’t get to sleep,We didn’t even realize we were being so loud.

She was so pissed the next day and I pretty much hid from her during ALL the weekend activities.

Anyway, I tried to smile through everything the next day but I felt so unbelievably sick and tired.

I finally gave up early in the evening - while everyone else was at another rental house watching football and having fun - and took a golf cart back to where we were staying. 

I offered to take a friend’s son back who was about 12 at the time.

The island is not hard to navigate - but I’m terrible with directions on a good day. So you can imagine my horror when the boy told me that we had just passed by the house we just left.

I was so HUNG that I had driven in a complete circle and didn’t even notice. (Imagine how humbling it is to receive directional advice from a little boy on a tiny island which boasts a population of less than 300 people!)

UGH

It was a great weekend trip overall. But let’s be honest, I wish I hadn’t made myself so sick that I could have enjoyed the next day. I wish I hadn’t been so rude to piss off a friend. I wish I hadn’t bailed the next day and gotten schooled by a kid. Just a reminder that there may be a story you don’t know about behind the smile in the picture. xx Kim

About last night....New Year ✨2019✨- reader submitted essay

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The following was submitted by a reader - who has turned into a friend. While she isn’t interested in sharing her thoughts publicly on a blog or social channel (not yet, at least!), she has found writing and journaling as an enjoyable activity, particularly as it pertains to sobriety or embracing an alcohol-free lifestyle.

Here are her words. I hope they can reach someone who needs to read this right now. xoxo Kim


Last night was NYE. My kids and hubby always stay up until midnight. I haven’t made it in the last 9+ years, because I was always drunk.

I would start drinking wine while cooking dinner - and would drink and drink, most likely having 1+ bottles of wine by myself - hoping that no one would notice:

  • my sloppy-ness

  • my slurred speech

  • my lack of awareness to play a game

  • my extra-loud-obnoxious-laugh

UGH

We’d celebrate the east coast New Years, kiss, and I’d stumble off to bed, fuzzy headed. I’d awake at midnight to the sound of fireworks, my kids giddy with excitement and I’d bounce out of bed to yell, “Happy New Year!” with them,  knowing that I missed most of the night.

I missed the real count down, the real enthusiastic screams, the real start to the New Year.

I’d crawl into bed, disappointed and a bit sad that I missed out. Again. 

So last night....

My kiddos and hubby were making their plans to stay up until midnight, playing Mario Cart, watching TV shows and playing games.

I had planned on going to bed just after 9 p.m. As in the past I never stayed up, BUT...instead, I stayed up with them until midnight. The night was pretty uneventful and my kids were exhausted, but we rang in the new year together - with big fat kisses and hugs, a few blow horns and then I went straight to bed.

I tucked them in and I listened to the fireworks and thought about how wonderful life can be without wine.

How I can really enjoy all these magical moments and see all the little and big details of my life - and of theirs - and, most importantly, remember it all.

This morning I woke up, feeling grateful and excited.

I’m starting the New Year, clear-headed, oh so grateful, and my heart is full! Happy 2019!!


I tucked them in and I listened to the fireworks and thought about how wonderful life can be without wine.

7 tips for a successful Dry January

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Well happy New Year! Whew, where did 2018 go?

No matter, we’re moving onward and upwards to have the best year EVER. If you’re thinking of binning the booze during January - but not sure where to start, I have a few tips for you. These have helped me SO much over the last six months to develop good habits when it comes to navigating social situations, stressful days and everything in between.

  1. Be Prepared - behind every great goal there is a well, thought out plan that helps you stay on track. The best parallel I can think of is meal planning. If you’ve bought your groceries, downloaded your recipes and mapped out what you’re having for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then you’re well on your way to following through on your goal of cooking more at home.

    In terms of Dry January, think about:

    • how you will tell others you are not drinking, and practice saying it out loud.

    • how you will handle a stressful day or celebration ahead of time - so you aren’t surprised when that day comes during your challenge

    • other things you enjoy for self-care and stress management. Alcohol is a huge reason to squash emotions and pass the time - so what will you replace that with?

  2. Research non-alcoholic drinks and have fun testing recipes. I’ve really enjoyed trying new teas, coffee drinks and experimenting with simple syrups and mineral water. There is no excuse for someone saying “I don’t know what I will drink” - there are plenty of options these days!

  3. Plan ahead when attending an event. Again, this goes back to being prepared and putting a lot of thought into how you will handle situations during the month of January.

    • Think about what you will order ahead of time (and practice saying it out loud)

    • Imagine who you are excited to see or what experience you will relish in as a sober, clear-minded individual

    • If you are going to a friend's house or hosting your own event, bring your own mixers or have ingredients on hand to create a fun drink.

  4. Visualize yourself succeeding and think about what that looks like.

    • What does success look like for you?

    • Imagine yourself enjoying your day will less anxiety, better health, making good decisions about food choices, waking up full of energy or improving the relationships around you - all with your new and sassy sober self!

  5. Change your perspective: Don't think of yourself as losing alcohol, but as gaining something else (energy, clear skin, clear mind, etc). Don’t think of Dry January as something you have to do, view it as a fun, adventurous journey where you are adding to your quality of life and learning new things about yourself along the way!

  6. Create distractions: If you're giving up alcohol for a month, use that time to do something new, like trying a new fitness class or cooking a new recipe. I cannot tell you how many books I’ve been able to read over the past few months, simply because I’m not passing out after a few glasses of wine at 8 p.m. (I even learned how to create an online course during this time!!!!)

  7. Find a support network or an accountability partner:

    • Instagram and Facebook offer a community of people sharing their own sober journeys.

    • Pinterest provides a lot of sober inspiration.

    • Check out a local meeting to connect with others in person.

    • Or write out what you're thinking and feeling. There is so much power in keeping a journal and getting those feelings out on paper!

Did I leave anything out? My wish for you in the New Year is that - if you are struggling with alcohol or if you are wanting to experience life without reaching for a glass of wine for every occasion - you find the support, encouragement, inspiration and motivation you need. All the best. xox Kim

Goal planning and January RESET alcohol-free challenge

with my Powersheets!

with my Powersheets!


This time last year I was filling out a goal planner (Lara Casey’s #Powersheets to be exact!).

In the planning, she asks you to do a Cultivated Life Evaluation, where you look at key categories in your life (faith, fitness, family, work, free time, finances and friends).

Y’all. I’m here to tell you trust alcohol was negatively affecting EVERY SINGLE AREA - some more than others.

I had wanted to live an alcohol free lifestyle leading up to this (or at least try it for an extended timeframe) but this was the catalyst I needed.

To see these major categories in front of me -that are so crucial to a quality of life - that could be changed so dramatically over one single decision.

I wasn’t successful right off the bat. But I built off little successes and learning lessons throughout the year - until it finally stuck in July for good.

If you are looking to enjoy, embrace and rock an alcohol free lifestyle, this blog and the online sober community in general is a great place to start!

If you feel like you need a little more support, then I invite you to join me on the 30-day reset challenge I’ve created that begins TOMORROW!

Each day you’ll receive an email with inspiration and a lesson with action steps on how to complete the day’s assignment. You’ll also receive a daily mantra and additional links for support, as well as access to a Private Facebook group where you can interact with other members.

I’ll also host group calls during the month of January. Happy New Year, everyone! Kim

P.S. Don’t forget to click here if you’re ready to RESET your relationship with alcohol. The 30-day online program is only $29!


Teetotal Road Trip Success

Sober Road Trip adventure

We took a road trip with the boys this weekend.

The hotel room brought a courtesy bottle of champagne up after we checked in.

My husband doesn’t drink champagne and I didn’t want it.

I can’t believe I’m typing this but I DIDN’T WANT THE CHAMPAGNE AT ALL!

  • The popping of the cork

  • The fizzy bubbles

  • The fancy champagne flutes

It didn’t strike an urge for me like it normally would. I didn’t romanticize it at all.

It feels SO good to pass up on stuff like that.

A year ago I would have glugged it ALL down, which would have started a downward spiral of me wanting more and more and more to drink.

Road trips are meant for overindulging, right?!

And then, like clockwork, I would have spontaneously started a fight with my husband about an hour and a half after my last drink. The night would have gone down in flames, and I would have probably woken up to a cold shoulder and the dreaded question:

Do you want to apologize for what you said last night? UGH THE WORST

The kids woke up at 6 a.m. - because of course they did! They were super stoked because it snowed like crazy where we were staying. And I was - for the most part - more than ready to start the day with them.

If you are struggling, please know that it takes time to rewire your brain from thinking you need alcohol at every turn. Be patient with yourself and immerse yourself in sober stories and read as much as you can about how much someone’s life changes the instant they decide not to give so much power to alcohol. It can happen. xoxo

I drank as a mom - reader submitted story

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One of the best things about starting this 100 Days of Sober page is that I’m able to connect with so many people out there just like me. People out there who are questioning their relationship with alcohol and the role it plays in their lives.

I have become friends with someone who is a reader of the blog. While she wishes to remain anonymous, she has a powerful message to share.

*******

I'm a Mom of two wonderful and amazing kids. They are the best thing that has ever happened to me!  

I'm a mom who once drank in front of her kids, not realizing the depths of this problem, the negative effects it had on me, and the example that I was setting.

Kids are little sponges, seeing all the good and bad. They see everything, regardless of age.

When my kids were younger, they'd play the game “restaurant,” - and on the menu was always beer and wine.  I once thought this was funny and cute and have an Instagram pic of my daughters’ “drink menu,” listing all types of beers and wines.

Ugh. When they got older, I knew they were watching, they see everything. 

A little over a year ago, we were having friends over. The kids were all playing and the adults were drinking, wine was flowing.  I don't remember ever feeling that intoxicated, but I was. When everyone left, I went to put the kids to bed, and I ended up passing out in my bed with all my clothes and makeup still on. IN FRONT OF MY KIDS. 

My son told my husband that he was worried about me and he cried himself to sleep. (my husband told me all this the next morning).  All of this makes me cringe. The next morning, I apologized to my kids. I told my husband that I was taking ANOTHER break from drinking, which was not my last break by the way.  I know that my kids will always remember that night, the night their mom was so drunk she just straight up passed out in front of them. 

Drinking starts off to be so fun and harmless, but this story right here is full of pain, shame, and utter sadness. BUT, now I no longer have to lurk in shame over past mistakes.  They can see a mom who is working on making better choices and trying to be the best possible version of herself. I'm choosing this way of life for me, but also for them.  They are and will continue to be one of the biggest reasons for me to not drink.  And that makes me feel good!

Download your free Holiday Survival Kit!

One of the most popular questions I receive is about surviving the holidays, while also embracing an alcohol-free lifestyle!

I want you to know it’s entirely possible to have a great time, enjoy friends and family - without alcohol. It’s even better because you aren’t feeling bloated, fatigued, irritable and full of regret after indulging in too much eggnog!

My readers have a variety of reasons for perhaps wanting to avoid alcohol for a while - even during the holidays. If you’re interested in an alcohol-free challenge - but want to know how to navigate holiday parties, sign up to receive INSTANT ACCESS to this Holiday Survival Guide that shares tips to stay alcohol free during the holiday season so you can get a jump start on your New Year’s Resolutions!

These are the lies I told myself + the truths that shattered them

In the car on the way to my first ever Podcast Interview - Renting Sobriety
  • You don’t know what you’re doing

  • You’re wearing too much makeup

  • No one wants to hear what you have to say

  • You’re lost

These are some of the lies I told myself on Saturday while driving to my first ever podcast interview with Renting Sobriety. (Here is the link to the podcast if you want to take a listen!) None of them were true (except for the lost part. I did get lost for a hot second).

Whenever I’m doing something I’m not used to doing or am not comfortable with, I tell myself lies to try to talk myself out of doing that one thing. Do you do the same?

I was nervous and unsure of the experience. I almost chickened out. I am notoriously camera shy and did not know how I would do being interviewed by two people I had never met.

But instead of listening to those lies, I replaced them. Replaced them with positivity and affirmations.

  • I have a story to share

  • I have a message of hope

  • My story is resonating with people out there

  • This interview could reach one person who is caught in a cycle of addiction

  • You are lost - but you will figure it out and it will all be good

I think the lies we tell ourselves are the single most damaging thoughts we have. But you know what? It’s entirely possible to cancel out all these self-limiting beliefs. Recognize these untruths and flood them with positivity.

Once the headphones were on and I started talking with Tyler and Casey, it was like I had known them for years. I really enjoyed the conversation and learning more about them in the process of sharing my story.

THANK YOU to Renting Sobriety for having me on.

Here is the link to the entire interview if you’re interested.

Takeaway? If you are nervous about something, give yourself a little pep talk and push through the uncomfortableness. It could be an awesome experience that you would otherwise miss. And even if you don’t like it, at least you can say you lived to tell the tale. What thoughts are holding you back?

Euphoric: The Podcast

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One of the things that helped me out in the first 30 - 90 days - and still inspires me to continue on the path of sobriety, was/is listening to people who talk about the many benefits of embracing an alcohol-free lifestyle.

And honestly, that’s why I love being on Instagram so much - because it connects me with so many likeminded individuals who view alcohol in a different perspective. Most of my friends and family drink - which is totally fine! - I was the one who made the decision to remove alcohol from my life. But, that means I do have to go on places like Instagram, podcasts and blogs to connect with others who are trying to achieve sobriety.

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And that brings me to a podcast I recently listened to: Episode 2 of Euphoric, which addresses community. 

Every time you let yourself down you chip away at your self trust.
— Euphoric: The Podcast

It’s so inspirational! @karolinarzad and @dbrn did a great job addressing:

  • The wonderful new life you can explore, while benefiting from the MANY positive aspects of sobriety

  • The fabulously supportive community that comes along with decision when you focus on achieving an alcohol-free lifestyle.

Karolina and Danielle are easy and entertaining to listen to. Have you listened to their first or second episode? If you check it out, be sure to let me know what you think!

If I can quit drinking, I can do anything. (..) What else am I capable of? 
— Euphoric: The Podcast

Hang on...it feels like freedom

Quote courtesy of  Sober Mom Tribe

Quote courtesy of Sober Mom Tribe

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night
— Edgar Allan Poe
Picture from a recent drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Picture from a recent drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Last night I found myself feeling SO grateful to just sip on some hot tea and cuddle up with the dog while reading and daydreaming before bed.

My husband had a beer with dinner and I had some mineral water and I just felt so free to not feel like I NEEDED a drink with dinner.

Several months ago, if I was eating dinner (which I do 💯 percent of the time) it was accompanied by at least two glasses of wine 💯 percent of the time.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with having beer or wine with dinner - but I felt there was something wrong with me feeling I NEEDED a drink to accompany:

  • EVERY dinner

  • every event

  • every celebration

  • every weekend night

  • every weeknight.

    And I’m just so happy I am in a different place. It’s very freeing - and I wish it for everyone who is looking for a break from alcohol. Do you have any questions for me? I’d love to continue the conversation, Kim

Real, Raw, Hard Honesty - a reader question answered (Day 25: Sober October)

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I have had a couple of topics for today swirling around - but then I got the following question:

"So I had every intention in doing Sober October - I’ve done so many breaks before, but this one has been unbelievably hard. (...) The frustration is the hardest and also thinking about the commitment or lack of one. Would love to hear about real, raw, hard, honesty. How many breaks do you think you did before you committed to this?"

So, here is my response. It's pretty long but I think an accurate description of my journey to achieve an alcohol lifestyle over the last year.

Honestly, I could never string any time together. It's a bit blurry - I didn't pay attention that much because I never thought I would get that far.

Last September/October I started getting serious about trying to quit drinking. I was drinking every day - probably a bottle or more a night and over the weekend could probably not keep track.

I think in September I may have gone 8 days - which was a freaking MIRACLE for me. I had signed up for This Naked Mind Alcohol Experiment. It was a free thing I saw on FB so I started to think about alcohol in a different way than ever before.

BEFORE, I thought wine and beer was semi-healthy for me but I knew it was making me tired, irritable, bloated and stressed out. And, if I took a few days off, I would feel great and then think I could control myself with one or two glasses of wine. And, I could maybe for a few days - but then I would start drinking more and more and pouring wine earlier and earlier. It just always came back harder and harder. And drinking wasn't fun for me.

Last October, I signed up to do Sober October with James Swanwick and I may have gone 13 days? And THAT was a freaking miracle! And after that I think I didn't try too hard to quit drinking. I was drinking less (because I had learned so much about what alcohol did to me) but still drank heavily over the holidays. My husband and I are huge red wine lovers and, during the holidays, we always go pretty hard. We'll split two bottles of wine each night and then get into the beer. I'm nervous for the holidays because it's always when I let loose.

By January, I had signed up for a half-marathon in March because I needed to focus on something healthy. I was so disgusted with myself for drinking and eating like crap for weeks on end. I was just shoving everything in my mouth it felt like.

AND THEN, I would go maybe a few days here and there. I ran the half marathon in March. And I just saw the year laid out before me just like every other year and really REALLY wanted to change.

I hated one of my clients. I was so frustrated and didn't feel grateful for ANYTHING in my life. And I knew it was alcohol.

So maybe in May (?) I started the 100 Day account. I wanted to put it out there to document things and see if I could connect with anyone else. And I slipped up, too. But I kept getting tired of apologizing to the IG followers and on my newly created blog. Like, "I had a beer again. I am at Day 1 again." And then I guess it just stuck? I kind of got sick of MYSELF for making excuses all the time and just not sticking to what I promised.

I have bad days - today, for example. :-) I have thought about drinking ALL DAY and I don't know if it gets better. I hear it does.

The only thing that keeps me from drinking is I know I won't sleep.

  • I know I will feel like crap.

  • I know I will disappoint myself AGAIN.

  • I know I will break out and feel even WORSE than I do now.

  • It won't make my day better.

  • It won't make my kids less whiny.

  • I will numb out for a bit but I will have to deal with it all later on.

The last time I drank I drank one bottle of red wine and almost a bottle of white. It was like I was trying to get myself sick so I could remind myself why. I know that sounds so bad. But I was SO sick the next day. I just try to think of that and psych myself out.

Anyway, raw and honest? If you want it, you will find a WAY to fight through it eventually. If you don't, there will always be an EXCUSE (from Rachel Hollis).

  • For the longest time, I thought I wanted to be sober, but I didn't want to tough it out at 5 p.m.

  • For the longest time, I wanted to be alcohol free, but I didn't want to feel uncomfortable around my friends and family.

  • For the longest time, I wanted to see if I could do it - but I didn't want to change my habits.

I hope this makes sense or resonates with you a little (I hope ALOT!). I also used to envy those who had gone a while without alcohol and I finally DECIDED that I AM one of those people and I COULD do it. I think of Gabrielle Bernstein or Clare Pooley or Bradley Cooper or Robert Downey Jr. Those are all bad ass people who choose not to drink. Why can't I be that way?

O.K. So, this weekend is our 11th anniversary and we are going to Asheville to celebrate. I am SO fretting it because I know I will romanticize the role wine plays and want to indulge. But it's conversations like these that keeps me from going back....what do you think? :)

FOR MORE RESOURCES - Consider joining the 100 Days VIP Community (a Private Facebook page) to connect with others and share your successes and challenges.

Q&A with Karolina from Euphoric Alcohol Free (Day 24: Sober October!)

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Today I'm really excited to share a Q&A with Karolina Rzadkowlolska!

Karolina is a wellness blogger who shares the joys of an alcohol-free lifestyle with her audience. Based in San Diego, she provides alternative drink ideas and is currently writing a book about the many benefits sobriety brings.

Today, she's sharing her story on how she found so much happiness once she left alcohol behind. She's been featured on Tell Better Stories AND Greatist and I am so thankful that she agreed to share:

  • The physical, spiritual and emotional benefits she experiences by choosing to lead a sober life

  • Why self-actualization is one of the best pieces of being alcohol free

  • Some soft cocktail (mocktail or sans cocktail!) recipes for autumn

In this Q&A she addresses the "moderation illusion" that many of us have when trying to limit our alcohol intake and describes her foray into an alcohol-free lifestyle as a "health and soul-conscious decision" - which I LOVE.


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You can read the full interview here.

I'd love to hear what you think! And again, many thanks to Karolina for participating in this Sober October challenge.

WANT MORE?

  1. Click here to see three autumn-inspired soft cocktail options, courtesy of Karolina

  2. Check out Karolina's tips on how to "Rock a Party Sober"

  3. Learn more about Karolina and upcoming news at euphoricaf.com or on Instagram at @karolinarzad

  4. Join the 100 Days VIP Community (a Private Facebook page) to connect with others and share your successes and challenges

  5. Happy Day 24 of Sober October!

Day 22 - Self-sabotaging thoughts and what to do about them!

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Have you ever heard of someone self sabotaging to avoid a successful outcome?

According to Pyscology Today: Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self-sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol and comfort eating. 

"These acts may seem helpful in the moment, but they ultimately undermine us, especially when we engage in them repeatedly," the article continues.

Whether it's lose weight, get sober, start a business or anything else, you have the power to tell those self-sabotaging thoughts or limiting beliefs to bug off. You deserve to have a clear path to achieve and realize your dreams.

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Here are some common thoughts associated with limiting beliefs.

  • I'm not worth the success that would come by reaching this goal.

  • I can control my life where it is - the way I know it - if it stays the same. 

  • It's too much work to change.

  • My idea is crazy.

I've been having some crazy nightmares lately. Nightmares where I'm getting rejected at every turn. Dreams where I'm literally forced to move backwards (as in drive backwards on the interstate!) And I wake up thinking "hmm. That was weird." 

I really do think it's my subconscious sending me messages to not fear things like rejection or change. And to encourage me to keep making forward progress on my goals no matter what. And to be aware of self-sabotaging behavior so I don't go down that path.

So what have I been doing to combat these crazy dreams and, potentially self-sabotaging thoughts? 

  • I replace negative thoughts with positive images. 

  • I say affirmations. 

  • I pray. 

  • I create vision boards and write down my goals. 

  • I visualize my goals and see my success as it unfolds.

And, if you've made it this far I'm telling you now that one of my biggest dreams is to grow 100 Days to a huge, vibrant and thriving community full of women supporting other women to enjoy an alcohol-free lifestyle. I want to write for parenting publications to prove that mommy juice and wine memes don't need to be a standard in parenthood. I want to write a book or secure speaking opportunities and podcast interviews to share my story and try to inspire others to go after their dreams. I hate putting myself out there, but this is what I'm doing because I'm not going to self-sabotage my dreams and live in the shadows of "what if?"

What big dreams do you have? And how can you get those limiting beliefs to scram so you can live your best life? Day 22 of Sober October. :-)

Shades of Gray + The Drinking Cycle

You don't have to admit to being an alcoholic to want to stop the drinking cycle.

Most of us know the deal by now:

  • We make the decision to quit drinking after having to endure one hell of a hangover

  • After a few days, we feel great - almost too great! - and ready to take on the world

  • Once we feel better, we start to slide into the dangerous thinking of, "maybe I can have a glass of wine tonight. What's the harm?"

  • And then, for me, I'd either drink the whole bottle that night or end up back where I started (which was drinking 7 days a week, several drinks a day).

Drinking Cycle.jpg

I've received so much feedback from people recently:

  • People who admit to hitting a "high bottom" and wanting to change their life

  • People who decide not to drink unless it's a very special occasion because it doesn't fit into their healthy lifestyle

  • People who didn't have a problem but wanted to feel the very best they could

  • People who wanted to lose weight

  • People who thought alcohol conflicted with their religious beliefs

It seems there is a shift in people - from all backgrounds and all experiences with alcohol - who are starting to question the role a drink plays in their particular (and totally unique!) lifestyle.

Personally, I just think it's EXHAUSTING to repeat the drinking cycle over and over and over again. That's why I took a break. And every day that goes by, I feel better and better about my decision to remove alcohol from my daily life.

What about you? Are you caught in the cycle? Have you broken free from the cycle? Are you a moderate drinker who doesn't really relate to the drinking cycle? I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this email. Happy Sunday, Kim

A few of my favorite things (sober edition!) 🎶🎃🍫

What are a few of your favorite things in the fall?
Attend a music festival?

Visit a pumpkin patch?

Enjoy music with friends?

You can do that all without alcohol!! I have and it's been a fantastic experience so far. 

🎡🏈🏃🎶🎃🎥🍫

These are a few of my favorite things I’ve done this October ALL without alcohol. 

☕️ Coffee dates with friends  

🎥 Dinner and movie (my dinner was $11 with tip!) 

🍫🔥Made s’mores by a bonfire 

🎃Took three kids (under aged 5) to a pumpkin patch! 

🌻Took pictures in a sunflower field 

🍷🎶 Went to a wine bar with friends and listened to live music 

🏈 Watched football 

💑 Had a date night 

👠Enjoyed a girls night out 

 🎡Went to a fall festival and rode a spinning strawberry ride with my son. 😵 

Life goes on. It doesn’t stop once you quit drinking. If you are willing to adjust your new normal slightly and change your perspective, you can enjoy it all. Life will never be perfect. But I honestly do look forward to each new day and the surprises it will bring! 

  1. WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I enjoy fall activities because of the people around me and the places I go." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 17 of Sober October.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

How to add essential oils to your sobriety toolbox

Happy Monday! Super excited to be celebrating Day 15 of Sober October! Last year, I think I made it to Day 8 of Sober October so - if nothing else at least I’m making progress!

Once I started reading books written by people who got sober, I noticed many of them mentioned the use of essential oils. For example, Bex Weller, author of A Happier Hour, wrote that she started to incorporate essential oils into a bedtime routine that had her looking forward to something after attending a special event:

"I put fresh sheets on the bed, and placed a new essential oil and a great book on my bedside table."

Also, Holly Whitaker from Hip Sobriety added essential oils to her sober toolbox as a necessity, among rosary/prayer beads and good tea and healing music!

When exploring topics for this Sober October Challenge, I definitely wanted to address how to incorporate essential oils into a daily regimen. And I really appreciate insight from Joy, of Lemon and Joy Life! Here are a few basics about what essential oils are - and how to use them. She also provides a few special blends that are great to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Follow her on Instagram at Lemon and Joy Life - and definitely reach out to her if you have any questions!

Image courtesy of Young Living

Image courtesy of Young Living

What are essential oils? - Essential oils are the highly concentrated version of the natural oils found in plants, trees, shrubs and flowers. They are the lifeblood of plants and contain therapeutic properties when properly distilled.

Image courtesy of Lemon and Joy Life

Image courtesy of Lemon and Joy Life

How can you use essential oils? - To use oils aromatically, you can:

  • open the bottle and take a whiff

  • rub a drop in your hands, cup them together and breathe in

  • diffuse them in a diffuser.

According to Joy, research shows that the constituents in pure essential oils stimulate olfactory receptors in the brain and activate the limbic system which is associated with memory and emotion. Simply inhaling an oil can ease daily stresses and emotional ups and downs. Many oils can also be used topically. To use oils topically, you can apply to your wrists and breathe in. Or you can apply to your neck or chest.

Here are some Young Living Oils that Joy suggests to promote relaxation or relieve stress:

Lavender- is the most popular of all essential oils because most people have heard of Lavender being a relaxing aroma even if they aren't familiar with essential oils or aromatherapy. This one can be diffused, applied topically, made into a pillow spray or room spray.

FUN FACT: Lavender is frequently called the "switch blade oil" because it has so many uses. 

Stress Away- a blend of Lavender, Vanilla, Lime and Cedarwood that smells like a tropical getaway. Keep the roll on you in a bag and take it with you to help calm the mind and body while on the go. It is great to use during rush hour traffic or before a difficult meeting.

FUN FACT: Both Lavender and Stress Away are also available in all natural bath bombs that are a great way to relax after a rough day. They are fun, fizzy and relaxing and so nourishing for your skin. 

Tranquil- another handy roll on but this one has Lavender, Cedarwood, Roman Camomile. This one is a favorite of parents and children.

FUN FACT: Joy suggests taking it with you to calm a tantrum on the go, you can apply it to children or adults at bedtime to promote a restful atmosphere and prepare the body for a good night's sleep.

Peace and Calming- "This one is a favorite to diffuse at bedtime in our house," says Joy. It is a blend of Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patcholi and Blue Tansy. "We love the aroma and the sense of calm it brings to our house. I have been known to diffuse this during playdates too!"

FUN FACT: Essential oils have been around since biblical times but they have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years and now you can buy them any where. They are not all the same, even if the label says "pure" or "all natural." According to Joy, Young Living has the Seed to Seal guarantee meaning they have the highest standards in every step of the process, starting with the best seeds, grown in optimal conditions, harvested at the optimal time, then distilled with the utmost care and precision and, finally, every batch of oils is tested in house and by a 3rd party with multiple tests to ensure every bottle of oil contains the correct amount the therapeutic constituents. Young Living has been around for 25 years and truly sets the standards for the industry.

  1. WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I seek wellness in my life." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 15 of Sober October.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.


3 tips to try + enjoy while traveling sober! (Sober in Vegas contributor!)

Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Sober in Vegas!

Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Sober in Vegas!

If you are like me, I start thinking about the weekend on Thursday!

One of my favorite things to do is to plan a road trip over the weekend - to explore our beautiful state and surrounding areas.

And when I first stopped drinking, I thought I would probably never go to a place like Las Vegas again for a special trip.

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't gamble. What would I possibly do in Sin City if I didn't enjoy any of those things?

Then I discovered Sober in Vegas on Instagram. Through blog posts and images, she shares the unlimited possibilities of exploring Las Vegas and the great state of Nevada as a complete and total teetotaler.

From outdoor adventures to magic shows and art exhibits to nature trails, there truly is something for everyone. And I'm so grateful to Kim at Sober in Vegas for sharing that part of her community.

Today, she shares some tips on how to enjoy your travels, road trips and more while pursuing a sober lifestyle.

Sober in Vegas.png

All responses below provided by Kim at Sober in Vegas. THANK YOU, KIM for your expert advice!

TIP 1: PLAN AHEAD. In a place like Las Vegas where alcohol is everywhere, even the strong can feel weak. By knowing ahead of time where you're going to dine or explore (and what alcohol-free options they have) you've preemptively cut out so much anxiety and temptation.

Also don't be afraid to call a restaurant ahead of time and ask what their alcohol-free options are--especially the higher end places. Vegas is a town dedicated to customer satisfaction and often times they are eager to accommodate.

TIP 2: BE AN EARLY BIRD. My tip for you if you're staying on The Strip is to go to bed early and get up early. Late nights in casinos can be rough, and if you have any social anxiety, it can be hard.

"Early in the mornings the casinos tend to be much less populated, and if you're walking outdoors on The Strip it's even more sparsely populated," says Kim. "Seven in the morning is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors on The Strip hangover free!"

TIP 3: CREATE A COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT. Don't forget to pack items outside of normal clothes/toiletries to ensure comfort while traveling. Some tips Kim recommends are: Earplugs and an eye mask (for better sleep), headphones (to enjoy podcasts or audiobooks!), essential oils (to relax or create a spa-like environment), snacks and extra towels or a favorite blanket.

Stay tuned for more insight from Sober in Vegas. Tomorrow, Kim addresses how to explore your own home town sober AND the best parts she's experienced about living a sober lifestyle. xoxo Kim

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

  1. WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Read Kim's blog post that provides more tips for traveling sober!

  2. Follow Sober in Vegas on Instagram

  3. Say your Daily Mantra "I choose adventure. I choose sobriety." whenever you have a chance.

  4. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 11 of Sober October.

  5. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.