As a wine writer, sometimes it’s good to take a break, regroup, refocus, and start again. I thought perhaps my liver might need a break from all the holiday and New Year celebrations, so my husband, the future doctor, came up with the brilliant idea of abstaining from alcohol for a month. My brother and his girlfriend also joined in, and soon it became this month of cleansing, not just from alcohol but also from gluten, solid food, sugar, coffee, and dairy products.
If you are like most people, one thing at a time might be the only way to do this, but then there are those superhumans who manage to abstain for everything all at once, such as taking on the Paleo diet.
I honestly tried. I bought a book called Primal Blueprint, which seemed really interesting and offers a 21-day plan for following the Paleo Diet. Honestly, I picked it up, put it down, and carried it around, and it is still in the same bag I got it from. I have a hard time imagining giving up my coffee, sugar, and milk that I drink every single morning. I don’t see why I should give up my oatmeal when I know it is heart-healthy. Perhaps I could eat less bread, but I love bread.
So this brings to me to the only thing I have been trying to do, and amazingly, I did succeed at it—at taking a break from alcohol. Yes, all forms: wine, beer, cider, and cocktails. Cocktails aren’t something I’ve touched since I became 21, but Oregon is known for its amazing breweries, cider houses, and wineries. It’s a very hard thing to avoid when on every single corner of Portland there are amazing craft brew houses and urban wineries—not to mention the fact that I work at a winery.
The first few days were excruciating, unimaginable in terms of breaking a habit formed over time. I love coming home after work to enjoy a glass of wine that transports me to a place in my memories or a wine that sings with food. However, by day three, it was ok. I replaced alcoholic drinks with sparkling water, and with that I’ve been relatively fine ever since….that is, until I was a part of a beautiful VIP tour and was re-tasting our wines, and I realized just how tasty they were! Nevertheless, I managed to spit the wine out, as a professional always does. Some were hard to spit, but it was, and is, possible—and for me, taking this break has been great on my budget, waistline, and liver.
I am, however, looking forward to opening that first new bottle of wine. Now I just have to decide which one it will be! From Washington reds to Chiantis from Italy, to Spanish Tempranillos, and of course, Oregon Pinots, I’m not sure where to start.
I think I’d like to do a tour of the world through wines. Stay tuned for this fun future series!
I don’t find the paleo diet necessarily healthful although it isn’t a bad way to lose weight because it makes you ketotic and therefore not particularly hungry. Proponents argue that we have evolved to eat this way because our cave men ancestors ate this way. However, they only lived about 30 years max, so cardiovascular disease wouldn’t have been a concern (that is if they were concerned about anything other than not getting eaten, killed by a neighboring tribe, or where they might find the next mea). Besides, other studies have demonstrated that whole grains are a good thing—heart healthy and colon healthy. And welcome back to the world of wine!
Thank you Clark for your comment. I do agree that it can help people lose weight and have friends and family that are on the Paleo diet for health reasons and they love it. I personally don’t have a gluten or lactose issue, which made it utterly difficult for me to follow. I’m personally not trying to lose weight, just maintain and live a healthy and happy life. Which explains why I couldn’t follow it! What is life without a glass of wine, great food, and friends to enjoy it with? Cheers to you!