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Anyone who knows me knows I like a drink…and of course I am not talking H20, I’m talking alcohol.

I started drinking regularly when I went to Uni, having only really drunk a few times in my teens, one time at my 16th birthday party resulting in puking over my neighbours fence and snogging the local goth…can’t remember which came first.

But I am not going to lie alcohol has played a significant role in my life. Many of my favourite memories and experiences in life have involved drinking. I mean its like the meme goes,

Alcohol – Because no good story ever started with…I had a salad

The height of my drinking was probably in my late twenties early thirties, when I was enjoying having disposable income, going on girls holidays and enjoying the nightclub scene of the time. I did drink to excess, because everyone around me did. I was your typical binge drinker.

I came to running in the middle of this phase, and in many ways having a race to train for curtailed my antics a little…but then I would simply plan my drinking around my running, including the time me and 2 friends did a local 10K and then spent the rest of the day drinking, ending up in a nightclub at 3am with our medals round our neck…true story (you can read about it here)

But as I have got older and of course becoming a parent my drinking habits have changed. I have never been an at home drinker, so you won’t find bottles of wine or a drinks cabinet in my home…unless its Xmas I guess. And these days I don’t have the social life that I did back then. But I do still have binge tendencies.

When I am away travelling for work, or have a weekend to myself and a festival or party to go to I do indulge….and then I pay for it the next day, or the next few days…and my training most definitely suffers.

Last year in The Clubhouse (my online running club) there had been a lot of conversations about drinking, so I brought in Laura Willoughby (MBE no less) co founder of Club Soda, a social startup helping people change their drinking. She shared with us via a series of Facebook Lives her story about giving up alcohol completely and some tips and tricks for mindful drinking. It was brilliant, and most definitely planted a seed in my head around my own drinking habits.

At the weekend I went along to the first ever Mindful Drinking Festival in Bermondsey Square. I had 4 year old Rose with me so we didn’t stay all day, but I had a great time walking around all of the stalls tasting various non or low alcoholic alternatives to booze.

I promised some of the stallholders I would give a shout out to their brands, so I have decided to give you my top 5 drinks

1. Heineken 0.0 – GREAT TASTE. ALL NATURAL. ZERO ALCOHOL…and it was. I loved that this one felt like I was drinking even when I wasn’t. If they had served this at the wedding I was at the night before I would definitely have drunk it as I was designated driver and fizzy water lost its appeal in the first hour.

2. Square Root London – This was seriously tasty. Handmade in London by a small company who won BBC Food and Farming Awards 2015 Best Drinks Producer. I sat drinking this in the sun at a nearby Latin American music festival near City Hall.

3.The Temperance Company Tee Total Gin and Tonic – This was superb. I enjoyed it at 9pm after putting Rose to bed. Tasted just like the real thing and of course no disturbed sleep or sore head in the morning. If this was stocked in places I frequented I would buy this, no doubt

4. Pimento Non Alcoholic Ginger Beer – Now this has some serious kick. I wouldn’t want to drink too many, but a great change from water on a night out.

5. Prir Health Drink – Now I was a little skeptical of this at first, but after talking to the founder and tasting ALL of the flavours I became a convert. As well as tasting great these drinks include Vitamin B2, Riboflavin Zinc, Vitamin B Niacin, Biotin, Selenium.

I was pretty impressed with all of the drinks on offer at the festival and it made me think if there was more choice in bars, clubs and restaurants, maybe I would drink less.

I am most definitely moving more towards the moderate drinking movement, with the view to giving up totally at some point. We live in a world where there is so much pressure and temptation to drink, and having options for non alcoholic drinks is a massive step forward with this.

Some things I have been experimenting with recently include

  • Being designated driver, an oldie but a goodie
  • Setting a limit for how many drinks i.e. 2 glasses of wine over a dinner
  • Giving myself a time to stop drinking, did this at a festival recently…switched to soft drinks at 4pm
  • Having days off when at a conference, so perhaps only drinking at the Gala night (this works on holidays too)
  • Having a Dry 30 days…I always do this in January, but may do this in October too

Drinking alcohol absolutely has an impact on my health and happiness, and on my training and is something I am consciously working on with the support of organisations like ClubSoda…check out their FREE resources and courses on their website.

The image used in this post is from Real Kombucha…I am a massive Kombucha fan, but sadly missed out on a tasting of this one at the festival….gutted!!!

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