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A little goes a long way

Updated: Feb 11

Light box sign on a pavement, reading 'Less is More'

It’s Monday morning. A time abhorred by many. For years now, Monday mornings have meant very little to me in terms of work apprehension. Before launching Low No Drinker I had worked in hospitality for 24 years, so apart from the tedium of stock-taking, Mondays were often no different to any other day of the week and in fact often meant an easier day. Now that I am my own boss and work whenever I want, Mondays again, hold no sway over my moods.

But this Monday is a bit different. Not because I have lots of meetings or vast amounts of paperwork. No, it’s because yesterday I went out for the day with three of the people I love spending time with the most and had a great day at Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park in Chiswick, west London. I danced a bit, I laughed a lot, I ate way too much… and it seems I drank a little too much as well. But not in the way you’re probably thinking.

At no point yesterday did I order or imbibe a full alcoholic beverage. I went out on my usual scout of these types of events to find whatever low/no stands may have been graced with a slither of land on which to hawk their wares. And, while there was, as usual, not nearly enough on offer, a few of the stalwart traders were there like CleanCo non-alcoholic spirits, as well as some of the newer kids on the block like Wednesday’s Domaine AF wines (if you’re looking for an AF red that hits the spot I can highly recommend their Sanguine) and Mahala Botanical alcohol-free spirits (try the Amber* in an AF Moscow Mule!). I merrily met and mingled with these great people, drank their concoctions and enjoyed my sunny day.

So how did I drink a little too much? Well as part of my job, I feel it’s important for me to keep abreast of all things ‘adult-beverage’ related and that includes full-strength alcoholic drinks. My husband and our friends who we were out with for the day, all still drink alcohol (although I can now almost predict when the claims of ‘Denise I’m going on a detox starting next week’ will begin, bless them) and when they have something new, or interesting I’m happy to taste it and get to understand what’s going on in the drinks industry as a whole – it is after all where I have spent the majority of my adult life. I never have more than a sip or two and usually, I find the taste almost instantly repellent - sorry not sorry alcohol, but I just don’t like you like that anymore.

I could probably count on one hand the number of alcoholic tasters I had yesterday (pauses to count out loud on fingers) …four. That’s it. Four small sips of full-strength alcoholic drinks over a five-hour period (a rum, a wine, a kümmel and a salted caramel espresso martini) and it is no exaggeration to say that this morning I can 100% feel the effects of them all.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am nowhere near the hangovers of old where I would have no choice but to make my peace with the bathroom floor for the day as it was safest to be no more than an arm’s length from the toilet, but I am also exceedingly grateful that the kids are with their Grandmother this morning and that I have no greater demand on my energy than writing these few lines.

I feel slow and foggy. I am definitely dehydrated and my motivation levels are considerably lower than normal. Even tired and stressed from the sheer volume of work it takes to produce the Low No Drinker Magazine, Blog and Podcast I know I can operate at 90% efficiency at all times (100% might just kill me) but this morning, I’m at 60% at best. Imagine if I’d actually had a full glass of wine, or a full serving of rum, or I’d drunk even one entire salted caramel espresso martini (and that did taste amazing!)

Because I don’t drink anymore, it seems that even these few samples, which would equate to no more alcohol than a quarter of a glass of wine in old money, have had a tangible effect on my body and I don’t like it.

What shocks me most however is that I used to feel like this all the time and I never realised! I didn’t know that I was always running at only 60% of my capacity at best. Reaching only 60% of my potential, at best. And those were just the days when I’d had only one or two drinks, and I very rarely only had one or two drinks.

They say that less is more. And I think that in this instance ‘they’ are totally right!


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