May 27, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Tips For Sober Living as A Foodie In LA

As we are all aware there are few pleasures greater than a perfectly cooked and yummy meal shared with friends. There is something about biting into a delicious taco or tasting that perfectly made cup of coffee that can really make a day magical. But sometimes we find we cannot appreciate the tasty food all around us because we are struggling to handle our drinking. The good news is that we are not alone in choosing to live a sober life here in LA. Here are some tips to be able to continue to enjoy food and drink even as we maintain our sobriety.

Know Others Are Also Not Drinking

Sometimes it can feel like we are the only ones not drinking alcohol. We may wonder if we can still enjoy ourselves when sober. In truth, many people choose to be sober for a wide range of reasons. Someone might be doing a dry January challenge for their health; someone might be pregnant; someone might simply not enjoy how alcohol tastes or how they feel after drinking. When it comes to not drinking, we do not have to explain our reasons. Most people won’t even bat an eye if we say no thank you to a drink.

So, when we start to feel like we are missing out and won’t be able to hang with our friends we can breathe and remember we are not alone. This is great motivation on days when loneliness and fear of missing out (FOMO) take control of our thoughts. Today there are so many foodie options that even if we skip alcohol, we can find something wonderful to drink. This allows us to enjoy something that tastes amazing and allows us to share the experience with others.

Explore the Wonders of Mocktails

If we were considering a non-alcohol lifestyle in 2023, we are in luck. Thanks to new merchants, restaurants, and pubs, there are plenty of economical options with unique ingredients available. When looking for non-alcoholic treats, we can always choose mocktails (which are like cocktails but without any alcohol.) We might try a traditional Shirley Temple. A Shirley Temple is a yummy non-alcoholic mixed drink traditionally made with ginger ale and a splash of grenadine, garnished with a maraschino cherry. 

On the other hand here in LA we have cool options like Optimist Botanicals which takes the nonalcoholic craft cocktail to new levels. They have three taste profiles inspired by LA which means there is a mocktail for every one of our moods. Or we might try De Soi’s range of nonalcoholic aperitifs that are also gluten-free and vegan, with flavors ranging from bright lemongrass to vanilla oak and rose petals. Adaptogens like maca, tulsi and ashwagandha are infused into the drinks, which have a light carbonation that makes them ideal for sipping while socializing.

Know When to Reach Out for Support

Sometimes while we want to kick our alcohol habit to the curb, we find we are struggling to do so. Sometimes we discover that our alcohol usage is causing us challenges in our work or personal relationships. In such cases it is a wise idea to consider getting professional help. We won’t be able to enjoy all the food options in LA if we are focused on when we will be able to get our next drink. In such cases we might consider a detox near Indio, a city known as the City of Festivals. Indio is a cultural hub in the middle of the desert. It is also close to major cities like Palm Springs and Riverside. 

Detox programs are critical because not every addiction is the same and treating people with a one-size-fits-all plan is only a recipe for failure. Psychiatric evaluations, psychological screens, neuropsychological screens, biopsychosocial assessments or Pharmacogenetic tests are some of the services a rehab can provide. Once we know why we struggle with alcohol, we will be able to find ways to remove alcohol from our lives. Being in community with others who also choose not to drink can be empowering. We can lean on the experiences of others as we learn how to navigate a fun-filled but alcohol-free life.

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