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  • Dr. Joan Irvine

Cali-Sober for Better Health!



May 21, 2024


Three years ago today, I made a significant change in my life: I stopped drinking alcohol and switched to cannabis beverages. This journey has been transformative, and I’ve shared more about it below. One surprising outcome is that nearly 60% of the time, I don’t even consume cannabis when I join friends for Happy Hour or attend parties. However, I do enjoy taking a gummy when I go dancing.


I should mention that once a year, I indulge in half a jigger of tequila at an annual party where tequila is the main event.


One downside of giving up alcohol is that I no longer enjoy being around people who are really drunk. As a result, I often leave bars and parties a bit earlier to avoid this situation. On the bright side, I now offer to be the designated driver for friends, which has its own rewards!


Thank you for celebrating this milestone with me!


February 3, 2024



January 1, 2024


Happy New Year!


Suggestions for CBD Mocktails - https://greenbeelife.com/gbl-tv-episodes/non-alcoholic-manhattan-mocktail-recipe-with-holistik-stir-stik/ . There are now many other CBD/THC beverages available, based on which state you live in.


December 3, 2023


This article spans my journey over the past few years, offering insights into reducing alcohol consumption or eliminating it entirely while still having fun! If you're looking to embrace a healthier relationship with alcohol, particularly during the holiday season, these tips might be beneficial. You can relish the festivities without feeling compelled to embark on another Dry January.


October 2023

Most people know about Dry January, but did you know about Sober October? I didn't. It is now gaining visibility in the media. But whatever your motivation is to have a healthier and more fulfilling life is - just do it! Your older self will thank you!!!!!


May 21, 2023

Two years without drinking alcohol. I've even found that by using my behavioral technique to naturally get a buzz (see below), I don't even use cannabis most of the time.


Learn why you may want to reduce your alcohol consumption. I never knew most of this - https://theweek.com/science/health/1021892/the-truth-about-alcohol#


May 21, 2021


There is research about how cannabis can help people reduce their dependence on opioids.

There is less research about cannabis and alcohol AND we need more. Recently I lost two friends where alcohol was a contributor - as well as probably being single during this COVID time. I am not anti-alcohol or any drug unless it is interfering with one’s life or health.


In this blog, I will address alcohol, its potential negative effect on men's and women’s health and sexuality, and how cannabis can help.


We live in a society where many people drink wine, beer, and other spirits on a consistent basis – it is socially and legally acceptable. I am one of these people and I enjoy the relaxation and the buzz. I am very social and meet with friends for Happy Hours and my social/business events always offer some form of alcohol.


I’ve known for years that alcohol can cause sexual issues for men. “Alcohol is a depressant, and using it heavily can dampen mood, decrease sexual desire, and make it difficult for a man to achieve erections or reach an orgasm while under the influence.” (https://www.everydayhealth.com/.../why-boozing-can-be-bad...). As smoking cigarettes, it decreases blood flow to the penis. Plus, alcohol increases angiotensin, a hormone linked to erectile dysfunction (ED).


Speaking of health: during a recent Senior Assessment, I found out that I have mild peripheral neuropathy in my feet.


I did research on ‘Dr. Google’ to find out what I could do to hopefully mitigate this situation without taking medications and so I can walk when I’m older. I was doing everything else that was recommended: eating healthy (I thought), exercising, don’t have diabetes or other underlying illnesses, etc. The dominant theme in all the research was that “alcohol can have a toxic effect on nerve tissue, putting people … at a higher risk of peripheral neuropathy” (https://www.healthline.com/health/peripheral-neuropathy...). Plus, alcohol can cause inflammation in various parts of our body while the cannabinoids and terpenes in THC/CBD reduce inflammation.


What was I supposed to do? I’m not stopping going to Happy Hours with my friends and other social events. Plus being completely sober when friends are getting a buzz from alcohol is no fun = at least for me.


I found solutions – there are now many cannabis products that you can discreetly consume in public venues.


I add a fast-acting powered cannabis to club soda and spread the packet over several ‘drinks.’ This keeps me at the same buzz level as my friends who are drinking. It has helped me stop drinking alcohol without feeling like I am denying myself (I do not believe in deprivation – LOL!). BTW I still tip my bartenders as if I am buying alcoholic drinks!

With the increase in these products and investments from big beverage companies into the cannabis industry, there are/will be many more.


So, I am sharing this personal experience to help others. My recommendation for your health is to decrease your alcohol consumption and enjoy the health benefits and fun of cannabis.”


To Health, Happiness, and Hot Sex!


Dr. Joan


Cali-Sober


Preparing for Your Cali-Sober

Almost every media source is talking about Dry January and the health benefits of either reducing or eliminating alcohol from your life. But how do you do this?


KISS – Keep It Simple and Successful aka Be Prepared with Tools


Identify Why You Drink Alcohol

• Is it to relax at the end of the day

• Is it to be social with your friends

• Is it to interact with business associates at events

• Is it to deal with life issues

• Is it to deal with boredom

• Is it that you like the ‘buzz’

• Is it just a habit

• All the above


Please note there is no judgment. The premise for all my work is: ‘whatever is safe and consensual for adults’ is OK. But if drinking alcohol has become an issue for you for whatever reason, then do something about it NOW ... and that’s where I can help you.


Since May 21, 2021, I’ve been sharing my journey from alcohol to cannabis and how it was easier than I expected, BUT I was prepared with various tools including cannabis.


KISS


1. Pick a date to transition to cannabis from alcohol and assemble all your ‘tools’


2. Take extra care of yourself

  • Relax by soaking in a bath with CBD/THC bath salts

  • Slather your skin with moisturizing and healing lotions

  • Schedule massages

  • Eat healthier, take supplements

  • Exercise, take a walk


3. Find a substitute drink/mocktail that you like and let your bartender know.

  • If for stress, I add CBD products to my mocktail

  • If I want a little buzz – I use THC products for my Happy Hour. I ‘portion control’ the among my drinks of club soda, cranberry juice, and a lime slice.


4. Now comes the behavioral part. Do this exercise prior to walking into a bar or other social situations where you would normally drink

  • Remember a time/event when you felt REALLY GOOD or makeup one.

  • Close your eyes and imagine a color, a smell, a song, a word that relates to this good feeling – allow these to intensify in your body and mind, and at the height, touch your index finger to your thumb and the natural ‘feel good’ chemicals your body produces will lift your mood. If even just a little - sometimes this is all you need at that moment … and until the THC kicks in - LOL!

  • So anytime you start to feel the need for a drink, imagine your color (etc.), the good feelings, and touch your index finger to your thumb. The natural ‘feel good’ chemicals your body produces will slightly lift your mood and remind you how much better you feel without as much or no alcohol.

  • Then enjoy a mocktail and a healthier life!


BTW if your alcohol consumption has become a MAJOR issue, please consult with your doctor before you make any changes or perhaps join an AA or similar program.


May 21, 2022


Media talks about the benefits of using cannabis to stop opioid and other pain pill addictions, replace sleeping pills, etc. But not enough is discussed about reducing/eliminating alcohol.


It’s been a year since I stopped drinking alcohol – WOW: I did it! Plus it’s the longest I have gone without alcohol since college – AMAZING!


I never thought it would be as easy as it turned out to be, but I replaced alcohol with cannabis beverages which made it easier. As I said in my initial article, I am not into denial of pleasure. Additionally, I had to change my eating habits to let go of that ‘COVID 30.’ Two big challenges, but both were important for my health.


How did I stop drinking alcohol? I replaced it with cannabis and focused on the health benefits of the outcome.


When I am out with my friends or at an event, I order club soda/mineral water with just enough cranberry juice for color (like many people I need to watch my sugar intake since there is Diabetes 2 in my family) and a slice of lime, then add a fast-acting (nano) cannabis powder or concentrated liquid to my ‘drink.’ Or perhaps I have a cup of infused tea. If I am going to friends’ houses, I might bring cans of prepared cannabis beverages.


BUT since I was dropping weight, my requirement was that there were less than 20 calories per serving, max of 8 grams of carbohydrates, limited/no sugar, no artificial sweetener, non-GMO, no gluten, no soy – you get the idea – HEALTHY!


However, just as in drinking alcohol, you need to know your limit. For me, it is usually 10 mg spread over a Happy Hour/evening. I suggest ‘newbies’ start with 1-2 mg of THC.


Since ‘variety is the spice of life’, I am always searching for new products. I must say that in the last year, there has been a major increase in the selection – love it! So anyone should be able to find a beverage that works for them.


Some of my ‘non-cannabis’ friends thought I was crazy and even mocked the idea and my cannabis consumption. But guess what? It’s been a year and they are now quietly asking me what cannabis products I used to accomplish my goal. I love when I can influence by example.


BTW watch out - many bartenders tend to add too much cranberry juice. If I am going to waste that many calories, I’d prefer to indulge in sensuous ice cream – LOL!


Some people will skim over stopping drinking alcohol and ask about how I let go of the weight. My formula for letting go of the COVID 30 was ‘easy’, too – well, maybe not as quite as easy, but do-able. However, it takes some preparation.


1. Determine how much you should weigh for your age and height - http://www.idealweightcalculator.org

2. Determine how many calories you can consume - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-calories-per-day#average-needs. BTW to drop weight I needed to limit my calories to 1000 and carbs to 100 grams. In order to maintain my goal weight, I limit my daily calories to 1400, carbs to 125, and sugars to 25 grams

3. With the above data, I kept track of my food intake and exercise by using https://myfitnesspal.com . It is amazing how many extra calories/carbs/sugar one can consume without realizing it. But I always save 50 calories for edibles for the end of the evening to relax and/or to help with sleep.

4. Plus, I listen to motivational weight-management/sleep audio. Because of my professional background, I incorporate various behavior modification techniques into my programs; even for myself!

5. 30 minutes daily of some form of exercise.


I was recently reminded that some strains/cannabis products will give you the munchies which is why cannabis is good for cancer patients going through chemo, radiation, etc. So if you get the munchies AVOID that product if you are letting go of weight.

If you are looking to reduce your alcohol intake and/or weight, I hope that my story will encourage and guide you through the progress. AND that a year from now, you are celebrating a year free of alcohol and/or weight reduction -- while still enjoying life and partying!


To Health, Happiness, and Hot Sex!


Dr. Joan



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