Go Back  SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information > New to Addiction and Recovery? > Newcomers to Recovery
Reload this Page >

New person here with question about alternatives for dinnertime drinking



Notices

New person here with question about alternatives for dinnertime drinking

Old 04-19-2010, 12:29 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
April 18, 2010
Thread Starter
 
AmericanGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,117
Question New person here with question about alternatives for dinnertime drinking

Hi!

I'm new to this message board -- signed up yesterday after reading many posts and vowing to quit permanently this time. (This is day two.) I feel shy about posting, but I figured I should get in here and bite the bullet, because I suspect my previous attempts at maintaining sobriety have failed, in part, due to lack of a support net (because I did not seek one). Here's my situation, generally: I have been drinking mostly daily, mostly heavily, for about nine years (in my late 20s now). Alcohol has definitely harmed my life and I've made many bad decisions due to abusing it. I come from a family of hard drinkers/alcoholics. In the past I've quit for weeks at a time, but always made a decision (I think it's a pesky corner of my id masquerading as something rational) to try to drink moderately, which then fails b/c everything creeps back up again to the point where I'm averaging 5 drinks a night on the nights I'm NOT going out to the bars (1-2 nights a week). I should also point out that many times I've wanted to quit temporarily, but only seldom considered permanent abstinence (This time and maybe once or twice before.) As for outside support, I'm seeing a therapist and also considering options for AA or other groups. My reservation w/AA is that I have issues with authority, religion, and being anonymous (I'm in academia and would be uncomfortable seeing students or colleagues in a group situation in my small town). I'm not ready to rule it out, though.

Anyway, that's a lot of info that really isn't relevant to my question at hand, which is mostly practical. In addition to trying to figure out the emotional cues that lead to my drinking and relapse from sobriety spells (a long list!) I have noticed there are also situations that need adjustment. For example, I love food. I cook often, not because I particularly like cooking, but because I don't have much money (spent it all on booze) and because there are few decent restaurants where I live. Thus there are some meals I make that I automatically associate alcohol with. Some of these recipes call for wine, and after cooking I'd drink the rest of the bottle. Or there are more classic things like steak and red wine that I just associate. In the past, the trigger for relapse has sometimes been that I feel like a meal isn't "nice" without the proper drink along with it. Does anyone relate to this? It seems small but I want to take care of everything I can. What do you drink instead? Seltzer water strikes me as working for some things, but I just can't imagine spending an hour preparing a fancy meal and drinking tap water. Part of what I'm going to do is just make more casual meals/ones that I don't mind drinking iced tea or water with. (Another problem is that I try to avoid caffeine from afternoon onward, due to sleeping problems which exist w/or w/out alcohol.) But does anyone have a coping mechanism for this food problem? Any recommendation for "fancy" pairings, fluid-wise, for special occasions/meals? I'd really like to untangle the process of enjoying a special meal from the accompaniment of alcohol. Having trouble imagining solutions. Is it just as simple as that I'm going to have to miss it?
AmericanGirl is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 04:09 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 204,745
Hi American Girl

Welcome

It was never my deal, but I know many people here who've successfully negotiated the drinking while cooking dinner thing.

It might take a while to feel truly comfortable but it seems anything - seltzer, soda, juice, tea - works as a substitute if you want it to

As for ingredients wise I know CarolD has a post about non alcoholic alternatives in recipes - I'll leave that for her

hope to see you around
D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 04:58 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
NewBeginning010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,279
""fancy" pairings, fluid-wise, for special occasions/meals?"

How about trying out some new non alcoholic recipes and sharing them with us? There are hundreds of non alcoholic drinks you can have & thousands more you can come up with. That should keep you quite busy for a while ;-)

Best Drinks: Non-Alcohol New Year Drinks Recipes - Top 20 Drinks: Non-Alcohol New Year Drinks Recipes

Welcome to SR
NewBeginning010 is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:57 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Anna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
Posts: 58,603
I don't spend as much time cooking now, as I used to, but it's more about general lifestyle than drinking. I began to eat more simple, quick, healthy meals than I used to eat. I prefer to spend the time outside walking, after dinner. Getting outside and walking a lot, has really, really helped me with my recovery. And, I do drink tap water, LOL.
Anna is online now  
Old 04-19-2010, 06:14 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
FinDuVin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 18
Hi there, I cook at home most days and plenty of my recipes call for wine. No Problem. All the alcohol evaporates after just a few minutes of simmering so you won't be injesting alcohol by cooking with it. I suggest getting screw-top wine bottles and just make up your mind to put the top back on the bottle, put it in the cupboard and forget about it until the next time. Call it a test of your sobriety, for be assured that worse temptations await you on the road ahead. I now drink diet tonic water with chunks of lemon out of my garden which is kinda fulfilling since I used to give the lemons away at work. I'm spending a small fortune on tonic but my liver now loves me again!
FinDuVin is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 06:17 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
April 18, 2010
Thread Starter
 
AmericanGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,117
New Beginnings -- thanks for this URL! I'll certainly report back . . . and maybe this is the topic for another thread, but I start wanting sugar after a few days off drinking . . . and some of those will no doubt be tempting.
AmericanGirl is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 06:18 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
April 18, 2010
Thread Starter
 
AmericanGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,117
Anna -- I'm drinking tap water right now The suggestion to keep simplification in mind is appreciated.
AmericanGirl is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 06:23 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
April 18, 2010
Thread Starter
 
AmericanGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,117
Jim -- (and I hope I'm doing these replies right? should I just be doing one reply to everyone?) Wow! I am certainly not able to keep wine in the house at this point, but maybe someday. I had to clear out everything (more than a box of bottles, dragged them over to my boyfriend's apt). BUT, I LOVE the tonic suggestion. thanks!
AmericanGirl is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 06:27 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 204,745
Originally Posted by JimsInPerth View Post
Hi there, I cook at home most days and plenty of my recipes call for wine. No Problem. All the alcohol evaporates after just a few minutes of simmering so you won't be injesting alcohol by cooking with it. I suggest getting screw-top wine bottles and just make up your mind to put the top back on the bottle, put it in the cupboard and forget about it until the next time. Call it a test of your sobriety, for be assured that worse temptations await you on the road ahead. I now drink diet tonic water with chunks of lemon out of my garden which is kinda fulfilling since I used to give the lemons away at work. I'm spending a small fortune on tonic but my liver now loves me again!
I have to disagree Jim.

I'm glad it works for you but I wouldn't recommend anyone here 'test their sobriety' in the way you suggest.

As for alcohol evaporating in cooking...

I don't want to divert this thread too much, but it's an important point to remember that according to bodies like the United States Federal Department of Agriculture it does not all evaporate.

Some, but not ALL of the alcohol evaporates during cooking.Many people believe that because alcohol is sensitive to heat, it is eliminated with cooking. However, not all the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks is removed with heat; it depends on the type and time of cooking.

For instance if you add beer or wine to boiling liquid, then immediately remove it from the heat, 85 per cent of the alcohol content will remain. If you light the alcohol, as in flambé dishes, 75 per cent will remain. Even after simmering the dish for one and a half hours, it will still have 20 per cent of the original alcohol content.

It is only if you simmer the mixture for two or more hours, (as you would with a wine-based beef casserole), that as much as five to 10 per cent of the original alcohol content still remains.
Alcohol Retention During Cooking

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 07:18 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
 
CarolD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Serene In Dixie
Posts: 36,740
Glad you joined with us AG...

From my files....
Cooking and Alcohol

The conventional wisdom accepted by just about everyone in the food world is that all the alcohol you add to a dish evaporates or dissipates during cooking. It’s wrong. In fact, you have to cook something for a good three hours to eradicate virtually all traces of alcohol. And some cooking methods are less effective at removing alcohol than just letting it stand out uncovered overnight.

A study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory calculated the percentage of alcohol remaining in a dish based on various cooking methods. The results are as follows:


Preparation Method Percent of Alcohol Retained

alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85%
alcohol flamed 75%
no heat, stored overnight 70%
baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45%
baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:
15 minutes 40%
30 minutes 35%
1 hour 25%
1.5 hours 20%
2 hours 10%
2.5 hours 5%


And you can try these..
Booze Flavoring In Cooking
This was the September 2003 issue of theAA Grapevine.

Sweet red wine - Carbonated cranberry drink.

Dry red wine - ½ cup carbonated cranberry drink, plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice.

Sweet white wine - White grape juice plus 1 Tbsp. corn syrup.

Brandy - 1/4 cup apple juice plus 1 tsp brandy flavoring, or 1/4 cup apple cider with 1 tbsp peach or apricot syrup.

Rum - 1/4 cup apple juice plus 1 tbsp rum extract, or 1/4 cup pineapple juice or syrup flavored with 1 tbsp almond extract.

Sherry - Orange or pineapple juices with peach sirup.

Amaretto - 1 tbsp light corn syrup plus 1 tbsp almond extract and 1/4 cup clear apple juice.

Kirsch - Syrup or juices from cherries, raspberries, boysenberries, currnats or cider.
CarolD is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 07:35 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
 
CarolD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Serene In Dixie
Posts: 36,740
And...about sugar?

In early sobriety I followed an eating plan for hypoglycemia
with my doctors agreement ....
I found in the book "Under The Influence" by Milam & Ketcham.

That is the book that convinced me to finally quit.
I strongly suggest you order a coppy
Amazon usually has it....and it's sequel "Beyond The Influence"

We do have a sticky post in our Alcoholism Forum with
excerpts...tho not the eating plan. Google has many.

Yes! you too can win over alcohol!
CarolD is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 07:40 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Mark75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,947
My wife and I have been married 25 years and together for almost 35... She never drinks when we go out to dinner, never did... how many times... gee hun, this australian chard really goes well with this chicken with rosemary... try a glass... no, I'll just have water, thanks anyway... WTF!!

I've been sober about 19 months... I drink diet coke, sprite zero and lately, this stuff called simply limeade... wow, it's great... no, it isn't a glass of wine or a microbrew... but when we go out... soft drinks are free refills... and I don't trigger that compulsion to drink the rest of the night, no hangover, and well, things are better all around. And though I don't look around like I did early on, I am NOT the only one at dinner not drinking....

Mark
Mark75 is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 10:53 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
April 18, 2010
Thread Starter
 
AmericanGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,117
Carol -- thank you for this practical, helpful information and the warning about sugar. Dee, thanks also for your kind support. I'll get creative and let y'all know what happens.
AmericanGirl is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 10:55 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
 
CarolD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Serene In Dixie
Posts: 36,740
You are welcome.....

Please keep posting with us....we do have a lot
of information and experiences to share....
CarolD is offline  
Old 04-19-2010, 11:15 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Life is GOOD
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: north myrtle beach south carolina
Posts: 24
i drink a lot of water now days. Im an avid cooker too. With dinner I prefer having a bottle of Pellegrino. And i satisfy those after dinner drinks with some hot tea (there are many to choose from). It all takes a lil getting used to, because for so long we conditioned ourselves to have wine with steak. Its definitely going to take practice. One day at a time. Glad you are here. Im just now 2 months sober, and it gets better.
donweezy is offline  
Old 04-20-2010, 04:28 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 224
The book mentioned above, "Under the Influence" can also be found at Half.com inexpensively, or maybe take it out of the Library?
Houndheart is offline  
Old 04-20-2010, 09:02 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
Omega10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 318
Actually, on the weekend I made bolognese sauce for a lasagne and the original recipe called for red wine. I substituted beef bouillon for the red wine. The flavour did not suffer any because of the lack of wine.
Omega10 is offline  
Old 04-21-2010, 06:10 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
Kmber2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,058
I am doing much like Anna very simple, healthy meals and I drink water, gatorade, juice, or ginger ale. Even if a recipe called for wine I would not use it because I am in recovery and I can not have wine in my house. I just won't risk the temptation and simply put I hate alcohol and I don't want it around me. This of course is my thinking because right now I just went through a relapse thinking I could do things like this. I did fine but when that moment hit when I needed alcohol it was readily available and I will never do that again. I guess my recovery is more important than anything so feed me cheese its and tap water to keep sober.....ok not so much

I substitute chicken broth for white wine always.

All the best!
Kmber2010 is offline  
Old 04-21-2010, 10:42 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
David 1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 423
Man this will always be a tough matter for me because I love to cook and I have been fortunate to have been to some of the best restaurants in the world. I used to feel that a great Cabernet or Pinot was an equal player to high quality food. Fortunately, reality set in and I have been sober for seven years.

I second the pelegrino or a sparkling water with lemon or lime idea, or maybe a flavored ice tea.

To me, these of course are issues related to the underlying disease: Alcoholism.

As you know, it is a very tough road to take without support and I feel that AA meetings are less about authority and religion and more about support and sharing life experiences with fellow alcoholics/addicts. It is kind of a tough call concerning anonymity but AA may be worth a try. It would also help if your boyfriend abstained from alcohol at least for a couple of months. It was hard for me early in my sobriety to see my wife have wine.

Good luck and keep cooking (without the wine!)

Dave
David 1 is offline  
Old 04-22-2010, 01:24 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
April 18, 2010
Thread Starter
 
AmericanGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,117
David -- yes, thanks for relating! Things have been going okay. On day 5 now and I'm just sticking to eating very simple meals (like many of you suggested) so I don't feel the urge to match it with wine or cocktails. Tonight I'm going to make pita bread pizzas . . . makes me feel a bit like a ten year old! But also has a strangely appealing aspect.

My boyfriend is abstaining totally right now, to support me and for his own dietary reasons, which is an ENORMOUS help. Tomorrow is a special occasion and will be my first time at a restaurant (today is day 5) so that will be a challenge, but I'm steadying myself and have sort of decided ahead of time what to order to keep anxiety down.

To Carol and others who recommended "Under the Influence" -- I ordered a copy off of Half.com for $.01!! Unfortunately, the arrival date isn't for a few weeks . . .
AmericanGirl is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:55 PM.