NA Popup Bar With Joshua Gandee
We hope you’ll join us for our NA pop-up bar with Joshua Gandee on May 20th from 12-4, with support from Parch. Gandee is the host of the “no proof” podcast, and principal at Historic Revelry. He's an incredibly empathetic and funny guy who has helped an untold number of people learn to eliminate or reduce their alcohol consumption in a way that is so much about what you’ll be gaining that it doesn’t really feel like a sacrifice.
A couple of years ago I reassessed my own relationship with alcohol and he’s been a great resource for me personally. I don’t want to proselytize but it's hard for me to catalog just how many life improvements have stemmed from that single decision.
I know I am not alone in this but Covid lockdown (among other things) was a hell of a mirror into my own health choices. I had taken months off of alcohol here and there which I think, subconscious or not, were always a bit of a “see I don’t have a problem with this or I wouldn’t be able to so easily abstain for a month.” But those were never accompanied with any kind of shift in mindset. They were, for me, akin to a short term diet or exercise regime with no real expectation of change after.
While already in the midst of this journey of self discovery I lost someone close to me to alcoholism. Following this I decided to give up alcohol for the remainder of that year, a little over 9 months, with a clear understanding that if and how it was reintroduced it would mean something different to me moving forward.
I was honestly shocked at how many ways my life improved. My sleep improved, my anxiety lessened, and my body composition changed because I wasn’t consuming so much junk at night and because I started feeling so good in the mornings that it was easy to make exercise a part of each day. I actually became one of those insufferable morning people who wakes up before 6 without an alarm clock. I lost my afternoon energy crash, which means I am able to do more with my kids after work / school and I could trace all sorts of benefits to both me and them from that. I could, and perhaps will at some point, go on in a longer forum.
When January came around I did reintroduce alcohol which brought about a host of additional realizations. It was clear how sluggish and foggy I was the next day, even after just a couple of drinks, even after thinking I slept great. As I’d grown more health conscious by that time and was tracking more of my health data I could feel those things subjectively and see them objectively in things like my HRV, resting heart rate and sleep scores.
For me, the prolonged abstinence really broke the spell that had me automatically connecting having a drink with every outing or the majority of evenings. The reintroduction made the trade offs clear in a way that lets me make a more informed, less culturally derived, decision; one that I typically make around once a month. I know that not everyone will be able to or want to move forward in that way. I don’t mean to judge anyone’s choices, only to say that for me this has been an enormously positive change in my life.
I think the discussion about just greatly reducing alcohol consumption is lacking. For me that feels like the right decision for this point in my life. I could easily see myself cutting it out altogether in the future.
Thankfully there are so many great NA options at bars or premixed now, which makes it easier to reward that novelty seeking part of your brain. There are also loads of options with things that are actually good for you and give subtle mood lifts like adaptogens and pro-biotics, or things that at least seem to be less bad for you like CBD and Kava. Many of which we are now offering in the shop.
Whether you're sober, sober-curious, or just want to enjoy some great tasting drinks that happen to not contain alcohol, we hope you’ll join us Saturday May 20th from 12-4!