Author Topic: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?  (Read 7184 times)

lifejoy

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Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« on: July 29, 2014, 06:38:52 PM »
Caffeine is a big one, and largely socially sanctioned. Alcohol, like maybe a glass of red wine every other day, is also often considered appropriate.

Mr. Money Mustache is against addictions.

There is a question in here somewhere, but I can't quite get there. Gimme your thoughts! Is it right? Is it wrong? A crutch? A beautiful invention? Caffeine is ok, but alcohol is not? Everything in moderation? Spill! :)


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« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 09:27:33 PM by libraryjoy »

MoneyCat

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhances?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 06:46:55 PM »
Everything in moderation.  Those are the only two drugs I do.  People with addictive personalities have trouble with them, but they aren't a problem if you are strong-willed.  I have coffee every morning and a beer most evenings.  The most alcohol I will drink, though, is two drinks at a time (usually when I am watching soccer.  One drink for each half of the game.)

lifejoy

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhances?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 07:33:06 PM »

Everything in moderation.  Those are the only two drugs I do.  People with addictive personalities have trouble with them, but they aren't a problem if you are strong-willed.  I have coffee every morning and a beer most evenings.  The most alcohol I will drink, though, is two drinks at a time (usually when I am watching soccer.  One drink for each half of the game.)

What happens when you try to go without?

Sometimes it bothers me how great a cup of earl grey or a glass of wine makes me feel. I try hard to not make it a habit, but part of me is like, whatever! Do what makes you feel good!


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DecD

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhances?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 07:47:02 PM »
I drink hot tea for breakfast every morning and I enjoy the ritual so much, I have no desire or real reason to stop.  I'm definitely accustomed to the caffeine in the mornings, but I don't feel it negatively impacts my health.

I stopped for the first trimester with my first pregnancy.  I switched to decaf, which simply isn't as tasty.  I also found that a good cup of the real stuff helped my mornings be more productive at work.

As for alcohol, I drink moderately.  I enjoy a glass of wine or a good beer with dinner or with friends.  I never drink to excess cause I hate hangovers and I hate feeling like I've been acting silly.  There's no penalty or consequence of stopping, except that I don't get to enjoy it.  I stopped while pregnant of course, and I've cut back (say, to one drink a week) when watching my waistline.  It's not a problem.

So- both in moderation for me.  I get a lot of enjoyment out of a good hot cup of tea or a frosty craft beer.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 07:48:45 PM by DecD »

MoneyCat

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhances?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 08:48:42 PM »

Everything in moderation.  Those are the only two drugs I do.  People with addictive personalities have trouble with them, but they aren't a problem if you are strong-willed.  I have coffee every morning and a beer most evenings.  The most alcohol I will drink, though, is two drinks at a time (usually when I am watching soccer.  One drink for each half of the game.)

What happens when you try to go without?

Sometimes it bothers me how great a cup of earl grey or a glass of wine makes me feel. I try hard to not make it a habit, but part of me is like, whatever! Do what makes you feel good!


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I used to smoke cigarettes when I was younger, but one day I realized that it wasn't fun anymore.  It had become a dependency.  So, I spent two weeks suffering through withdrawal from it when I quit cold turkey, dealt with the physical and psychological effects of it for months afterward, but ultimately kicked the habit.  The reason I quit is because I didn't want to be dependent on some substance to be able to live my life normally.  Just as Mustachians want to be free from the slavery of selling our labor to survive, we want to be free from anything else that prevents us from living free.

If you think you may be starting to develop a dependency on caffeine and alcohol, then now is the time to quit before it starts to interfere with your life. 

Cecil

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 11:58:28 PM »
I drink loads of coffee - 3-4 cups a day, less on the weekends.

I also usually have a few drinks with friends 3-4 nights a week. Homemade wine makes this pretty frugal. :)

I also partake in other substances on a somewhat regular basis. I'm very intrigued by altered states of consciousness and like exploring them responsibly.

My philosophy is basically - they are fun and relatively harmless so why not? Live life to the fullest and all that.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 09:49:29 AM by Cecil »

gooki

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2014, 01:46:24 AM »
The trick is detecting when it goes from an enjoyable experience to a dependant experience. And then having the mental strength to deal with it (large reduction or going cold turkey).

LibrarIan

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2014, 06:31:05 AM »
I stopped drinking anything with caffeine in it around 2008 or so. This eliminates pretty much all soda, fatty chocolate drinks, coffee and tea. While that may sound really scary to some people, it's actually pretty awesome. I drink water almost exclusively, so my health has improved.

I quit caffeine cold turkey, so that first week or two was hell on Earth. I craved it but somehow I managed to stay away from until the cravings subsided. Now I have more energy than before I stopped and I never really feel tired.

Alcohol is a little different. I still drink beer from time to time, but very much in moderation. Most beers have no caffeine either.

EDIT: Forgot to say that this method is very MMM-friendly!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 06:32:40 AM by LibrarIan »

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2014, 08:02:38 AM »
I drink about 4 cups of coffee a day. I don't often drink soda, so it's usually about the only caffeine I get in the day. I very much enjoy the coffee, but I don't feel any differently without it. I often forget to drink my morning cup until mid-morning. I also drink alcohol a couple times a month on average, but rarely enough to affect my mood. I usually stop at one or two drinks, occasionally three. I used to over-indulge (in college), but I don't enjoy that feeling at all any more and try to avoid it. But even when I was drinking heavily on the weekends, I never felt any differently when I went without during the week. I just don't think I'm particularly pre-disposed to dependencies.

matchewed

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2014, 08:16:11 AM »
Two cups of coffee a day and every day or two a beer or two. I've quit addictions before, smoking, I'm not too worried about my coffee and beer. I don't sweat the small stuff on that one. As long as you consume a moderate amount I wouldn't get all worked up about it.

Philociraptor

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2014, 08:26:49 AM »
Caffeine is 12 ounces of coffee from home coffee pot each morning, plus free green tea at work a few times a week. Alcohol mostly on weekends only, wife and I will split a 6-pack, bottle of wine, or something from our liquor collection (which is mostly $20 handles).

lifejoy

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2014, 09:07:32 AM »

I stopped drinking anything with caffeine in it around 2008 or so. This eliminates pretty much all soda, fatty chocolate drinks, coffee and tea. While that may sound really scary to some people, it's actually pretty awesome. I drink water almost exclusively, so my health has improved.

I quit caffeine cold turkey, so that first week or two was hell on Earth. I craved it but somehow I managed to stay away from until the cravings subsided. Now I have more energy than before I stopped and I never really feel tired.

Alcohol is a little different. I still drink beer from time to time, but very much in moderation. Most beers have no caffeine either.

EDIT: Forgot to say that this method is very MMM-friendly!

Do you avoid eating chocolate, as well?

May I ask what instigated this change?


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LibrarIan

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2014, 09:19:12 AM »
I do avoid chocolate (although chocolate has far less caffeine in it in most cases than a soda). I mostly avoid all candy. It can be hard because my father owns a candy store though. I stopped consuming caffeine as part of a science experiment in college and it actually felt pretty awesome so I kept at it.

BlueMR2

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2014, 10:10:06 AM »
I only drink alcoholic drinks for the flavor.  There are particular drinks that taste really good, so on rare occasion I will have one.

Coffee (the highly caffeinated stuff) is an evil, evil thing in large quantities.  It sneaks up on you and makes you dependent if you're not careful since it's really not regarded as the drug that it is.  It also makes it think that you're better because you're drinking it, when in reality it causes one to produce lower quality work. 

A little caffeine here and there is like a little alcohol here and there, not a thing wrong with it.  It's the addiction and usage as a mood altering drug that's the bad part.

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhances?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2014, 10:21:20 AM »

Everything in moderation.  Those are the only two drugs I do.  People with addictive personalities have trouble with them, but they aren't a problem if you are strong-willed.  I have coffee every morning and a beer most evenings.  The most alcohol I will drink, though, is two drinks at a time (usually when I am watching soccer.  One drink for each half of the game.)

What happens when you try to go without?

Sometimes it bothers me how great a cup of earl grey or a glass of wine makes me feel. I try hard to not make it a habit, but part of me is like, whatever! Do what makes you feel good!


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I look at it like this... the REASON just one cup makes you feel so great is BECAUSE you don't use it like crazy and haven't built up a tolerance! my tea drinking has been insane the last month, mostly because we got a puppy and my lack of sleep has also been insane. but I can't wait to go back to normal.

the (super unhealthy) example that I always think of... back in college when I used to smoke hookah somewhat regularly (1-2x/month), I got the most delicious buzz from just a few pulls on the hookah (I'm not otherwise a tobacco user), whereas my roommate who WAS a regular cigarette smoker didn't get a buzz at all. it's the same way with anything, when I'm in a normal relatively-low caffeine mode, one cup makes me feel great. two beers make me feel great now, whereas in college when I drank way too much they probably wouldn't have had the same effect :)

lifejoy

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2014, 10:33:38 AM »

I do avoid chocolate (although chocolate has far less caffeine in it in most cases than a soda). I mostly avoid all candy. It can be hard because my father owns a candy store though. I stopped consuming caffeine as part of a science experiment in college and it actually felt pretty awesome so I kept at it.

YOUR FATHER OWNS A CANDY STORE? If I were in your shoes, that would be the end of me. Lol


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lifejoy

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2014, 10:35:12 AM »


Everything in moderation.  Those are the only two drugs I do.  People with addictive personalities have trouble with them, but they aren't a problem if you are strong-willed.  I have coffee every morning and a beer most evenings.  The most alcohol I will drink, though, is two drinks at a time (usually when I am watching soccer.  One drink for each half of the game.)

What happens when you try to go without?

Sometimes it bothers me how great a cup of earl grey or a glass of wine makes me feel. I try hard to not make it a habit, but part of me is like, whatever! Do what makes you feel good!


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I look at it like this... the REASON just one cup makes you feel so great is BECAUSE you don't use it like crazy and haven't built up a tolerance! my tea drinking has been insane the last month, mostly because we got a puppy and my lack of sleep has also been insane. but I can't wait to go back to normal.

the (super unhealthy) example that I always think of... back in college when I used to smoke hookah somewhat regularly (1-2x/month), I got the most delicious buzz from just a few pulls on the hookah (I'm not otherwise a tobacco user), whereas my roommate who WAS a regular cigarette smoker didn't get a buzz at all. it's the same way with anything, when I'm in a normal relatively-low caffeine mode, one cup makes me feel great. two beers make me feel great now, whereas in college when I drank way too much they probably wouldn't have had the same effect :)

+1

I definitely don't wan to lose the effect that my sporadic caffeine usage gives me


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mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2014, 10:55:45 AM »
I also thoroughly enjoy the way a cup of coffee or a glass of wine makes me feel.  I went without both for six months and the first taste was amazing.  Now I try not to do it everyday because it builds tolerance and makes me need more.  I don't think I will ever give them up because I enjoy it.  Coffee makes Monday mornings better and wine helps me unwind on especially rough days or celebrate special occasions.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2014, 12:12:02 PM »

I do avoid chocolate (although chocolate has far less caffeine in it in most cases than a soda). I mostly avoid all candy. It can be hard because my father owns a candy store though. I stopped consuming caffeine as part of a science experiment in college and it actually felt pretty awesome so I kept at it.

YOUR FATHER OWNS A CANDY STORE? If I were in your shoes, that would be the end of me. Lol


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OMG I would have type 2 diabetes and none of my real teeth left for sure.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2014, 03:04:20 PM »
Gave up caffeine-never seemed to deliver as promised.  Even small amounts caused nervousnous and then a crash.  Alcohol, on the other hand, is the ticket!  Nothing like a few cold ones after a hard day's work or when hanging out with friends.  Days off are too precious and busy to spend with a hangover, so got to remember when to quit.  I try not to buy any during the week to keep my waistline/wallet in good shape, plus I think even 2-3 drinks affect my sleep in a bad way.  I never feel like I "need" a drink and don't like to drink when I'm in a bad mood.  But good moods are certainly enhanced!   
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 03:05:55 PM by So Close »

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2014, 04:19:36 PM »
I had largely given up caffeine after university, where I was drinking a pot and a half a day.  Kicking the habit was pretty miserable.  Miserable enough that I avoided it like the plague for several years.  I have recently fallen off the waggon though, and now will sometimes have an espresso before a long bike ride or jog . . . maybe one or two a week these days.  I notice that I go faster and further without feeling tired like this.  When I get home, I am significantly more focused on tasks for a few hours.  It makes a big difference when improvising solos over jazz progressions for some reason.

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2014, 02:10:17 AM »
I drink coffee, tea, red wine, beer and spirits and they sure do enhance my mood. If they didn't, I wouldn't.

If I hadn't married my husband I'd probably still smoke too, I enjoyed it greatly.

I could give them all up, just like I gave up smoking. Probably wouldn't live much longer, but it'd sure as hell feel like it!

lizzzi

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2014, 05:51:30 AM »
I drink one cup of coffee every day in the morning, and usually used to have a glass of wine in the late afternoon or with supper. I've stopped drinking the wine--unless it's a social event or I'm out somewhere--and have a cup of some kind of black tea instead, around 3:30 or 4 pm. (Currently getting through a box of Darjeeling.)  It's relaxing but refreshing at the same time--I like it better than the wine for how it makes me feel. I think these two beverages every day enhance my enjoyment of life--I don't see it as mood-altering or anything like that. Simple pleasures--harmless.

viper155

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2014, 06:46:11 PM »
I've been smoking weed every day for the last 30 years and I don't find it habit forming at all.

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2014, 01:27:26 PM »
Love 'em both...a perfect day is coffee from 0530 until 5pm, then happy hour starts. :)


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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2014, 08:55:30 PM »
Been caffeine free for two months and alcohol free for about a month. I feel better than ever.

popsy13

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2014, 02:18:00 AM »
I intake coffee daily in regular intervals. In morning hot coffee, evening cold coffee and before going to sleep again hot coffee.
In morning I intake strong one.

Caoineag

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2014, 06:31:10 AM »
I have been known to go more than 6 months between alcoholic beverages and randomly stop drinking coffee from time to time just because I get tired of the same old thing, so neither is an addiction for me.

For me coffee drinking is more about the ritual than the actual drink which is why its sometimes herbal tea, sometimes caffeinated tea or coffee. Its taking that moment just to enjoy a warm beverage that enhances my mood but I also am not very caffeine sensitive.

Johnez

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2014, 07:45:04 AM »
I drink to enjoyment on both counts, more than I should, but less than what'll kill me. 

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2014, 07:19:47 PM »
I am for sure addicted to my morning cup of tea.  It's quite a bit less caffeine than coffee, but still enough that if I get the stomach flu, I have the horrible gut pain plus the no caffeine headache from not being able to keep my tea down.  So I try to reduce my caffeine as we go into plague season. 

Alcohol I tend to go in spurts.  If we have something good, I will have one a day until it is gone.  Then I won't buy any more for a while. 

popsy13

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2014, 02:03:18 AM »
I take Caffeine in the form of coffee and alcohol in 1 mug of beer.

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2014, 05:17:47 AM »
I've just given up caffeine, alcohol, wheat, sugar and dairy for about a month. So far, I feel like hell.

I don't believe in the whole 'detox' business (bad science imo) but I spent the summer eating burgers and drinking beer, so it seemed like it might be a good idea just to *see* if I felt any better when I gave up all this stuff. Also, much money savings to be made because take-away coffees are a major weakness of mine.  Also, this may sound bonkers but I got seriously addicted to coffee (averaging 2 pots a day of strong french press coffee) and I think it definitely made me quite anxious and grumpy. So I thought it might be good to see what I'm like when I'm not full of caffeine. I find this thread quite interesting because nobody I've spoken to seems to think that caffeine is particularly addictive, but my experience was that it was love at first sight (er... cup) and I've been unable to stop drinking it, ever. Until this experiment, anyway.

So once the intitial week of hell is over (I'm told that's part of 'detoxing') maybe I'll rediscover what it's like to be wide awake without stimulants. Here's hoping it's worth it!

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2014, 06:53:48 AM »
I was watching a special on "60 minutes" or "20/20" about a study of people that had lived past 90. They found that drinking coffee and also a moderate amount of alcohol (1 to 2 drinks/day) was a predictor for longevity. Say no more!!!

acroy

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #33 on: October 17, 2014, 07:16:56 AM »
Happiness is
German engineering
French food
Italian coffee
Irish whiskey
Belgian chocolate

All in moderation!


rubybeth

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2014, 07:33:05 AM »
I have one cup of coffee every day, occasionally two on weekends or if I slept badly the night before. I think I like the warmth, the ritual, and the taste, and of course, the caffeine in the morning is nice. I have gone through periods where I have a beer a few times a week, or a glass of wine. I'm not a big drinker, and don't drink to get drunk or even buzzed. Glass of wine with dinner (or while cooking dinner) is more my speed. I think recognizing when it goes from something pleasant to something you 'need' is the point at which you should reassess. I'm Catholic and gave up alcohol for Lent a couple times. It was kind of a double-edged sword. NOT being able to have it made me think about it more frequently, which was good for mindfulness practice, but of course, after I could have it again and I had a couple glasses on Easter, I didn't want it much at all and didn't think about it. You could try giving up something for 30 days (call it a cleanse or something) and see how it goes.

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Re: Caffeine and alcohol as mood enhancers?
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2014, 03:59:55 PM »
I'm Catholic and gave up alcohol for Lent a couple times. It was kind of a double-edged sword. NOT being able to have it made me think about it more frequently, which was good for mindfulness practice, but of course, after I could have it again and I had a couple glasses on Easter, I didn't want it much at all and didn't think about it. You could try giving up something for 30 days (call it a cleanse or something) and see how it goes.

This. Even though I no longer believe in a god (ex-Catholic), I still practice abstinence from certain treats / behaviors each lent.