#79 Alcohol Truth Bombs, Reflections and Key Insights

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast


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"A lot of women with fertility issues, who are struggling to conceive, or want to be conceive in the near future, should really cut right down on alcohol consumption. We know that alcohol can have ongoing negative health impacts on our sleep quality, mental health, decision quality, detoxification pathways, and our hormones. I generally recommend to everyone that they cut down or cut alcohol out completely, depending on they're at."

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In Episode 79 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas and Kate Callaghan discuss the health effects from alcohol and the harmful emotional effects of alcohol.

  • Uncovering your relationship with alcohol 
  • Exploring emotional versus physical impact of alcohol
  • Social norm reflections and insights
  • Breaking out of the cycle with practical tips
  • How much is too much?
  • Best and worst types to consume
  • Impact on your health – gut, hormones and sleep
  • Managing/preventing hangovers with natural medicine

Intro 0:00
Hello and welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, with your hosts Natalie K. Douglas, Thyroid Healer, and Kate Callaghan, The Holistic Nutritionist. Nat and Kate are degree-qualified dietitians and nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers, and authors. If you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers, and authentic heart-sharing, then we are your ladies! Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and get ready for our latest tips on living your healthiest life possible.

Natalie K. Douglas 0:35
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. Kate, what’s up?

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas 0:44
I said what’s up? Like, let’s do it.

Kate Callaghan 0:47
I know, I know. I know. But we just had this best conversation. So like. How much do I reshare?

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah. I know. I know. What are. Yeah. Not much and that would been yet. So, if you took any takeaways from the previous conversation.

Kate Callaghan 1:02
What’s up with you?

Natalie K. Douglas 1:07
Good, good deflect. Not too much, either. I, we were well, we’re talking about alcohol today. And I was just saying to you offline that my will have quite an interesting conversation because my experience with it versus yours is actually quite different I would say. I feel like well we’ll wait till the questions come up. But I guess like I was doing before this podcast, I was doing a bit of like, reading and reflecting on alcohol and I feel like there are multiple layers to the conversation around alcohol intake, how much is appropriate? Because I feel like there’s the there’s like the, like physical health side of it. And then I feel like there’s the emotional side of it. And I feel like what gets researched a lot is the physical effects in the body, on the brain when you sleep, etc, but in terms of like the emotional side of it and the way we use alcohol a lot of the time isn’t as heavily spoken about, which I find really fascinating because that’s the part of it that I’m most interested in. And I feel like I’ve been such a lone wolf by life that is insane rattling off.

Kate Callaghan
It is.

Natalie K. Douglas
In my life when it comes to to alcohol. And I think we’ll, we’ll talk about a little bit more but where I thought I, you know, we could start is around the question that comes up and people ask me this all the time, and I still don’t have a one size fits all answer, but it’s around how much alcohol is, you know, too much. And yeah, what like, should how many glasses of alcohol should we be having a day or a week or should we be having. My answer is really unexciting. The answer is that it depends on who you are, why you’re drinking, and the context in which you’re drinking, because I think that there’s certain times in your life and when you’re going through a therapeutic healing or intervention, you know, a really easy example would be if you’re trying to improve your gut health or your sleep, like, if you’re on that track, then my answer is, like, I don’t have any but I guess mine is coming from a very, a background of not been like much of a drinker at all. So it’s easy for me to say that. But then I think if you’re a health like a really relatively healthy person, you don’t have any issues that you’re currently working through. That’s where I feel like research is so bloody mix because you go and read it and there’s different standards for how much a standard drink is across in different countries, and therefore when you read the research, it’s quite mixed. And also they’re not always controlling for different confounding factors. Always they are sometimes, and not always, are they looking at the same types of alcohol. So I find reading the research really confusing but what do you think like when you get asked that question, what’s your answer? Like, do you have an answer that you just standardly give everyone, or does it change?

Kate Callaghan 4:33
I think I’m with you and that it definitely changes depending on the situation. I mean, most people come to me with health concerns, and a lot of them are fertility issues, and struggling to conceive or wanting to be conceive in the near future. So for those people in general, like you should really cut right down because we know that alcohol can have a negative impact on our health, on our detoxification pathways, on our hormones. So for most people that I see, I generally say cut down/cut out, depending on where you’re at. If you’re generally healthy, Susie down the road. I mean, the guidelines say what is it like one standard drink for a woman every night to alcohol-free nights two for men, but as you said, it’s like, every different alcohol is it has different guidelines and different amounts. There’s some evidence around, you know, resveratrol but we can talk about that in a minute in wine, but I think it also depends on why you want to drink.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
And that’s a big learning lesson that I’ve had recently and we can go into that in a little bit. I mean, I have had a long history of drinking a lot. A lot of the times a lot of our call at times a little bit consistently and, and at times binge drinking a lot, like every weekend. And at the moment I’m on 90 days alcohol-free, which is brought up a whole lot of stuff for me, which has been really interesting.

Natalie K. Douglas 6:20
Yeah, I really like that around the question of, well, why are you drinking and I think like, it’s such a cultural thing around our coal in Australia. I don’t know if it’s similar in New Zealand.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
But it’s like, it’s really concerning because when I have younger clients like and when I say younger I mean like, kind of like 19 to 27 or so. A lot of them just can’t, like it’s it’s like almost a huge shock that I would say, you know, we have to cut out alcohol, they’re like but I can’t I’ve got a party, or I’ve got a wedding, or I’ve got this event on and they almost want permission for me to say oh, it’s that oh, okay, you’ve got a wedding that’ll be fine then just that won’t affect things just have have the alcohol, whereas, like, the way I see it is like do we not know and and I’m I don’t say this in a judgmental way, I say this in a curious way. I’m like when did we stop learning to enjoy ourselves without alcohol? Like that’s what I want to know like, why does alcohol need to be involved in order for us to have a good time or celebrate? And I think that you know, I was just at a wedding on the weekend and I didn’t, I didn’t drink and I had the best bloody time and I don’t know whether it’s like alcohol, whether it’s just literally a conditioning thing it is like this is a learned behavior and this is what we do and we celebrate with alcohol like we celebrate with food and that’s just how it is, or whether for some people, it’s, I need this in order to come some kind of social anxiety or I need this in order to feel a little bit more relaxed and my inhibitions lowered so that I can express myself like for example, some people will say, oh, no, like, you won’t get me on the dance floor unless unless I’ve had a few drinks. And I feel like today that saying, I need a layer of my self kind of, I don’t know like lack of self-confidence. I need like a layer of that to dissipate in order for me to feel confident enough to to be seen or for my inhibitions or awareness to be lowered enough so that I am not consciously aware of other people seeing me and that’s like, that’s where my concern comes in because that’s what I’m interested in, like, if you just like alcohol and enjoy the taste of it, and that’s why you’re having it in sensible amounts, then fine but where I feel concerned for both my patients and also just like across the whole is like, well, like how how can we how can we get you to a place where you don’t need the alcohol in order to feel what you want to feel or in order to express yourself in a way that you want to express yourself, or in order to be seen in the way that we should all feel l feel be feel comfortable being seen. And I think that’s where I find it. Like so interesting and and and that is the conversation. I feel like isn’t had enough. I feel like there’s a lot of talk about, oh, but you know, you know, you can’t have it for this reason and I feel like there’s also these very black and white kind of picture of like you don’t have a problem unless you are an alcoholic. And I’m like, well, where’s the line for that these days? Because, you know, some people will have, you know, drink every single night, and then and then binge drink on the weekends but for a lot of people, they just consider that normal because society has made it common. I don’t know what your thoughts are on that but I just find it all very fascinating.

Kate Callaghan 10:26
Yeah, I totally agree. So, I, a couple months ago, I listened to an episode of The Rich Roll Podcast, and he was interviewing. His name is Andy Ramage and he is the founder of One Year, No Beer. And he talks about, yeah, we see those people who are legitimate, full-blown, alcoholics recognized as such by everyone need to go through 12 step program, and then there’s the nondrinkers and then everyone else in the middle, just kind of it’s fine, but he talks about the potential health effects of just consistently drinking in small amounts. And this is well researched as well, alcohol even if you just have one glass that’s going to negatively affect your sleep that night. And we know we’ve spoken about this on the podcast a lot is the effect of sleep and good quality sleep, deep, restful, restorative sleep on our overall health and well being. And when you drink alcohol, even if it’s just one glass, you’re under that constant cloud of the alcohol and you’re not actually going to get into that deep restorative sleep. So that’s something to think about with the when you mentioned the social anxiety. I’ve been thinking about this lately because I’ve seen people posting on social anxiety around. I’ve never used to have social anxiety thinking to myself, I never used to have social anxiety. Why is it come up now for me, and also, I was speaking to Aaron on the weekend. He said, do you think you’ve always have that anxiety? And it was in both of these were kind of interesting things to think about for me right now, because I thought that I didn’t have social anxiety but what I did in all social occasions was drink. So, and I would call it social lubrication like outwardly so, I would tell people I was drinking for social lubrication. So that to me is saying that I always kind of had that social anxiety and lack of confidence and lack of self-esteem in those in those social settings but I just numb to those feelings and kind of gave myself that bubble of confidence with alcohol.

Natalie K. Douglas 12:41
And I don’t think you’re alone in that at all. Like I, I have noticed that my whole life like well, not my whole life, but like my whole kind of since, you know, since even like as young as year like eight or nine when that’s when a lot of my friends started drinking and I really noticed that and I couldn’t quite understand that I guess to the extent that I feel like I have a little bit more insight into it now, but I, you know, I saw a lot of my friends just use it as a way to feel more comfortable we’ve been seeing and I was the one like, you know, I’m not. I mean, I have so many of my own issues, so I’m not perfect, but I would say that I’m someone that is pretty comfortable in their own skin and are naturally relatively confident person. And I’ve never really felt that I needed for example, I’ve never felt that I needed alcohol, to relax in the social setting and have fun or be on the dance floor. But when I was doing that, and I and I, like people would be like, oh my god, how many have you had, like I was that person and I was like, and I’m like no.

Kate Callaghan
No. No, it can’t be tonight.

Natalie K. Douglas 14:01
So like mate, your sister is a tank, and I was like, I’m, I’ve been drinking soda water.

Kate Callaghan 14:10
I higher life.

Natalie K. Douglas
And I was the weird one because, like, heaven forbid, I could relax and dance and have fun and laugh and all that kind of stuff, you know, without having any alcohol in my system, and I always found that so fascinating and it’s so triggering for people as well because the first thing that I the first response I would get when I, you know, would would be like oh, no, I’m okay, I’m not drinking. You’re like, oh, you’re such a party pooper. And I’m like, fuck off I’m in the best, like I’m having fun without that, thank you very much, but I didn’t see it that way in the beginning, and I did feel that pressure. I did feel like almost so I remember at my 21st birthday. I didn’t want to drink but I didn’t want the attention of not drinking because you know, you could definitely not like how could you not drink in your 21st. It’s your 21st like, and so I remember my best friend like I would, I would I held a wine glass the whole night and my best friend every now and again will just come over and sip it for me. So it looked like I was drinking. So I feel like I was, you know, affected to an extent, but I just got so bloody sick of people projecting onto me, like, you know, they’re like, I obviously was triggering them by saying no, and still being able to show up and I think I definitely went through, you know, somewhat of a judgmental phase of that because I was in a very reactive state because I was hurt that I was being like, made to feel like I wasn’t fun because I was making a choice that was true for me. But now as I’ve gotten older now I’m just, I’m completely comfortable and I would never pretend to drink anymore, but I’m I’m still a much more curious and fascinated by, by how many people use it as a tool to feel like they can relax and be themselves a little bit more and I think we all crave that. It’s no wonder that we are addicted to alcohol as a culture because we, I think innately speaking we all want to be seen, we all want to express. We all want to be spontaneous. We all want to be playful, like all of that stuff is in our DNA and I think that we have learned to use alcohol to access that as opposed to use other healthier ways to access that and that’s what I feel sad about, I guess because it means that you’re now telling yourself this story that I am limited to feeling those feelings unless I am, you know unless I have some alcohol in my system. And I feel like it’s almost like with, we continue to tell ourselves a story, that story is continued to be played out because of the environments that we are in. And we’re not given any other tools in order to access it, unless you’ve been shown a different way or unless you are happen to be surrounded by people that are demonstrating that to you. And so you can then, you know, write a different story for yourself.

Kate Callaghan 17:32
Yes, it’s. Now, as I’m saying to you last night, I’ve had some interesting experiences, or revelations around my own alcohol use in the past couple of weeks or month because I’ve had, as I say, had a pretty shitty month. And it’s brought up a lot of emotions for me, like really challenging emotion. I’ve had some really rough days like, this is probably the first day in the last week that I haven’t cried. And the day is young. So they may still be this. But in the past, I mean, in the last week, I have wanted to have a glass of wine. You know I haven’t wanted to get drunk. I have just wanted a glass of wine to numb those feelings a little bit. And that’s what I would have done in the past, just numb those feelings just a little bit. And I listen to really interesting podcast by I kinda missed. So she’s The Queen of Confidence on Instagram.

Natalie K. Douglas
I like that. Yeah.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah. She’s pretty cool. And so she talks about using alcohol to numb especially in motherhood. So, I would highly recommend people check that one out but yeah, it was it was really interesting to feel that and go, okay. I’m not drinking at the moment. I’ve committed to this 90 days or more. How do I process these emotions myself?

Natalie K. Douglas 18:55
Yeah, totally. And I think that for me, similar to that, like, I would say that food has been that for me instead of alcohol being that, food has been that for me or exercise. So it’s, it’s interesting because there’s so many ways that I don’t like addictions or, you know, I guess unhealthy coping mechanisms can come up and alcohol isn’t the only one. And I think we all kind of have something. And I think some of us have more socially accepted ways of doing it. And so it’s easy for us to hide behind that. Whereas, you know, if you, it all is just addictions and coping mechanisms that you know, or tools that we’re using to cope without actually going to the root of things. And I think that if the, if you were like, sniffing cocaine every night, someone would pay much more attention than if than if you were having a glass of wine or if I was going to the fridge to have, you know two desserts like it’s it’s I think that’s that’s also why sometimes it slips under the radar. Is it is we are conditioned to think that addiction looks a certain way or that coping in an unhealthy way with something looks a certain way. But I think that if you peel back the the labels and the layers, it all comes back to the same thing of life. You know, we need to learn to actually sit in discomfort and feel what we’re feeling and be able to process it and let it go. But it’s hard like, and I feel like we’re not necessarily taught that especially as young, back as young children. When we feel an emotion that our parents aren’t happy with, a lot of the time we’re told to you know, stop crying, like top shouting, stop making so much noise, stop laughing so loud, we’re in public, like we’re taught from a young age a lot of us with, you know, not intentionally a lot of the time, like, I think we have to remember that everyone is just doing our best and our parents have always just been doing their best as well. But I feel like we’re taught from a young age that like not to express to the degree that perhaps we need to. And so again, it’s another learned behavior in that way. So I really feel like it’s coming back very much to reparenting yourself in a lot of ways and also learning how to self soothe as an adult by yourself without any other tools of suppression, distraction, etc. and I was saying to Kate before we jumped on the podcast that at the moment, my practice of that is just literally the like, the affirmation, not even the affirmation, just the word like stay. Like whenever discomfort comes up for me I’m like just stay. And I feel like this is where practices like meditation, exercise, these different things depending on how you use it but let’s use meditation as, as an example, is a really good way of learning how to sit in discomfort and knowing that this too shall pass like, you don’t, I think a story that comes up for a lot of people is I can’t meditate. I’m not a good meditator but like I don’t buy that and I think that the practice of meditation isn’t getting to a place where you just sit there and it’s all bliss and you go into this really heightened state and it’s amazing. I feel like the practice is feeling the discomfort sometimes multiple times and choosing to stay, like you know, thinking about oh, I just want to. What am I going to have for dinner tonight? Okay, like just stay. I’m hungry I want to go to the fridge, just stay. Really angry about what Sally said last week. Just stay like.

Kate Callaghan
Dirty Sally.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah. Sorry anyone named Sally I’m sure you’re lovely. I actually have a beautiful client named Sally. Hi, Sally. So I feel like you need like, we need to practice sitting in discomfort because our lives are built around comfort around seeking comfort around moving away from discomfort and it’s much easier for us to, like, move to like move towards pleasure than it is to kind of sit in in the discomfort of pain. But I think if you, the more you practice doing that on a day-to-day basis when it really when something really triggering comes up. You have much more of it like a much stronger foundation to just stay and and know that it is going to pass. I feel like it’s yeah, I don’t know. I’ve gone on a big tangent here, but I just feel like I just find it all so fascinating.

Kate Callaghan 24:01
It is. We’ve gone on a massive tangent?

Natalie K. Douglas 24:05
Yeah. Should you bring me back to the to the question?

Kate Callaghan
Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. I think I’ve. Likely was gone with it.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
Really? I think it’s necessary.

Natalie K. Douglas
I agree.

Kate Callaghan
But we can talk about some of the questions.

Natalie K. Douglas 24:18
Yeah, no, like, I just yeah, I really think it’s fascinating. So I think like to round out that conversation, I would say doing some journaling on like, why do I drink? Like, why? What does alcohol give me? When do I feel drawn to it? And how, like, just a reflection like how much of that is a learned behavior. How much of that is a coping mechanism? Like how much of that is?I don’t know. Like just yeah really reflecting on on how your relationship with alcohol is and then maybe, how can you start to change that a little bit. And at first, maybe it’s just awareness like, aware when you’re accepting a drink, because of peer pressure, which still exists as an adult, whether you’re accepting a drink because you want to be able to have a little dance on the dance floor later and the story you tell yourself is well to do that, for my own confidence, I need it and also for other people not to think that I’m a complete wacko without any alcohol, I have to do it, which I’ve definitely been labeled as. And I think, just really starting to, to be aware of what that is and then implementing some form of regular practice in sitting in discomfort and I think meditation is a perfect example of one. Exercise also can be, though I’m aware that for a big part of this, we’re speaking to a lot of people that are actually probably have expedite exercise addictions or histories of that. And so for you, you know, pushing through a workout might be the easiest thing ever. So no, that’s, that doesn’t count. If you find it easy to do that, that doesn’t count. And I’m talking about things where you find it difficult to stay in your discomfort and choosing to stay anyway. I really think that there’s something to be said for that. And I think meditation is really a good example of that because it’s so difficult for so many of us to just stop and to feel what we need to feel. So I feel like if people start to do some of those exercises, it will really be able to help especially coming into the end of the year when social occasions become far more frequent and the collective energy around alcohol and drinking definitely starts to increase because it’s almost like, oh, it’s the end of the year we need to celebrate and finally I can relax. How can I relax without this like, or how can I relax amongst without having to consume it. And it may be changing the people you hang around to help with that a little bit. It may be before you go into a social situation, actually having a conversation with yourself about whether you’re going to drink and why that is, and if it’s just well, you know what, I just really feel like a glass of wine, there’s nothing that I’m trying to suppress or I’m not using it in order to be able to fit in in this social occasion. I just really feel like a good glass of red wine. But if it’s if it’s something other than that, if it’s this feeling of I just like I need this because it’s, you know, it’s my work Christmas party and I can’t possibly relax or have fun. Anyway, then just be aware of it even if you still make the decision to drink. At least if you bring some awareness to it like that is one step in the right direction. That would be kind of my, my take on it, or how I would encourage you to approach it. Do you have any additional thoughts on that, Kate?

Kate Callaghan 28:13
Yeah, no, I 100% agree. Just thinking about why why you’re doing it and not if you want to do it just for the taste because you enjoy it then you’re in a social setting and you feel good already and you’re not trying to numb yourself, then go for it. Drink some good quality wine.

Natalie K. Douglas 28:28
Yes. Now that actually, what a good segue. Leads us perfectly into the second question.

Kate Callaghan 28:37
I don’t know. All the questions.

Natalie K. Douglas 28:41
No, we won’t but that’s okay. It’s when we are speaking about alcohol and nutrition, I guess. What would you say if someone asked you what is the most nutrient-dense alcohol? I feel like it’s like such a contradiction, but like, if someone was like I’m going to drink, what should I drink? What would your answer to that one, Kate?

Kate Callaghan 29:06
Okay, so I think this also depends. So, usually I would say a good quality organic red wine because of the resveratrol lot in there but if you have any, a lot of people have intolerances to wine to the sulfates in it, you can get sulfate-free obviously, if you want or preservative-free ones or even if you are torn to histamines, you can have a negative reaction to wine and in alcohol in general. But in those cases that I’m probably be going clean spirits like vodka, good-quality vodka from made from potatoes.

Natalie K. Douglas
Made from potatoes.

Kate Callaghan
Or grapes, like the Ciroc.

Natalie K. Douglas 29:52
I love that, you know, yeah, call because I’m like, yep, there’s vodka. There’s dark red wine, there’s bubbles, and there are some other ones that I’m not sure about and there’s beer.

Kate Callaghan 30:05
I have a lot of experience with alcohol and I used to work in a bar for a few years.

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, that’s helpful.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah, helpful and also very unhelpful.

Natalie K. Douglas 30:13
Yeah, the first shot I had I sipped. I didn’t know you were supposed to shot it. It was I shot of tequila. I don’t know. I slipped it and did all the wrong order of the lemons and the salt and I just didn’t work out for me. I know, rookie, rookie. I think I did actually my most heavy drinking in about year 8 or 9 to be honest. And at like house parties and drinking cruises and vodka, Smirnoff, and lemon Ruski’s.

Kate Callaghan
I think I think we actually need to clarify what you’re 8 and 9 is because here it’s very different.

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, okay.

Kate Callaghan
But here that’d be like year 8 or 9. Sweet, that’s legal.

Natalie K. Douglas 30:35
Oh, no, like, like 14, 15 years old. So, that’s what I did most of my and I feel like that’s when I fell into the peer pressure but a little bit like you know a lot of people were very judgmental if I said no and so I feel like, there was about a year there where I said yes when I meant no more, so then not but then as as I kind of got older I just started saying no when I meant no, a little bit more around that. Anyway, sidetrack again. So, okay, so wine and yeah, I agree like I think the organic preservative free is a pretty important point because I recently learned that that which might not be news to somebody who’s listening but I recently learned that they can also like put a lot of like colors into wine and also Phthalates which are like, endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Kate Callaghan
I did not know this.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, I just read it before in some research and I was like, what? That’s crazy.

Kate Callaghan
That is crazy.

Natalie K. Douglas 32:00
Like, what the hell man? Just grapes be grapes. Anyway, so, I feel like that’s the important point and I would say like from my client’s point of view, I’ve seen a lot of my clients do much better on drinking organic preservative-free wine than the regular stuff, but you know each to their own and then what I would say from that is oh, actually no, let’s move on to the next question so we can get some more out. So which like, are there any alcohol beverages Kate, that you would say are just like a no go, like do not drink this?

Kate Callaghan 32:42
Jager bomb.

Natalie K. Douglas 32:44
I used to have a shirt that say jagermeister and I never knew what it was until I was.

Kate Callaghan 32:49
A jager bomb is jagermeister a shot of jagermeister dropped in Red Bull.

Natalie K. Douglas 32:56
Oh, dear God. Wow.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah. Wow.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, okay, those. I would say I would add to that like, sugary like just sugary ones. I mean, if you already putting alcohol in like probs not gonna not a good idea to put sugar in as well. So you know all of your very, I guess, yeah, like cruisers. I don’t want to like, oh, I am naming names because I have something else to describe it with, but you guys know what I mean. Like, nice too good to be.

Kate Callaghan
Pre-mixed drinks.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yes, yes. So that and I’m like, I would also say most beers but I guess that’s a bias as well because I see a lot of a lot of people with kind of like fungal yeast overgrowth or imbalances, and I also see a lot of people with issues with gluten. And I know that you can get gluten-free beers, but.

Kate Callaghan
I feel people screaming. Where we can get gluten-free beers?

Natalie K. Douglas 33:51
But you didn’t know this? I do know this okay, but I feel like you can make like there’s a better choice to make but I didn’t know what your thoughts are on that one.

Kate Callaghan 34:02
No, I yeah, yeah, I agree. Most people do better without it.

Natalie K. Douglas 34:07
And then I guess another question that comes up a lot or that I get asked about a lot is alcohol and weight loss are cannot be done? And my answer is like, yes, it can be done, but you’d have to really control for what you’re like you’d have to have a very controlling approach to your intake. And what I mean by that is, there are many factors that can affect your ability to lose weight and the ease at which you do that. But it also like to create weight loss, you do have to be consuming, less consuming, burning more than you’re consuming, I was like about to say the really long way around. And I feel like having alcohol is obviously going to increase your overall consumption of calories and also, like having alcohol we know that that kind of lowers our inhibitions and our decision-making processes around food a little bit, and also affects our sleep, which can definitely throw off some of our hormones. So I feel like yes, it’s, it’s possible. No, I wouldn’t recommend it. If that is your goal, I think that you’ll probably find the process of trying to lose weight if that’s a healthy goal for you, more difficult if you are consuming alcohol than not, but if you’re adamant that you’re like, no, I really, really need alcohol, then there’s probably some additional issues to address but they, you would have to like the only way to do it is that you’d have to account for it as in you’d have to calorie count and macro count and make sure that you’re not consuming more than you’re burning and that you’re still making an effort to get good sleep so that that doesn’t impact things but, you know, it’s a bit of like a, I don’t know. What happens can be that you have alcohol, you have cravings, you get a poor sleep, or sleep or sleep deprivation, whether that’s quality or quantity, then increases your cravings the next day because you become a little bit more insulin resistant and find it difficult to regulate your blood sugar and cortisol levels. And that can really contribute to feeling like you have yeah, well cravings for sugar in particular. So if you want to make it really hard for yourself, go for it. If you want to make it easier for yourself, then probably abstain from the alcoholic beverages if you’re going through that kind of goal. Any additional thoughts?

Kate Callaghan 36:56
Yeah, I would also take into account the impact of alcohol in the liver and the detoxification pathways especially the detoxification of estrogen, it can slow down that excretion and the detoxification of vice versa, detoxification excretion of estrogen metabolites, some of which can cause estrogen dominance, which can cause weight gain.

Natalie K. Douglas
Same here.

Kate Callaghan
Cool stuff.

Natalie K. Douglas 37:21
So, make your decision wisely. Okay, I’ve like, another thing we were going to talk about was the social pressure of drinking and, and how to stay. But yeah, I feel like we already addressed that. I feel like my advice is just like, work on your own stuff and your relationship with alcohol behind the scenes before you get into those situations. And before you go in, before you leave the car before you walk into the door or into the situation, make sure you already make your decision before you get there. Don’t just be like, oh I’ll just decide when I get there. Decide before you get there. What you’re going to do and stay true to what is a yes and what is a no for you without taking into consideration. Everyone else’s projections of what do you not drinking means for them. And tips for hangover, tips for beating hangovers?

Kate Callaghan 38:18
Just don’t do it. Yes, helpful. Drink lots of water, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. And I think the less sugary drinks you have, the better you’re going to feel the next day. So, alternating so this is assuming that you’re going to go whatever, I’m still going to get totally boost at my Christmas work too then have.

Natalie K. Douglas
Did you just call it a do?

Kate Callaghan
What? What do?

Natalie K. Douglas 38:48
I know, but that’s so like funny.

Kate Callaghan 38:51
Like 1990’s?

Natalie K. Douglas 38:54
Do you fancy Aaron at the work too? That’s a question. Sorry.

Kate Callaghan 39:00
Work. Party. Party down?

Natalie K. Douglas
Just stop. Just continue.

Kate Callaghan 39:12
So, having plenty of water, hydrating the next day, replacing electrolytes that doesn’t mean Gatorade. Get some coconut water and make up your own electrolyte drink. So coconut water, some salt, some lemon juice, and maybe add some magnesium in there. If you can get some electrolyte drops that might be helpful as well. Replacing your B vitamins because B vitamins are definitely excreted a lot more when you’re drinking alcohol. And be sure that you’re taking good-quality probiotics because your gut health is going to be negatively affected by alcohol and sleep it off if you’re near the ocean, going to throw yourself at the ocean because that always makes feel better.

Natalie K. Douglas 39:52
I love the ocean. Yeah, I agree, I would say with the electrolyte thing there’s a product, I don’t know if you can get it New Zealand, in New Zealand.

Kate Callaghan
New Zealand, right?

Natalie K. Douglas
I have a New Zealand. I like the best New Zealand friend down the like QB friend down the road and he just, he’s so funny. Anyway, he just, I always repeat what he says and it probably gets really annoying. Anyway. He’s like, hey Nit, and I’m like hey Pix. He’s name is Pax, anyway, really big tension. I’ve not had any alcohol before this episode.

Kate Callaghan 40:25
And there’s lots of Kiwi’s listening going, fuck off.

Natalie K. Douglas 40:28
I know. I’m so sorry. I’m that person. I am really that person. I just, anyway.

Kate Callaghan
We love you.

Natalie K. Douglas 40:35
What I was gonna say is, there’s a product called Basica, and it’s an electrolyte product that you can get like a flavor-free one. And I would say doing like that even if you wanted to put it in some coconut water to taste a little bit better and get the extra electrolytes. They’re doing that like before, and then also the following day can help. And then yeah, I totally agree the B vitamins. And the other thing I was going to say was some like something else that you can do is like glutathione which is the main antioxidant in your body and it’s really good for liver health. Also, N-acetyl cysteine which is also like a basically an overall liver support that you could do the day after and then yeah I just think sleep and in terms of regulating your blood sugar the next day try and like start the day with kind of like a highest protein breakfast. So that’s that’s my tips, anything else to add to this episode? I feel I actually quite liked our conversation around around that, around particularly like that I would really love to hear everyone’s thoughts of is listening around your relationship with alcohol and you know how that’s evolved over time and and what you’ve done to to address it if you are someone who has used alcohol or still uses alcohol in social settings like, I guess I’m just really interested in in all of that, what about you Kate?

Kate Callaghan 42:03
I would also encourage you so, if this podcast if especially the start of it, if it triggered you, if it made you angry, or made you emotional in any kind of way, I’d encourage you knock that out of it yourself. Just kind of go deeper into why.

Natalie K. Douglas 42:21
Yes. All right. Well, always a pleasure, Kate. And any for any last announcement? Oh, wait no, stop, stop.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas 42:33
Do we always forgot, what have you been loving lately or this this week? A recommendation for the listeners.

Kate Callaghan 42:45
I’ve been.

Natalie K. Douglas 42:47
Oh, my God. I just forgot mine and I like I had it and then I lost it. I can’t remember what I said last week.

Kate Callaghan
I’ve been in such a funk. I’ve been loving Grey’s Anatomy, actually. Do you know what, okay, do you know what I had on Sunday night?

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
That I haven’t had in at least 10 years, maybe 15.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
It was friggin delicious.

Natalie K. Douglas 43:05
A cheese toasty.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan 43:08
It was amazing.

Natalie K. Douglas
It was food?

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
So it was a Magnum.

Natalie K. Douglas 43:15
A Magnum. Oh my, God. I used to love Magnum, Magnum almonds. I used to love.

Kate Callaghan
Guess the one that I had.

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh my God. Yum. But what, did they contain gluten?

Kate Callaghan 43:25
No, not all of them. Some are gluten-free.

Natalie K. Douglas 43:29
Oh, dangerous but they have dairy still right?

Kate Callaghan
They still have dairy.

Natalie K. Douglas
I know they bought out like a vegan one but that one has gluten in it.

Kate Callaghan 43:38
Yeah, there’s there is a dairy-free one, which is probably the vegan one which is good.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, yeah.

Kate Callaghan
Oh, dairy-free.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
That’s I went with the dairy one. I’ll deal with the skin for that because it’s so good. So delicious.

Natalie K. Douglas 43:48
Yeah, well, let’s stick with the third thing. Something I’ve been loving this week is, I’ve been making my own pesto and I’ve been using instead of using pine nuts because my husband can’t tolerate them for some reason. I’ve been using hemp seed so, I use like a probably like two big handfuls of basil. And then I get garlic-infused olive oil, and lemon juice, and then I pop it in like, probably like four to five big tablespoons of hemp seeds and blend it all up, add some salt and pepper, and then adjust any of the ratios of things. So if it’s too liquidity then I add some more hemp seeds, if it’s too thick then I’ll have to add a little bit more olive oil, and I’ve been having that on sprouted toast with hummus on the bottom and then sliced avocado and then the pesto on the top. So good. So good.

Kate Callaghan 44:49
For me under the bus again.

Natalie K. Douglas 44:51
You’re like, Magnum, and I’m like seed, garlic-infused olive oil pesto with a feature of hummus on sprouted gluten-free vegan bread.

Kate Callaghan 45:08
Oh, cute.

Natalie K. Douglas
I feel like you should let me go first so that you can, you can just add something in it.

Kate Callaghan 45:11
I didn’t. I didn’t actually have a Magnum, I made it up.

Natalie K. Douglas 45:15
I actually had an acai berry infused tart with lemon-lime.

Kate Callaghan 45:22
Whatever. I’ll learn it. Magnum is.

Natalie K. Douglas 45:28
I can’t help that I have snobby tastes okay?

Kate Callaghan
Yeah. Oh, my God.

Natalie K. Douglas
I really.

Kate Callaghan 45:33
Next week you’re going for first.

Natalie K. Douglas 45:34
Yeah. Okay. All right and I’ll try and make it something real underwhelming.

Kate Callaghan 45:40
Or that something that just makes you look bad.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
Kidding. Kidding. Kidding. Kind of.

Natalie K. Douglas 45:48
You’re like kidding but like feel free to take it seriously if you like.

Kate Callaghan 45:54
Oh, all right.

Natalie K. Douglas 45:57
All right. That is all. Have a lovely day.

Kate Callaghan
You too.

Outro 46:00
Thanks for tuning in to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to discuss, just submit them to [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friend. And if you’re looking for more info about how we can accelerate your journey to your optimal health, you can find me, Nat, over at NatalieKDouglas.com, and Kate, at TheHolisticNutritionist.com. See you next time!


The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast - with Natalie K. Douglas and Kate Callaghan

Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast!

If a professional, polished, well-edited podcast is what you’re after…then we’re not for you!

But if you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers and authentic heart sharing then we are your ladies.

We also have the most practical tips on holistic and alternative health care too 😉

Have a question that you want answered on the podcast or want to be interviewed? Get in touch!


Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas ("Nat") is a Holistic Dietitian and Nutritionist dedicated to Thyroid, gut and hormone healing.

Nat shows stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed women how to value their worth again, change their mindset habits, prioritize healing, and reclaim their vitality. Guaranteed.

Her clients say she’s the right girl to see if you’ve tried the conventional approach and nothing has worked.

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach who specializes in women's hormone healing.

She recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” diet or “magic bullet” which is going to cure all illnesses.

She focuses on having a thorough understanding of your personal goals, needs, likes/dislikes, support networks and lifestyle in order to create a food and lifestyle approach that suits YOU.


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