Episode 211 Kirsten Chalmers How to Take a Break From Alcohol Transcript

This transcript is from episode 211 with guest Kirsten Chalmers.

[00:00:00] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community, whether you’re a veteran active duty guard reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host Scott DeLuzio and now let’s get on with the show.

[00:00:21] Scott DeLuzio: Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today, my guest is Kirsten Chalmers. Kirsten is a psychologist and the founder of Point Zero Cellars, where she works to raise awareness. For those looking to take a break from alcohol while her company is based out of Australia and the majority of our listeners here are in the us.

[00:00:42] Scott DeLuzio: We do still have some listeners out in the Australia area. The message she sends as far as I’m concerned, has no borders and knows no bound. So, with that welcome to the show, Kirsten, I’m glad to have you out.

[00:00:55] Kirsten Chalmers: Thanks, Scott. I’m very pleased to be here and I appreciate it. So thank you very much.

[00:00:59] Kirsten Chalmers: Yeah,

[00:00:59] Scott DeLuzio: [00:01:00] absolutely. So, for the listeners who may not be familiar with you and your background, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

[00:01:05] Kirsten Chalmers: Yeah, just quickly, I guess. I live in Melbourne, Australia, but I originally come from South Africa. So, Probably headed out here in my late twenties and just loved the country and decided this was a good place to have kids.

[00:01:19] Kirsten Chalmers: So hubby and I have got two beautiful girls. They are now 14 and 16 and yeah, just have enjoyed being here. So it’s really lovely.

[00:01:30] Scott DeLuzio: Well, that’s great. Yeah. And I haven’t had the opportunity to make it down that way, but from what I’ve heard it’s absolutely beautiful. And I’m looking forward to making it out there one of these days.

[00:01:39] Scott DeLuzio: So, and for the listeners, The reason why I asked Kirsten to be on the show today is because I know there are a lot of us in the military and the veteran community who enjoy having a drink with friends every now and again, which isn’t a problem in a, in and of itself. But there are some of us who find ourselves drinking too much, maybe as [00:02:00] a coping mechanism or The camaraderie of our friends might be what we’re actually looking for, but we don’t know how to socialize without alcohol and things like that.

[00:02:10] Scott DeLuzio: So I love the idea of an alcohol free beverage and this type of thing, which seems to be gaining some traction nowadays. And I wanted Kirsten on to the show to tell us a little bit more about it. So, I want. Dive into your story a little bit. And how you got involved with the alcohol free beverages that you work with now.

[00:02:29] Scott DeLuzio: What led you to taking a break from alcohol?

[00:02:32] Kirsten Chalmers: Yes, a long history with alcohol. Let me start there. That’s probably something we do have in common. So in terms of listenership yeah, I guess, I was really started like pretty average, 15 year old back in the day. Drinking was kind of absolutely required for a good time.

[00:02:50] Kirsten Chalmers: So I was a smoker. I was a drinker. I was, Partying at 15, my family we had barbecues and they were partying. So if I wasn’t partying myself, then I [00:03:00] certainly was watching my folks party. And there was just no way you could do that without alcohol. And then of course in my career, I quickly learned that alcohol had its function too.

[00:03:09] Kirsten Chalmers: So, very early on, I think I got my first management role. 23. And I can squarely accredit that to standing at the bar. It happened to be a catering company. So there was a bar and, standing at the bar Friday nights, you get to talk to the CEO. You don’t normally get to talk to him or access him.

[00:03:25] Kirsten Chalmers: So, I really learned that alcohol was a great tool. And I can’t say I’ve had. Huge issues with alcohol. I mean, I obviously did, binge drinking when you’re young, you don’t even consider that a problem. Really. Do you? I mean, that’s also normalized until the beautiful COVID hit. And so just to give you a bit of background too, in terms of my career, I’m a psychologist and I work with kids.

[00:03:50] Kirsten Chalmers: So autism, ADHD, all those types of things, lots of work. At schools, but also in private practice. And my big tool was a little dog [00:04:00] called nugget and nugget didn’t transfer awfully well onto telehealth, which was what we were then forced to do. So I tried really hard to keep my kids engaged on the screen, but that lasted about good 10 minutes and they were already fading off and I just thought, no, look, I’m actually probably not providing much for my clients here.

[00:04:19] Kirsten Chalmers: Let me just take a break from. Work because COVID will pass. We all thought that would happen. Or at least maybe I did. I thought six months will be good, no problems. Of course. So anyway, I took a right at my break and I thought, okay, well, since I’m taking a break, I can hardly drink because I’m stressed because that was always a great excuse.

[00:04:37] Kirsten Chalmers: Oh, it’s been a hard day, five o’clock rolls on, let me have a drink. Well, that excuse kind of went. And unfortunately I had a lot of time in my hands and so soon. I was actually starting to drink at three and Habi, and I would Polish off two bottles of wine by the end of the night. And that became a habit too.

[00:04:55] Kirsten Chalmers: And I just had a look at this and I thought, no, this is just not really good. I mean, I’m [00:05:00] not functioning, but am I functioning at my best? And so not to be, I’m the kind of person I do everything my way. And so I was gonna just give myself a little experiment and took a year off. I decided dry July, which is pretty common here, or I think you’d guys know fab fast.

[00:05:15] Kirsten Chalmers: Those are great, but they’re one month you can’t really learn much from that. So I took a year off and yeah, I learned heaps learned heaps about myself. Learned that it did have a massive effect on my sleep, on my health, on my energy levels, on my ability to manage stress, manage kids.

[00:05:35] Kirsten Chalmers: It was really probably the best thing I’ve ever done. And of course the year rolled, passed and was like, okay, Kirsten. Now you’ve gotta step back into work. And I was like, well, telehealth is still around, not loving that idea. So you know, all inspired. I don’t do much by halves. Do you know what I love this product?

[00:05:53] Kirsten Chalmers: My husband’s in import. How do I contribute to this space? There’s obviously lots of distillers here, locally doing their [00:06:00] thing. I can’t suddenly just magically create a great drink, so I’ll just leverage off my skills and my contacts and I will import, so I went back to South Africa not physically, obviously, but back to my roots in terms of reaching out to wineries and found some wineries that did non a brands, obviously tested them and loved them.

[00:06:21] Kirsten Chalmers: So. Yeah, I guess I just decided to bring non-alcs in and you just become more and more involved in the whole space. And now I think I’m at the com space where I’m combining psychology and importing. So I spend a lot of time talking to people about non a it’s a great place to do it. You don’t have to sit in psychology rooms to have the conversation.

[00:06:42] Kirsten Chalmers: You don’t have to have a problem to have the conversation you can speak to. Everyone. I was recently at a trade show anyone and everyone is kind of, just interested to hear about this new space as you mentioned. So yeah it’s just been awesome.

[00:06:58] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And for me, [00:07:00] it’s an interesting space.

[00:07:02] Scott DeLuzio: It, it just seems like there are so many new options that are out there as far as non-alcoholic beverages are concerned. And I feel like. It’s just really an awareness thing, which is partially, why I. You to be on the show is so that we can raise some awareness so that people, when they do go out with friends they realize, Hey, there are other options there I don’t necessarily have to yeah.

[00:07:26] Scott DeLuzio: Do shots at the bar or, have, yeah. All the alcoholic options that are out there. And there, there are other things if they choose to go that route. So, and. With your background in psychology. I’d like to talk a little bit about the relationship between alcohol and mental health and how they feed into each other and how all of that that works whe whether it’s as it relates to self medication or, as a coping mechanism, how it affects your sleep and all these other types of things.

[00:07:54] Kirsten Chalmers: Well, I guess, just a couple of things before we get onto that, I just wanted to mention you’re right about wanting to make it [00:08:00] something that’s an option. I think one of the biggest challenges and certainly with me with teenagers is I knew that when I. Grew up there wasn’t an option. You couldn’t be social.

[00:08:09] Kirsten Chalmers: You had to be the nerd. If you were standing there with your Coca-Cola, you were totally the nerd. And I didn’t want that option to be there for my kids. So, yes. It’s just awesome that you can actually walk in. Literally some of the bottles you’d have to squint at to see that they were non a, because they’re just not designed to look like boring non drinks.

[00:08:29] Kirsten Chalmers: So yeah, super excited about that as to the psychology. I think we we normalize drinking a whole lot and the bottom line is that it’s a depressant. I think sometimes we really forget that. And it’s something that we shouldn’t forget. I work in the space where anxiety and depression are massive.

[00:08:45] Kirsten Chalmers: It doesn’t matter whether you are working with a teenager or their parent. Most people, there’s a level of anxiety and stress to life regardless. And sometimes we don’t realize. That, what we are doing is really [00:09:00] part of it. So as we have more and more reliance on numbing out, and I think there’s a brilliant book called the dopa min nation.

[00:09:08] Kirsten Chalmers: And I forget the writer right now. Sorry about that. It’s all about our. Excesses and our need to have a rush and our need to break away from all the stresses that we have. And so alcohol has always been really normalized, but the downsides have not, it is a toxin, it is a carcinogenic and it is an, a depressant.

[00:09:27] Kirsten Chalmers: And so it absolutely has effect on your daily life. And I think that’s what I learned in that year off. It’s great to know from a. Psychology point of view that alcohol, it’s 20 minutes in your system and yes, it has an awesome numbing effect, but after that it drops. And so it does cause your, depression to kick in.

[00:09:47] Kirsten Chalmers: And I think Yeah, we just need to be more aware of it. I don’t know that I’ve prepared a psychology as such course, or I guess, background on that. I just think it’s as simple as saying if I’m not feeling great, how much of [00:10:00] that is due to alcohol, and you can only know that if you take some time off, you cannot know whether you are depressed because you have a depressive disorder or whether you actually are contributing toward yourself.

[00:10:11] Kirsten Chalmers: You cannot know that without trying.

[00:10:13] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I think that’s the point that I was trying to make with that question is that alcohol is something that could lead to depression. If you are using it more and more and more, and you find yourself using it to achieve that numbing effect that you

[00:10:28] Kirsten Chalmers: well, actually even, again, I think it’s glossed over.

[00:10:31] Kirsten Chalmers: It’s it doesn’t just contribute to depression. It is a depressant. It actually depresses the body. Right. So if you are calling it numbing out, that’s kind of very, very small, I guess, gain in the total depressing effect that it has on your body. And so your body doesn’t like that your body likes to, come back to state of balance.

[00:10:53] Kirsten Chalmers: And so what then happens is it introduces chemicals that then make you feel. Anxious. Have [00:11:00] you ever, if you know that feeling where you wound up, but tired at the same time, often after drinking, or you have that highly anxious feeling when you’ve woken. Having had a few drinks the night before.

[00:11:11] Kirsten Chalmers: That’s actually just the effect of alcohol. There’s nothing miraculous about that. It’s not something that you have to give yourself any therapy about. This is just a toxin having an effect on your body. So imagine knowing that imagine going actually, I don’t have to talk it to a psychologist.

[00:11:26] Kirsten Chalmers: All I need to do is drink less. I mean, sometimes we just think I’ll have my drink, then I’ll speak to a psychologist. Then I’ll work through all my issues. Well, if you’re introducing the problem, just remove the problem.

[00:11:38] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, exactly. Just taking that break like you, yeah. You said in your case, you took a year off and you were able to see all of these benefits just in your own life.

[00:11:50] Scott DeLuzio: And I think if we can. Be that courageous to say, okay, I’m going to set a certain amount of time. [00:12:00] Maybe it’s not a year, maybe it’s six months or something like that may start off with a manageable goal. Maybe it’s that dry month that you were talking about while that may not be as long term as you might think, at least.

[00:12:11] Scott DeLuzio: It’s a start. Right? And then you get to the end of that month and maybe you can extend it a little bit and realize it, it’s not that bad.

[00:12:17] Kirsten Chalmers: Yeah. And I guess I learned a heap about the whole process because in my day, alcohol was under the disease model, you and I had to really think about, well, my dad was a heavy drinker.

[00:12:27] Kirsten Chalmers: Am I that person? Am I in the disease category? Is this something, am I just going, I’m destined to be an alcoholic. And then I, I. By taking some time off, you also immerse yourself a little bit in the literature because it does help you get through it. So you might listen to podcasts on it, or you might listen to people in the sober community and you start to pick up nuggets of information and you start to realize actually, no, there’s something called the harm reductions, model.

[00:12:52] Kirsten Chalmers: And that’s all about, as you mentioned, just taking it step by step. If you want to reduce two, just one drink as [00:13:00] opposed to four, then do that. And I think. We just gloss over that option and I think it’s a really good option. I, I still think for me longer term made a difference and I’ll explain why I thought that was better was you can grit your way through three, three weeks.

[00:13:15] Kirsten Chalmers: You can make, you can just hold on fast and just wait for that day where you can finally have your glass of wine, but when you make. Okay, well, there’s no foreseeable end to this. Like, whatever that end might be for you might just be three months. You suddenly have to really change habits. And so I had to change habits over seasons.

[00:13:33] Kirsten Chalmers: So for example I started in December, so that summer here, and so that was actually fairly easy for me, cuz I just switched to a non-alc beer because beer is not my drink of choice. And I found that less triggering than having a non-alc wine because non-alc wine. Didn’t do the trick. So if you are, if you’re gonna do this, pick something, that’s actually not your preferred drink.

[00:13:54] Kirsten Chalmers: Because you’ll otherwise get frustrated by the non options because they’re just, they, they’re not [00:14:00] gonna do what you want them to do. They are not alcohol. So that, and then suddenly the other little problem that sort of crept in was time. Suddenly I had time, when you. On a Sunday, you, have your glass of wine at lunch because why wouldn’t you it’s the weekend.

[00:14:13] Kirsten Chalmers: Then you kind of numb the rest of the afternoon. You can sit in front of the TV for hours, or you can, I don’t know, be around the pool or you can be really quite Hmm. You quite boring. And when you are not drinking, right, suddenly you go shit, I’ve got all this time on my hand now what? So now you have to actually do something.

[00:14:32] Kirsten Chalmers: So you just start to change your habits. You might go for a walk or little things like Other problems I had was triggers. Right? So Friday Friday 5:00 PM. Yay. It’s the weekend. How do I celebrate well, I’m not going anywhere. Well, that was COVID related too. So I guess I was lucky in, in that I didn’t, I wasn’t forced to go anyway.

[00:14:52] Kirsten Chalmers: I. But even, so my go to was open a bottle of wine and dinner, dinner. I couldn’t cook without making a glass of wine or [00:15:00] having a glass of wine while I cooked. So yes, a short term break. Absolutely. There’s benefits to it, but I actually think you’re gritting your way through the hardest part and not reaping many benefits because those first, first two weeks you do actually go through some withdrawal.

[00:15:13] Kirsten Chalmers: It’s not, it might not be massive withdrawal, but you definitely withdraw. And you have some anxiety about what you do. You feel. I lost. And so all those things only come from when you reinvent your life a little bit. And so when I talk about seasons, winter came, so now I was well versed in, okay.

[00:15:32] Kirsten Chalmers: I have a non beer in summer. Great. Winter came and I was like, oh, Non out beer cold. Why would I do that? Yeah, it suddenly it didn’t hit the spot. So I had to reinvent that. And so I went to mold wine, which is heated wine with cinnamon and and those kinds of flavors to get the heat of the alcohol, because obviously that’s what I was looking to warm myself up.

[00:15:52] Kirsten Chalmers: So. Just learning what works for you. These are things that I just did intuitively for me. Like, I’m not sure I could have [00:16:00] found that in any textbook. But the fact that it then related to what I’d studied and what I know is true, my sleep I was terrible. I wake up at three o’clock every single night, just.

[00:16:10] Kirsten Chalmers: The way it was. And so suddenly after I’d say it took me two months I slept the whole night woke up, like, bright as a button. I was like, what the hell? That’s just different. So, no one told me Kirsten, you going to feel better, or even if they did, I’m not sure I would’ve believed them.

[00:16:24] Kirsten Chalmers: So only when you do it yourself, do you go, wow. Okay, maybe they’re right. Maybe the textbooks are right.

[00:16:31] Scott DeLuzio: Well, right. And I, I. To your point you do need to almost go through a bit of suffering in some aspects of life to really enjoy the benefits of whatever it is that you just suffered through.

[00:16:44] Scott DeLuzio: Right. So yeah, in this case yeah, you can grit and bear it for a few weeks. Yeah, you’ll, it’ll probably suck a little bit, but you can get through it and by the time you get through it, oh, finally, I can have this drink. And it’s [00:17:00] just like, you almost just forget about the last few weeks of just suffering through it.

[00:17:06] Scott DeLuzio: And then you get right back to the position where you were and you don’t really get a chance to see all of the benefits. Come from it. And so maybe, I think you’re right with that extended period of time with that longer time period, you really do need to look at your own behaviors and change some of those behaviors.

[00:17:24] Scott DeLuzio: And small little changes, like, switching it from a glass of wine to an non-alcoholic beer. Is a change that allowed you to can just recondition yourself, right? It seems like.

[00:17:38] Kirsten Chalmers: Yeah. And I think, the process was again, because I don’t subscribe to the, Abstinence only model.

[00:17:43] Kirsten Chalmers: There was another learning in that I had to then figure out, well, if I now drink, am I gonna relapse? There’s that terrifying word? Am I in that category that now that I’ve done this whole year am I gonna just undo all the hard work? Am I just gonna go back to square one and. [00:18:00] That was a little terrifying given.

[00:18:01] Kirsten Chalmers: I really thought my, of my dad as an alcoholic in the first place. And so I thought am I really taking his chance? Should I just stay on and not drink? Or, that’s what the sober community tells you to do in a lot of ways, stick, stick with it because you found this glory thing.

[00:18:15] Kirsten Chalmers: Now I’ll stick with it. And unfortunately I still like a glass of wine, so I really didn’t wanna do that. I felt like I’d done my time and I’d done a really good chunk of it. So now I wanted to see what I would look like. Reintroducing alcohol, and I think the great news about that is for me.

[00:18:31] Kirsten Chalmers: And it’s been, what has it been? Six months? Yeah, six months now. And now I haven’t relapsed. I do drink and I can really do it moderately. So I think the biggest message for me is everyone’s an individual don’t believe. You are necessarily going to, go all the way backwards, have the courage to try, if you, if I did go back and I did find it just as bad as before, and I was going back to drinking, bottle a night I probably would [00:19:00] think that’s a bad idea and I probably would have to look at stopping, but now I literally do have, we’ve got some great So a non-alc, champagne is one of my other go-tos.

[00:19:10] Kirsten Chalmers: And so I might have a glass of that, and then I’ll have my two glasses of wine at dinner, and then that’s it. Or if I’m entertaining, I might open a bottle of non-alc red, cuz everyone loves to see the host with a glass of wine or at least. That’s my experience, right? You just seem friendlier. You just, not the nerd.

[00:19:28] Kirsten Chalmers: It was like, if Kirsten wasn’t drinking, she’s just not gonna be any fun. So to get away from all of that I would, welcome people at the door with my glass of red. It happened to be a non-alc. No, one’s gonna ask you what’s in the glass. So I’d have my non-alc. And then when we sat down for dinner, I do love the beautiful red with my dinner.

[00:19:45] Kirsten Chalmers: And so I would then happily as the red one was being poured, offer up my glass for that. And then. I was only having two glasses of wine, but everyone else would perceive that I was a, I don’t know, having four, whatever it was, didn’t really matter what other people thought. I knew [00:20:00] what I was doing. And I knew that this was working for me.

[00:20:03] Kirsten Chalmers: And I think age has another great, is another great part of my life. I’m heading for 50 now. And so after two glasses, I’m tired. I wanna send you a lot home. Like I’m done. Thanks very much for coming over, but I’m now ready to send you home. So. Those two glasses allow me to be less cranky in my old age.

[00:20:23] Kirsten Chalmers: And so I, I really am thrilled that I’ve found the balance and I don’t and I fully understand that there are those that cannot do that. But I just think if we say that that’s the way it is you have to abstain. I think fewer people will try it. And that would be a shame.

[00:20:40] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:20:41] Scott DeLuzio: And I think you use the key word there in, in that’s balance and finding yeah. How to enjoy the alcohol in certain drinks every once in a while, but not make it the focal point of the evening, it’s just, yeah. Okay. I’m gonna have a glass or maybe [00:21:00] two and. That’s okay, but you don’t need to finish off the whole six pack of beer in one sitting or whatever, or have several bottles of wine or whatever your drink of choice might be.

[00:21:12] Scott DeLuzio: Right.

[00:21:13] Kirsten Chalmers: And you learn so much. I mean, I did learn cuz I started drinking as I mentioned at 15. So I really had to ask myself, going to a party, whether I actually would have fun or whether I actually could chat to people or whether I would feel, anxious and awkward. So. If you then walk in and it’s funny, you can almost you can almost just run with other people’s drinking.

[00:21:35] Kirsten Chalmers: And so as the mood picks up, there’s always that awkward moment. When you walk into a house, have you ever felt that way? It’s kind of just in the beginning, it’s just kinda like, Ooh, this is strange. And normally that would be my where’s that wide moment. Whereas, if you actually wait and you just pour yourself the non a so no one’s thinking you’re not drinking.

[00:21:51] Kirsten Chalmers: You pour yourself, the non a, you stand there. Everyone’s feeling a bit awkward as soon as they get a bit tipsy your night improves because the conversation flows [00:22:00] anyway. So you’d be amazed what you can enjoy. Without actually drinking yourself. I actually did new years without drinking.

[00:22:06] Kirsten Chalmers: You’d think that would be an absolute failure. I danced and I kept going, look at me, check it out, girl, you’re dancing and it’s new year and you’re stone cold, sober. So you can surprise yourself because if you’ve always just thought I drink, I socialize. How do you ever know any different if you don’t try it,

[00:22:23] Scott DeLuzio: right?

[00:22:24] Scott DeLuzio: Because that sort of becomes part of your identity in, in your correct. You’re who you perceive yourself to be, right? When you see yourself as this type of person who goes out and they drink to have a good time and everything that just is who you are. And so of course you can’t change that because , if you do, then that’s really a blow to or scary, right?

[00:22:45] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, exactly.

[00:22:46] Kirsten Chalmers: It would be. Yeah. If you’ve done it since you’re 15, which is kind of how we, I grew up. Is there any alternative, like, can I do this? So, these are little social experiments. I just encourage people to try, because I think, bravery is about stepping out [00:23:00] of what you know, and even if it seems so in, it just seems like such a tiny thing.

[00:23:05] Kirsten Chalmers: It actually, you learn so much about yourself. You feel so much more confident and you just go, why did I never know this? And it’s just because you’ve just redone the same thing over and over again.

[00:23:16] Scott DeLuzio: Right. And that’s the definition of insanity when you do the same thing over and over and expect different results and nothing changes.

[00:23:23] Scott DeLuzio: Exactly. So exactly what, so when you introduce something new, like this, like a non-alcoholic option it. Makes sense that things are going to probably change and most likely it’s gonna change for the better. And you might find yourself feeling better, sleeping better clear thinking, just overall yeah.

[00:23:43] Scott DeLuzio: What’s to lose. Right, right. Exactly. Like. So what, so you don’t get to have that particular drink all the time. It’s not that big of a deal. And quite frankly, I think it’s probably even better off when you look at it that way. So, I know [00:24:00] there’s probably some people out there some of the listeners who might be in that position where they don’t want to drink, but they also feel uncomfortable being the only person.

[00:24:08] Scott DeLuzio: In the group who isn’t drinking who just has a Coke or some soda option or something like that. But with this there’s so many options now that are quote unquote adult beverages, right? The alcohol With the alcohol removed as far as wines and beers and even the spirits too, there, there are non-alcoholic versions of those.

[00:24:28] Scott DeLuzio: Could you talk a little bit about the the progress that this non-alcoholic in industry has made over the years?

[00:24:36] Kirsten Chalmers: Look, I’ve probably only been it in the last year. And it’s just skyrocketed. I can tell you that. So, so when I started there were a few non-alc options available in Australia and many of them funny, you just, I dunno what made me think this, but I actually looked for non-alc options in the supermarket.

[00:24:52] Kirsten Chalmers: Why would I think high quality notal options would be there? I guess you just don’t walk into a bottle shop because why would you that’s where alcohol [00:25:00] lives. Right. So, for a start, it’s moved from. The few options in this local supermarket to the bigger brands, really looking at this and taking notes.

[00:25:11] Kirsten Chalmers: So one of our big liquor stores is called Dan Murphy’s and they have actually just recently opened up a popup store locally just to check it out. And I think that speaks volumes because a few months ago, or six or eight months ago, those options weren’t available. Big companies like that, weren’t actually doing anything like that.

[00:25:32] Kirsten Chalmers: And of course the bigger distilleries and the bigger so, four pillars have just announced a non-alc option. And I think. Like anything until there’s a demand the choices will never be there. And also the quality has to still improve. So notal beers, I think, have done an awesome job and I think notal spirits as well.

[00:25:54] Kirsten Chalmers: I think notal wines still have a way to go. Because the process of removing [00:26:00] the alcohol from the wine. I don’t know if it’s not, because it’s been the top wineries who’ve chosen to do this. And so therefore, if you’re dealing with a mediocre brand, you might just get a mediocre option or what, but until there’s the demand, the bigger players, aren’t gonna try it.

[00:26:15] Kirsten Chalmers: And I think. Maybe there’s been some snobbery around, dealcoholizing wine, why would you do that? But I think the more we do change just like the vegan community suddenly, there are options in veganism or gluten-free product. And I see the non-alc space in the same way, and I know that it’s growing and I know that.

[00:26:36] Kirsten Chalmers: Huge. I know the numbers are there to show that people are actually really interested in this and interesting with my children, that generation are far more aware of health, I think, than I was. And so, smoking was another back in the day thing and this generation isn’t into that as much.

[00:26:55] Kirsten Chalmers: And so drinking, They can also take it and leave or leave it. And I think that’s great. [00:27:00] And I think one of my biggest issues was that when I wasn’t drinking, I would rock up to a gorgeous restaurant and we are talking high end restaurants.

[00:27:08] Kirsten Chalmers: And I’d have to turn to the kiddy menu for a drink and then I’d get my glass. In a thick, one of those nasty thick glasses with a straw, mind you. And I was like, no, this has got to change. And so I’m very pleased to see that that is changing that Those non-alc options.

[00:27:27] Kirsten Chalmers: There were always those people that were athletes or pregnant or didn’t wanna drink. And why did they suffer so long? Maybe because they were just a small community but I’m behind all of those guys now. And I’m saying, I just wanna rock up and I wanna be able to say, oh, look, I’ll choose a non-alc first.

[00:27:42] Kirsten Chalmers: And then I’ll have a. A wine, an alcoholic beverage after that. And I was really pleased on the weekend to go to a restaurant that did that. And then again, I just dropped off some some options at another little restaurant and she was telling me how much they do non-alc cocktails and it’s just become.

[00:27:59] Kirsten Chalmers: Something, we talk [00:28:00] about where we absolutely did not talk about it in the past. You actually had to have a problem if you were not gonna drink.

[00:28:06] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that’s what, it’s what it seems like is that back then growing up, it’s like, okay, if someone wasn’t drinking, it’s probably because they had a problem with alcohol and that was.

[00:28:18] Scott DeLuzio: It was looked at like, oh, okay, well let’s tiptoe around this poor you subject. Yeah,

[00:28:22] Kirsten Chalmers: exactly. Yeah. Poor you, you have a shitty evening. We’ll carry on. Right. And and when I stopped drinking to, to, fall pregnant, I mean, it was just straight up, oh, Kirsten’s not drinking, she’s pregnant.

[00:28:32] Kirsten Chalmers: Like it wasn’t even, it was just, everyone knew Kirsten drinks. And so it’s just lovely that you don’t have to do that. And it, and I don’t even want it to be a discussion at all. I just want it to be. Oh, look, I’ve picked that. And then later I’ll pick that. So it doesn’t it’s nobody’s, it’s just not, it’s just a nonissue in my mind.

[00:28:49] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And when it looks like an actual alcoholic beverage in a wine glass or in something like that, as opposed to a Coke glass. Yes. [00:29:00] It, it becomes less of an issue because it just looks like the real thing. And then. Who cares? No, one’s gonna, no, one’s gonna question it or anything.

[00:29:07] Scott DeLuzio: Right. And it’s and we have,

[00:29:09] Kirsten Chalmers: sorry, carry on. No, go ahead. Good. No, go ahead. Go ahead. Oh, we, oh, we have to acknowledge that. The alcohol industry has done it, is a marketing genius, right? So they have made alcohol, the fun, the pool party, the, holiday in Bali, and so suddenly we can still have all that market.

[00:29:27] Kirsten Chalmers: We just won’t be doing as much damage. So I love the fact that we can say, and it is a bit sad that we feel like we can’t party without a glass, but I do love the fact that I can have my glass of red and it may not contain alcohol, but I look as just as fun as everyone else, no one is going oh, in her glass, in that photograph.

[00:29:46] Kirsten Chalmers: That’s non-alcoholic. It’s just not there. I love it.

[00:29:50] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. It’s great. And you mentioned people when they’re pregnant that they obviously are looking for a non-alcoholic option. And it’s funny when my wife was pregnant with one of our kids, I forget which [00:30:00] one now, but she looked at me one night and she said that she wanted to have a drink.

[00:30:03] Scott DeLuzio: Obviously she didn’t because of, being pregnant and everything, but But just, she just wanted to have a drink together, but just the two of us at home. Right. So the next day I went to the liquor store I looked around to see what options they had see if they had anything.

[00:30:16] Scott DeLuzio: There’s a small section. They had a few non-alcoholic wines. I think it was only like three or three, maybe four options. And I bought every. Every

[00:30:26] Kirsten Chalmers: variety, just in case

[00:30:27] Scott DeLuzio: every writing and, she appreciated the effort but it just turns out that, like you said, it just wasn’t quite there. And maybe it was because it was a, from a mediocre Winery that it just wasn’t that great of an option.

[00:30:39] Scott DeLuzio: I don’t know, but it’s encouraging to know that there are other options that are out there now. And this was over 10 years ago, so I’m sure so much has changed. Yeah. In that time period. But. Just so much has changed and that there are those options out there for people who want to give this a try and want to have something that is non-alcoholic.

[00:30:58] Scott DeLuzio: And it’s also encouraging [00:31:00] to hear you talk about going to restaurants and now restaurants are carrying stuff that is in the non-alcoholic realm where. Before that just wouldn’t be a possibility you’d either have a Coke or an iced tea yeah. Or a glass of water in that. Those were your non-alcoholic options.

[00:31:16] Scott DeLuzio: Right? Well,

[00:31:16] Kirsten Chalmers: that’s right. I never like Coke. I don’t like sweet drinks. And so cocktails, were lovely, but they’re sweet. I mean, I don’t want to a juice when I’m having a dinner. And so the fact that you can have more tart flavors or, we call them adult flavors, but also the fact that you can sip something, you don’t actually.

[00:31:33] Kirsten Chalmers: Order something to drink a liquid. Now you would just have a water then, right? If you’re thirsty, drink water this is just sipping on something and just enjoying that, that sort of process of, having a tasty mouthful of liquid, not a sweet bubbly, drink. Like it’s just a completely different thing.

[00:31:52] Kirsten Chalmers: And so, yeah, it’s really lovely that this has now become a thing. And the other thing I’d wanna add is that when you take some time of alcohol and [00:32:00] in fact in pregnancy too, your panic actually changes. So you actually, the funny thing happened. So, my husband and I decided to crack open a nice bottle of course, to celebrate this year of you’ve done it now.

[00:32:11] Kirsten Chalmers: And like every person does, we celebrate with an alcohol was not any different to that. And we dranked the first and we both looked at each other and we went no wine has turned. This is not a good bottle. Right. So we stared at the bottle and we thought, nah, that’s really not right.

[00:32:25] Kirsten Chalmers: We poured it out. And we thought, okay, we’ll try one more. I mean, that must have just been a bad bottle. True. Okay. I won’t sweat, but honestly the second bottle tasted just as far we had to reintroduce our palettes to alcohol. It’s a really strong flavor. If you haven’t had it for a while you actually quite like the more subtle flavors and the.

[00:32:49] Kirsten Chalmers: Yeah, I guess the adult flavors the peppers or the, if you’re talking about a gin, the Juniper those flavors are actually often drowned out by a really strong alcohol taste. [00:33:00] So don’t underestimate your palate will change and that’s not a bad thing.

[00:33:04] Scott DeLuzio: No, it’s not. And it, you may actually come to find that you enjoy.

[00:33:09] Scott DeLuzio: The non-alcoholic version even better if you give a

[00:33:12] Kirsten Chalmers: chance. Right. The first thing I noticed was after one glass, I was sleepy. Like, I was just like, oh, nap time. So that’s, when you’re not used to it, you suddenly realize that, is it great to be sleepy 24 7? I’m not sure.

[00:33:27] Scott DeLuzio: No, probably not.

[00:33:28] Scott DeLuzio: And it, it affects your sleep as well in a negative way. Like you, you mentioned how you would wake up at three in the morning, every almost every night and then you find yourself sleeping throughout the whole night. So, for the people who are out there listening, who are struggling with getting a good night’s sleep, sleeping through the night you think about what you did the night before, where.

[00:33:47] Scott DeLuzio: Were you drinking the night before? Maybe that’s part of the problem. And. You might be able to solve a lot of these problems just by taking a look at your own behaviors and maybe just make small changes. [00:34:00]

[00:34:00] Kirsten Chalmers: Yeah. And bringing it back to the psychology of it. There’s three things that we need as humans.

[00:34:04] Kirsten Chalmers: We need to eat. Well, we need to sleep well and we need to exercise. When I was drinking, I didn’t exercise as much when I was drinking. I definitely didn’t sleep as well. And when I was drinking, I probably ate a lot of bad food to counteract the sugar. So you just think one of the few things I used to say to my clients was obviously I dealt with kids a lot and parents would come to me and go, what do I do?

[00:34:25] Kirsten Chalmers: My child’s depressed. My child’s anxious. And I’d always start with those three things. Okay. How well are they sleeping? What are they eating? And are they exercising because you don’t need to talk to me until those three things are covered. And so. Think about it, if alcohol’s affecting the very fundamentals that we need as humans, why are we still doing it?

[00:34:45] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s just a great point. It, it makes it pretty clear that if we are. Having some of these problems really we should look into ourselves and see what we’re doing, not just with alcohol. There, there could [00:35:00] be other things that we’re doing too to ourselves that are causing us to not sleep well or to not exercise or to be depressed or whatever we could.

[00:35:11] Scott DeLuzio: Causing some of these problems ourselves. And at sometimes we are our own worst enemies and we can definitely solve some of these problems by just taking a deep look inside of ourselves and saying, Hey what is it that I’m doing yeah. To absolutely to affect this. Right. So, where can people go to learn more about the things that you do and the non-alcoholic beverage options that are available to them now?

[00:35:34] Kirsten Chalmers: Well, I’ve actually, I’m on two sort of sides of things on the one side there’s Point Zero Cellars. So I’m pretty much on Instagram or anywhere. If you type in Point Zero Cellars, you’ll find me there, but I also I am on, I just call myself psychologist, Kirsten on Instagram. So that’s more focused on the taking the break thing.

[00:35:52] Kirsten Chalmers: I try to run a couple of. Free programs for the 30 days, just for people to give it a go. But I also do counseling in that space because. [00:36:00] Traditionally, that was always the addiction space. And I really want people to know that they can just do this themselves. It’s, super easy to just give it a go it’s so worth it.

[00:36:11] Kirsten Chalmers: You might need a bit of a coach or a mentor. You don’t feel like you need to see a psychologist, but I do think that. With telehealth available, now you can log to someone, chat to someone and just make it that much easier to maybe get you through, day 14 that you really, really can’t get through yourself.

[00:36:26] Kirsten Chalmers: So, some support without feeling like you’ve got a mental health disorder is really a good space, I think and should become more and more mainstream. So I’m trying to work in that space a little.

[00:36:37] Scott DeLuzio: Well, I think that’s great. And I think it’s an awesome option for people who wanna give it a try and might need that little bit of help that you were talking about there.

[00:36:48] Scott DeLuzio: So I will definitely have links to all of this in the show notes for anyone who wants to take a look. And then I also try to link to some non-alcoholic brands that that people can take a look at as well. So [00:37:00] that way they, yeah, it’s a great idea. They. That, that there are those options out there.

[00:37:04] Scott DeLuzio: So, just take a look for the listeners, take a look at those in the show notes. Kirsten, it’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today. I really appreciate you taking the time to come on the show and share your story and everything that you’re doing in this space with me and my listeners.

[00:37:19] Scott DeLuzio: So thank you very much for joining.

[00:37:21] Kirsten Chalmers: Oh, it’s been really cool. Thank you so much. And I wish everyone all your listeners, all the very, very best. So thank you.

[00:37:27] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you wanna check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website driveonpodcast.com. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at drive on podcast.

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