Meet Jess, Champion of the Month - June Edition

We were lucky enough to chat with Jess, a prior avid party girl turned fitness instructor who has switched to alcohol free beers and is loving it. We wanted to get her perspective on why she made the switch and how it has been so far along with everything in between,  including how her friends and family reacted to her switch and how it has had a huge positive impact on her life and health since. 

If you have been thinking about lowering your alcohol intake but you don’t want to give up the great taste of a crisp, cold beer after work or a glass of wine after a long day then you are in luck! We now live in a modern age where non-alcoholic grown up drinks are all the rage. From non-alcoholic wine to alcohol free spirits, we have you covered. Let’s dive into our interview with Jess and get her opinion on non-alcoholic beverages. 

Give us some background on yourself:

Hey, I'm Jess, an avid party girl turned mindful babe. Outside of my daytime role in software, I am a part-time fitness instructor teaching BodyPump and Cycle and you can find me online sharing the booze and cruelty-free message at @soberveganfreedom on most social platforms. My hobbies include snowboarding, hiking and immersing myself in new languages (currently at 3!). Being Czech, drinking alcohol and eating meat was something that was second nature growing up, always the star of the meal or centre of the occasion. After spending my early twenties chasing the snow seasons, partying and travelling, eventually, it wore off and I began to educate myself on the underside, the facts of what society considers "normal" drinking/eating. You could say I became "woke"

Why have you decided to move to alcohol-free beers?

I was a G&T loving, craft beer-chugging, martini sipping gal for a big part of my life! After many stints doing Dry July, Feb Fast, Ocsober, last August I decided to call it quits with alcohol altogether because it wasn't SERVING me and my future self! 2020 was a huge year of zooming out, seeing the bigger picture and eliminating toxic friendships and substances from my life. Although isolation wasn't easy, it brought to light what I was masking and using alcohol as a crutch.

What were the benefits you gained from lowering your alcohol intake?

Wow, where do I even begin?! The first few weeks I noticed my quality of sleep improved dramatically, as well as LOADS of energy to get out of bed earlier! However, the best thing to this day that I value the most is the increased level of hydration which has lead to visible changes like clearer skin and eyes, something I struggled with for many years. 

I wouldn't say that I ever had a real "rock bottom" (but TBH do you really need to have one to change bad habits?), however anxiety and binge drinking was heavily sprinkled through my twenties, and my mental state is so much more balanced these days! It's amazing how once you stop numbing the world, your senses become much more enlivened too.

Do you still drink alcohol sometimes?  

Nope!

How have people reacted when you decided to drink alcohol-free beer?

Most of my family and friends have been curious and excited for me!! Totally surprising TBH! Although there have been a few that have been worried that the "fun" Jess won't be around anymore for events and parties....but I'm not one to shy away from dancing sober. My family has actually started to introduce AF drinks into their own life too, which has been inspiring.

Do you have a partner in sobriety? Who?

Yes! I was lucky enough that my partner went sober a few weeks into me venturing into this new way of living. He is a practising physio and road cyclist, it just came naturally to remove the toxins that come with drinking if he could still enjoy the flavour and variety. Not only that, being super surprised on discovering Upflow Brewing's electrolyte infused beer (pictured)

It's been AMAZING to have a partner in crime and one less thing to worry about.

What is your favourite alcohol-free craft beer?

I've been lucky enough to try most current AF beers on the market, currently, I'm loving the Centennial IPA by Coast Beer Co. from your collab pack with AF Beer Squad.

Where do you usually enjoy your alcohol-free craft beers?

At home, after a long working day or a massive workout. The best part is not having to feel guilty for cracking a cold one before midday on a weekend. My partner and I have also enjoyed going on hikes, road trips, picnics and adventure days out in the sun, zero-guilt, all the gains and most of all hydration.

Finally, to whom would you recommend making this choice?

If you want to cut the BS and live a long and healthy life hangover-free!  Life is so much simpler when you don't have to worry about not being able to drive home, perform at work, kick your PBs in the gym or on the bike. Things become a lot more painless, yet you can still experiment with fun varieties of beers, wines and spirits just without the bad stuff and do the things you love the most. Come to the dark side!

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