6 Healthy Sober Habits You Need In Recovery 

When you stop drinking, recovering from drinking, and thinking about drinking you might find yourself with an unsettling amount of spare time in your (usually) busy schedule. This is the perfect time to create new healthy habits to support your recovery. 

I know it can feel strange to go from completely overwhelmed to having time to fill, but remember that when you stop drinking you’re moving away from a habit, hobby and preoccupation that took up a huge amount of time, space and energy in your life. 

In recovery, it’s important to replace the habit of drinking with healthy habits that can ease feelings of boredom, restlessness or anxiety that might come up when you give up your main source of entertainment and coping: alcohol. 

Today, Sober Coach Casey McGuire Davidson and Yoga Teacher and Sobriety Podcast Host Ash Butterss share 6 healthy sober habits that will strengthen your recovery, help you process your emotions and navigate life without alcohol, improve your physical and mental health and reduce the risk of relapse. 

6 Healthy Sober Habits You Need In Recovery

  1. Start a gratitude practice to shift your mindset, replace negative thought patterns and feel happier about the path you’re on.

How to get started:

    2. Add exercise and movement into your schedule. It helps ease anxiety and increases dopamine which will make you feel good. 

    How to get started:

    • Start with small goals and gradually increase
    • Find an exercise buddy or join a class for accountability
    • Make it enjoyable by choosing activities that you love

    3. A daily meditation habit can ease anxiety and increase calm. Sleep meditations can also help you shut off your mind at the end of the day. 

    How to get started:

    4. Get in the habit of talking with other people on the alcohol-free path. Regular connection will support you in your recovery and make the process easier and more fun. 

    How to get started:

    5. Journaling will help you process your feelings and track your progress and transformation as you build up your sober days.

    How to get started:

    6. Eat in a way that fuels and heals your body after years of drinking. Nutrition can help you feel good – but don’t go overboard in the beginning. You’ll crave sugar in early sobriety and that is OK!  

    How to get started:

    • Choose whole, nutritious foods for optimal health
    • Practice mindful eating to fully enjoy and appreciate your food
    • Focus on using food for fuel, rather than using it to cope with emotions.

    In this episode, Casey and Ash discuss:

    • Six healthy habits that you need in recovery
    • The benefits of incorporating exercise, gratitude, meditation, journaling, connection and nutrition into alcohol-free life
    • Strategies to consistently incorporate new habits into your daily life
    • Why it’s normal to feel a void in your life when you stop drinking due to the amount of time and energy it consumed
    • Ash’s story of drinking and recovery, plus her experience in rehab and the 12 step program

    Resources mentioned in the episode:

    Ep. 6 | How To Find Friends In Sobriety with Ingrid Miller

    Ep. 39: Tired Of Thinking About Drinking With Belle Robertson

    Ep. 83 | How To Stop Romanticizing Alcohol + Start Romanticizing Sobriety with Kate Bee

    Ep. 97: Diary Of My First 30 Days Sober

    Ep. 109: My Diary Of Early Sobriety From Day 30 to Day 60 Alcohol-Free

    Ep. 122: My Diary of Early Sobriety From Day 60 to Day 100 Alcohol-Free

    Follow The Hello Someday Podcast For Sober Curious Women on YouTube


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    Connect with Ash Butterss

    Ash Butterss is the host of Behind The Smile – a recovery podcast designed to expose and remove the stigma around mental health, trauma and addiction.

    After making the decision to get sober in 2020, Ash set out on a mission, quitting her corporate job and diving deeply into the world of self-development and recovery. Her mission is to smash through the stereotype that surrounds addiction so that other people can feel safe to show up and ask for help.

    With a background in Journalism, Ash is passionate about sharing people’s stories and fearlessly believes that we can normalize the conversation through awareness, education and participation.

    Learn more about Ash and how she can support you on your sober journey, head over to www.ashbutterss.com

    Follow Ash on Instagram @ashbutterss

    Follow Ash on TikTok @ashbutterss

    Stay up to date with Ashleigh Butterss on LinkedIn Ashleigh Butterss – Podcaster/Speaker/Writer – Ash Butterss Inc.

    Connect with Casey

    Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!

    Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.


    Are you looking for the best sobriety podcast for women? The Hello Someday Podcast was created specifically for sober curious women and gray area drinkers ready to stop drinking, drink less and change their relationship with alcohol.

    Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life and sobriety coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit Sober Coaching Course, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

    Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol-free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this is the best sobriety podcast for you.

    A Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, ranked in the top 1% of podcasts globally, The Hello Someday Podcast is the best sobriety podcast for women.

    In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.

    Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol-free life. 

    Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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    6 Healthy Sober Habits You Need In Recovery with Ash Butterss


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    Healthy Sober Habits

    SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Ash Butterss


    Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

    In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

    Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a buzz, how to sit with your emotions when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

    I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.

    Hi everyone.

    Today, we are talking about the 6 Healthy Habits You Need In Recovery.

    My guest is Ash Butterss. She’s the host of the Behind The Smile podcast designed to expose and remove the stigma around mental health, trauma, and addiction. After making the decision to get sober in 2020, Ash set out on a mission – quitting her corporate job and diving deeply into the world of self-development and recovery. Her mission is to smash through the stereotype that surrounds addiction so that other people can feel safe to show up and ask for help. With a background in journalism, Ash is passionate about sharing people’s stories, and fearlessly believes that we can normalize the conversation through awareness, education, and participation. So, Ash, I’m so excited you’re here.



    I am so excited to be here. Thank you, Casey. Thank you for asking me to join you.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  02:26

    Oh, yeah. And you know, the funny thing is, is that we’ve talked earlier, and one of the things we figured out, probably, my god, an hour into our conversation is that we both worked for L’Oréal corporate in the same division.


    L’Oréal is a huge, huge Company. We work together, both in the Lexx division that houses Clarisonic, and Lancôme and keels and Urban Decay. At the same time, you were in Australia, I was in Seattle, but it was funny to figure that out and to figure it out so late in our conversation.



    It’s crazy, isn’t it along my recovery journey. So far, you know, I’ve spoken to so many 1000s of people and what amazes me is the similarities that we have. Now, often similarities are not that close, they can look really, really different. And we share the similar stories with completely different backgrounds. But to meet someone who essentially was living the same kind of life on the opposite side of the world just blows my mind.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  03:29

    Yeah, and just being like, oh, yeah, I know that. And that was cool. And that’s really fun. I have to say I was about a year into L’Oréal when I stopped drinking, so you just hit three years alcohol free. Congratulations.



    Thank you so much. Yes, I turned three last Friday, which was incredible. feels really great to hit another milestone.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  03:53

    I have been shocked how many people have sober-versaries in February because I just hit seven years, two weeks ago. And I know that Kate, who’s the host of Seltzer Squad, just hit seven years as well. I’ve seen so many. Heather from Ditch The Drink, just hit five years. So apparently, we probably all made New Year’s resolutions and it only took us six weeks to like to make them stick.



    Well, it’s really interesting. You say that I had my home group last night and there were four of us in the home group, all celebrating Sober Anniversaries in the same week. So, I think you’re definitely on to something there. February, early March. It’s the time where people they decide like, okay, now I’m really going to give this a go now.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  04:40

    Yeah, like I did my New Year’s resolution. I said screw it. And this still feels awful. So, I’m going to try again, you know for real? I did want to mention because I’ve talked with Ash before. You probably notice.


    I am not right now in my super cute office that I adore in my home. If anyone’s actually watching this on YouTube, I’ve started putting some of my podcasts on YouTube as well as some Coaching YouTube shorts. So, if you look at most of my YouTubes, you’ll notice I’m in my office in my home in Seattle, but I am currently in a hotel room in Yakima, Washington, because my 14 year old son is his team is in the state basketball tournament for the first time in 17 years.


    And wow, yeah, he was on the JV. He’s a Freshman. But he got pulled up a couple times on diversity, which was a huge honor. And when the JV season ended, he got pulled up. So, he is basically getting to go on this awesome ride. And he’s the only Freshman on the team. So, we are here, we are cheering our heads off. He didn’t play a single minute. That was still awesome. It was super cool. And the game last night, it was going to be loser out. And they finally won in double overtime. Like, it was just wow.


    So, it wasn’t pretty. But sometimes you got to win ugly, right? So now, tonight at 9pm, there in the lake Elite Eight. And so, I’m in a nondescript hotel room with my eight year old daughter. And I just sent her down to the lobby with like, $3 or iPad to associate. And I was like, alright, I’ll text you when my podcast is over.



    I love that. That’s the amazing thing about podcasting, though, isn’t it? Like, you can do it anywhere in the world? You just need a computer and a mic.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  06:37

    Yeah, exactly. I put my Yeti mic in my backpack. But oh, so if anyone actually wants to see my videos, my YouTube channel is at Hello Someday Sober. So, you can find it on the Hello Someday podcast for sober curious women. But I’m putting up weekly videos, both podcast interviews, and little coaching shorts. So, come join me over there.


    Alright, so that’s not what we’re talking about. Thank you for allowing me to segue. But we’re talking about the 6 Healthy Habits That You Need In Recovery. And I know that this is something that a lot of my clients have asked about. Because you’re drinking for so long. And a lot of your habits are set up around drinking, right.


    Drinking and recovering, we weirdly plan for it, we make time for it. And when you stop drinking, it’s hard to institute new habits that actually make you feel good. You weirdly have a lot of time to fill up. And what I liked about our conversation about what we’re going to talk about is you’ve got some great practices that are not difficult but are really impactful so that once people stop drinking, you can incorporate this to improve your life so that you keep going in sobriety.



    Exactly right. Yeah. Thank you, Casey. You know, I spent such a long time drinking, I was an active drinker for 20 years before I got sober at 32. And like you said, my whole life revolved around alcohol, all of my socialization, the way that I wound down after work of an evening, it was always alcohol was always present. And the consistency of that, you know, that was progressive over time, by the end of my drinking, yes, I was drinking every single day, but for a really long time, it was maybe just a few times a week. But if I wasn’t drinking, then I was often thinking about the next time that I’d be able to drink. And so, it was it was all consuming. And when I got sober, all of a sudden, I did I had all of this time in this space. And I didn’t really know who I was. I think, for me, a big part of the reason that I drank was because I had spent my entire life hiding behind a smile, and putting up different versions of myself, were wearing different masks to present a version of myself to the world that I thought would be lovable, and that I thought would be accepted. I was, you know, I had this really deep fear that I wasn’t good enough and that I wasn’t worthy. And that if I did something wrong, that you wouldn’t love me. And so, that authenticity, that connection to self wasn’t something that I was able to foster because I continued to put alcohol into my system which kept me disconnected.


    And so, all of a sudden, I go into rehab. I’m there for three weeks the fog starts to lift, and through a lot of extensive therapy I start to understand the reasons why I was drinking in the first place. And as I said, I started to realize that there was this little girl who from the earliest age just didn’t feel like she was enough. And so, I, and as a result of that, I didn’t really have a lot of self-love or self-respect. And I didn’t really know what I liked. Funnily enough, in those early years, I did a lot of performing on stage. And so, again, like I was acting, and I was singing, and that was fantastic, because then I got to spend all of this time not being me and forming more of a disconnection with self.


    And then all of a sudden, at age 12, I discovered alcohol. And what alcohol did for me was, it quie the inner critic. So that voice in my mind, that was so negative, so loud, that was telling me I wasn’t good enough, that nobody loved me, that I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, all of that kind of stuff. When I drank alcohol, that voice started to soften, sometimes it would completely disappear. And that’s when I thought, Oh, my God, I need more of this. So, when I got sober, yes, I’d started to do that work, which was very, very helpful. But in my experience, you don’t get sober, and then all of a sudden, those voices disappear.


    Yeah, it’s quite the opposite. A lot of the time, you get sober. So that solution that you’ve been using for however many years decades, that that disappears, and then all of a sudden, you’re left with the noise. So, you need to adapt new tools that can help you to manage those, and to start to create a really full and whole life because you remove alcohol. And if alcohol is a big part of your life, like it was for me, you’re left with this big hole, and it needs to be filled with something else.

    So, that’s where the development of these, I call, Healthy Sober Habits.

    That they can be used, whether you’re sober or not, to be perfectly honest, they’re just incredible habits that you can implement. And like you said, they’re not massive things. They’re not overwhelming. And I’ll talk you through some of those, but they’ve just made such a huge shift in my life. They’ve filled the hole in my soul. And they’ve also really fostered that development, and that reconnection back to who I am. And when I practice these principles, I am reconnecting with myself and getting to know myself better and better. And that really helps me in the long run in protecting my sobriety, because I’m starting to rebuild that self-love and that self-worth, to the point where I now don’t want to put alcohol into my system, because I don’t want to be disconnected from self.



    Casey McGuire Davidson  12:36

    Yeah. I have a question for you. Before we dive into that, and I’m really excited to dive in, because I think it’s something that is going to help so many women, you went to rehab, and I wanted to ask you about that because I know you were working in corporate at the time, we’re working at the same company. And a lot of women are scared of rehab or don’t know when is the right time to go. I mean, we spend a lot of time being like, I’m not that bad, I should be able to do this on my own that scary, I can’t get away. And so, I just kind of wanted to ask you about what helped you make that decision and what was it like? Because I you know, I worked with a sober coach. So, I didn’t do that.



    Hmm, absolutely. I was in the complete cycle of addiction. So, what that looked like for me, I refer to it as Groundhog Day, I would wake up every morning and this was towards I would say this was for the last two years of my drinking. I would wake up every day and I would have a shocking hangover splitting headache, nausea. I would stumble out of bed, get myself ready for work because I was still showing up for life. Yeah, I was a very high functioning alcoholic use. You hear that phrase thrown around a lot. And I identify with that because I was able to get up, get myself to work.


    I’d be in the office by 8:30. I would work a full day and all through the morning as I was traveling to work and sitting at my desk, I would say to myself, I’m not going to drink today. I’m not going to drink today. I’m not going to drink today. And I truly believed that. And as the day started to carry on and the hangover started to lift, you know, by about lunchtime, a couple of coffees and then by lunchtime I’m able to stomach food. All of a sudden, I would change my mind. Or at least I thought that was what was happening. But what I now understand was that was the disease of addiction. kicking back into gear were all of a sudden, I started to rationalize and justify. Maybe one drink would be okay. And off we go again. So, as I’m driving home, I pop into the bottle shop I get one bottle of wine. I tell myself I’m only going to have two glasses and then I’m sit down I have that first glass, oh, actually, this is nice. Maybe I’ll have another one, I have that second one, and then all bets are off, and I can’t guarantee my behavior. And 9 times out of 10, I would be drinking to blackout. I’d wake up the next morning, and the cycle would repeat itself.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  15:16

    Again, when you drink a bottle, or you drink more than that or go out. Oh, more, more. I would always so I would only I would only buy one bottle. But I was also buying those little mini vodka bottles. And I would actually have those on my way home so that I could present to my husband that I was only having the bottle of wine. But then, the truth was, every time I went to fill up my glass, I would then take a swig of the liter bottle of vodka that was in the freezer, because I wasn’t getting the effect that I needed from the bottle of wine. So, it would.


    Yeah, it would either be two bottles of wine, there would always be vodka peppered in there. And unfortunately, it was that I would have to drink to blackout, I actually didn’t have an off switch. Yeah. And sometimes that would be after one bottle, sometimes it would be more I never really knew. And so, I knew that my own willpower wasn’t going to be enough to stop, because I had tried. I had tried switching drinks. I had tried limiting the amount I took. I had tried everything. Hiding it, you know, not buy everything. And every single time, I would end up back in this cycle. And so, the reason I made the decision to go to rehab was because I knew that I needed a circuit breaker.


    I do have a couple of family members who are in recovery. And you know, I’ll talk about my dad. He’s been sober 13 years, and he’s gone through 12 Step fellowship. And so, I had popped into a couple of AAA meetings throughout the decade leading up to getting sober. And unfortunately, every time I went into one of those meetings, I was so consumed with guilt and shame that the noise in my head was so loud. I couldn’t hear what the message was, I couldn’t hear what people were saying. And so, I knew that that wasn’t going to be an option for me.


    I needed a circuit breaker, where I was physically removed from alcohol. To allow that fog to lift so that I could then actually absorb what I needed to hear. And what I needed to learn about myself, what I needed to learn about alcohol, what it was actually doing to me, so that I could understand that on my own. I wasn’t going to be able to do this. I needed support.


    Yeah. And then it was. When I understood that, all of a sudden, I was able to look at sobriety as something that I could actually step into. And it could be a whole new life waiting for me. I was so afraid to give up alcohol because I thought that if I quit drinking, I was going to live a really boring life, I was going to lose all of my friends. I had a big identity wrapped up in being a party girl, what would happen to that Ash, there was so much fear around all of that. And I wasn’t able to see through that cloud of fear until I got sober. But it’s the chicken in the egg. I couldn’t get sober until I was, I had that physical removal on my own.

    Casey McGuire Davidson 

    Hi there. If you’re listening to this episode, and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit.


    The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step by step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one on one coaching. And the sobriety starter kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it. And when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time.

    This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step by step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking, from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

    You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better. You’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach, you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course 

    Casey McGuire Davidson  18:25

    I had shown time and time again, I wasn’t being really helpful for lots of women. And I know just in various groups, women who have gone to rehab, and some of them say it was like the best thing they’ve ever done. They just needed to get away from the pressures for a while to concentrate on themselves. How did you choose where you were going to go? And what was that experience like?



    The rehab that I chose to go to was actually up in Sydney. So, I live in Melbourne, but I was living in Sydney at the time. And I had known somebody that had already gone to this rehab. It’s actually called South Pacific private. And it’s modeled off the meadows in Arizona. So, they work with Pierre Melody’s developmental model of immaturity, they focus heavily on codependency. So, I had known about that. And I’d actually visited the rehab before because this person that I knew had spent time in there, so I had known a little bit about it. So, that decision was actually quite easy because I had that information.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  19:31

    And I assume it was much less scary because I know it’s terrifying for many people. You have like this worst case scenario of I’m going to be locked in a room with like four roommates and it’s going to be off.



    Yeah, and it was still really scary. Like I still remember being driven up. It was an hour’s drive to get there from the airport. And I still remember like so much fear so much trepidation, this particular rehab is a psychiatric hospitals. So, the room that I was staying in was with about four other women. Okay, hospital beds with the curtain like it was not a it was not plush. It’s not no, it was it was hardcore. And I needed that. So, I knew what I was going into. But I was so desperate at that point that I was prepared to do anything.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  20:24

    Alright, thank you for sharing that I just, I haven’t asked someone before. And I know. It’s just something that I personally don’t have experience with. So, thank you very much for, for sharing that, of course. And as others have said to you before, I would echo the same it was for me personally, the best decision I’ve ever made.



    Great. All right, well, let’s move into healthy habits. Because I mean, you have completely and totally changed your life in the last three years in the best possible way.



    I have. Yes, I would love to dive into those.


    So, I have formulated 6 Sober Healthy Habits that I’d love to share with you today, Casey.


    The first one that I would love to start with is, writing a gratitude list. So, for me, writing a gratitude list is a really powerful tool to help develop a positive mindset. And what we need to remember is that our thoughts create our reality. So, if your mind is focused on positive affirmations, positive intention, and gratitude, then that’s where your life will steer, there’s this energy that will move you towards that. What you focus on is what you create abundance in. Likewise, if you’re focusing on the negative, then life is going to feel really bleak. And it’s actually been shown that through consistent practice of gratitude, we can rewire those neural pathways and actually start to develop a long term positive mindset.


    So, there’s so many benefits to this really simple task. And for me, how I write my gratitude list is.


    I’ve got 3 tips. The first one is that I love to share my gratitude list. So, what I do is, it’s part of my morning routine. I have a really consistent morning routine, which is something that I started very early on in my recovery. And so, part of that is after I pray, and I meditate, and I’ll come back to meditation in a moment, as I sit down, and I write this gratitude list, and it doesn’t have to be long it can be you know, I always say like minimum three, as many as you want. But start with at least three. And then what I do is, I actually share that list with a group of women.

    So, we have a WhatsApp group called the gratitude gang. And it’s a bunch of sober women that I’ve met along my journey, and we share our lists with each other every single day. So that’s really helpful. Because if there’s data, because we don’t necessarily always feel grateful. Some mornings you can wake up and you can read the other gratitudes. And, you know, somebody might be grateful for a warm bed to sleep in at night, you know, the simple things. Somebody else might be grateful, you know, a gratitude that I had the other day was, I’m grateful that I know, I haven’t harmed anyone today. And that’s something that back when I was drinking, I couldn’t guarantee that.


    So, they can be really big, they can be really small. And that’s what my second tip would be. Is Focus on the small things. Access to clean drinking water, the sun popping out through the clouds, if that happened for you today. A roof over your head. I think sometimes when we think about gratitude, we think about the really big stuff. Like, getting the job, getting the partner, our children, accolades. And it’s not about that. It’s like, these really micro positives shift, that when we practice it on a daily basis, then we start to see it in more areas of our life. It’s like, you can’t be what you can’t see. So, we need to create this positivity by focusing our minds on where we can see that abundance.


    And then tip number three is and I’m going to bang on about consistency a lot in the next little while. It is it’s all about consistency. And that harks back to that neuroplasticity where we’re actually looking to rewire the neural pathways. And we do that by doing by practicing something and forming a habit. So, for me, I think with consistency, it’s not only about being consistent in the amount of time that we’re doing that. So, for me daily, but consistent in the time of day and that’s going to help you to stick to that, so it first starts to form part of your routine. So, for me, I do it as part of my morning practice. I couple that with my prayer and meditation and sometimes journaling. And then from there, I’m able to set up my day in a really positive way. So that when I go out and I enter the world, I’m the best version of me that I can possibly be.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  25:11

    Yeah, I love that. And I have to say, in early sobriety, and probably for my first like, year or two, I also had a really great gratitude practice. And of course, as you’re talking about it, I’m thinking, Oh, I really need to get back to that. I feel like I’ve incorporated it into my life in like, small ways every day, but totally agree. So, I did two things in early sobriety, when I also found the gratitude group, I found it through the BFB, which I’ve talked about, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes of this episode, on how to, which is my favorite secret Facebook group. But we gotten a group of 6 women. And we just had our own Facebook group, and we just posted every day, what you were grateful for. And then you could comment on other things. And the fact that we all were alcohol free, and we’re on this path kind of bonded us as well, you got to know their lives.


    The other thing that I did was, I started just writing on a post it note every day, five things I was grateful for. And they were really small things like oh, my daughter giving me cuddles and coffee in the morning and a great conversation after a workout. But what was funny is like, sometimes I do it often when I was coming home from a workout in the morning before I went to shower. But I didn’t do that every day. So sometimes, it was in the afternoon or evenings. And like, I remember my eight year old son Hank coming down and just being like, Oh, Mom, are you writing your gratitude list? And I was like, Oh, yeah. And he was like, what’s on there. And so, I’d like to put him on my lap and be like, you’re on there, buddy, like for a very specific thing. And I had this picture, this glass picture, it’s still in my office, where I fold it up all the posts and put them in and I could just see the gratitudes, like, grow and grow and grow. So, you know, sometimes we’d go around the dinner table and like write down five things we were all grateful for and put him in the picture.



    And it’s just, I feel like it’s good for your kids too. Absolutely. I know a lot of moms that do a similar practice. So, it doesn’t have to be in the morning, you could do this as a family activity after you finished dinner. And it’s a beautiful way to involve your children in this practice of gratitude and start them off at a really early age. I think that’s beautiful. And I love the idea of filling up a vase or something where you can see your gratitude grow. That is just beautiful.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  27:55

    The other thing I wanted to say is, what I love that you said about this is, being positive and noticing all the good things instead of the bad things because a lot of people spent a lot of time looking backwards when they stopped drinking, missing out. And I did a whole episode, I’m going to link to it as well, with Kate from the sober school but the topic was specifically start romanticizing sobriety, instead of fantasizing drinking. So, you know, waking up in the morning and feeling amazing, like noticing that moment, being able to read a book at night and just be all cozy. I mean, when I was drinking, I did not read books, right? I would like basically not remember the end of TV shows a great conversation like gratitude also does help you romanticize sobriety. And I love that because it’s critical.



    Oh, I couldn’t agree more. It’s so true that where you focus your energy, what you look at, that starts to grow, because we have a choice in every moment of every day to either see the positive or the negative. And in every instance, there’s going to be both. That’s just how life works. It’s up to us what we choose to see and what we choose to focus on.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  29:19

    I just, I know we need to, because you have so many good tips. But one thing that I remember in my first year alcohol free was, I went with a group of women to this Brené Brown speaking event in Downtown Seattle, and I’ve driven there and basically afterwards, we went out for dessert. We were all alcohol free. So, like apparently women who don’t drink we go out to Brené Brown and out to dessert. It was lovely. But I went back to my car and the garage had closed like my car was you trapped. And it was you know it closed at nine and it was 10 o’clock and in the old drinking days, I would have been like, a piece of shit. I can’t believe I screwed this up. I’m an asshole. Blah blah blah blah…. Mike’s going to think it’s because I was drinking, you know, my husband or whatever. And instead, I was like, Okay, call the number. The guy was there, he answered the phone, he gave me the code. Or actually, I had to walk two blocks to get the key. I walked two blocks back, I unlocked it, I did drive there to get his key. But the entire time I was like, oh my god, I’m so grateful. He picked up the phone, oh, my God, I’m grateful. I’m sober. So, I can0 like, have a conversation with him. I drove it back. And it was supposed to be like a $50 fee. He’s like, I’m not going to charge her. I was like, what a great guy not to charge me and I was driving home and like, I’m so glad I’m safe. When you talk about rewiring your mind, that would have been so different. Even if I, you know, had whatever, like, I’m not worried about calling Mike. I mean, I told him, but I wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed. I was like, Dude, that sucks. But I was lucky. You know what I mean?



    Absolutely. And it’s a really great segue.


    I’m actually going to jump to talking about meditation with you now. What you’ve described there is not only practicing gratitude but practicing the pause. And what I mean by practicing the pause, is, it’s this moment where you can either automatically react, or you can pause and choose to respond. And the ability to do this is something that is developed when we practice meditation.


    So, before I got sober, I remember downloading the Headspace App, because I was seeking something outside myself to feel the God shaped hole that was inside of me. And I tried to show up on my cushion every morning to meditate before I went to work. But of course, the problem with that was that I was shockingly hungover 99% of the time. So, if I did manage to get myself onto my mat to meditate, it wasn’t a very pleasant experience, because the noise was very loud, very foggy, very unclear. And then the other 50% of the time, like I just didn’t even bother, because I was racing around, trying to get in the shower, off to work, on time, all of that. And so, what happened was when I got sober, meditation was something that I picked up again very, very quickly. And it has made just such a huge change in my life. It’s something that I practice every single day. And what that looks like can vary based off what life is doing at that time.


    I’ve gone, and I’ve studied Vedic meditation. And when I’m in a period of my life, where I’m practicing that, you know, that’s 45 minutes, twice a day, that’s it, that’s a lot. For most people, that doesn’t have to be the reality. Most of the time, these days, I am doing 10 minutes. And it’s normally in the morning as part of that morning routine. But even that 10 minutes a day, allows me to drop into myself, it helps me to feel relaxed, it reduces stress. And it gives me clarity, clarity of mind. So that again, I’m able to better walk into the day, and have the tools and be prepared to face what life is going to throw at me. So, when things happen, you know, whether it’s, you know, something out on the road, or an interaction with someone, you know, that catches me unaware. Because I have this clarity of mind and this almost like this serenity and this peace, I’m able to pause and respond. And it gets me out of a lot of trouble.


    I think, you know, a lot of the time when I was drinking and I was in active addiction, like I was just reacting to everything, you know, really fiery, accusatory blaming, you know, these days, like it’s, it’s profound, the shift in this sense of calm and ease. And the other thing is like, the more I meditate, I’m able to create this space to allow my thoughts and my actions to come in. It’s like this heightened sense of awareness, and this greater sense of consciousness like it’s, it’s amazing and it’s, it’s something that is such an important part of my daily habits today.


    So, I want to share with you three tips on meditation because I know a lot of people hear the word meditation and they think absolutely I couldn’t, I would rather stick needles in my eyes than sit with my own thoughts for 10 minutes. So, the first thing I want to suggest is to start small. So, if you’re new to meditation, literally starting with one or two minutes, that’s all you need to do. And you can do that. Just anywhere. Like I often say to people, just stepping into the shower, closing your eyes for a moment, and being aware of the water as it hits your skin and runs down you that is practicing mindfulness. So just start small. 1 to 2 minutes. And then as you start to feel comfortable and confident with that, you can start to add a minute each week until you’re up to whatever, you know, 5-10 minutes a day, whatever feels good for you.


    The second tip that I’ve got is actually using guided meditations, they are so helpful, especially if you have a busy mind. So, for me, even these days, a lot of the time I will meditate in silence. But then there are other days where I know that my mind is swirling, and the voices are really loud. And so, I put on a guided meditation because I can follow the voice. And then it allows me to come back to the present moment. So, it’s that real training the mind which is essentially the practice of meditation. There’s really great apps out there. There’s Headspace, There’s Calm. On my website, I’ve got 3 free guided meditations that you can check out. It’s ashbutterss.com. So, there’s lots of different places that you can go to find guided meditations.


    And then third, and finally, consistency, as I said, with our first with writing a gratitude list, meditating every single day, they’ve shown it, you know, Tibet to meditate 10 minutes a day is much more beneficial than meditating once a week for 60 minutes. So, if you can carve out that time and stick to it, then you’ll see greater benefits over a longer period of time.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  36:58

    That sounds great. I love that. The one that I use is Insight Timer. And I use that bed time. I actually have a really hard time quieting my mind before I go to bed. And I’m sure that’s one of the reasons I used to drink. Kind of, just to shut down my busy mind. And I had a big fear when I was stopping drinking about being able to fall asleep, right, it takes you a while to get in the habit of going to sleep without drinking. So, I found Insight Timer really helpful. You can search. I am sure common Headspace have this as well. I just know Insight Timer is free. And you can search for SLEEP meditations. And there are hundreds and hundreds, but I just put it on. And you know, it sort of walks you through breathing and tensing and relaxing and thoughts to have and things to let go. So, I’m not that great at doing it any other time of day. But almost every night, I do it to kind of shut down.



    I absolutely love the sleep meditations. I’m the same someday at some evenings, my mind will be really busy. And if that happens, I just pop on one of those guided meditations. And you know, pretty quickly I’m off to sleep. It’s really great advice. Awesome.


    Number three, the healthy sober habit that I’d love to share with you next is all about moving your body exercising. So, for me, I had a real love hate relationship with exercise. And I always like to share that with people before I start talking about exercise because today, I’m a yoga teacher. And I think sometimes people just assume that I’ve always been into health and fitness and it’s absolutely not the case. I never identified as being the sporty one at school. In fact, my brother was very sporty, and our family life was revolved around his playing sport. And I really resented that as a child, like my daughter being dragged to her brother’s basketball tournament. She’s actually thrilled because she’s getting at a third grade right now.



    Yeah, I mean, well, that’s pretty exciting. But I hear you she sat through hours and hours and hours of baseball.



    Yeah. And so, I almost went the opposite way. And that’s where I sort of went into the musical theater and the drama. But the other thing is, I started smoking cigarettes at age 14. Like, I was drinking and dragging from a really young age. And so, cigarettes came into my life. And so, you know, I just wasn’t really interested in in exercise. Towards the end of my drinking, similarly to the meditation, I did start a little bit of yoga. Because I think that unbeknownst to me, I was really drawn to the spiritual practice and the spirituality that underpins yoga, but I didn’t know that at the time. However, because I was practicing either hungover, sometimes I would, I would have alcohol in my system going to class. You know, I was never able to fully experience all that the practice of yoga has to offer.


    Fast forward to today, I’m in recovery, I’ve left the corporate world, I now teach yoga. And I’m so passionate about helping people to understand that mind body connection, and the benefits that come when we move our bodies. So, it’s really important to understand that. I think we all understand exercise is great for maintaining physical health, but it’s actually our mental health that benefits from physical exercise. So, when we exercise, you know, the brain releases those chemicals, which we’ve all heard before endorphins and serotonin. And that really, that’s a direct link to improving anxiety and depression. But it also helps to improve your self-esteem and your cognitive function. So, there’s an overwhelming amount of evidence to show that when we move our bodies, we feel better, we’re more positive, our overall health improves, and our overall well-being.


    Now, like I said, exercise may not seem accessible for everybody, and I appreciate that. But once again, I want to break it down. The first thing is, if you’re worried about your fitness level, start small, a 10 minute walk around the block is a great place to start. They say that 30 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week is the minimum requirement for us to get those benefits with mental health. So, if you think about that, you know, 10 minutes a day would hit that mark. Or if you wanted to do longer periods, but not necessarily every single day, you know, you need to find out what works for you. But key number two is the consistency point that I’m going to make. Again, if you’re exercising once a week, unfortunately, you’re not going to see those health and wellbeing benefits that I was just talking about. So smaller, smaller amounts more consistently would be my advice around that. And tip number three is to make it fun. So, exercise does not have to be boring or mundane. If you’re not into exercising by yourself, if you’re not a runner, then go to a group class or you know, join a Tennis Club Golf like whatever it is, it’s a really great place to actually meet people and connect with other people. And we’re going to talk about connection soon in one of our healthy sober habits. But when people get sober, one of the things that I often hear them say is, I’m lonely. And so, finding people to actually play sport with is a really amazing way to not only look after your mental and physical health, but then you also get that connection as well.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  43:02

    Yeah, I did the same thing. I started. I was sort of already in a morning fitness group. And it was at like, 5:30 in the morning with a bunch of moms who, you know, that was the only time they could fit it in their day. But I mean, I would go and after having a bottle of wine in my belly and do burpees, which felt like punishment, like just truly, there is nothing worse than doing burpees with a huge hangover, and a headache. But when I stopped drinking, it was really amazing because women who work out at 530 in the morning, other than me, apparently are not huge drinkers. I mean, typically, most of the other women like they don’t drink during the week, I’m like, What the fuck is this? You know what I mean? They have a glass of wine on a date night. I’m like, I don’t know what you’re doing. But the cool thing was, I got to know them, be friends with them, talk to them three times a week. You know, you go out you connect with people, you get some endorphins going you feel good about yourself, you feel justified in going to bed super early, because you get up early. And it does really have that sort of physical emotional connection to people just through finding activity. So, I highly agree that was super helpful for me.



    Awesome. And you’re right, it’s about finding your tribe. If you are hanging out with people who exercise at 530 in the morning, they’re most likely not going to be binge drinking on the weekends either. And so, you can then start to develop those connections even deeper. And maybe it starts with you doing your morning fitness group and then all of a sudden, you’re grabbing a coffee on the weekend, or you find that you both have interests in other areas. It’s just about getting yourself out of your comfort zone as well. That brings me to my


    Casey McGuire Davidson  44:57

    Oh, well. The only other thing I wanted to say was Completely agree about hanging out with them. Otherwise, like started doing 5Ks with them, I actually decided to go to coaching school because we went out for a 6:30am coffee with a group of four of us. And one of the women was a nurse turned out to be one of my best friends and said, Oh, yeah, I’m a nurse, but I really want to become a coach. And I was like, me, too. We ended up going to coaching school together, like just through action. So just completely, you know, a lot of people when you’re not drinking, or are like, Okay, how do I meet other sober people?

    First of all, that is amazing. And, and there are lots of recommendations, I have another podcast on finding friends and sobriety. But you also can just find other people were drinking isn’t the most important thing in their life or isn’t a huge component of it.



    So absolutely. So that brings me then to my next healthy habit, which is all about connection. So, I truly believe in sobriety connection equals protection. What I mean by that is, the more connected you are, the better defense you have against relapse. So, it’s my understanding and the way that whether you identify as being addicted to alcohol or not, if you have a problem with alcohol, that pool to go back and drink is so strong. And I truly believe that that’s how it works. The more that it’s pulling you back to drink, the more disconnected you are from not only yourself, but others around you. Because if you think about it, even when you sit down and you have a conversation with someone and you’re drinking, at the time, you might feel like you’ve had this really deep, connected conversation. But then, you wake up the next day, you can’t really remember a lot of it, you’ve probably overshare things like, I don’t really believe that they’re truly authentic conversations. And I only say that, in hindsight, being 3 years sober, and the amount of conversations I’ve had with people sober now. And it’s like, you can’t even compare the two. I describe it as the conversations I have in sobriety with other people that are sober, like they fill my cup. And I leave those interactions feeling really fulfilled and really whole, and really energized. Conversely, if I go into an environment now where there’s alcohol, and I spend an evening talking to people, I can still enjoy myself. But I don’t get that same fulfillment, it’s actually the opposite. I often leave feeling quite depleted. And so, it’s really interesting that I do believe that alcohol is that great disconnector.


    And so, what happens when you get sober, you’ve all of a sudden, you don’t have this social lubricant that you’ve leaned on, and that you thought you needed to be social and to be to have friends. And for me, like there was a lot of fear around being around alcohol in that first 12 months because I didn’t want to relapse. And so, as a result of that, I really isolated. And what happened was, it was really uncomfortable. I didn’t, I wasn’t really enjoying my sobriety in the way I do today. Because I wasn’t making friends, I wasn’t really going out. I wasn’t doing a whole lot. And I talked about that as being the most uncomfortable year that I’ve had in sobriety for that exact reason. Whereas fast forward to my second year of recovery, and I started to lean in, I started to make friends. And today, I actually spend more time with my sober mates than I do with my drinking friends. And that’s not to say that I’m still close to my, have got girlfriends that I went to high school with, they all still drink. And we just do different things these days. You know, we don’t go to bars anymore. Like, when we catch up, we go for walks, or we have different forms of connection. But where I find that, I find I get that that real sense of belonging and wholehearted connection is when I’m hanging out with other sober people. And there’s plenty of places to establish your own sober community.


    So, the three tips that I have staying connected. The first one is do the opposite of what your head tells you. And what I mean by that is a lot of the time your head is going to try to keep you disconnected and keep you isolated. But you need to do the opposite and force yourself even if it feels uncomfortable. To reach out to people, like, making friends as an adult, I think can be quite awkward. But as, and especially so. But just remember that when you’re connecting with other sober humans, they’re feeling the same way. And then once you do form those friendships, like they’re absolutely beautiful. And the conversations that you get to have like, you go deep straightaway, it’s like the first time we met Casey. Like, we are just you just get straight into the conversation, you know, and it’s beautiful. And it’s raw, and it’s authentic. And you do. You feel that really, you feel really full, and really whole, which is absolutely beautiful. And when you’re feeling all of those feelings, there’s not there’s no space for that, that negative voice in your head to start telling you to pick up a drink. You know, you’re not feeling restless, irritable, or discontent, because you’re filling up your life with these beautiful connections.


    The second tip that I always suggest is try a 12 step meeting, if it’s for you. It’s not for everyone, and I completely understand that. But I do talk about it, because it is part of my recovery. And I find that this is one of the easiest ways to find like-minded people who understand exactly what you’re going through. So, whenever I’ve been in a new city, you know, I go to one of these meetings, and I find people that that understand me, and it’s a beautiful place to find connection.


    And then the third one that I want to talk about, which is something that continues to grow and get stronger is the online sober community. It is such an amazing space out there. And I must say, it’s really welcoming and really inviting. So, if you’re sitting there listening to this podcast right now and you’re like, I’m you know, 12 step isn’t for me, and really nervous to, to meet people face to face to complete strangers, then jump online, there are so many incredible sober humans out there. Tick tock, Instagram, Facebook, wherever you want to go, you will find us. And we’re all really open and willing to help connect you with other people as well. Sober coaches are phenomenal at helping with that as well. So, they’re my three tips for connection, just remember, lean in.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  52:07

    Yeah. And just to play off that I completely and totally agree. You know, when I first started, and I actually have a ton of people who listen to this podcast, as well as my private coaching clients, and people in my course who’ve joined the BFB, which is a private secret Facebook group on online, it’s completely free. And so, I have a guide on how to find it. It’s called the booze free brigade. And I know a lot of women do attend 12 step they really like that. The good news there is that of course, it’s free. And it’s in every community as well. I know the luckiest club, a lot of women really like their monthly community and meetings, as well as I’ve met a lot of women who are in the supermom squad. So, there are groups that are free groups that are monthly paid, really an Instagram lot, you know, so many people there who are sober. So, you know, I feel like it’s a little bit like pulling on a thread, you’re listening to this podcast, you’re going to find something to take out of this to connect, all I would say is like all your fears about people knowing that you might be worried you have an issue or that the other people may have drama, or be weird or be further down the path than you are or not like you are going to find lots and lots of women who are just like you thinking the exact same things you are who have jobs and spouses and kids or are career women or childless like empty nesters like, you know, you are not alone. And you’re going to find your people.



    And the sooner you do, the more you will enjoy your sobriety. That’s been my experience. Yeah.


    Let’s start now with Healthy Sober Habit number 5. I want to talk to you Casey about writing a journal. So, I started writing a journal consistently, when I was in rehab, it was something that they really encouraged us to do just to be able to get our thoughts out, particularly when we were in moments of perhaps experiencing a trigger or craving in those moments where your brain is still telling you that you want to drink because we haven’t rewired the pathways yet. So, your first response is to want to take a drink to numb out and not have to process or feel what’s going on. What they would encourage us to do is, to go into our bedroom and to write it out. And so, I started writing this journal every single day and that’s something. It’s a practice that I have stayed consistent on, and it become such a powerful tool. To allow me to connect back to myself, you know, journaling not only creates a space for reflection, but it opens up this channel for your stream of consciousness to communicate back to you. And it can also be really powerful for helping you to actually recognize those triggers or those patterns, so that you can become aware, and then create change. Again, you can’t be what you can’t see. So, if you’re not aware of a particular behavior or pattern, there’s no way you’re ever going to be able to shift it. But if you start writing things down, and you start to see these consistencies pop up over time, then you can say, hey, when I speak to this person on the phone, every time I hang up, I feel like this, and I want to have a drink, okay, so maybe you need to be aware of when you talk to that person, what’s going to come up, limit the amount of time you’re speaking to them within a week in order, it enables you to enact these small changes that you can make throughout your life. And it’s also really helpful tool for you to be able to set intention, and really start to guide your life.


    For me, when I was drinking every day, I was very much on the hamster wheel. And even though I was showing up and I was ticking life’s boxes, that’s where a lot of confusion came for me. Because I was doing everything that society told me to do. I got married, I bought a house, I was climbing the corporate ladder. But inside I did. I felt like I was on a hamster wheel, I didn’t really know, like, life was happening to me, rather than it happening for me. And in getting sober and getting really clear on actually who I want to be what is my purpose in this life and on this earth? What can I give back, all of that has become really clear to me, as I’ve continued and maintained this journaling practice.


    And in relation to recovery, like it also shows that, once again, when we can be really clear on what’s going on with our mind, then we can become more empowered to take back control and make better decisions for ourselves in the long term, in the long run. So again, there’s an abundance of evidence that shows that this is such a powerful tool and a simple tool that you can implement into your life to help create that net vibrant outlook.


    The three tips that I have, because again, people might say I wouldn’t even know where to start. Google is your friend. If you don’t know what to journal, jump onto Google and type in journal prompt. And it will give you a number of different prompts that you can start with. And you can change that every single day. Or maybe you focus on something that’s been playing on your mind, and you just write about that.


    The second tip that I have is you can do what’s called free writing. So, decide on an amount of time that you want to journal for that could be 5, 10, 15 minutes. Set the timer, put pen to paper, and just see what comes out. And for the first two to three minutes, it might just be I’m sitting here right now. And I’m meant to be journaling. But there’s no thoughts coming out and then all of a sudden, there will be an unblocked edge and your free thought will flow through. And that’s incredibly cathartic to be able to get that out and get pen onto paper.


    And then of course, you know what I’m going to say for tip number three consistency. Commit to showing up to your journal every single day, even if you just write one sentence, one affirmation, you know, a one that I love to write down is like, how do I want to show up in the world today? And then I free flow from that.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  58:57

    I love that I never was a big journal-er. But I realize it’s just because it didn’t happen in a conventional way. So, when I stopped drinking, I had I had my sober coach fell from tired of thinking about drinking. And I emailed her every day, and I emailed her pretty much five days a week for like two years. I had her on the podcast, and we exchanged 800 Plus emails in two years, which is crazy. But I would write her and be like day 16 Here’s what’s happening. I actually recorded my day one to day 100 sort of diary from emails I sent her. But what was helpful on that as I was reflecting on what was hard, what was triggering, what I thought would be hard but wasn’t as much. Like you said, you can start to see patterns. I actually figured out that I had a mild mood disorder because of those emails, because I literally had documented Like when it sort of descended, and when it lifted and how I felt every day and talking to my therapist, we were able to be like, Oh, it was here to here. That was three weeks with no obvious trigger, and then suddenly it was gone. And I mean, I agree with you, it is so helpful on this journey to track progress, to understand challenges to see patterns, growth, all that stuff.



    Mm hmm. Yeah, it’s a really powerful tool. And I think it can often be overlooked, but it’s a really simple one. I love the idea of just emailing. Again, you could even do that with someone if you if you wanted to. It’s just about getting your thoughts out of your mind. And onto a lot of people blog, right, you start anonymous. That’s how if anyone’s read Clare Pooley’s Sober Diaries, and Mrs. D Is Going Without, and Belle Robertson’s Tired About Thinking About Drinking, all three of those started as just anonymous daily blogs.



    Absolutely. Our final, Sober Healthy Sober Habit. Our final Healthy Sober Habit is nutrition. I used to treat food the same way that I treated alcohol. And what I mean by that is, it’s something that I put into my body to make myself feel good. And that unhealthy relationship that I developed with food actually stems back to my childhood. As I mentioned earlier, my brother played a lot of sport when I was growing up, and my parents were heavily involved in that, like, my dad would always be the coach at the club, my mom would be helping out with uniforms and everything else. And we were there every single weekend. And this was like 52 weeks of the year, it wasn’t football, it was cricket. And I remember being at the sporting matches on the weekends, and I didn’t have anyone to play with a lot of the time. And so, I’d go up to my mom and I, you know, try, and engage and interact with her. And she would always hand me money, and tell me to go to the canteen, or we call it a tuck shop here in Australia. And so, I take that $5 And I would head over to the canteen, and I would buy lollies. Or we also have these things in Australia called Mr. Wimpy Vans, which are ice cream trucks. And what happened was, over a period of time, I started to view food as a friend. And food was my companionship and food made me feel good. But because I’m an addict, and I don’t know how to moderate, I would abuse food. And I would eat way too much until the point that I would make myself sick. And then as I got older, the reverse happened. And in my teenage years, I went through a period of really unhealthy restricting with my food. So, I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food until I got sober.


    And what happened was, it was actually last year. I went and spent a week at a health retreat up on the Gold Coast in Queensland. And this health retreat was very heavy on education. So not only were we being fed, really nutrient rich, beautiful food, but every day we had seminars that were targeted around helping to educate and understand how food actually impacts the body. And all of a sudden, it was like this light bulb went off in my mind. And all of a sudden, I realized that food was fuel for my body. It wasn’t about how it made me feel. It was like, I need this for my body to function. And one way it was put to me was, if you think about your brain being like an expensive car, it’s going to function at its best when you put premium fuel in the tank, right? So, it’s exactly the same with our food and what we eat. The more high quality foods that we put into our body that are full of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, the better we’re going to feel. So, you do, of course, you get ,then the physical benefits of that, but more so and what’s really important I think in sobriety is, the impact it has on your mental health.


    So, I’ve got three tips for nutrition. The first one is stick to the 80/20 rule. If anybody is listening to this podcast and they’re in their first I’m going to say 12 months, I would hazard a guess that you’re eating a lot of sugar. And there’s a really good reason for that alcohol is full of sugar. You know when I used to drink, I never had dessert at restaurants and never


    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:05:00

    I wouldn’t have thought I didn’t have a sweet tooth. I literally know I can take or leave ice cream. I’m not really into that. I was proud of this. I was like, No, this is how amazing I am.



    I was exactly the same, then all of a sudden you remove alcohol and the shooter, where is the effing milk chocolate?



    Oh my gosh, I am the same chocolate girl through and through chocolate and ice cream. I go crazy for it these days. And so, I’m not one to say that you can never have that again. And you know, if it’s a choice between a chocolate bar or a bottle of wine, please pick up the chocolate bar. Yeah. In saying that, over a long period of time, your body will thank you if you choose to put more nutrient rich food into your body over food that doesn’t have a lot of benefits to it.


    Rule number two, when you’re deciding on what to eat, I would encourage you to reframe the question. What do I feel like tonight? Change that to what does my body need tonight? I think it’s such a common thing that we say we say to our partners, what do you feel like for dinner? That’s not the question that we should be asking ourselves. It’s actually like taking a moment to think, what have I had today? How much how much protein have I had, how much vegetables, you know, what do I need to put into my body to really round out my food intake for today to make sure that I’m getting all of the nutrients that I need to help this body function and perform at its best.


    And then tip number three is to create a rainbow on your plate. So, the key to a nutritious whole foods diet is to ensure that you’re eating a variety of foods. So, I always try, and I am not perfect at this. But I always tried to incorporate at least three different colored vegetables. And that can be really fun, especially if you’ve got young kids, you know, like what colors can we add to the plate today, broccoli, sweet potato, you know, there’s so many different ways that you can have fun with that. That that that will ensure that you’re getting again, a variety of really beautiful nourishing foods for your body.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:07:21

    That’s awesome. Super, super helpful. Anything else you want to add? I know we’ve gone over the usual length, but I’ve, I’ve gotten so much out of this conversation, I wanted to make sure we didn’t miss any part of it.



    You know what I would say Casey is, there is a saying that I’ve heard in my time, and it is


    “progress, not perfection.”


    So, for anybody listening, I want to be straight up with you, I do not do this perfectly. And that is okay. It’s more about the intention to want to show up for yourself, and to try your very best. And if you have a day where you don’t meditate, you don’t journal, you eat a bag of potato chips. That’s okay. We’re humans. We’re not perfect beings. And it’s just about doing your best. Not picking up a drink, because we’re choosing to live these sober lives. And the beauty of this life is you get to start again tomorrow. So go gently and know that this is a journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And to be kind and loving to yourself is the most important thing of all.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:08:37

    Yeah, one of the things that I love and thinking about this is you know, healthy habits. I absolutely love the book atomic habits by James clear, it’s one of my favorites. I’ve actually recorded three podcast episodes, solo episodes on applying those principles in making incremental change to not drinking, because I love the books so much. But he talks often about these 1% improvements, and how self-improvement is the compound interest of good habits meaning, if you start a gratitude list, right, that may seem very, very small, but over weeks and months, that does change your outlook on life. It does change your default thoughts. Same thing with starting exercise. I recently read a study that yes, they recommend 30 minutes at a time, but even 11 minutes of walking every day can significantly reduce your chance of disease. So, it really is about these 1% improvement so six habits may seem like a lot. Start with one.



    Absolutely. Yeah.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:57

    And so where can people find you and listen Do your podcast and all that good stuff.



    So, you can find me on Instagram at ash butters. My website is Ash Butterss. that’s double T E R double s.com, ashbutterss.com. And of course, my podcast, Behind The Smile. It’s a recovery podcast where we share stories of those who have walked the journey, as well as having experts come on to talk about really interesting topics such as love addiction, co-dependency. It’s all there. And really that goal to remove the stigma to have these conversations be normalized. That’s what I’m most passionate about. And you can find Behind The Smile, where you listen to all great podcasts.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:10:45

    Yeah, and if you ever want to hear my story, I actually was on the behind the smile podcast. So that was a it was a really great conversation.



    Thank you. Yeah, I absolutely love sitting down and talking with you, Casey, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to sit here with you today on Hello Someday.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:11:05

    Oh, I’m sure so many people learned great things. So, thank you.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 


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