Episode 146: Are You Drinking Too Much? What You Need To Know About Alcohol

In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Toni discuss who is and isn’t drinking alcohol and why. Did you know that any consumption of alcohol increases your risk of cancer and can impact symptoms of perimenopause like hot flashes? There are new recommendations for drinking alcohol in Canada based on new research and it might be time to question our culture around drinking alcohol, especially for moms.

Research shows that any alcohol intake over 100 grams/week can increase your risk of death and reducing your alcohol consumption from 196 g per week to 100 g per week or below may increase your life by 1–2 years when you are 40 years of age.

100g of alcohol = less than 7 standard drinks

14g of alcohol per standard drink

  • 12 oz of 5% beer, cider or cooler
  • 5 oz of 12% wine
  • 1.5 oz of 40% liquor/distilled alcohol – gin, vodka, rum, etc

Standard Alcohol Calculator: https://therightamount.ca/sensible-guidelines/standard-drink-calculator/

Signs of alcohol use disorder include:

  • Blacking out or not remembering things that happened.
  • Continuing to drink even if it causes distress or harm to you or others.
  • Drinking more or longer than you planned.
  • Feeling irritable or cranky when you’re not drinking.
  • Frequent hangovers.
  • Getting into dangerous situations when you’re drinking (for example, driving, having unsafe sex or falling).
  • Giving up activities so you can drink.
  • Having cravings for alcohol.
  • Having repeated problems with work, school, relationships or the law because of drinking.
  • Needing to drink more and more to get the same effect.
  • Not being able to stop drinking once you’ve started.
  • Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from drinking.
  • Wanting to cut back but not being able to.
  • Obsessing over alcohol.

Women have a different metabolism of alcohol!

Women have lower activity of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase in the stomach than men, which leads to a higher absorption of alcohol in women by up to 30% when the same volume is consumed compared to men.

How Alcohol Can Impact You in Perimenopause:

  • Affects hormones
    • Increases estrogen levels through aromatization
    • Increases stress hormone cortisol
  • Decreased libido
  • Increased fat storage and weight gain
  • Increased risk of cancer:
    • Low (1 drink daily or less) alcohol consumption increases the risk of esophageal cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer
    • Moderate (1-2 drinks daily) alcohol consumption increases the risk of colon cancer, rectal cancer, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, breast cancer
    • High (over 2 drinks daily) alcohol consumption is linked to almost all cancer incidence and increased cancer mortality
  • Poor sleep
  • Worsens hot flashes
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Worsens mood swings, feeling stress and anxiety
  • Worsens blood sugar swings/feeling hangry
  • Poor impulse control “say, do” things you otherwise may not
  • Increased risk of accidents
  • Disrupts your gut microbiome and can lead to leaky gut
  • Increased inflammation

Alternatives to Drinking Alcohol:

  • Enjoy other drinks like tulsi tea, kombucha, sparkling water
  • Avoid triggers
  • Connect with friends over coffee, tea or an activity like walking or sports
  • Enjoy dry bars or mocktails at a cocktail bar
  • Attend social events that don’t revolve around alcohol like Jaybird, othership, sober music festivals

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of 24gooddeeds.ca charity advent calendar.

Dr. Toni loves getting outside on the weekend to enjoy the fall colours at local parks.


What’s Else is Happening?

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety to support their natural instincts around labour and birth is happening this fall. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective Masterclasses are happening this week and enrollment is open till mid-October- find out more about this revolutionary and international program. Sign up here for her masterclass (Oct 6th at 2pm or Mon Oct 17th at 7:00pm EST). Follow Lisa on instagram @drlisaweeksND – link to masterclass is in her BIO and we will share the registration link in the show notes.

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You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!Disclaimer:The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 72: Hard Habits to Break? How to Use The Four Tendencies For Lasting Change

In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni discuss habits and Gretchen Rubin’s, “The Four Tendencies” framework behind why you keep or don’t keep habits. If you’ve picked up some bad habits or have let go of some healthy habits during the pandemic, you’ll want to listen in to find out why and how to start changing your habits.

Why do you have certain habits?

  1. Trigger – Automatic, autopilot, routine or low energy
  2. Behaviour – Healthy or unhealthy
  3. Result or outcome – Reward with positive feelings or negative feelings and impact

What can you do to interrupt automatic habits and behaviours?

Between your trigger and behaviour: pause; set timer, do something you enjoy for 5-10 minutes (eg. journal, go for a walk), then see how you feel

Four Tendencies, as outlined in Better Than Before book by Gretchen Rubin

  • Distinguishes how you respond to inner and outer expectations
  • Why you keep habits or don’t
  1. Upholder
  • Meets both inner and outer expectations
  • Self-starter, reliable, motivated, thorough
  • But can become defensive, rigid, impatient, demanding
  • Can experience burn out and not say no
  • Key strategy for habit change: Does well with scheduling and monitoring
  1. Questioner
  • Meets inner expectations and resists outer expectations
  • Data-driven; desire to create efficient and effective systems
  • Like to play devil’s advocate
  • It isn’t enough to be told what to do
  • Needs to know why
  • Reliable, strong-willed, responsible
  • Can suffer analysis paralysis – can manage with seating deadlines, establishing limits, consulting authorities
  • Key strategy for habit change: Strategy of accountability and clarity with monitoring and collecting data 
  1. Obliger
  • Resists inner expectations and meets outer expectations
  • People pleaser and puts a high value on meeting commitments to others—“I’ll do anything for a client/patient/family member”
  • Requires deadlines, oversight, monitoring, and other forms of accountability
  • Key strategy for habit change: Give self treats or rewards
  1. Rebel
  • Resists both inner and outer expectations
  • Independent-minded
  • Unswayed by conventional opinion, willing to buck social conventions
  • In touch with their authentic desires
  • Act as though ordinary rules don’t apply to them
  • Restless; may find it difficult to settle down in a job, relationship, city
  • Repelled by routine and planning
  • Struggle with repetitive or mandatory tasks
  • Needs any behaviour to be convenient and to add to their identity
  • Key strategy for habit change: Strategy of Identity

Consider the following Habit Hacks:

  • Approach your habits and behaviours with self-love, compassion and forgiveness, as we discussed in Episode 55
  • Be intentional and recognize your autopilot behaviours
  • Remember the why
  • Commit and schedule it in your calendar 
  • Pair it with something else – making your own lemon water while making kids’ breakfast
  • Break it up into bite-sized chunks
  • Be accountable – text a friend or post on social media, join online community
  • Monitor progress – track in calendar or journal with gold stars or check marks, post on social media (see Episode 11 to learn more about using a bullet journal)
  • Avoid “all or nothing” thinking – you can start over anytime


Take the Four Tendencies quiz by Gretchen Rubin.

The Alcohol Experiment and This Naked Mind Podcast

This Week’s Mama Must Have: 

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of Australian Carob Co carob chips to keep her chocolate intake in check. You can get them from Natura Market.

Dr. Toni loves Smart Sweets gummy bears and peach rings for a sugar free treat.

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is happening in May. Join her by signing up here

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Don’t miss MomFest Digital 2021! Dr. Lisa is one of the headline speakers on May 13th at 9:15pm. Get your tickets HERE!

Email us or connect with us on Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!