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Season 1 | Episode 2 bonus content

One Thing Today: Drinking Diary

What’s one way we can be more mindful about what we drink?

January 3, 2023 | 6 minutes

Hosts Callie Chamberlain and Dr. Poole continue the coversation from Episode 2

In this bonus episode, new host Dr. Kenny Poole joins Callie Chamberlain to talk through tips and tactics for tracking your beverage consumption habits (with a focus on alcohol) by keeping a drinking diary.

Speaker 1: Welcome back to another bonus episode of Until It's Fixed. I'm your host, Callie Chamberlain. These conversations are all about drawing connections between the big topics we dig into in our main show and our own lives. So in each bonus episode, we'll talk through one thing we can do for ourselves related to these topics. And today, before we get started, I'm so excited to introduce you to my new co-host, Dr. Kenny Poole. Kenny, I'd love if you could introduce yourself [00:00:30] to the listeners before we dig into today's talk.

Speaker 2: Thanks, Kelly. I am the Chief Medical Officer for a clinician and provider experience for United Health Group. I'm also a general internal medicine physician. I'm really excited about being a part of until it's fixed and looking forward to a great season.

Speaker 1: Awesome. I'm so glad to be doing this with you, and I'm looking forward to your unique perspective as a practicing doctor. So in last week's episode, we are talking about sober curiosity, which is about being more mindful of what we're consuming and how [00:01:00] it makes this feel specifically related to alcohol. One of the things I came away from that conversation thinking about was how personal this conversation really is and the topic itself, right? Because it can be hard to talk about and there really is no one size fits all. It's all a personal journey. What about you, Kenny?

Speaker 2: You know what, what, what? I came away thinking about what's this concept of awareness, and that's what the drinking diary is all about. When we talk about our relationship with other things [00:01:30] like food, even it's widely accepted and and recognized that tracking our calories or our sodium intake or other nutrition measures is something that is useful. It's helpful, it helps us understand exactly what we're taking in too much of, or what we're not taking in enough of. And so using that same logic, if you will, that same approach to our drinking is [00:02:00] something that is important as well. And so this concept of a drinking diary is something that I found fascinating. And as an internal medicine physician who's practiced primary care for well over a decade, I've never really encouraged a drinking diary to my patients. And so again, it's something that I have found interesting going forward in something that I'm gonna actually look into doing for myself.

Speaker 1: That's awesome. And I love the comment about [00:02:30] eating and thinking about tracking that as well, which is maybe a much more common concept in our society. That's definitely something I've heard a lot about as well, is just kind of tracking what it is that we're eating. And so the drinking diary is very similar. It's basically just a habit tracker where you're writing down everything that you're drinking, alcohol or otherwise, and you're also taking regular notes on how you're feeling emotionally and physically after consuming these different beverages.

Speaker 2: Yeah, and you know what's interesting about this is that we [00:03:00] don't really notice our own habits. Like most of us don't pay attention to what we're drinking, particularly if it's something that's not with a meal. So, you know, this really gives an accurate record of information to help us make better decisions.

Speaker 1: Yeah, absolutely. And I really love that It's also telling us a little bit more about how different amounts of drinks or different kinds of drinks are making us feel and how that impacts our day.

Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah, [00:03:30] I agree. So how would someone go about making a drinking diary?

Speaker 1: I think the biggest thing is just to decide where we're gonna keep your notes. I know for me, I have things in so many different locations and that's not always helpful if I'm trying to track something. So probably the first thing is just to decide where it is that is the easiest place you can put down all of your information.

Speaker 2: I think the important piece is tracking all of your drinking, including water. And that's something that's different from [00:04:00] other types of nutritional intake tracking this, you're tracking your water intake as well.

Speaker 1: Yeah, I love that. And probably tracking how much you're consuming as well, right? Because how much water you're drinking, how much wine or beer or coffee you're having is also probably important. So I'd like to add that.

Speaker 2: I'd also add setting an alarm to check in with yourself a few times every day, maybe when you get up or over lunch or even late in the evening, and writing down how you're feeling at those times, whether you [00:04:30] notice what you're feeling or not. And that's the point of the alarm.

Speaker 1: Yeah, I really like that. And then of course, reviewing all of that information after maybe like what, a week, two weeks, however long it feels like. You know, you need to be tracking to have enough information to make decisions, right?

Speaker 2: Yep. And, and the review needs to be intentional. So you know, first you wanna ask simple questions. Am I drinking as much water as I thought? Am I drinking more alcohol than I thought? Am I drinking more of the things in between, more than I thought coffee [00:05:00] or soda or juices or milk? Um, how do I feel after drinking water, coffee, alcohol, or these other things? And you can keep going if you want, but a lot of folks find value in doing this even just for a little while. So just one or two weeks. But there's really no right or wrong outcome whether there's a behavior change or not. The goal is about attention, intention, and making informed decisions about our wellness and just really being aware of what we put in our bodies.

Speaker 1: Yes, I love that. And I think that's a great way to sum up the idea [00:05:30] because whatever else is going on in our lives, we can take this one simple step to reflect on our relationship to alcohol and how that makes us feel, and if it's really working for us. So I'm excited. I know Dr. Pool and I will be trying out some of the ideas that we discussed and we'd love to hear from you if you're doing the same. And with that, we'll be wrapping up this particular conversation for now. So join us next week. We'll be back and talking about the fact that Americans are living longer than ever before and how our healthcare is adjusting to account for that. [00:06:00] Thank you so much for being here, and we'll catch you next time.