Unravelling The Different Types of Non-Alcoholic Drinks and How They Can Help You Drink Less or Not at All with Michelle Houston

Episode 159 April 03, 2024 00:57:18
Unravelling The Different Types of Non-Alcoholic Drinks and How They Can Help You Drink Less or Not at All with Michelle Houston
Alcohol Tipping Point
Unravelling The Different Types of Non-Alcoholic Drinks and How They Can Help You Drink Less or Not at All with Michelle Houston

Apr 03 2024 | 00:57:18

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Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

If you’ve been confused or overwhelmed with all the non-alcoholic drink options out there, listen to this podcast episode. Michelle Houston is here to help us figure out what NA drinks are out there, what they do, and how they might help you on your drinking journey. Michelle is the Co-Founder of To Be Honest Beverage Company, a hemp-infused non-alcoholic spirit. Her journey into sober curiosity originated from a mental health struggle, having been entangled with alcohol since age 14. With a pivotal decision in 2022, she intentionally quit drinking but didn’t plan on stopping forever. Nearly two years later she’s still alcohol free.

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Find Michelle and TBH Company: https://www.tobehonestbev.com/ https://www.instagram.com/tobehonestbev/
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. I'm your host, Deb Masner. I'm a registered nurse, health coach, and alcohol free badass. I have found that there's more than. [00:00:10] Speaker B: One way to address drinking. If you've ever asked yourself if drinking. [00:00:14] Speaker A: Is taking more than it's giving, or if you found that you're drinking more. [00:00:17] Speaker B: Than usual, you may have reached your own alcohol tipping point. [00:00:21] Speaker A: The alcohol tipping point is a podcast for you to find tips, tools, and. [00:00:25] Speaker B: Thoughts to change your drinking. Whether you're ready to quit forever or. [00:00:29] Speaker A: A week, this is the place for you. You are not stuck, and you can change. [00:00:34] Speaker B: Let's get started. Welcome back to the show. Today we have Michelle Houston. She is the driving force and one of the founders of, to be honest, beverage company. Her journey into sober curiosity originated from a mental health struggle. Having been entangled with alcohol since age 14, she made a pivotal decision. In 2022, she intentionally quit drinking. She didn't plan on stopping forever, but here we are, nearly, excuse me, two years later, and she's still alcohol free. I love that. So welcome to the show, Michelle. [00:01:17] Speaker C: Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to connect with you today. [00:01:21] Speaker B: Me too. Well, can you give us a little bit more about your background, who you are, what you do? [00:01:27] Speaker C: Yeah. So from a personal perspective, like you mentioned, I didn't intentionally plan to stop drinking for all time. It was more a matter of I really struggled with anxiety at the time, and I was going through a difficult period in my life where I was feeling lethargy, lack of motivation, really couldn't get myself focused on the things that I wanted to focus on. And I was coming out of the health and fitness realm. So I taught fitness and coached, and then I segued into health coaching. And so it felt like I had all of these intentions when it came to wellness and healthy choices. So fitness, food, sleep, and then there was this alcohol thing that kind of just kept cropping up for me. And having been someone who had started drinking at such a young age, it had always been a part of my life. It was a part of my family. It's a part of our core culture. My husband has been in alcohol production for the past ten years, and so it was kind of always surrounding us. So I never really pinpointed it as something that I needed to shift away from until I kind of hit that crux almost two years ago and just felt like something needed to shift, something needed to change. And so I just decided to take some time off of alcohol, which I had done before, kind of from that sober, curious realm of dry January, sober October, and doing those things in the past, but this time, for whatever reason, it was just different. And one month became two months, two months became six months, and I just. The longer that I got away from alcohol, the better I felt. And the motivation started to come back. The feeling of energy that I wanted in my life and in my day to day to do the things that I wanted to do as a coach, as a business owner, as a woman in my life, it felt more aligned, so it just kind of snowballed. And then with our company, really, that motivated my husband, who's been in beverage manufacturing for a long time, to start to look at and think about non alcoholic options, which is kind of where, to be honest, came from. From the beginning. [00:03:47] Speaker B: Oh, interesting. I so appreciate your perspective. I think that it's what we're seeing more and more of. It's the big shift in how people view drinking. And a lot of people are just giving up drinking because it's shit for your health, mentally and physically, you know, like, you don't have to have a dramatic rock bottom. You don't have to have a drinking problem to quit drinking. And I think that's so important. And I think that the sober, curious movement is. Has been really helpful for people to just have safe places to explore your relationship with alcohol, to just recognize, like, is this really something I want in my life? I like how you said you realized it wasn't aligning with you, with your values and how you were living your life, and so you just chose, like, you know, what, without any expectations. Right. You're just like, I think I'm gonna give up drinking. And then just kept rolling. [00:04:50] Speaker C: Yeah. For me, at the time, you know, we just talked about this at an event that I was in, in a panel discussion, but I felt like at the time, I also wanted to really model a way of life. I wanted to be an inspiration and to be something that I can control my choices. Right? Like, as a. As a person, as a human being, I can control my own choices, but I can't necessarily control anybody else or their choices. And I think for a long time, when I wanted to help, when I wanted to improve, when I wanted someone to perhaps make different choices in their life, I always wanted to try to control or to guide or to support them. And I realized that I wasn't necessarily modeling the lifestyle that I was maybe even encouraging them to take. And so there were people in my life who did have somewhat of a consumption problem when it came to alcohol. And I felt like, okay, if I can demonstrate, model and show that choosing a life without alcohol is okay, that it's okay to be at family functions and not drink, that it's okay to go out on the town and not drink, that it's okay to be at home with your spouse and partner and not drink, that I felt in some way that I could help improve that situation for that other person. Not saying that it did, but realistically, it gave me the power of choice and gave me that intentionality. And I felt like I could more confidently show up in my day to day life and felt good about the person that I was being in entirety and felt like, again, I was finding that alignment for myself and that it didn't matter necessarily what that person was doing, but that I felt more confident and comfortable and satisfied with my choices in that situation. [00:06:43] Speaker B: And I like that you said choice because I think a lot of people get to the point where they're like, I have to give up drinking and they feel like it's not their choice. And so, like you said, like, there is empowerment in, like, choosing not to drink. [00:06:59] Speaker C: So much empowerment. So much empowerment. And it makes me think of it when you think of a diet, right? A diet is really restrictive. And so many people go into wellness choices, coming from that health coaching background, so many people go into wellness choices and say, well, I can't have this now. I have to limit. I am missing out. I am losing. When you look at it as an opportunity to bring in, to call in, to add in and what that looks like for your life, it's a totally different mindset shift and a different perspective psychologically for you in how you're approaching that. So again, there are people who struggle, and I'm sure you've talked to many with alcoholism, with the addiction, and it's a bit of a different conversation. But coming from my experience, which is, again, that more sober, curious perspective of, okay, well, I don't necessarily have to stop drinking, but I get to stop drinking and I'm choosing to stop drinking. [00:08:01] Speaker B: I agree. And I think even, you know, I don't use the term alcoholic because it's, it's not the medical terminology, it's alcohol use disorder. And it's on a specific. But I think even if you are at the point where you need to give up drinking, let's say it's causing more harm in your life than it's giving, you can still own that decision. [00:08:26] Speaker C: So sobriety, I think that's a good way to look at it. And you're right, that's a lot of the conversations that I'm actually having with those people who have felt like they have an addiction or an alcohol use disorder, like you say, coming from that perspective, where they had to stop, they needed to stop, but realizing that perhaps the pathways for sobriety are a little bit too rigid for them, and they have welcomed, in an alternative way of looking at choosing to stop drinking. So I think that where we're coming from, and we've had this discussion a lot over the past six months since launching and talking to a lot of folks who are on that sober curious or sober journey for themselves, of everyone's on a spectrum. Like it used to be. Like you have a problem and you need to stop and you are over consumed or like you're drinking. And then there was just nothing in between. Like, you either drank or you didn't drink, and there was a very specific reason that you weren't drinking and you had to explain that reason. Right. But now there's such a spectrum of folks who are making that decision on a day to day basis and who want to explore what it means to not drink and what that looks like for their life, what it looks like for their mental health, what it looks like for their families, and there's so much to that. There's so much opportunity to explore in that world. [00:09:56] Speaker B: Awesome. Love it, love it, love it. So I'm curious, so how did you get to then you were working as a health coach, your husband was in the beverage industry, and then you decided to make this company. Tell me more about that. [00:10:13] Speaker C: Yes. So my husband has been in alcohol production for the past ten years, which is the other reason why our brand is really designed for the sober, curious person and not necessarily the sober person. And we can get more into that discussion with the type of product that we have when we kind of chat more about alternative na drinks. But coming from his experience, he's very good at what he does when it comes to flavor profile development, when it comes to the chemistry of manufacturing alcoholic drinks, non alcoholic drinks, and everything in between. So I don't think that I would have really launched or created a non alcoholic product just based on my journey, but because he has the experience that he does, we started talking, we started trying non alcoholic options. We started exploring that realm and really finding what I wanted that replaced or fit the need of the nightly ritual, or when we were going out or hosting dinner parties, what was I going to have through that process? And I'm sure as you know, the experience of getting a mocktail or alternative option in the past has sometimes been really limited. Maybe it's just a juice or a really sugary option or something that just doesn't feel quite crafted or adult enough. And I really wanted that adult crafted luxury experience. And so he started playing around with the non alcoholic options, and one thing kind of led to another. I did program with a local women's business center. We got a grant to get started, and it launched just last year in 2023. [00:11:58] Speaker B: That is so cool. So speak to the different kinds of NA drinks. Well, I just say n A for non alcoholic, can you kind of go through because there's quite a spectrum of those Na. What would fall under non alcoholic drinks? [00:12:16] Speaker C: Absolutely. I'm so glad that we are going to have this discussion because I think for a lot of us, we're not sure it is an expanding market. The sober, curious market right now, when you look at the Nielsen data, is exploding. It's going up at, like 300% over the past few years. And so there are all these new things that are coming out, especially as legislation changes and regulations change. We're starting to see new offerings on the market that we've never seen before. So I did put together just, like, a short little list of distinguishing between some of the terms of the non alcoholic movement. So, first of all, non alcoholic can actually refer to any beverage containing less than 0.5% alcohol by volume or abv. So those types of drinks often replicate alcohol in some way. They imitate the flavor, the packaging, kind of the overall appearance. So whether that's beer, wine, distilled spirits, and this is kind of like your majority of the n a market, realistically, is under that 0.5% alcohol by volume. Then you have what's called de alcoholized. So that's when something has been created in the traditional style. So you're fermenting a beer, you're fermenting a wine, you're distilling a spirit. And then what you're doing is you're removing the ethanol from that product. And really, it's kind of like an oversimplification of the pro, the process. And again, my husband is the beverage manufacturer. I run sales and marketing, and really the front facing side of the business. So he's, like, into the science of the nitty gritty of it. But what you're doing is you're kind of removing a lot of the flavor compounds, you're removing the ethanol, you're removing that, and then adding the flavors back in. In order to produce that finished product. And then we have what's called zero proof. So zero proof should be just that. Anything that is zero alcohol. So not up to 5% anything. And this is typically your product that never had alcohol from the beginning. For example, our product is a zero proof product because it never had ethanol from the get go. Or if you're familiar with the company, all the bitter. They are technically a zero proof bitters because they have a totally different process. It's essentially a steeping process for their bitters. And then you have what are called adaptogenic or nootropics. And those really refer to, like, herbs or some sort of other plant source or material that's supposed to help the human body can adapt to stress. That's kind of the main goal of that type of product. It can be totally a range of plant based supplement like factors. They're not technically supplements, but they're in that realm. And this can make you think of, like mushrooms, reishi, lion's mane, things like that. And then the brand three spirit are known to be adaptogenic. So that if that kind of brings something to mind, and then hemp infusion. So this is technically our product. So hemp infusion is that industrial hemp derived product that contains what we have is a CBD isolate. Now, other products, like Aplos, if you're familiar, is actually more of a broad spectrum when it comes to the hemp derivative. So they have different things to them, but they're really meant to be more the physical effects of the hemp plant rather than the mental impairment. And then there's cannabis derived, or cannabis infused, which we're seeing on the market as well. And that's really your marijuana derived. So that's got that THC aspect to it that's going to give you the mental high, which is the goal of those products. And that can be on all different levels. We're seeing a lot of different things with dosage. Some that have a bit more, perhaps some that have a bit less. And so, like, that experience is going to be different for everyone. And again, depending on the dosage, is important to pay attention to for your own personal consumption. And then the last distinguishing factor that I'll mention is that there's a difference between what we call RTD, or ready to drink, versus spirits. So with everything that you're seeing on the NA market, you have your ready to drink, which can be beer, wine, or any canned beverage that's like a sparkling soda water or tea, and that's meant to be poured out and consumed just as it is, versus your spirit like options that are meant to be combined in a craft cocktail or mocktail, which is what our product is. [00:17:05] Speaker B: Interesting. Okay, that is helpful. And I guess I didn't even realize there was all that diff. I knew there was a lot out there. And when I wrote you, when I was coming up with the questions, I was like, I'm getting confused. So as I was first thinking about this, a lot of people can feel triggered by these na types of beverages. And what do you have to say to that? Or what's your advice about that? [00:17:35] Speaker C: So I think it's an important thing to know about yourself. People have asked us whether this product is good for their sober friend, and I always say it depends on the person. So that conversation that we were having of people are on a spectrum. There are folks, and I've spoken to them, who will not introduce beer, wine, distilled spirits, mocktail options, even if they are completely non alcoholic or zero proof, because it can be what we'll call, quote unquote, triggering. So those people who have had potentially an addiction in the past, and this is not my specialty, so please, obviously seek the right resources, the right support for this. But from what we have understood in bringing this product to market is that there are people that this is not going to be a good fit for. Some or no non alcoholic product is going to be a good fit for. So I do want to distinguish that there are non alcoholic products that are available to everyone, and for most people, they're not going to be an issue. But we're specifically speaking to your non alcoholic products that are meant to replicate in some way alcohol. Right. So it's important for each person to have the discernment for themselves. I have heard that for certain folks, because it's a psychological thing for them when it comes to consuming alcohol, even if they have a mocktail, even if they have a non alcoholic beer or wine, it will lead them down a slippery slope. So I do not advise anyone, if they are on that path, to even try it. I would not even encourage it, and I wouldn't recommend our product for those people. Because even though it's not necessarily meant to be a replicated gin in its entirety, it is gin and liquor inspired. So I think it's important for someone, if they do feel triggered by any type of alcohol or being around or consuming, that I would stick with your traditional sodas or your alternative options on that front and just kind of stay away from this particular non alcoholic realm. [00:19:55] Speaker B: Thank you for that I agree. I think if you're triggered, don't trick them. You know, there's no one way to do these things. But if you find that it's helpful, and I found that it can be very helpful for people to have a replacement drink, an adult beverage. Like you said, I remember when I really got into Na beer was when I was most successful. When I finally quit drinking, I really use the Na beer options. And, I mean, this was 2020. I can't believe how much it's changed, even since 2020. But 2020, there still weren't that many great options for Na beers. But for me, it was so helpful because I. It was such a ritual. It was such a habit for me to get home from work and have an adult beverage, have something. And I was even thinking, and I've said before, like, I want something my kids wouldn't drink. And so for me, it was very helpful to have that replacement beverage, whatever that looks like. But for others, like you said, it. [00:21:04] Speaker C: Might not be helpful. [00:21:05] Speaker B: So you don't have to go there. But it's nice to know that there are these options. [00:21:11] Speaker C: Well, let's. [00:21:12] Speaker B: Let's talk about your. What you are specializing in, since there are so many. So you're under hemp infused, and you kind of touched on that. But I think when I think of hemp, I'm thinking of marijuana, and then I'm like, CBD, THD, and full disclosure, like, I've never, like, pot has never been my thing. So I just don't know, like, the differences between all the different pot derivatives out there, marijuana derivatives out there. So can you tell us a little bit more about that? [00:21:50] Speaker C: Yeah. Such an excellent question, because there is a lot of confusion, and I have to point out the fact that there's also a lot of propaganda and marketing that we have lived and experienced around cannabis, around marijuana, around hemp in general. Hemp wasn't actually allowed in America predominantly because of the effect that it had on the economy. Right. So if cotton is a major crop within our economy and hemp threatens that, it's something that we're going to push away. And that's seen historically with a lot of our progressive options, whether that is gas versus electric or other things. So I won't go down that route, but I think it's important. [00:22:36] Speaker B: Yeah, I just do want to interrupt for just a sec. So hemp, you're comparing hemp to a cotton plant because hemp is hemp. Marijuana is. I know you're getting into this, but now I'm like, oh, yeah, there's all these hemp clothing thing options. So, hemp, can you tell us, like, why you would be even comparing it to cotton? [00:23:01] Speaker C: What I have learned, and my experience is more from an economical perspective. So I want to bring up the point that we have sometimes these belief systems based on what we have been essentially marketed or learned in some way. So, technically, hemp wasn't federally legal until more recently. Right. With 2018, I think it's the Farm Bureau act, and it wasn't because hemp is bad. That's the point that I'm making. So hemp can be used in a lot of different ways, just like a lot of different plants. They have a lot of different uses. So the way that we're using it is only one of the uses that hemp can be used. But hemp has been introduced for, like you said, clay clothing or production and making other things. So when hemp is lumped into the marijuana category and you look at the history of how marijuana has been marketed as a really bad drug, that's going to negatively impact someone. It's a gateway drug. It's going to lead you down this. [00:24:13] Speaker B: Path of. [00:24:16] Speaker C: For lack of a better word, criminal. Criminal. Criminalizing it. Right. That there's a lot of conflation that happens there. So I'll focus in on our product. So when you think of hemp, because you're right, hemp and marijuana are technically, like, the same. And I'm still, I'm not. I'm not an expert in this, so I can't give you all of the scientific details, but essentially, you're looking at the same type of plant. They're just like, compound differences between them. And so in as much as I can explain it, there are different CBD and THC infused products on the market. And you're looking at your hemp derivatives, and you're looking at your marijuana derivatives, and the clear distinguishing feature, really, between them is that CBD versus THC. So when you think CBD, I think more physical effects, and when you think THC, you're going to think more mental effects. So when you think of that classic, like, oh, marijuana, it's that mental high that people are experiencing, and that comes from the THC. So that's that psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Now, our product is specifically industrial hemp derived. What we get is a CBD isolate. So again, there are other products on the market that offer what's more called a broad spectrum. So that's bringing in more of the chemical compounds of the hemp plant to offer a various effect or a varied effect for certain people. Now, when you think of CBD, a lot of people think more of it as kind of like a supplement, like, you know, with potential benefits. And there are some research, some data, some information that I can chat a little bit about that gives you those potential health effects of that physical experience. Again, that distinguishing factor really being mental versus physical. Is there anything you want to chime in there before I keep going? [00:26:35] Speaker B: I don't think so. That's helpful. So CBD is more, CBD and hemp are more physical, THC is more mental. That traditional high from marijuana? [00:26:50] Speaker C: Yes, absolutely. And so you mentioned, like, you've never been a pop person. I haven't either. Like, I was never a marijuana smoker. It's not that it's a bad thing in my perspective. I just, it wasn't my thing. Again, I drank. So that was kind of like my addictive coping mechanism, like quality about my life. For me, it wasn't marijuana. CBD I find to be more supportive of my health overall. And so everybody is different. And because CBD is technically not FDA approved and it's also not something that is a supplement that we can say it does this for you, we kind of have to speak in more loose and general terminology. So I'm going to share things that I have experienced, and I'm going to share things that perhaps our customers have experienced and that people have said that they've experienced with CBD. So with that, people may feel more relaxed, they may feel muscle tension relief, they may feel kind of that chill, comfortable vibe that kind of alleviates stress, potentially aids in sleep, and potentially helps manage pain for some. Again, it's something that is still being explored. And I think we have to be really conscious of the fact that, again, everybody is so different in how they react and respond. Now, I will say that a lot of people, when they tend to react poorly, it's usually the THC that they react poorly to. I've had a conversation with someone who went to the emergency room the first time she smoked because of THC. Not common, but that was her reaction. She, I told her, I was like, do not try our product. She did anyway of her own choice and volition, and she was absolutely fine. So the important thing to remember for yourself as you're looking at these options is to have the discernment to decide, right? Like, this is what I'm looking for, this is what I want. And I was surprised as well because I was a little bit nervous to introduce this type of product to the market? Are people going to be receptive to it? Are they going to be interested in it? Do we live in a slightly conservative area? Are people going to even be accepting of this type of product? And what we found is that people are over the moon excited about the CBD aspect of it and the fact that it doesn't have that mental quality to it. Mental high. That being said, I have had several people come up to me at markets or events and ask about the effect of the mental high because that's what they're actually looking for. Because they use gummies or they've smoked in the past. So, you know, everyone's on a different journey here and everyone's experiencing kind of these newer options in different ways. And I think, again, for each of us, we have to make that discernment and choose what do we want out of this? What is the experience that we're looking for, whether that is mental or whether that is physical or just avoiding it all together and allowing themselves to choose something that isn't in this realm. [00:29:59] Speaker B: Yeah, and I agree, like, drinking was my thing. That was my thing. And so as much as I've tried to replace it with pot, it just, it's just just not the same. So with your drinks, I mean, you kind of alluded, and I like, thank you for your disclaimers about, you know, it's not FDA regulated. People keep that in mind. So this, your drink is just CBD hemp infused. So will people get high from it? [00:30:33] Speaker C: No, that is, that's a very clear distinction. Yeah. So it's a CBD isolate. In choosing the CBD isolate, we can be very specific about excluding those things that provide any additional questionable feeling or sense of mental high. Our product is not designed to give you any mental high, although there are products out there like that on the market. Ours is specifically that CBD isolate that is meant for the physical relaxation, the stress relief and anything that someone might feel as an experience with that. Realistically, our product is really designed to be enjoyed by an adult who's making a choice about their experience and kind of fit into hopefully, what is a balanced lifestyle. That's kind of our point of living really intentionally, living really mindfully. And this question kind of came out of what we've been chatting about, but really we're talking a little bit about addiction. And that question of, is this going to be something that leads me down that slippery slope and everyone again has to decide for themselves? But with CBD, the risk of addiction is low, if negligible. Or non existent, at least from the information and data that we have. So the World Health Organization put out a study in 2018 that CBD was not addictive. Quote, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. To date, there's no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD. And further, in a Harvard Health article, it was found that CBD can help lower cravings for tobacco and heroin under certain conditions. According to some research in Humans, animal models of addiction suggests it may also help lessen cravings for alcohol, cannabis, opiates, and stimulants, which I think is so interesting. So it's kind of like taking the opposite side of what you would think would be a quote unquote, typical drug response. And so we're really, again, just kind of like wrapping our heads around fully understanding. I know that the FDA is in the process of testing for hemp to ensure and for CBD to ensure that it is a healthy or quote unquote acceptable response when it comes to approval within America, which is a big deal and could be a really exciting forefront. What access looks like for us when it comes to some of these tools and things that we consider potentially positive. And again, I'll put a caveat in front of all of them, because everyone is totally different. And so discerning for yourself, I think, is the most important part. And figuring that out along as you go. [00:33:25] Speaker B: Yeah, I so appreciate this conversation because I admittedly have grouped everything together as marijuana. And just thinking of it as, like, it gets you high. And so making the distinguish between CBD and THC, traditional ways of getting high, I think, is. Is really important for people. And I love that there's research out there that's showing its health. It helps diminish cravings. And how ironic. Like, it even helps diminish cravings for cannabis, for the THC, what it's also related to that's so interesting. [00:34:08] Speaker C: Yeah, well, there are these things out there, then we can tell, you know, they are addictive and they do have this ability to just rope us in. And I get that. I get that feeling sugar is addictive. You know, there are a lot of things in our world that are. That we are exposed to on a consistent daily and regular basis. I mean, if you want to talk about caffeine and what caffeine does to you in the body and how you want caffeine when you're consuming it, you know, and how you technically maybe get a headache or you have a withdrawal experience when you don't have your consistent caffeine. There are a lot of things in our world that we're exposed to that we've kind of just come to accept more, which is kind of around the point that I made at the beginning, is being thoughtful about the belief systems that we've created, typically based on, again, propaganda and marketing. I mean, we didn't get into this at all today, but when it comes to big alcohol and what they're marketing and how that shows up in our world, that's a whole other discussion that I'm sure you have lots of thoughts about. [00:35:12] Speaker B: I do. I do. Well, I want to hear your thoughts about big alcohol. I think that's one of the major contributors and has been for a long time to more and more people drinking. And then they. I mean, they have shown, once they started marketing red wine and wine to women, women's rates of alcohol use disorder and deaths related to alcohol have skyrocketed, have raised somewhere like 80%. [00:35:43] Speaker C: Shocking. [00:35:45] Speaker B: And it does like, what are your thoughts about that? [00:35:49] Speaker C: This was actually a conversation that came up on the panel recently at Sober Curious Sunday, this event that we did this past weekend for at her table, which is a week celebrating women in food, beverage, and hospitality here on the Central coast. But it was shown that in San Luis Obispo County. I forget what year this was, and I don't have all the data, but that women's consumption of wine and alcohol was at the highest percentage here at the local area. Having women report that they have a problem with it, for one, and then two, fetal alcohol syndrome was actually at its highest in our county. So I have lots of thoughts about big alk and marketing, and my background is kind of in marketing and sales. I understand that from a business perspective, we've got to figure out the best way to get in front of people. You've got to figure out the best way to draw them in. And the way that alcohol has always been marketed is sexy, vibrant, exciting. It engages you. It gives you this social experience. It gives you that, quote, unquote, liquid courage. There is so much happening when it comes to marketing of alcohol that makes it almost impossible for you to not want to consume it. And that's a really difficult thing to come up against and to fight, you know, as a consumer and as an individual. And I don't think that there's a lot of ethics behind it because I don't think it's regulated very well here in our country. But I think I'll leave it at that, because I think it's a larger discussion in terms of how we might be able to do something differently or how we might be able to change the narrative and change the conversation from a consumer's perspective. And what can we kind of stand up for? I mean, we vote with our dollar. Absolutely. Like, where we're spending our money is where we are saying we want the attention, we want the focus, and we're seeing that in the sober, curious market. So I will highlight that there are a lot of big alk brands who are coming out with non alcoholic options. And one, smart, because they're obviously paying attention to the data and they want a piece of that pie. But two, it's a great thing for consumers that they're introducing options that almost make it okay, that validate it, because I think for a lot of us that consumption of alcohol is such a social pressure. It's a matter of what do I do when I want to go out with my friends? What do I do when we are, they're going to a craft beer festival, they're going to a wine drinking event, they're going to this thing that is literally centered around alcohol. What do I do? I've got to fit in. I've got to stay with them. I've got to be the fun person and not be boring. And so I think it's a good thing and a good trend that we're seeing in the industry, and I hope that it continues to go that way, is making non alkaline just as sexy, just as interesting, just as smart, just as savvy as what alcohol has been made out to be for years. Mm hmm. [00:39:04] Speaker B: Yeah, I hope so, too. And I think that a lot of people are learning from how they were able to target big tobacco and can use some of those techniques, legislation, those kind of tools to target big alcohol. And I appreciate, you know, your transparency and just ethical discussion about your product. I mean, I think you're aware of, like, there's controversy around it, too, right? [00:39:37] Speaker C: Absolutely. And it's, you know, being at events and markets has been the most pivotal aspect of this. And I've had people ask me, you know, is this right for this person, even just being on medications? You know, they're taking certain medications, and I would say, absolutely. Check with your doctor first. I'm not out here to just push our product and sell it to anybody and anyone. That's not the goal. Our product was specifically designed for a certain type of person that wants an elevated drinking experience, that is an adult that feels like they've been maybe the afterthought when it comes to mocktails or craft cocktails, that doesn't necessarily have a problem with addiction or is worried about that slippery slope and is interested in something that gives them that physical adult sensation of, again, drinking a craft beverage in a social or private way that they can really enjoy, that's going to ultimately, in my perspective, be a benefit for their overall well being because they're not choosing alcohol and perhaps, you know, whatever comes along with CBD for them. For me, just as an aside, having struggled with anxiety, the data and research that we've shown is that using CBD over time can minimize and reduce anxiety. So for me, that was an important part of it as well. When you say like, oh, well, why didn't you just create a product that didn't have anything in it, right. There are distilled, non alcoholic spirits out there. Well, one, a lot of that is just kind of water vapor, right? That's what distillation is. And so when you don't have the ethanol in that distilled spirit, you lose a lot of the texture you use, lose a lot of the quality, and it doesn't feel like it serves as much of a purpose, like it feels a little bit more filler. That's my perspective. And so we wanted something that really served more of a purpose in the drink, that gave it the texture, that gave it the quality, and that had that, again, physical sensation of stress relief and enjoying that time without it feeling like it was, oh, well, what's the point? [00:41:48] Speaker B: Yeah, that totally makes sense. And then another question I had. I'm in Idaho. That's, you know, so I, we, our laws have been all over the place. We're like an isolated state where marijuana is not legal. We're surrounded by states where it is legal. There's been some weird. I remember even this was maybe five years ago, a hemp truck or a truck transporting hemp got pulled over in Idaho and it was a whole, like, legal scenario. But all that to say, like, is CBD legal federally? [00:42:27] Speaker C: Yes. So federally, anything under 0.3% THC is considered CBD. That's another thing to be mindful of that we actually didn't chat about and that I like to encourage people to look at. So there are a lot of people that I encounter that are already using CBD. So our product is not very far reaching for them. They say, oh, yeah, I use a tincture quite, quite regularly. And so that's really a common form that CBD comes in. Right. You have a small tincture. It's oil based coming from that plant. There's a couple of things that I won't necessarily get into all of the details for, but just understanding the bioavailability of that consumption is important as well. So you have what's called the dosage, which is your milligrams of how much CBD or the quantity is of what you're consuming. So in an oil format, it's not going to be necessarily as bioavailable for the body versus a liquid and nanomolsified version, which is our product. It's going to be a little bit more bioavailable, your body, to be able to uptake that. So something, again, to learn and be discerning for yourself when you're looking at these options. The other thing is that you really have to pay attention to the testing. So products should always be third party, lab tested, and they should have what's called a certificate of analysis, a COA that goes along with the product that you're purchasing. So if you purchase a tincture, or if you purchase a beverage, a canned beverage, because there's a lot of ready to drink options out there, or if you purchase our product, you should be able to go to a link that has that certificate of analysis, which is a third party lab testing. So you can see on there what is actually in your product. Again, important to discern for yourself as a consumer to be able to learn these things and know, oh, this is what I'm getting. And so with a lot of tinctures and CBD products, it can be legally and federally sold as CBD, but have up to 0.3% THC. That's not a lot for most people, that's okay. But THC can technically build up in your system and it can actually lead to feelings of anxiety, paranoia or other issues. So again, we have to figure out for ourselves, am I okay with that or am I not? And I always like to encourage people, figure out how much actual THC is in your CBD product, because I knew someone who was taking a CBD tincture to help manage their anxiety. Okay, great. But if you have a little bit of THC that's consistently building up in your system, that could actually be leading to more anxiety over time. So being really mindful of trying to find that CBD product that is 0% THC similar to ours, that being said, on a larger level, okay, federally, anything under 0.3% THC is available for sale as a CBD product. So yes, even within Idaho, we are available for sale and for purchase because within all 50 states of the United States, federally it is legal. At a state level, it might be a little bit different. And that's important for each person in their state to figure out. [00:45:49] Speaker B: Dang, this is complicated, Michelle. This must be hard to market. It's a lot. [00:45:57] Speaker C: You know, it is really an interesting thing. I'm learning, like I said, I am not an expert expert on most of these topics. Like realistically, I am learning as I go. I'm looking to repeatable sources, I'm looking to the data, I'm looking to the advisement of my husband as well, who's been more aware about and pays attention to the legislation as involved in politics in that way. And he has really helped guide me through this because ultimately I had a lot of these questions, what are people. [00:46:33] Speaker B: Going to be open to? [00:46:34] Speaker C: What's their experience going to be like? How are we going to do this? Is this legal? Can we make this happen? So it's been a learning experience along the way. But I think so many positive things have really come out of it. When I get to talk to our customers and I get to be in that market or an event experience where we're mixing up drinks, you'd be surprised at the stories that I hear. For the most part, it's a matter of, my dad is going through chemotherapy right now, so he can't drink alcohol, but he wants something like this. And he can have marijuana or CBD to support him through that. That's amazing. I can't drink alcohol anymore. It gives me heartburn or it doesn't help with my sleep. I'm getting poor sleep quality, but I miss my nightly ritual. So something like this is amazing because CBD can aid in my sleep quality. And I get that feeling of having an adult and crafted beverage. At the end of the day, I'm a mom and I'm feeling super overwhelmed by my kids and I really, really want that glass of wine. A stress relief at the end of the day, but I don't want to drink Monday through Friday because it affects me the next day. So our product, you know, was started and created with the vision and intention of offering that elevated, luxurious, crafted experience for someone. But for me, it's become so much more as I learn about the stories of the people who. You wouldn't think that just a drink, a spirit, a non alcoholic spirit would have that much impact. But when you consider how much consumption as a whole, imbibing alcohol has been such a part of our core culture, such a part of our way of life for so long that when you take that away or when that's gone away or when you can't do it or when you're choosing not to do it, whatever that looks like on your journey, that you almost kind of need to fill the void with something or invite something else in. You want that. Like you said, you want some sort of alternative option. And it means a lot to be able to feel like you were at the forefront of that consumption as opposed to the afterthought. And that's what we wanted. Again, this product and this vision and this relationship to be is that you are not forgotten. If you're choosing not to drink, you are not just, oh, yeah, I think I have, you know, maybe a soda water or, you know, I have some orange juice. I have some milk as an option. No, it's you have, like, a curated experience where now you are getting to be not just welcomed in, but really included. So that was kind of our goal. [00:49:21] Speaker B: Well, well done. [00:49:22] Speaker C: Well, how. [00:49:23] Speaker B: How would I get one of your beverages and then what would I do with it? How would it come? Tell me about that. [00:49:30] Speaker C: So our product is not ready to drink, which means that it is going to come in that spirit sense. So you can purchase it online and you get a bottle. And that bottle comes in 750 ML. So if you're familiar with dosage. [00:49:47] Speaker B: 750. That's pretty big. [00:49:50] Speaker C: Yeah. So it's about 25oz, right? Yes. So it's. So it's essentially what you would get in if you bought like a bottle of liquor or it's a different sized bottle than wine. It's just, you know, the wine is like a tapered bottle and ours is like a shorter spirit like bottle. But essentially you're getting about 25oz in that bottle. And what you want to do with it is enjoy it in a mixed up beverage. So you would mix it with other things, whether that's syrups or reductions or bitters. And then you would add soda water or lime juice, lemon juice, grapefruit juice. It works really, really well with buried options. So I say buried like that's a real word. But, you know, BlackBerry, strawberry, elderberry, like those types of berries. So it works really well with a lot of different options. And then you can kind of get to decide now, if you're really simple and you really just enjoy, like, no sugar and you want something that's kind of more to the point, then you can mix it with something like a spindrift or just a little bit of soda water, maybe a squirt of lime we really like agave mixed in it to kind of provide that sweet balancing from a flavor perspective, but you kind of get to play around with it. We have recipes on our website that you can kind of explore if you are someone who loves an egg white cocktail. I used to be a pisco sour drinker. [00:51:23] Speaker B: Okay. Not for debt. Wait, egg white cocktail? Yes. [00:51:31] Speaker C: Yeah. An egg white cocktail. You've never had one? [00:51:34] Speaker B: I've never even heard of it. Raw egg whites? [00:51:40] Speaker C: Yes. Yeah. [00:51:41] Speaker B: It's a. It's a fancy cocktail. [00:51:43] Speaker C: You. So essentially what you're doing when you make the cocktail, you crack the egg, you take out the yolk, but you let the egg white into what you're mixing. You usually do it what's called a dry shake and a wet shake. And you put it together with some sort of citrus. So lime, lemon will help. It's supposed to help with, like, the. The fact that you're drinking egg white. Right. And so you mix that together with some of the things, and you shake it up and it gets frothy. It creates this frothy, foamy drink. And so it's like a pisco sour, a gin fizz lady in white. Like, that's. Those are kind of like, the common drinks around that egg white style. And I loved those. Like, absolutely loved egg white drinks. And so I really missed out when I transitioned away from drinking alcohol. But our product with egg white froths amazing. Like, it's amazing. The foam that comes out of it is just beyond phenomenal. It's awesome. [00:52:41] Speaker B: Interesting. Well, I shouldn't knock it because I haven't tried it. I bet it's high in protein. I bet it's really good for you. Okay. [00:52:50] Speaker C: I love. [00:52:50] Speaker B: I love this. I really want to try it. So how would we find you and how we order it? Your website, what you got for us? [00:53:01] Speaker C: Yeah. So we spend most of our time on instagram at, to be honest, bev b e v. And then our website is tobehonestbev.com. You can order online. I have a chat there. So you can actually connect directly with me doing all of the sales and marketing. We are a bootstrapped company at this point, so very small beans compared to some of your big non alcoholic brands out there. But, you know, growing with growth and really just connecting with our customers and really understanding what their needs are at this time. So find us there. Send in any questions that you have. I'm sure you have questions after this conversation today, and I'd be happy to walk you through, you know, just how to enjoy our product, what that looks like, or even hopefully, point you in the right direction if it's right for you. Oh, that's awesome. [00:53:52] Speaker B: And I'm curious how you came up with the name, to be honest. [00:53:57] Speaker C: So that was actually inspired by my husband. And the part of the integrity and the core values of our company is being honest with yourself. You know, you've heard me use the phrase a lot. Having discernment and really understanding for yourself. It's the fit if it's the right choice. And we want our clients, we want our audience, we want our community to really feel like they are choosing mindfully. They're living in alignment with what they're looking for, what they want to create for themselves. And when it came to alcohol consumption, both my husband and I did have that question, like, are we being honest with ourselves that alcohol is really serving our higher purpose? Is it serving our lifestyle? Is it serving our businesses? It does for his. But for me, it wasn't. And so I had to get really honest with my choices. I had to get really honest with how it was showing up in the world. I had to get honest with my relationships. I had to get honest with what I was using alcohol for. For. And using it again as a coping mechanism and an avoidance tactic and strategy. So that's where to be honest comes from. Really encouraging and keeping us, you know, with the mission and vision and intention of the brand of staying honest, staying honest about ingredients, staying honest about our goals, staying honest about how we're presenting ourselves to the community and to the market at large. [00:55:27] Speaker B: Thank you. Thank you so much for everything. Having this conversation and being honest about it all and putting up with my naivete. But I'm excited to try it and try an egg white infused, mocked. Whatever. Okay. I'm going to look it up. I'm going to try it. [00:55:48] Speaker C: I'll let you know. [00:55:50] Speaker B: I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. [00:55:52] Speaker C: It sounds weird and odd, and you're like, oh, do I really want to just drink an egg white? But it's so frothy and delicious. So if you are like, I love a good cappuccino or I love a good, you know, frothy latte, then I think that you'll like this option. [00:56:07] Speaker B: Okay. And it sounds fun. You know, we just want to have fun and. And have an adult beverage that doesn't make us feel like shit. So awesome. Thank you so much. This was such a good conversation. I really appreciate you. [00:56:25] Speaker C: Thank you so much for having me. This was a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. This was a pleasure. [00:56:33] Speaker A: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. Please share and review the show so you can help other people too. I want you to know I'm always here for you, so please reach out and talk to me on Instagram ecoholtippingpoint and check out my website, alcohol for. [00:56:51] Speaker B: Free resources and help. [00:56:53] Speaker A: No matter where you are on your drinking journey, I want to encourage you to just keep practicing. Keep going. I promise you are not alone and you are worth it. Every day you practice not drinking is. [00:57:05] Speaker B: A day you can learn from. [00:57:07] Speaker A: I hope you can use these tips we talked about for the rest of your week, and until then, talk to you next time.

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