Questions and Answers

Kendal Mint Cake

Are mints good for someone in recovery from alcoholism?

It’s very common when you stop drinking to have huge sugar cravings. Some people will say avoid them because of the health implications. Others – me included – say whatever keeps you sober is fine (apart from mind-alternating drugs of course).

When I stopped in 2004 I ate Kendal Mint Cake. And rather a lot of it.

Depending on where you are from you will either know what this is or perhaps be shocked when you find out.

It’s basically bars of sugar, with mint flavour. It was famously used by mountain climbers in years gone by as a way to get an energy boost (I suspect these days they have a more hi-tech, and healthier, solution).

But I loved it since I was a kid and normally could only get it in the Lake District on holiday – apart from a brief, wonderful, period for a year or two when a local bike shop stocked it.

When I stopped drinking that was what my thoughts turned to. By then a health food chain started selling it. I bought boxes of the stuff. I ate it non-stop. God knows how many calories I ate over several months.

Finally, one day, I snapped and couldn’t stand another mouthful. Not had it for years now. But it did the trick at the time.

I did worry though that the store – and possibly the chain – presumed there was a massive uptake in sales and ended up with a warehouse full of the stuff that was left unsold!

About this Q&A

Over the years I’ve replied to quite a lot of questions asked on Quora. I thought I’d post some of them here. I’ll post the reply I gave at the time and I won’t edit the original answer unless they are very embarrassing 😉 or to fix typos, but I may add an update or correction as a reply if needed. Please feel free to add/disagree etc in the comments section!

This answer was original posted on Quora on 21 September 2020

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John Risby

John Risby

Founder and co-owner of The Alcohol-Free Shop and AlcoholFree.com. John is a recovering alcoholic who stopped drinking in June 2004. Born and raised in Manchester, he now lives in Malaga with his wife and young daughter. He came to terms with being an alcoholic many years ago, but still finds the concept his daughter is Spanish very strange.

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