EP 47: Naked Life Story: Jolene Park

Download EP:47 Transcript

Jolene Park is a functional nutritionist and health coach who works with purpose-driven companies and individuals. She is also one of the Certified This Naked Mind Coaches. Jolene recently did a TED Talk on gray area drinking. Jolene shares her own personal story with Annie and provides some amazing tips on supporting our body’s psychology when we stop drinking.


Today, I am here with Jolene Park and Jolene is a functional nutritionist and a very good friend of mine. Recently Jolene has become quite famous since she has a TED talk on Gray Area Drinking: Nourishing Your Nervous System in a New and Revolutionary Way.

The Brain Game

As a functional nutritionist, I’ve studied brain chemistry, neuro-transmitters, the physiological mechanisms that happen around cravings, with sugar and alcohol. My own story has been, while I’ve been working in corporate wellness over the years and working with people one on one I, loved red wine. Socializing fit in really well with how I drank red wine, but it was becoming more and more of a problem, especially kind of around the 38, 43 year old period. I quit drinking when I was 43. The TED talk was, was a kind of a mixture of a little bit of my story of the back and forth merry go round. I would stop drinking at times. I’d say oh, I’m doing a Paleo challenge. I’m just not drinking for a while and it slid under the radar really well because of the work that I did.

Becoming A Problem

People are like, okay, you’re doing wellness and nutrition. That makes sense. So I didn’t get hassled too much and then my own mind would be like, I want to drink, why am I doing, why am I being so restrictive? I’d go back to drinking, but it was escalating for me. It was becoming really, really easy and very much a habitual pattern to be drinking, in the end most days. The last year that I quit I was drinking most days and it was also becoming very easy to say I’m just going to have a glass of wine while I’m starting to make dinner tonight. I would end up drinking the whole bottle and that was the pattern that I didn’t want to keep continuing.

Gray Area Drinking

I think gray area drinking is how most people drink. I’ll tell you what I think is not gray area drinking. People who have a drink every now and again, like every couple months or every couple of weeks they might go to a wedding and have a glass of champagne. That’s not gray area drinking. What’s also not gray area drinking is end-stage, like cirrhosis of the liver, your eyes are yellow with jaundice because you know, gotten so pickled from alcohol. That’s not gray area drinking. So those are kind of the two extremes. Anything in between that falls in the gray area because there’s no approved level of alcohol to put in your body.

The Range

For women one five ounce glass of wine every day is actually considered moderate drinking. Two five ounce glasses of wine is heavy drinking. So I was drinking heavy with when I would have two to four glasses, which was very easy to do. That’s kind of the coveted like, oh, if I could just have a glass or two of wine, it’s actually moderate-heavy drinking. I think we’ve done a real disservice than, and the paradigm that I want to shake is this end stage, lose everything, lost a job, have a DUI, have cirrhosis of the liver, that’s extreme, extreme, extreme end stage. A couple of drinks on a regular basis throughout the week is moderate heavy drinking, which is gray area drinking.

Keep Listening

Listen to the complete podcast to hear Jolene’s whole story and how gray area drinking actually leads to moderate to heavy drinker health issues.

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Google Play

Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License