I’ve been largely off alcohol and coffee for a long time (few years) as well and can confirm the positive effects. I consider these substances, along with all forms of processed sugar as “drugs” (stimulants). Just to be clear I’m not against drugs at all but I think we should be more aware of how they work, what their effects are on our health, especially regarding long term (ab-)use.
Oh, and spending $1000 a month on stimulating substances I find crazy what are we compensating for? We don’t need this stuff, and what about healthcare costs? Consider the difference we can make for those in need with this money.
Besides alcohol and caffeine, I also avoid animal products as much as possible. Recently (three months ago) I’ve started with staying off refined / processed sugar. This does obviously not include natural sugar in e.g. fruits but it does include all the obvious foods (candy) and the not so obvious ones (e.g. many canned foods contain sugar). Before you can do this, besides the discipline, you need to figure out all the names the food industry uses on their labels, it’s nuts! Basically it means cooking with fresh produce, staying away from most processed foods.
Staying off sugar has reduced soreness in my body and has helped to speed up recovery after intensive exercise. I didn’t have any weird stuff, symptoms. Your mileage may vary but for me there were no issues.
I don’t believe in forced, strict diets (because of the dropout rates, not sustainable) but I do believe in finding a balance that works for you personally. The benefit has to be so clear that it’s easy, logical to stick to it. For me that is a largely plant-based diet with as less “drug”-substances as possible. My mind is clear, I feel peaceful, at ease, not stressed at all, fit and energetic, almost all of the time. The most obvious benefit for me is the mental change. I’m just a more pleasant person amongst others. Connect better socially. Lookup the “5 personality traits”, I’m convined I have improved upon all of these by finding a better balance. It’s a big claim but I’m a believer ;-)
And… if I really feel like eating an icecream, having a coffee or an alcoholic drink, a slice of good meat, then then I just do so.