Published On: September 18, 2021918 words4.6 min read


Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!

My guest this week is one of those people who are passionate about helping those in recovery. Meet Dr Dawn Bantel, a naturopathic doctor with many years of experience in the recovery space.

In this Episode

  • Dawn agrees that to be really healthy we shouldn’t drink at all – but just recently she was surprised to learn that even a few glasses of wine a week will raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer
  • We talked about alcohol and anxiety and how it was a real issue – it may calm the brain at first but then it will just increase anxiety
  • When Dawn did a short video on TikTok about alcohol and anxiety it got half a million views!
  • Dawn pointed out that people who develop addictions tend to be “all or nothing” kind of people – so true!
  • She takes advantage of this tendency with her clients as she finds that they put their all into getting healthy – just as they did with their substance abuse (!). So once they are on the right track there is no stopping them!
  • She believes that recovery gives people a second chance at life – and I certainly can relate to that!
  • I asked her for some guidelines about healing after years of alcohol abuse
  • SLEEP/DIET AND EXERCISE are of course the pillars of recovery and Dr Dawn feels particularly strongly about the value of sleep
  • Poor sleep will put us at risk of relapse so she urges people in recovery to find something that will help them to sleep. Obviously, she favours natural remedies (green tea, amino acids) but if that’s not working for you then use meds for a short time at the beginning
  • We discussed the value of community in recovery and how there is great relief in meeting others on the same path. We are not alone, or broken … and those of us further along can reassure people of the various stages because we’ve been there – and got through to the other side
  • Dawn has found that many people with alcohol dependency are high flyers – very successful people who feel that they that they’ve achieved so much that they should be able to fix their addiction. But of course, it’s extremely hard to go it alone and we all need to remember that “connection is the opposite of addiction”
  • We talked about PAWS – Post-acute withdrawal symptoms – anxiety, depression, lack of joy, low energy seem to be the main ones. It takes time for the body to adapt to sobriety – time to heal
  • Dawn mentioned that a guideline was a month in recovery for every year of drinking
  • The value of such a guideline is that it helps people to understand they need to be patient (we get people in our groups who say “I’ve been alcohol-free for 3 weeks and I don’t feel great”…)
  • So if you are on this journey you will need to be patient but on the bright side there will be some “quick wins” – no more hangovers, better skin, no more 3 am wake ups filled with anxiety … so just hang in there
  • We talked about the importance of gut health and the fact that alcohol damages the microbiome and causes leaky gut
  • In Dr Dawn’s practice she takes people on an integrative recovery journey – starting with extensive testing and then setting goals for healing the brain and the body
  • She also has a course to educate people in recovery which can be purchased from her website which is
  • Dr Dawn also has a great IG feed –her handle is Dr Dawn Bantel – she has some really great practical tips and videos on there so make sure you follow her
  • Here at Tribe Sober, we start our annual 66 day challenge  1 September each year – Sober Spring here in South Africa but can be a Sober Autumn as well!
  • Membership also allows you to find your people as we welcome you into our supportive community

Just go to and hit the “join our tribe” button to read more about the benefits of membership

More info

  • Subscription membership  – you can join up HERE
  • To access our website click HERE
  • If you would like a free copy of our “Annual Tracker” or our e-book “66 Days to Sobriety” please email
  • If you would like to come to our Saturday afternoon Zoom Cafe as a guest and meet our community just email

Episode Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by the Tribe Sober Membership Program.  If you want to change your relationship with alcohol then sign up today.

Read more about our program and subscribe HERE.

Book a Discovery Call with me to find out if our membership would help you.


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Thank you for listening!

Till Next Week

Janet x


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