We’ve reached the end of January (I can’t believe how quickly time passes) and some of you may have made resolutions or plans to improve this year. Whether you plan on keeping your health in check, learning a new skill or exploring new places, this month was a daunting one.
Most of us took part in dry January because you a particularly Merry Christmas, so a period of abstinence from alcohol was so worth it. Technically, we’ve come to the end of January and I’ve noticed I’ve lost a few pounds. My advice to you, and myself included, is to not try and make up for not drinking in January. Increase your intake a little at a time.
Saying no to Pina Colada for a month was…erhmm…devasting. It may seem a little odd to stop drinking for a while, but the benefits can be long lasting. Reducing alcohol levels can lead to lower liver fat (which lowers the chances of liver disease) and being less susceptible to diabetes and high cholesterol.
No one’s saying it’s been easy though, so here’s five ways to help you get through it.
Think before you drink: this might sound really basic, but it will make a significant difference. If you’re struggling to stay away from drink, take note of it. Ask yourself: do I really need that drink? Most of the time we don’t need it – we just want it. So, step away from the drink and run for cover with a non-alcoholic beverage.
Non-alcoholic beverages: Meh. I mean, why would you want to drink something that masquerades as alcohol? It may sound like a strange phenomenon, but non-alcoholic drinks deserve a shout out. They’re actually not too bad.
Bitter: Don’t be bitter about it (ha, couldn’t resist!) but it’s definitely worth checking out. Bitters are a blend of herbs, spices, roots, and barks softened in high strength spirit to draw out the flavours. You can get a range of flavours including chili, chocolate and almond.
All you need is tonic water, lemon and a dash of bitter for a sweet alternative to alcohol.I’ve included my no alcoholic Sangria recipe below.
Donate to a charity: You’ll start to notice there’s more change in your purse when you stop drinking. We forget how much we actually spend on a night out so dry January was a great time to take stock of your spending habits. Instead, use the money you’ve saved to support a charity.
Socialise in new places: most of us drink when we’re with our friends. If you’re catching up over dinner, or having a relaxed night in, having a bottle of wine becomes the norm. But being social doesn’t mean you have to drink. Get active to prevent the call of alcohol.
¼ cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
½ fresh lemon, sliced
½ fresh orange, sliced
1 small apple or peach, cut into wedges
4 cups club soda or seltzer water
4 cups grape juice
If wine is more your thing, then lets say cocktails, then you’ll like the above recipe.
For this drink you will need a large pitcher. To make this non-alcoholic sangria simply combine all of the ingredients in the pitcher and stir. Serve with a large wine glass with a few ice cubes. Pour the pitcher of deliciousness over the ice. To take the presentation of the drink up a notch I like to add a few bits of fruit.
Did you take part in Dry Jan?