So you have decided to test your will-power and take on the challenge of Dry July. Well done you!
For some Dry July will be a breeze but for others the thought of going without bubbles for a month can be daunting. For them it might feel like July doesn’t have 31 days but rather 2,678,400 seconds.
Many people socialise with alcohol. Many use alcohol to try to diminish stress especially after a hard day at work. Some people just like the taste. However you use alcohol it’s important to remember that being prepared will help you manage the challenges of Dry July.
To help you through July we have put together some hints and tips, and provided some non-alcoholic alternatives.
Hints & Tips
- Start to reduce your alcohol consumption before July – this way cold turkey won’t feel too awful;
- Find a Dry July buddy – someone who will tackle the challenge with you and support you;
- Nominate yourself as the designated driver for every social event in July (your non-Dry July friends will love you!);
- Ask your friends for their support – tell them what you’re doing, ask them to help keep you on track and not to sabotage your efforts, and ask them to sponsor you in your challenge;
- Be ready for the questions about why you’re not drinking – remember though that you have nothing to justify;
- For every drink you don’t have put $5 or $10 in a jar and treat yourself to a massage or two at the end of the month as a well earned treat;
- Recognise and embrace the health benefits that being dry for a month afford you.
Healthy Non-Alcoholic Alternatives
- Be adventurous and try something new. Don’t head straight for soft drinks as there are plenty of healthier non-alcoholic alternatives. Here are a few:
- Soda water or mineral water doesn’t look any different to a vodka, lime and soda when you serve it the same glass with a squeeze of lime juice and slice of fresh lime;
- Try a spritzer – half fresh fruit juice and half sparkling mineral water. Try this with orange juice, pink grapefruit juice, cranberry juice or pomegranate juice. Served in a champagne flute;
- Mulled apple juice (great on a chilly winter’s night) … warm some apple juice gently in a saucepan with a cinnamon quill, orange peel and cloves or star anise until the flavours have infused.
- If you like it a little sweeter add a small amount of honey or maple syrup;
- Play with some iced tea. There are many fabulous teas that lend themselves to being consumed cold. Why not try some green tea infused with ginger and lemon with a sprig of mint;
- If you’re out at a bar – ask what mocktails are on the menu. These look just as impressive and lush as all the cocktails;
- Dining out at an Asian restaurant? Opt for tea with dinner;
- For something warming after dinner … ditch the brandy and try a warming cup of chai (the real stuff made on the stove with tea and spices).
Good luck – your liver will love you!
Article by Nutritionist Melinda Overall. Melinda is a popular guest speaker at Golden Door and will be returning Saturday 15th August, 2015 presenting on the topic ‘Busting Food Myths’. For information click here.