31 days of no alcohol and clean living. Say what?!? Don’t worry, it’s a breeze if you’re prepared. Here’s our top tips for surviving Dry July with ease.
Drink HEAPS of water
When we say HEAPS, we mean at least 2 litres per day. Even though we are in the depths of winter in Australia right now, your body still requires plenty of H20 to survive and thrive. You may experience detox symptoms at the start of your Dry July (headaches, cravings and flu-like symptoms) and drinking plenty of water will help to alleviate these symptoms by flushing out all those toxins from your liver and kidneys. Take a refillable water bottle with you throughout the day so that you can keep track of how much water you consume. Add some lemon or lime slices and a handful of mint to give your water a refreshing kick, or opt for refreshing herbal teas. As long as they don’t contain caffeine, the water in your tea will add towards your daily 2 litre quota.
Start your day with a warm lemon drink
Rather than reaching for your morning coffee or tea to kick-start your day, have a big glass of water and a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice with warm water instead. Much like a swimming pool, our cells operate best under perfectly balanced pH levels. And contrary to what you may think, lemon juice is actually alkaline and helps to balance out the acidity caused by caffeine, protein in your diet, exercise and stress. Lemon juice also helps with the detox process and another plus is that you’ll have a head start on your water intake for the day (see point 1).
Create a new healthy habit
Do you tend to head out for a drink after work, or crack open a beer or bottle of wine when you walk in the door in the evening? How much of this is just a habit? Instead, how about taking the dog for a walk when you get home, or kicking the footy with the kids at the park, or meeting a friend for a walk/run or new exercise class instead of a wine after work? Write a list with two columns – on the left, list all the social activities that you partake in, including alcohol and on the right, then list all the things you’ve ever wanted to try, or never find the time to do. Include anything that you and your friends or family have always talked about, but never got round to. Then switch out your old habits with some new ones and before you know it, you’ll be too busy having fun to worry about that drink you’re missing!
Don’t become a social recluse
We’ve all heard the old saying “you don’t have to have alcohol to have fun” and you know what? It’s actually true! So, how do you cope when an invite is extended for a dinner party, family celebration, wedding, work function, best friend’s engagement… (fill in the social function blank space, because it will happen during Dry July)? We’ve found that the best approach is to first of all let your host know that you won’t be drinking and explain to them why, and secondly, to be prepared. If going to a friend’s house, take a bottle of sparkling water and drink your sparkling water from a wine glass (it just feels fancier that way). If dining out, let the waiter know that you won’t be drinking and have them take your wine glass away so you won’t be tempted. If at a bar, ask for a mocktail (virgin pina colada, yes please!) or sparkling/soda water & a wedge of lime in a tumbler – it easily passes as vodka & soda or gin & tonic. We’ve even heard of a friend at a house party accepting a bottle of beer from the host, then secretly emptying it down the sink and filling it with tap water. Whatever it takes to keep you on track! In most cases though you’ll find that friends, family and colleagues are supportive if you explain why you’re participating in Dry July!
Eat nutritious foods
Have you ever noticed that drinking alcohol has the tendency to allow your willpower to slide? After a few drinks are you more inclined to make food choices that satisfy your cravings rather than your body’s needs? And what about if you wake up a bit dusty after a few too many – do you typically opt for carb-heavy or junk food to “soak up” the alcohol from the night before? The good news is that when you’re not drinking, you naturally start to crave healthy food. And healthy food helps to speed up the detox process that we talked about earlier. Plus, eating nutritious food will sustain your energy throughout the day, help you to sleep better, make your eyes sparkle and of course, help you to shed a kilo or two of excess body fat.
As with anything in life, sharing the experience with others makes it so much more fun. So be sure to invite your family and friends to join you for Dry July. You’ll be there to support each other when you’re tempted to stray. Also check out www.dryjuly.com and www.hellosundaymorning.org for lots of great tips to change your drinking behaviours and wake up hangover free everyday!
Want to start your own Highway to Health journey?