Dry July is a month dedicated to going alcohol free, to raise funds for people affected by cancer.
This is an important cause to help bring more services and support to cancer patients.
It is also a way to give your body a break from alcohol which can bring about many health benefits such as better sleep, more energy, better concentration and even possible weight loss.
If you have signed up for Dry July, it doesn’t mean having to miss out on all of the fun entirely, there are so many yummy non-alcoholic drink options to enjoy, a few of which I have shared below.
Drink inspiration aside, if you are in need of some motivation to get to the end of the month without throwing in the towel, here I am providing some tips to overcome some of the common reasons why people can struggle to give up alcohol.
Stress Relief and Rewards
Alcohol is commonly turned to as a way to relieve stress or even as a way to reward ourselves. When we use alcohol in this way, it can be harder to simply go cold turkey for 31 days because it is serving a purpose other than being something enjoyable to drink. This means, from the get go, its important to be aware of what alcohol means to you and find alternative ways to relieve stress and reward yourself such as:
- Exercise – especially outdoors in nature
- Meditation or yoga – if this works for you!
- Getting a massage or facial
- Talking to a friend or loved one
- Buying yourself a book and (allocating the time to read it!)
- Booking a holiday or weekend away
Managing Energy Dips
When we feel low in energy or tired, we are more likely to turn to alcohol. On the flip, when we feel energised and in a positive frame of mind, we can more easily focus on healthier options. Some tips to manage energy include:
- Eating regularly – this will be different for everybody, some of us feel best eating 3 satisfying meals per day while others do best eating 6 meals per day, do what works for you.
- Keep hydrated – adequate hydration is critical for concentration and mental clarity to say the least! Make sure to always have access to fresh clean water and drink regularly throughout the day.
- Eat fibre at every meal – fibre rich foods help us feel fuller for longer which can help keep our blood sugar stable. Aim to include fibre rich foods at each meal such as oats, fruit, veggies, legumes, nuts/seeds and wholegrains.
- Avoid turning to sugar to relieve stress – with alcohol out of the picture, sugar can often be used as a replacement to relieve stress. Excess refined sugar can wreak havoc on our blood sugar. If you do want a sugary treat, eat it alongside some fat and protein to help balance out the sugar rush and if craving sugar, try starting with fresh fruit.
- Stay active – despite it being freezing outside, staying active is one of the best ways to maintain energy and motivation. With no hangovers on the cards, July is the perfect time to get outdoors and active especially on the weekends.
Alcohol and socialising go hand in hand for so many of us and this can make it seem that being social is a hard task during Dry July. However, this does not have to be the case and they can co-exist and here is how:
- If at a bar or restaurant don’t feel shy or silly ordering a mocktail even if they aren’t on the menu, simply ask!
- Swap dinner to breakfast or brunch and enjoy a night in
- Invite friends over for a cosy dinner in
- Use exercise as a way to socialise, go for a hike or long walk with friends or play a game of tennis
My top 3 Mocktail Recipes
Raspberry & Peach Mocktail
1 punnet raspberries or ½ cup frozen, defrosted
2 tsp. raw honey – adjust to suit
small bunch mint leaves
1 bottle peach flavoured kombucha
1 lemon, sliced thinly
In a tall jug, muddle the raspberries, honey and mint leaves, add kombucha sliced lemon and lots of ice, stir well before serving.
1 tbsp. raw honey
small bunch mint leaves
3 limes, juiced
In a glass gently muddle the honey with the mint leaves, add lime juice, soda water and lots of ice, stir well before serving.
Pineapple basil and Chilli
1/3 cup pineapple puree
3 basil leaves roughly torn
2 tsp. raw honey or coconut sugar
1 can or bottle sparkling coconut water
1 red chilli, seeds removed, thinly slice lengthways
juice from a lime
In a glass, combine the pineapple, honey/sugar and basil and muddle together, add chilli and lime juice before topping with sparkling coconut water and ice, stir well before serving.