Since the initial lockdown, many people’s alcohol consumption significantly increased. For some this was due to the stress of the current situation, for others it became the new way of socialising instead of hitting the pub, and for others it simply came down to boredom. Whatever the reason there’s a chance you may have reached for a drink a little more than perhaps you would usually.
Whilst this isn’t something to be feel shame or stress about, naturally your habits may change and while we are living through worrying times for a far longer period than we had expected, it is important not to let the booze creep in on too much of a regular basis. Dry January has become an annual ritual for many and given the extended lockdown, now may be a great time to set some intentions for the month ahead. There are some big positives associated with Dry January. However, it is important to make it work for you. There are no set rules when it comes to your health and diet. Do what makes you feel good and listen to how your body feels – you may want to adapt part way through and that is fine – it doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
So should you partake in Dry January? Here’s 3 reasons you might want to give it a go:
Will power or mental self-restraint are strengthened with practice in the same way as any muscle with training. Abstaining from alcohol for a month not only allows you and your body to reset but will also strengthen your self-discipline making you more likely to stick to any other new year resolutions or intentions you may have. (Plus, you’ll feel damn good for setting a goal and reaching it).
Whether you’re getting back into the flow of working from home or you’re armed with a list of things you’d like to achieve over the lockdown period, laying off the booze will increase your chances of tackling the day ahead rather than slumping onto the sofa feeling sluggish and binge watching Netflix. That morning walk, online team meeting or workout will become a whole lot more desirable and achievable without the fuzzy head!
As your body isn’t designed to store alcohol it tries to expel it as quickly as possible meaning it prioritises burning calories from alcohol first. Drinking alcohol blocks the normal metabolic process in your body. It also gets in the way of other processes, including absorbing nutrients in food and the production of insulin. Drinking alcohol is also more likely to make you crave high calorie foods. If you have any aesthetic, performance or training goals this January, alcohol may hinder your progress so try to limit your intake.
If you do decide to give Dry January a go, non-alcoholic spirits and tonic are a great alternative to your usual tipple. With the growing popularity of non-alcoholic spirits, there are currently many options on the market however, it’s important to be aware of the sugar in some of them.
Caleno, Seedlip and Pentire are three such booze-free spirits which are blended with botanicals and make a delicious change to your usual spirit.
In addition, why not shake it up and try making these alcohol-free cocktails during Dry January. Simple, and you don’t even need to reach for a bottle. You might not ever look back…
Sparkling water with homemade raspberry puree
Blend raspberries with a dash of maple syrup until a puree is formed. Then add ice and sparkling water, serve in a champagne glass.
Add tomato juice to a glass with Worcester sauce, salt and pepper. Add a tsp of horseradish/a couple of drops of Tabasco for an extra fiery kick and stir. Don’t forget the ice & celery stick!
Virgin Pina Colada
You may be at home but there’s nothing stopping you pretending you’re on the winter sun vacation you’d planned. Combine 2 parts pineapple juice with 1 part fresh coconut milk. Add ice and serve – it’s a holiday in a glass.