If you resolved to stay off the booze this month and signed yourself up to Dry January, well done if you’ve made it through this far! If you’ve already realised the health benefits that going alcohol-free can bring, you may even be thinking about continuing further into 2020, or perhaps you will dedicate one or more days a week to going dry?
If you’re looking for tips and inspiration for your own dry venture, or you’d like to learn how to support friends or colleagues doing the same, read on as we’ve got plenty for you, including how to make it through a get-together or night out without a tipple!
Whether or not you decided to do Dry January for its health benefits, it’s definitely one of the major reasons you should try and stick with it.
Drinkaware.co.uk reports that the advantages of ditching the drink include better sleep, improved digestion, higher energy levels and clearer skin. There is also the benefit of reduced calorific intake, which can help with weight loss.
Temptation can get the better of even the strongest willed people, so the best thing to do is remove it altogether. If there’s no alcohol in the house, you won’t be able to drink it. Simple!
You’re saving money from not buying booze, so why not use it to treat yourself to something special? After all, you deserve it after all your hard work! Go on a mini shopping spree, perhaps to Spitalfields Saturday Style Market, or how about the specialist Arts Market? Whatever you do, don’t hold back in rewarding yourself for all your stoic efforts.
If you have friends or colleagues who are also going dry for January, why not get together and form a support group? Whether you all convene to do something to take your minds off the booze, like walking in nature, going for a coffee, heading off to the cinema or out shopping, or you simply check-in every day via a WhatsApp group and just be there for each other when things get a bit tough, there’s nothing like a bit of friendly support to keep you all going.
The time you normally spend out drinking could be time spent having fun or doing something constructive elsewhere. Maybe you could use the money you save on alcohol to buy yourself a gym pass or book an exercise class? You could invest in a new hobby like photography, take a theatre trip with friends or maybe even learn to cook or play a musical instrument – the choice is yours! As long as you’re having fun or doing something with meaning, it will take your mind off the drink for sure.
Just because you’re ditching the drink doesn’t mean you have to stop going out and enjoying yourself. There are ways to socialise even in the midst of Dry January! In fact, imagine waking up the next day, as fresh as a daisy, with all your wonderful memories of the night before completely intact!
Going out during Dry January is just about making smart choices. You may think that non-alcoholic drinks are no fun, but in actual fact, there are some superb alternatives, from delicious iced teas and fruit-infused sparkling waters to alcohol-free cocktails.
At bema for example in Spitalfields Market, there is a tempting range of fabulous thirst quenchers and high protein drinks to complement their amazing dishes. Try a protein powerhouse three-bean chilli or Middle Eastern bowl at the market’s bema pod then refresh your palette with a zesty lemon-infused or fruity blackcurrant Dash sparkling water. And as for the coffee and walnut shake, it’s so delicious it’s sure to take your mind off anything else of the liquid variety.
Also at Spitalfields, over at Leon known as the home of naturally fast food, there’s an enticing range of delicious alcohol-free drinks to enjoy alongside your breakfast, lunch or dinner, which could be anything from a gluten-free chipotle avocado burger to a chicken and chorizo club hot box or lentil masala. Enjoy a passionfruit and lemon or raspberry and Earl Grey iced tea; a berry and acai smoothie; rosemary water in still or sparkling, or a carrot, apple and ginger juice. Love fruity water with a bit of fizz? Give O’Joy or AppleZap a try. The first is a gently sparkling infusion of orange and mango made with 100 per cent natural juices. The second is the same but with sparkling apple. Refreshingly delicious!
You could of course just make it all about the food. Switch your focus and you’ll not even think about the drink. This is especially easy if you are sampling something different because you’ll be treating your taste buds to new flavours. How about a visit to the buzzing gourmet street food market at Spitalfields? There is so much to sample, with every dietary need covered. From Venezuelan joys to meaty treats, fresh fish, Mediterranean pleasures and Asian wonders, this really is the place to rekindle your relationship with ‘proper’ food, cooked right in front of your eyes.
Spitalfields Market makes the ideal destination this Dry January. From amazing shopping to superb places to eat and drink, there is so much to take your mind off the drink! Also, look out for the Mindful Drinking Festival this summer, we’ve hosted 2 years in a row – a fantastic showcase of alcohol-free drink providers to discover.