"I Survived Dry July, So You Can Definitely Do It"
In old news: binge drinking is bad for you. Hence the rise in popularity of 'Feb Fast', 'OcSober' and of course 'Dry July'.
But how many people make it through the entire month without saying, 'Oh go on then, just one.' Nekminnit:
Yep, that was me for the past few years, but 2018 was going to be different! *Said while holding a red wine*
Now for a bit of ~liver science~ courtesy of Holistic Nutritionist & Pressed Juices Communications Director Molly Westcott.
"Our liver is responsible for many important bodily functions; cleaning the blood, producing bile (for digestion) and storing glycogen (for energy)," she explained. "When you consume alcohol your liver must stop these processes in order to metabolise the alcohol and remove it from your blood stream [but the resulting enzyme] is very toxic and can cause permanent scarring."
Little bit about me; I'm 25, work in media and enjoy more than my fair share of wine and/or tequila. All three factors might as well be synonymous, so the above knowledge was slightly (very) terrifying. But it did give me that extra motivating push to take on the challenge, test my limits and restore my liver to it's most efficient state.
Now i'm not saying it's easy - it's not - but because I did 'Dry July' in June for the purpose of this feature, I can now pass my wisdom on to you, the reader. You're welcome.
"Your liver is an amazing organ and can usually cope with drinking a small amount of alcohol," Molly explained. We're sensing a 'but' coming...
"However, if you drink more than the liver can process by drinking too quickly or drinking too much, your liver will struggle to process it and dehydrates the body." We KNEW it.
So water was going to be my best friend during this challenge. I constantly had a full bottle of water in my hand ready to quench any thirst. I also flavoured the water with lemon or different citrus fruits to keep it interesting when day dreams of Aperol would start to cloud the mind. Side note: Keep this habit up when you start drinking again and alternate an alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to keep your body hydrated at all times. You'll also avoid headaches - win, win!
2. Juiced Up
One issue I found at the start of my 'Dry July' was the task was constantly on my mind - so I decided to switch up my focus with something else that could take over that headspace.
Two words: Juice Cleanse. I know, I know, you're probably thinking: 'Why pile on a challenge on top of another challenge?' My theory is, that you compartmentalise the challenges and by changing up your focus you're less likely to overthink one. Plus, with eight juices a day for five days (in my case), I had a structure to stick to and a full reboot of my system. I had to say 'no'.
"By cleansing you are giving the body a chance to rest and recover," Molly explained. "This allows it to detox effectively and heal any damage it may be suffering from. It also floods your body with nutrients and hydration, which will leave you feeling energised and make you glow!"
Pressed Juices has a specific liver cleanse based on beetroot and lemon - powerful detoxifiers - that can help heal brain fog, fatigue, acne and weight gain without depriving yourself of nutrients.
"Post cleanse, drinking room temperate or warm lemon water in the morning is a gentle way to detox the liver each morning and get the digestive system ready for food," Molly suggested. "Having a green juice or smoothie for breakfast is an easy way to get in heaps nutritious greens in to your diet."
3. Go Out
Some people might take the strategy of 'staying in' to avoid temptation when out and about. But that can be counter intuitive. You must remember how easy it is to get bored and get FOMO. So instead I went out - a lot. I caught up with friends and even went to the pub. My saving grace? Soda water and lime. I would immediately strike up an agreement with a bartender to keep the soda water coming and with my glass in hand, I never felt 'left out' or 'out of place'. I actually had more fun, remembered every conversation I had and left feeling the most hydrated I probably have ever been.
We also can't forget how drinking alcohol almost certainly means you will purchase a kebab, pizza and/or late night Indian feed. "Poor eating choices impact the liver and digestive system the day after drinking as well," Molly explained. "When you drink too much alcohol the fat that should be used by the body for energy also gets stored in your liver."
4. Get Moving
I'm a very social person by nature, so I also wanted to switch up the ways in which I would catch up with friends and family. Now it's winter, so going to the beach wasn't really an option, but exercise was a great way to get together with someone while burning some of my excess energy that wasn't wasted spooning my pillow and watching Netflix.
"For many of us, drinking with friends is how we socialise and wind down," Molly explained. "If you are struggling to decrease alcohol consumption, try organising activities that don’t revolve around consuming alcohol! Going for a walk with a friend for example not only reduces stress and helps you to relax but is great way to socialise without drinking."
As a bonus, you'll more than likely experience weight loss, increased energy, brighter skin and eyes, improved digestion and boosted immunity while decreasing your risk of heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol and stroke. I mean, SOLD.
5. Partner In Crime
This is a contentious suggestion. You need to choose the right partner in crime, not one that will lead you down the garden path.
Find someone that's as serious about the challenge as you are, and you'll be surprised how much of a comfort they are when you've had a frustrating day at work and you're drooling for a red wine. Speaking from experience.
Up for the challenge? For more information on Dry July head here.
10 Healthy AF Lunches You Can Make For Just 10 Bucks...
10 Healthy AF Lunches You Can Make For Just 10 Bucks
Instagram @sweatshop_nyc1 of 10
Instagram @flora_and_vino2 of 10
Instagram @claudiavfit3 of 10
Instagram @thedishonhealthy4 of 10
Instagram @stephanieramlogan5 of 10
Instagram @Lovely Kitchen & Cafe6 of 10
Instagram @charlotteh137 of 10
8 of 10
9 of 10
10 of 10