Dry January. It was a thing I had heard of people doing before as part of a New Year’s resolution, but I never really had much interest. I don’t do resolutions and prefer smaller goals throughout the year, and well, I didn’t have a drinking problem.
This year combined the perfect trifecta of the stress of starting my own businesses, single parenting for the year during deployment as well as getting a hardcore demonic virus on January 29th. By the time New Years Eve came, I had no desire to drink that night as I was still recovering and decided to try and go “dry” for the month of January.
I had read articles before and seen videos about all of the benefits:
- Clearer skin
- Better nights rest
- Wake up refreshed
- Feeling healthier
- Losing weight
- Saving money
Sound familiar? In my experience over the 33 days I had no alcohol, I experienced……exactly zero of those benefits. In fact, I found that I slept worse because I had trouble falling asleep at all. I didn’t feel any more refreshed in the morning, probably because I fell asleep an hour later than I normally did. Feeling healthier? Nope! In fact, instead of the occasional glass of wine or margarita I would have, I found myself craving candy or chips or something else to fill that void. I try to eat clean as much as possible, but by the time 9 PM rolls around, I am weak and ate more crap than I have in years with my drink treat. In addition to none of those benefits, I found that I was more irritable in general, and not just at night when I would have my drink, like all day.
The one thing I did get out of it was the mind over matter “ I can do this” success. Giving up anything for a month and sticking to it has benefits in and of itself to show yourself the willpower you have and to establish that you can do anything you put your mind to.
That being said, I think the goal is just to understand moderation of alcohol. Maybe I just didn’t see the benefits because I wasn’t a lush before, but knowing that drinks 2/3 days a week makes zero difference in how I feel is good to know. I also think there is a way to drink healthier in general. High calorie and sugar laden drink mixes aren’t good for anyone, but a skinny margarita made with Truvia and real Lime Juice can be relatively “healthy” as a drink. Take it a step further and make something like a healthy Dirty Banana and you might actually get more fruit in your system than normal while really enjoying it!
I first got introduced to the Dirty Banana ( I know, that sounds so wrong) when we went to Beaches in Jamaica a few winters ago. They are amazeballs. If you look them up, there are a lot of recipes that have rum, cream, simple syrup etc that tack on the calories and make them a sugar suck. For a fairly “healthy” and low calorie drink, check out my recipe below for one that is an easy and tasty option all year long.
- 1 banana ( preferably frozen)
- 1 oz coffee liquor
- 2 oz unsweetened almond milk
- 6/7 ice cubes
- Blend in blender until smooth
- Line cup, if you choose, with chocolate syrup before pouring it in
Can you get any easier than that? My kids love when I make just a banana smoothie for them as well so we can have “matching drinks.
I urge you to always be responsible in drinking and maybe to look at healthier drinks that have additional benefits when making your choices. What is your favorite drink of choice?