New Year resolutions, we’ve all made them, and sometimes even managed to stick to them. Whether it’s to do more exercise, give up smoking, or eat more healthily, resolutions are often a good way to help kick-start better habits. Spending Christmas in the UK, I noticed a lot of the media, from newspapers and TV commercials, to Facebook and Twitter feeds, full with talk of “Dry January”. It’s not just exclusive to the UK though, it seems the trend for making a dry New Year’s resolution, is catching on in other countries.
A growing number of people now use the month of January as a period of complete abstinence, after the excesses of the holidays. In the UK two charities run such campaigns; Cancer Research and Alcohol Concern. The idea is that you sign up with one of these charities, friends and family sponsor you to stay sober for a month, and you pass your sponsorship donations to the charity. Whilst raising funds for a good cause can only be a good thing, what are the actual benefits to you and your body, of abstaining from alcohol for one month?
Financially, you’ll certainly save some money. As for your health, you will probably lose weight and should feel more energized. Medical experts claim that stopping drinking for one month also results in a fall in liver fat. It’s liver fat that can cause inflammation and result in liver disease. Your blood glucose levels and cholesterol will also drop, and the quality of your sleep will improve. Evidence shows that people who take a month off alcohol tend to drink less frequently afterward, drink less on the days they do drink, and have one too many far less often.
One of the challenges is finding a decent alcoholic-free alternative to drink. A significant portion of the global population, at any one time, isn’t drinking alcohol. Drinks companies are finally getting wise to this. Where once non-drinkers, the designated driver, or those just cutting back, could only choose between fruit juice, soda, or water, there are now endless options to make avoiding the booze much more enjoyable. Whether it’s a dry January evening, or a very wet July afternoon, you can’t beat a glass of Bottle Green sparkling pressé. This delicious range of imported drinks, are readily available in Jenny Lou, Jenny Wang, DDs Market, and April Gourmet stores.
The cranberry and orange is fresh, fruity, and crisp, combining juices of cranberries, aronia berries, oranges, and lightly sparkling water. Ginger and lemongrass is warming and vibrant, combining ginger, lemongrass, and sparkling water. Cox’s Apple has a slightly tart flavor, similar to cider but without the alcohol. The range also includes lemon with lime leaf, and pomegranate with elderflower. Free from all artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. Prices are around RMB 15 per 275 ml bottle.
They also taste great with spirits and as mixers in cocktails, so you’d better keep some back for February. For more information on the Bottle Green range visit www.bottlegreendrinks.com, www.facebook.com/bottlegreen
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: Kimery Davis (Flickr), Sally