Health > Eat well to make the most of Dry July
Eat well to make the most of Dry July
Taking a break from booze is absolutely one of the best things you can do for your health. Not only are you giving your liver (and other organs!) a break, but you can expect these benefits:
- Better sleep – alcohol might help us fall asleep, but it leads to poorer quality sleep
- Less bar snacks – drinking stirs hunger, and can also lead to sub-optimal food choices (I’m looking at you late-night doner kebab)
- Less hangover remedies – greasy bacon and eggs, sugary drinks and fast food are pretty common on Sunday morning, meaning the effects of your weekend drag on
- More movement – not being glued to the couch recovering means more opportunities to get out and about
If you’re looking for even more ways to treat your body right, we’ve got some simple tips.
Eat more vegies
Doctors, dietitians, The World Health Organisation, Your Mum… everyone one agrees eating vegies is super good for your body! And yet only 7% of Australian adults are eating their 5 serves every day. These are our top 3 tips to getting more into your day:
- Have some at breakfast.
Grilled mushrooms on toast, smashed avo or baked beans are all great ways to kick-off your day
- Make them your go-to snack.
Pre-prepare some of your favourite vegies and store in a clear container on the top shelf of the fridge so you’ll see them! Put a wet paper towel in the container to help your cut up vegies stay fresh for longer
- Meat-free Monday
Swap a meat dish for a vegetarian one – they’ve usually got a lot of vegies in them! Think spicy dahl, pumpkin frittata or mushroom risotto. Yum!
What’re you drinking?
What do you drink when you’re not drinking? For a lot of us, it’s soft drinks. These are loaded with sugar (10 teaspoons per can!!) which isn’t great for our teeth or our waistline. Tap water won’t always cut it, so it’s time to get creative!
- Sparkling water with a twist. Try mint, citrus, strawberries, cucumber or a combination
- Tea or coffee. There’s so many types and techniques to try these days, you’ll be hip to the latest trends come August!
- Homemade iced tea. Regular, green or herbal teas are lovely chilled. Serve over ice in a fancy glass
- A mocktail. Yep, a lot of them are just as sweet as soft drinks, but they’re in smaller serves and feel more fancy so you’re unlikely to down them as quickly
Cook at home
It’s the number one habit of healthy eaters, and there are loads of benefits! Save time and money AND cook healthier meals with these home cooking hacks.
- Add more vegies. If you’re making a casserole, curry or stirfry, chuck in a few extra vegies. This bulks up the dish which means you can have the leftovers for lunch. Vegies are often the cheapest part of the meal too, so it decreases the cost.
- Watch the salt. Use herbs and spices, lemon and chili to add flavour instead of loads of salty stock, soy sauce or salt. Choose no-added-salt or reduced-salt products. If you slowly decrease your salt, your taste buds will adapt easily.
- Use less sugar in baking. Sugar is important for texture as well as flavour, but we’ve had a lot of success decreasing the sugar in our family favourites. For cakes, you can usually go as low as ¼ cup of sugar for every 1 cup of flour. Add vanilla, cinnamon or orange zest to make sure you don’t end up with bland cake!
- Choose lean cuts of meat, and trim the fat and skin off before cooking. Kangaroo and turkey are two lean and tasty meats that don’t get as much credit as they deserve!
If you’re motivated and keen to take on a few more changes, you can see some more suggestions at Live Lighter. Happy Dry July!
Written by Anne Finch