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A good handful (maybe tens of thousands in fact!) of people have undertaken Dry July this past month. One month of giving up something that is their vice, most often alcohol, in an effort to both raise funds for those suffering from cancer and to test their own discipline to simply go without.

Putting these two together (giving up alcohol and cancer) in one sentence does another thing too for us doesn’t it? Perhaps it gives us some perspective? Maybe Dry July not only teaches us discipline to sacrifice something we might well lean on or relax with, but it puts our health in the spotlight too – and hopefully makes us appreciate it more?

So if you’ve undertaken Dry July and see August just around the corner, with this in mind, are you snapping into your old ways come August 1?

Or, are you looking down the road less travelled and taking the lessons from your dry month with you on the journey ahead and making change to your health for good?

Perhaps July has taught you a few things about how your body responds without alcohol, and doesn’t respond with it?

Maybe your energy is better, you’re waking and sleeping is easier, your tummy feels flat and your skin looks fresh?

When you eat, perhaps you’ve felt improvement in the way your body digests and you aren’t experiencing the pains, cramps, flatulence and bloating you once did?

Or maybe they are still slightly present but not as bad?

I ask you to consider all these questions, because when I see, and ask, people to give up alcohol these are the first signs that surface for them in their health.

And, it’s REALLY IMPORTANT to acknowledge them, because you’ve created change.

And change is SO POWERFUL but you have to practise to make it habit. And you need to revisit the change-factor again frequently before it all just clicks. Because that’s the very normal case with people’s health and diet. Things don’t click over night, it all takes time, patience and practise.

If alcohol, or lack thereof has made you feel great throughout July and you want to maintain some of the practice you put into play then perhaps jot down a few (I mean a few not a page) of the things you felt worked best as a small reminder you can keep present with you. Then, as the months progress and the sometimes slippages in health occur, lock in a few days on each calendar month to revisit what you learnt in July with an extra boost guided by me – your nutritionist.

Try to reduce intake of :

  • Alcohol – the no brainer
  • Caffeine – coffee in particular, and black tea if you can, to reduce the impact on our adrenals and our digestive system as a result.
  • High sugar foods such as cakes, biscuits, pastries, sauces and condiments (major culprits)
  • Limit fruit intake to 1-2 pieces per day
  • Dairy, just for a few days to let your body determine if doing so improves digestive function
  • Wheat and gluten based products – to reduce some of the more common inflammatory foods, just for a period of time, if sourdough toast with avo is your thing, this won’t be gone forever don’t worry
  • Red meat and chicken, focus instead on fatty fish such as salmon and trout and some eggs for protein sources.

Aim to increase intake of:

  • Water and herbal teas. Most of us can do with an increase water intake. Water is one of the simplest of elements that create change in our body because it energises our cells and supports the body’s natural detoxification pathways.
  • Immune and gut supportive beverages in place of inflammatory ones. Caffeine and alcohol can be considerably disruptive not only to our adrenals, energy and hormonal balance but also to our gut. In place of caffeine aim for gut supportive drinks – herbal teas as mentioned and then where once the afternoon pick me up, or the evening wind down drink stood, go for kombucha, Remedy Kombucha+ of course. The benefits of doing so?? Where to begin…
    • Remedy is the only Kombucha on the market that is close to 0g of sugar and I Quit Sugar Approved and thus perfect for not only this ‘refresh’ period but ongoing in your health too.
    • It contains live cultures which support the growth and integrity of good bacteria in our gut. When we have more good, our bodies are better able to reduce the natural proliferation of bad bacteria which otherwise may cause disruption to digestive processes and leave us feeling bloated, windy and blocked. You hear me? Not all bacteria are created equal, good bacteria great thing, bad bacteria, we’ll take less of those thanks.
    • It’s DELICIOUS and therefore an easy alternative solution to alcohol or coffee because you want to drink it. We’re not expecting you to down a shot of crushed garlic with cayenne to change your health over these 3 days and beyond. We’re offering you a completely scrumptious drink with 5 flavours to choose from – hibiscus kiss, original, ginger lemon, apple crisp and raspberry lemonade.
  • Vegetables and some fruit. Best to limit fruit to just 1-2 pieces per day and focus mostly on increasing your vegetable intake including some starchy vegetables such as sweet potato, beetroot and pumpkin to sustain you.
  • Nuts, seeds and healthy fats if you have been relying on wheat based or starchy grain carbohydrates to ‘fill you up’. Fats work in many wondrous ways, but to refresh on just a couple.
    • Healthy fats (nuts seeds, avocado, olive oil, fatty fish such as salmon, trout and mackerel) offer essential nutrients to reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system, improve cognition, to support the slow release of energy into our bodies by reducing the glycemic load of our meals AND they improve satiety.
    • If you’ve been eating carbohydrate heavy meals then wondered why you still feel hungry an hour after, it may be because the fat content necessary to keep you full just wasn’t there.

The ground work is done for you with these guidelines, and the philosophy is simple – reduce inflammatory foods, eat more real, whole foods. Implement these small changes over a few days each month and then in time they will become routine in health – have trust in that.

+ Jacqueline works in partnership and consulting to Remedy Kombucha. All opinions and thoughts expressed are her own.

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline Alwill, is an accredited nutritionist, author, founder of Brown Paper Nutrition and recently launched vegetarian meal delivery service Brown Paper Eats She is passionately committed to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and families. Jacqueline is mum to her 8 year old boy - Jet.

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