Not into dry January? Try these other healthy challenges

Words byHayley Hayley

You may be doing it already. You definitely know someone who is. Dry January. While it can feel great to take a month-long hiatus from all alcohol, we’re not convinced a whole month is really necessary (though kudos to you if you’re doing it – we’re impressed!). But just because you may or may not be tackling Dry January doesn’t mean you can’t dedicate a month to your health.

This year, we’re giving ourselves a couple weeks of grace period to settle into 2019 and starting mid-January, taking things through to the end of February if we’re feeling particularly bold. We’re going to commit to some different challenges that may be even more beneficial than simply giving up booze.

We suggest perusing this list and selecting the challenge that speaks to you most. And you want to know the best part? You’ll still be able to have a nice, juicy glass of wine here and there.

Whole 30. Ok we know we told you that you don’t have to bother with Dry January, and here we are suggesting Whole 30, a 30 day diet revamp that requires you to cut out sugar, dairy, carbs and processed foods of any kind. It’s incredibly intense, but it also has fantastic results. It will leave you feeling infinitely better, particularly if you usually eat a diet high in processed foods. Because it removes inflammatory foods from your diet, you will also reduce inflammation in your body, helping you look and feel less puffy and bloated. If you’re going to do it, though, we recommend planning ahead, as you need to have Whole 30-approved snacks at hand for when hunger strikes.

Kick sugar to the curb. Our lovely founder Roxy van der Noordt did it back in February of 2018 and loved the way she felt. It may taste good, but unfortunately, sugar does absolutely nothing to your health. You can totally still indulge in nature’s candy, satisfying your sweet tooth with dates and mandarins, but we promise you have no need for processed added sugar. It’s easy enough to eschew candy and chocolate, but you also have to keep an eye out for sneaky sugars. Tomato sauce and salad dressing can contain as much of the sweet stuff as sugary coffee drinks and sodas. And the less you eat it, the less you’re going to want it. After a few weeks without it, you may not miss it ever again!

Daily Plank Challenge. So far the challenges we’ve suggested have been about removing things from your life, but what about those of us who are looking to add positive practices? If you want something tangible, we like to go for a physical challenge like the Daily Plank Challenge. You can start with planks as short as half a minute, working your way all the way up to a five minute hold by the end of the month.

Adopt mindfulness. Whether it’s starting a daily meditation practice, journaling every evening before bed or giving more attention to your breath, it’s a great practice to adopt this winter. It will help you slow down and become more present in your own life. That’s important if you want to enjoy 2019 to its fullest!