Dry January Anyone??? [how to prepare]

You know I promote balanced living and not doing anything too extreme in the name of “health.” So why in the world would I be promoting something like Dry January? Let’s dig a little deeper into what month-long challenges like these can do for our health. What can a month-long challenge like Dry January do […]

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I am a scientist-turned-stylist, educator & health coach, wife & working mom. I help women feel amazing again by showing them that health doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing affair and that you don’t have to give up everything you love to create a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I shares easy health tips and healthy recipes here on my blog. I also offers online programs, workshops and personal health coaching. I'm so glad you're here!


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one simple change

You know I promote balanced living and not doing anything too extreme in the name of “health.” So why in the world would I be promoting something like Dry January? Let’s dig a little deeper into what month-long challenges like these can do for our health.

What can a month-long challenge like Dry January do for you?

While I most certainly want to help you create habits that you’ll be able to sustain, I also want to encourage you to take some time to learn what works best for your body. Is going completely gluten-free or dairy-free extreme for some people? Perhaps. So what gives? Here’s the skinny: declaring that you’ll give up a specific food or food group for the rest of your life is not super realistic. And if your intention is weight loss, then what’s your plan once you reach your goal? However, I am a HUGE fan of exploring different lifestyles. I love data and information and experiments (the molecular biology researcher in me is here to stay, my friends). Saying you’ll never eat french fries again is not only setting yourself up for failure; it’s also just plain sad. But giving up fried foods for two weeks or one month – that could be very enlightening. This is how I, Prosecco Kate, have come to decide I’ll start 2021 sober and do this thing called Dry January.

How to be successful with Dry January

Whether you plan to give up alcohol, gluten, fried foods, or soda for an entire month, the only way to succeed is to have a plan.

Kate Bowser Dry January
Make plan for success!

Step one: identify your habits

Is there a particular time of day or situation that you seem always to want to have a drink? For me, there are a few different situations where I often find myself pouring a glass of wine:

  • Cooking dinner: I love to sip on a glass of wine while preparing a delicious meal.
  • Dates night (or day) with my husband: when we find ourselves with time alone, we almost always grab a drink and chat.
  • Eating out: I can’t remember the last time I ate in a restaurant and didn’t order a glass of wine. I love the entire experience of eating out and often find myself choosing a restaurant based on their wine list. (#winesnob for sure)
  • To relieve stress: this is the situation I am least proud of, but I’m keeping it real (and embracing vulnerability), so I couldn’t leave this one out.

Step two: Create an action plan

Once you know when (or why) you drink (or grab a cookie, soda, or {fill in the blank}), you can decide what will you do when you’re in that situation again – or how can you avoid that situation moving forward. To continue with my examples from above:

Choose a different beverage to consume while cooking

One of the reasons I choose wine is, yes, it’s relaxing, but it’s also NOT WATER. I drink water with lemon all day, and so by evening time, I’m ready for something different. Other beverages that are excellent choices: kombucha, hot tea, plain seltzer with lime.

When on a date with my husband

Even if it’s a date at home, I love having a shared experience. Having a coffee date (if done early enough in the afternoon/evening) is a great alternative. If it’s closer to bedtime, choosing one of the beverages listed above works. Lastly, making the shared activity something to do instead of something to drink can be fun. Playing a game, doing a puzzle, or watching a movie are all great ways to spend time with someone – and none of them include alcohol.

Eating out

Because I genuinely enjoy the entire experience of eating out and trying new wines, my first choice would be to stay home and get take out. This gives me more control over the situation, and I will be less tempted. If I did find myself in a restaurant during a challenge month like Dry January (or any other time when avoiding alcohol), I tend to order seltzer with lime. It mimics the feeling of having a cocktail – and again, it’s something different than plain water with lemon. You could also choose a restaurant that is BYOB or one that doesn’t offer your favorite drinks. If you’re really into beer, maybe skip the brewpub and opt for sushi? If you’re avoiding something like fried foods or gluten, do your research ahead of time. You can check out the menu online and choose something new to try. Remember: you’re making these changes for one month. You can have your cocktail (or french fries) next month. Take this time to try new things!

For Stress Relief

It is silly to think that there won’t be stressful days ahead of me. To combat those situations, I will embrace meditation and deep belly breathing. Talk about a win-win! I start each year by declaring, “This is the year I will develop a meditation practice!” And, well, I have a hard time sticking to it. I have found an app I like for guided meditations, and I plan on ending each workday with a quick meditation to get me into a more relaxed headspace so that I can be more present with my family. So not only will I be more present from meditating first, but I will also be more present by not numbing my feelings with alcohol. It’s like a double win-win!

Step three: find a community to support you

Please, friends, don’t ever think you need to go-it-alone. Whether it’s declaring your intentions to a friend or family member to hold you accountable or you take on your challenge in the community of a group, there is power in a community. I have already told my husband that I’ll be doing a Dry January to start the year (he was all for it), and I also plan on getting the support of those in my Facebook group.

Speaking of Facebook groups, I have started a brand new group for those who follow my blog and social media accounts! It’s called
“Balanced Living with Kate Bowser.” You can find it here. I would love to get to know my readers and followers personally and have the opportunity to teach in a more intimate setting. Bonus: I will get to learn from YOU as well!

Each month we will explore a new theme. Some months, like this January, we will do a challenge. We will ALWAYS be sharing our wins and learning from each other. I really hope you’ll join me so we can take on this Dry January together!

If you’re considering going gluten-free in January instead of joining me for Dry January, check out this blog:

If you’re just starting your health journey and you’re looking for some easy tips on how to get started, this is the perfect place to start!

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