Well, we did it! Kinda.
My reason for doing
Dry/Sober/Healthy-ish January was really just to break the holiday cycle of eating and drinking all the delicious things that had become routine.
My fears heading into
Dry/Sober/Healthy-ish January were much greater. Would I be able to make it? Would I be bored because I wasn’t pursuing social activities with friends? Would I get tired of the food? And water? Would my husband and I even eat dinner together or we would be making 2 meals all the time?
I went into it with some kind advice from other friends who have done this, and really there was only one piece of advice: allow for a cheat day/s. So, now that I’m on Day 31, here’s what I found:
- Days 7-14 are tough. When you first start, you’re excited and making great decisions, and completely on board with the month. By Day 7, you’re over it. And for me, that’s when the cravings started. I actually dreamed about sweets. And the scale hadn’t moved. Because even if it had been hard but I had lost a few pounds, then maybe it would have been easier. But Days 7-14 nothing changed, other than my cravings for fries, doughnuts, pasta, cinnamon rolls, basically anything delicious.
- Day 15, that’s when things started changing for me. I started sleeping better, I felt better, I wasn’t thinking about food all the time. The weight started coming off. It really was a mental and physical shift.
- I became more mindful of what I was eating. I started thinking through meals before heading to the store, and seeking out new recipes. Instead of having eggs and avocado for breakfast, now I’d also throw in spinach and mushrooms. Or add slices of tomatoes. I scoured the internet and instagram for recipes. Some were delicious and some were not. I’ll link some of my favorite recipes at the bottom!
- I greatly miss baking! I bake things not to have baked goods in my home, but to give away. And I bake when things aren’t going right. It’s therapeutic for me. So, that’s been hard because there have been some days that I could have really used some baking therapy. But I did find some gluten free baking recipes that I failed at. A recipe that includes a pound of butter and 3 bags of sugar, I got this! A recipe that uses almond flour and molasses….I’m gonna need some more time to get that one right.
- My husband not only supported my efforts but joined me! He was so great this month, and even made me cauliflower fried rice, and ordered lettuce wraps when we got delivery food. I found that planning for meals that allowed for healthier substitutes was a lot easier than I though. Spaghetti – he put sauce on pasta and I did zucchini noodles. Chicken Tortilla Soup – he topped with cheese and tortilla strips and I topped with avocado. I did make a vegetable chili that he didn’t love (he calls it tuber soup), but you can’t win every meal. Steak sides – he had a baked potato and I had a purple one. There was never a night where I felt like we were having to make two meals, or do more work for dinner.
- Cheat days are crucial! Bobby and I had a date night to our favorite place (Butcher and Baker) and we split a cheese and charcuterie board and dessert and drinks. And it was glorious! And then I also got to celebrate sweet Blair and baby Luke with some of my favorite friends. It ended up being a 4+ hour baby shower that still felt too short. And days to celebrate shouldn’t be held back with rules and restrictions. Lean in to the good days!
- For me, when I start eating better, it’s easier for me to have a more disciplined exercise schedule – so I found myself doing more yoga, and going to the gym more. And then if I went to the gym first thing in the morning, I didn’t have coffee. Which, for someone who has required multiple cups of coffee a day, this was huge.
- The thing that has been most surprising is that I’ve felt more connected. More connected to my body. More thoughtful in decisions. More intentional in relationships. It’s just funny how what we, or maybe just for myself, what I put in my body has affected so many other areas of life.
Now that I’m at Day 31, I don’t have the strong desire to rush out and binge on food or drinks like I thought I would. It really is a mental shift. What’s that statistic about creating a habit, 21 days? Maybe there is something to that…
If you were partaking in your own type of restriction January, congratulations! You made it! And if you’re thinking of doing something like this, you don’t have to wait til next January. February starts tomorrow, and there’s only 28 days in it!
Recipes I use:
Tuber Soup (I made with and without the turkey): https://www.wellplated.com/healthy-turkey-chili/
Overnight Oats: https://fitfoodiefinds.com/8-ways-to-eat-overnight-oats/
Black Bean Burgers: https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/black-bean-burger/
Zucchini Noodles: just spiral up those zucchinis and throw them in a bowl with your meat sauce or meatballs (I’m looking at your Andrea!)
Red Pepper and Avocado Chutney: https://www.mommypotamus.com/avocado-chutney/