Wednesday, January 2, 2013

# January Joy 2: Dry January

The second challenge for #January Joy is attempting a Dry month or week. The thing is, I already do not drink a lot. The boy does not drink at all (he does not like the after taste of alcohol), so I guess that makes it a lot easier for me, if no one drinks around you, and there are no drinks around…

I do have a thing for sweet cocktail, on Christmas Eve I made Sangria (everyone loved it) and a friend made Cava +  Red fruits sorbet  + mint leave cocktails. Apparently it's a thing in Spanish weddings. These cocktails are traditionally served between the first and second dish. I loved the idea, I wish I knew about it before. They looked lovely.

Thanks to a dreamy Italian boyfriend from my crazy Erasmus year, I also love Spritz (3 parts Prosecco + 2 parts Aperol + 1 part lemon soda or sparkly water + a slice of orange).

Anyhow, this post is not going where it should be, if anything I am making people want to drink, which was exactly the opposite of what was intended. What I am going to do on for Dry January Joy instead, is cut out the sugar completely (first for a week and then we'll see how it goes from there). I am also not drinking coffee, as an attempt to live without caffeine, as there is evidence that suggests the proinflammatory effects of it.  I should probably be cutting dairy as well, but I love milk and I am a cheese addict, so I am not sure I want to do that. Are you trying to cut out on anything? Going for a healthier lifestyle? Are there foods or drinks you avoid?


  1. Ik drink zelf bijna nooit alcohol, en als ik het drink is het inderdaad een cocktail. Een maand lang zonder alcohol zou voor mij een te makkelijke uitdaging zijn, maar ik vind een week lang zonder suiker een heel stuk moeilijker! Ik moet en zal elke dag wel iets zoets eten. ;) Ben benieuwd of ik het volhoud en hoe mijn lichaam daarop reageert.

    Mocht je het trouwens fijner vinden als ik in het Engels reageer, laat het weten, ik vind het geen probleem.

    1. We eten ook heel veel suiker. Maar nu drink ik mijn kamille thee zonder suiker (of honing) en het is lekker (zeker en beetje anders).
      Het is prima als jij in Nederlands reageert, dan zal ik oefenen.

  2. I'm going 100% vegan and gluten free this month. I am 90% vegan already but not gluten free and I want to try it. I don't drink coffee (nor alcohol) but I am eliminating chocolate as well, for a month. We'll see how it goes from there.
    I did this when I was detoxing after malaria, to prepare my body for the baby search and I felt awesome...then I slipped into bad habits again.
    Oh, and just as you, I'm starting to run (from next Monday, when the kids go back to school).
    Here's to a healthy 2013!

    1. Nice, I will ask you afterwards. I forgot the reasons, but even if you are not coeliac, wheat is not the healthiest food is that right?
      We are 90% vegetarian, but I do rely on (biological, organic) eggs and semi-skimmed milk for many dishes. After watching Sarah Britton's Ted talk I am going to make homemade almond milk. I went to the bio-shop the other day and 1 L of nut milk (rice, oatmeal, almond) goes for about EUR 2.50 (or more). As a comparison you can get 1 L milk for 0.56 EUR.
      BTW... I am not going to run, I tried that last year and never did it ("it's too cold", "rainy", "we just ate", and a long list of other silly excuses). What we're doing instead is taking dancing lessons... it is not hardcore exercise, but at least we will be moving.
      I don't think giving up chocolate would be that hard for me... I thoroughly enjoy it in a dessert, ganache or ice-cream every now and then, but we never have it in the house, and I think that's the trick. Stuff that is not in our cupboards doesn't get eaten, or gets eaten a lot less often, as an exceptional treat.

    2. Not having it in the house is only an option when you live alone/your partner follows the same diet, which is not my case. So, whatever I eliminate has to stem from my own determination, because everything will still be available.
      I am not only eliminating wheat, but all flours containing gluten.I want to vary the flours I use because one of the factors in developing allergies/intolerances seems to be over exposure.
      As for dairy, studies link it to breast cancer because of the what they call "factor de crecimiento epitelial" (no sé el termino en inglés) and the hormones given to cows.
      Honestly, I don't think it's worth the risk, when there are so many alternatives. At least not for me!

    3. Aqui los articulos sobre el problema con el glutenm

    4. Thanks ! And yes, overexposure seems to be a factor for allergies.
      I will read about the milk studies, however I know for a fact that at least within Europe it is very strictly forbidden and monitored to give hormones to the cows, specifically not somatostatin (growth hormone) which was what many of the studies talked about (I haven't read the articles you linked to yet).
      Anyhow, for that and other reasons I am trying to cut out on it, I don't really drink that much, only a small drizzle on my black tea, which will soon be replaced with almond or oatmeal milk, and yes cheese. I do know that goat cheese (and proteins) in general are more digestible (sometimes even suitable for people with lactose allergies), and well, I guess it will be a treat for every now and then and not an everyday item (which is already the case).
      When you want to make a creamy sauce, say champignons, or a veggie carbonara, what have you used to replace cream?

    5. There are vegan alternatives, from soy or oats, like oatly oat cream that work well.But I generally don't eat creamy sauces because I never liked dairy cream anyway! For a creamy dessert sauce, I use either those ones or coconut cream.

    6. Oh yes, coconut cream. I forgot about the wonders of coconut. And oat cream sounds nice too. Smart girl, you. I don't love cream in itself (for the most part I hate whipped cream), but sometimes I like to cook with it. And the real stuff (not the stuff from cans that is based on vegetal hydrogenated oils) is quite delicious.

  3. Aja!
    Holandés, inglés y ahora voy yo en español! (que el próximo te escriba en francés)

    Esto de estrenar año nos pone a todos muy esperanzadores con lo que queremos ser, eh?! jejejejeje
    Cuando vivía ne Venezuela, comencé a tomar té verde con mis hermanas (porque según así manteníamos la línea). Por supuesto, eliminamos el azúcar y eso era amarguísimo! Lo bueno es que después de ese intento de figura de miss, dejé por completo el azúcar en el té. Luego aquí comencé a beber el café (dichoso café aguado de visita) sin azúcar y mira que ya no me sabe nada mal. Sólo lo endulzo cuando me animo a beber algo dulcito, pero ya no es una necesidad.
    Yo creo que todos podemos renunciar a lo que sea, siempre y cuando lo queramos realmente. Inclusive a las cosas buenas.

    Ya sé que cuando les visite, pediré un vaso con agua!


    1. Jajaja só, hoy sí que estamos políglotas.
      Y es verdad, con el nuevo año, que en realidad es un mes más , todos queremos nuevos comienzos, pero me gusta la sensación de empezar de nuevo de dejar lo pasado en el pasado, de empezar frescos. Y, has visto, ya hay más luz, y los almendros (locos ellos) ya están sacando florecitas.

      Tienes razón, a todo se acostumbra uno.

      Y no te preocupes, nadamás avísanos que te gusta tomar, y cuando vengas de visita lo tendremos preparado :) Un buen vino tal vez?

      En todo caso un abrazo y buena semana.

  4. Amanda mil gracias por tu comentario! Y si que similitudes tenemos de background! A mi tmb me fascinan la sangria (y el spritz!) El ultimo me recuerda a tardes en Venezia cuando todavia era estudiante :)

    Y hmmmmphhh todavia falta la rosa de reyes asi que el 'detox' tendra que empezar la semana quentra haha.

    Feliz ano!

  5. We aren't skipping anything this month except late-night eating. :D But I think I could do well to avoid caffeine, too. I've only used it to help me get through the day when I'm exhausted. But I should be dealing the source of the exhaustion, not just medicating myself with Diet Coke. So I'm happy to go dry with you there, too!

    1. Great ! There was a time (mostly at uni) where I would drink 3 or more coffees per day. In the end it was adding to my genaral state of anxiety, and when I stopped, I felt the difference. Moreover my skin got better, a lot less inflammation and zits, I think it has to do with the detoxifying processes in the liver.

  6. Hmm. Interestingly timed post. I've never thought of giving up's a part of my life. And yes, I know how bad that sounds. But let me explain, half of my family is Italian and I inherited that love of wine and having a glass of wine with dinner (or after dinner....). Also, my husband and I love to go wine tasting or to open a bottle together to sit down and connect.

    That being said, lately I only drink in the first half of the month (just in case) and I've been thinking of cutting back in general. Hmmm. However, I think the benefits of a glass of wine a night outweigh potential negatives at this point.

    I AM going to be making an effort to be eating more cleanly in general and focusing more on no processed foods, etc. I notice that I just feel so much better and am happier with myself and my body. It's not about losing weight, just about feeling good. It's funny I'm planning a post about this topic too. Probably half of the women in the world are thinking about this stuff post-NYE, huh?

    Good luck to all of us :)

    1. Oh, but I hear drinking a glass of wine or two with dinner is as much a tradition as a healty habit (really).

      And yeah, we also try to eat less processed foods, mostly for the healthy lifestyle part.

      Good luck !


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