Dry January

I was laughing with my husband yesterday about how awesome my liver must be. As you may know, I've given up alcohol, along with all added sugars and sweeteners, and all junkfood, for the month of January. I was imagining how the autopsy might go, with the doctors exclaiming about the beauty of my pristine liver. Something to strive for.

I recently read about a study in Britain where a group of people gave up alcohol for a month. (Dry January is pretty big over there.) Apparently just 30 days of abstinence makes quite a difference to the health of the liver. I think this is very heartening, especially if you are a heavy drinker. Your liver can recover if you can just manage to take a break.

Should you NEVER take a sip of any alcoholic beverage? No, I wouldn't go that far. If you know me, you know that I enjoy a glass of wine (especially red) and a locally brewed craft beer now and then. But I do believe balance is key. We all know alcohol is a poison. If your poor liver has to process a daily dosage of poison, the damage simply accumulates with no time to heal.

I might not say I'm "enjoying" my month of purity, but I do feel I'm doing something worthwhile to heal my body. And as I just mentioned, balance is key. I love chocolate, peanut butter, french fries, and red wine. I enjoy a juicy burger (with a bun!) on occasion. And if I indulge in these treats once in a while, I don't suffer many consequences. However, if I ate burgers with buns, fries, and chocolate chip cookies on a daily basis, I'd balloon up in no time flat.

How do you find your balance? How do you find your sweet spot? How much is too much? I can only answer this question for myself as each person is unique. And each of us is also constantly changing and evolving. What I could get away with as an active twenty-something is VERY different than what my body tells me now.

I believe that a month-long vacation from your addictions, whether they be alcohol, sugar, fried foods, fast food, or something else, is an excellent place to start. Or you can give up all these things at once! Yes, you will lose weight, but the benefits are way greater than just weight loss. You will heal your liver, lower your blood sugar, stabilize your moods, sleep better, and discover you are NOT a slave to your cravings. You might even remember how much you love salad! (Honestly, this happened to me!)