Let’s face it, Australia has a massive drinking culture, and why wouldn’t it? It boasts some of the best wine regions in the world, some fine breweries, scorching summers and big barbeques. But for some, this indulgence has taken a turn and become a painful daily addiction that has left many lives in ruin. And sadly, the country’s addiction stats don’t stop at alcoholism. Fortunately there are many initiatives currently underway to address the issue of addiction, both at a state government level and a local community level.
One of my favourite ways to get involved is FebFast –a fabulous initiative that runs for the month of Feb and raises money to support youth and their families battling serious addiction. Some people might say “how is 28 days of abstinence going to have an effect?” Well, in terms of the program itself, here’s a breakdown of how they spend the money: 1% admin costs; 32% preventative health campaign and 67% alcohol and drug support. In terms participant’s personal impacts, let’s face it…it’ll vary from person to person but here’s some of what you might expect: better sleep, improved energy, sharper focus, mood stability, healthier looking skin and yes, even weight loss.
For me, my love of wine has turned into a nightly ritual since the festive season began. I know I’m not at the top of my game even drinking a glass of vino daily. I often have clients say “well, wine’s good for you…right?” And yes there is science to support that moderate alcohol intake can be beneficial to health. But there are a great number of factors that determine the true benefits ranging from the type of alcohol consumed, your body’s detoxification profile, your current state of health…the list goes on and on. And quite frankly, our livers could use all the help they can get in clearing out the toxins our body is exposed to on a daily basis. And with FebFast you choose your poison to avoid: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, electronic media, etc.
So this month Nourish will be featuring some fun, tasty, healthy alternatives to help all the FebFasters battle their cravings and not leave you feeling like the “odd one out” at a social gathering. You may even find that after 28 days, you develop more sensible habits year ‘round!
First up: Melon Margarita
(I’d like to add this was Day 1 of FebFast and I was going to a bbq with friends this night, where the drinks were flowing. I think they were all secretly jealous)
While I used a thermomix here, you can easily use a blender with a jug!
1/2 honeydew melon, seeded, skinned and chopped
1/2 granny smith apple, cored and chopped into chunks
1/4″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
325ml sparkling mineral water (I used Pelligrino)
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 cup ice
Put all ingredients together and whiz until smooth, and pour into a margarita glass. To make it even more realistic, salt the rim with some fine sea salt! Refreshing and much healthier than the real deal!
Next: Cucumber Fizzer
A simple refreshing drink made with sparkling mineral water, juice of 1 lime, a bit of ice and a few cucumber slices. Absolutely perfect for a 42 degree Celsius day–without the dehydrating effect of alcohol.
If you’re here in Australia (and even those abroad), sign up, get involved or donate to the cause if you can. If you’re elsewhere, commit to your own version of FebFast as a way to make a great, healthy start to 2014!
To find out more visit http://febfast.org.au/
Or to donate to Nourish’s effort, visit my page at http://my.febfast.org/PersonalPage.aspx?registrationID=700758&langPref=en-CA&Referrer=http%3a%2f%2ffebfast.org.au%2f