Don't charge a glass for this good cause

You've heard the joke 'Three men walk into a bar...' No, really, that's how the first Dry July started!

In July 2008, three mates, Brett, Kenny and Phil, wanted to take a break from alcohol, so decided to abstain for the month of July, coining it their 'Dry July'. They also wanted to raise money for a cause very close to their hearts, so they asked friends and family to sponsor them.

Hoping to raise $3000 to buy a TV for their local hospital's waiting room, the campaign was a huge success. The first Dry July ended up raising $250,000, thanks to the support of Adam Spencer, and Dry July was well and truly born!

How it works

Sign up to the challenge at dryjuly.com, go alcohol free in July and of course you have to ask your family, friends and workmates to do the same, and also to sponsor you as you raise funds for the cause.

Results

Dry July has inspired more than 200,000 Aussies to go dry, raising $49 million for people affected by cancer, and funding projects at more than 80 cancer organisations across Australia.

The funds you raise as part of your Dry July will provide invaluable services for cancer patients, their families and carers - whether it's a lift to a life-saving appointment, guidance from a specialist nurse, connection to an informative voice, access to therapy programs or a bed close to treatment.

The personal benefits

Having a Dry July has great health benefits, and your body will thank you! A month off alcohol and you will find you are sleeping better, have enhanced work performance, improved concentration, have more energy and of course, no hangovers! So you're not only helping others, you're helping yourself. It's a win-win!

Great good health

It's hard to believe but the whole world will look and feel brighter as your body adjusts to the new you. You can look forward to a clearer head, more energy, sleeping better, weight loss, healthier skin and when you get into the fund raising gig, a huge sense of achievement is coming your way.

What are the risks of drinking too much?

Short-term risks include reduced concentration, poor sleep quality, blackouts, intense moods (aggression, elation, depression) and slower reflexes.

DRINK UP: Blueberry, Mint and Lime Mocktail

What you need

  • 10-12 blueberries
  • 8 mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Sparkling water
  • 1 tsp sweetener

What to do

  • Place blueberries, mint, lime and sweetener (if using) into a glass.
  • Swish together for about 1 minute to release the juice from the blueberries and lime, and the flavour from the mint. Top up with sparkling water.

So just how much is too much?

For optimum health, for both men and women, no more than two standard drinks per day is advisable.

How to keep on track

Make these simple lifestyle changes to your drinking habits.

Drink a glass of water before, between, and after drinks.

Aim for at least four alcohol-free days, or seven, per week.

Track your alcohol with an app like BAC alcohol calculator.

Arrange early morning weekend catch-ups - and stick to them.

Source: dryjuly.com

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