SHAPING UP: Looking forward to a healthy new year

After all the excess of Christmas, January is THE perfect time to go alcohol-free for 31 days and get a healthy start to your New Year.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 12:00 am
Dry January means swapping alcohol for healthier alternatives.

Dry January is a public health campaign urging people to stop drinking alcohol for the month.

Lots of us feel like we’re drinking a bit too much, or too often, or just like we could do with some time off. Dry January is the perfect way to reset your relationship with alcohol. It only takes three weeks to break a habit, so this could be your route to happier, healthier drinking long-term.

In January 2020, over 3million people took part in the UK; 86% of them saved money, 70% of them experienced better sleep, 66% had more energy and 65% of participants had generally improved health, according to the website.

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I’m taking part this year because my alcohol intake has increased. I never used to drink alcohol in the house but I let it creep into my lifestyle during the first lockdown, back in March/April, and it’s continued throughout the year. I’ve decided to use Dry January as a reset month to get back in to healthy habits.

Across the month, your body is likely to benefit greatly from giving up alcohol. Better hydration and better sleep will improve your overall wellbeing. Your liver, stomach and skin will also have benefitted from not dealing with the nasty effects of booze.

If you usually drink average amounts for the UK person you’ll also have reduced your calories by 3840 for the month. For example, if you normally drink six glasses of 175ml wine a week.

It’s even higher for beer drinkers saving around 4320 calories over the month if you used to drink six pints of lager a week.

If you still don’t think it’s worth doing, here’s another reason: People who quit alcohol for just one month are 72% more likely to more mindful about drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in the future and with the health benefits of quitting you’ll see a difference to your body and your mood in the long run.

If you’re thinking of doing dry January check out the following website

You can do dry January on your own, or you can sign up for the challenge online.

Why sign up online?

People who sign up online are more likely to stay dry for the whole month. That’s because when you sign up you:

Get access to the free app, which helps you keep track of your month with features like a calorie calculator, unit tracker and tool to show how much you’ve saved.

Receive regular support emails with tips, tricks and information from experts in alcohol to make your month easier and more fun.

Have help on hand: if you’re struggling, you’ll get support.

Can fundraise for charity or give what you save.

Go on give it a go, you’ll feel better for it!

Peppercorn Beef


TOTAL TIME: 65 minutes



2 tbsp pink peppercorns

1 tbsp green peppercorns

1 tbsp black peppercorns

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Sea salt

2 tbsp olive oil

1 x 4lb beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied with butcher’s twine


Start by preheating the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Pat the tenderloin dry with a little paper towel and set aside.

Coarsely crush the peppercorns. Add the thyme, garlic, salt and olive oil to the same bowl and mix to combine.

Rub the tenderloin with the spice mix, all over, place in the oven and cook for 35-45 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

10-Minute Beginners Home HIIT Workout

If you haven’t exercised for a while and you’re wanting to re-start in the new year, you should ease yourself back in slowly. If you go 100% and jump right in at the deep end from day one you may end up with niggles or injuries. Start slowly, listen to your body and increase the intensity gradually. This workout is a good place to start. It targets all parts of your body and it only lasts 10 minutes.


30 seconds 1-STEP SHUTTLES

30 seconds SQUATS

30 seconds PRESS UPS

30 seconds CRUNCHES