Sober January? Start 2019 With These Booze-Free Ideas

By Henry Gould – Jan 4th, 2019

It’s the same old story every January; new year, new me. Lots of people tell themselves they’re going to get back in the gym, eat right, drink less, and overall make “healthy” decisions to start the year. They always start with good intentions, and nearly all inevitably fail.

It doesn’t have to be so! Something I tried last year which set a great tone to 2018 was “Sober January”. Although dry months like these can seem preachy and holier than thou (especially when you’re ordering club soda at a craft brewery), I found it to be a much needed reset after a December of constant festivities.

I’m not really a believer in detoxes – isn’t that the liver’s job?? – but cutting out alcohol for a month almost certainly has health benefits, not to mention a reduction in calories and cash spent. It also brought a sort of mindful clarity, perhaps due to better sleep patterns, less staying out late, less anxiety. Either way, it’s something I’d highly recommend.

Because so many social engagements traditionally revolve around drinks, below are a bunch of ideas that don’t involve alcohol, and will help make January a fun, hangover-free month.

  • Stock The Fridge With La Croix
    • Keeping a healthy stock of sparkling water in the fridge makes a massive difference in cutting the cravings for a cold drink
    • A lot of times it’s not so much the drink itself, but having something cold and fizzy that tickles the itch
    • La Croix and other drinks like it are 0 calories, 0 sweetners, and a hell of a lot cheaper than beer, wine or spirits
    • If the bosses at La Croix want to sponsor Yard Athletics, you know where to call!
  • Plan Brunch / Lunch parties instead of Dinner
  • Cross-Country Skiing at Cypress
    • Downhill gets most of the love, but cross-country skiing is hugely enjoyable and a great form of exercise
    • Rentals and Trail Tickets are super cheap after 3pm ($16 each) so it makes for a much more cost effective day than Whistler
    • Best of all, you can save the money you would have spent on apres-ski drinks for a warm bowl of ramen once you come back downtown
  • Learn to Cook – Take Class
    • It’s no secret that the millenial generation doesn’t know how to cook. Without starting on a passionate, 10 page essay, I have strong opinions why this is very, very bad thing!
    • Learning to cook is a lifelong pursuit, and not something a single recipe or class will teach you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start somewhere…
    • Arguably the most popular cooking school in Vancouver is The Dirty Apron, whose classes involve professional instruction that are fun and informative
    • Check out their calendar, plan a night with friends or loved ones, and eventually stop buying dinner at the Whole Foods hot bar
  • Plan a Day Trip
    • Getting out of the city for the day is a great way to explore your area without breaking the bank on flights and accommodations
    • Some potential ideas:
      • Seattle – do some shopping, get a burger at Dick’s Drive-In, check out Bellevue, try and catch a glimpse of Bill Gates house 
      • Whistler – leave at 6am, get onto the mountain by 8am, skip the drinks at Longhorn’s and head home at 3pm to beat the traffic. Or avoid the mountain altogether and go for a spa day at Scandinave
      • Sunshine Coast – take an early Langdale ferry, explore Sechelt / Gibson’s, do a hike, grab some beer at Persephone for when Feb 1st hits, head back on the last ferry
      • Fort Langley – less than an hour drive from downtown Vancouver, but you will feel like you’re in another world. Very cool little town, old buildings with lots of history, and tons of great places to get lunch, shop, and look around. Make your way home via North Vancouver, stop at Two Rivers Meats and get some dry aged steak for dinner. You deserve it…

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