31 Days of Drynuary


In fall 2013, my boyfriend Matt and I went on a weekend trip to Hocking Hills, OH. We talked about a few goals we wanted to set together, and one of our health-related goals was to not drink alcohol for one month. We drink in moderation for the most part, but this seemed like a good idea for a bunch of reasons.

DeadSpin even kicked off the month with this article: I'm Going A Month Without Booze, For Some Reason. Join Me? which puts into perspective why we set this goal. Here are our specific reasons:

  • Detox from eating and drinking everything in sight during the holidays
  • Strong start to the year, with a clear mind and energized body
  • To take a challenge and say we did it

So here's my recap of my month, broken down by weekends:

Weekend #1

An unwind after a long holiday season. We focused on taking down Christmas decorations, cleaning the house and getting our lives back in order. After this first week, we're thinking "we got this."

Weekend #2

Cleveland is such a wonderful city, and when you live in a great area like we do (shout out to Tremont!), we tend to stick to what we know and like on the weekends. This month gave us the chance to explore some of the other great sites in the city, like the Detroit Shoreway area between downtown and Lakewood.

We started at XYZ Tavern, which is known for its New York style pizza. Very cool vibe and damn good food. Next we walked down Detroit Ave. and shopped at the eclectic shops (hello! Project Runway contestant Valerie Mayen set up her Yellowcake Shop in the heart of the area, and it's fab!) Lastly, we saw American Hustle at the Capitol Theater. This theater is old-school style and a completely different feel from a huge mainstream theater.

Weekend #3

It's starting to get harder, but we're still at it. Friday, we stopped by a friend's graduation party, complete with FREE food and FREE beer. Hmmm, does our goal still apply if we don't have to pay for the beer? A quick thought, but no, we are more than halfway, we can do this.

Saturday we hit the spinning studio early to prepare for our day. We decided to explore a Cleveland favorite, the Great Lakes Science Center. We're geeks at heart so damn it was fun to be a kid again.

Sunday I spent the day relaxing, getting my nails did, running errands and such. I'm definitely feeling much more productive on this fast.

Weekend #4

Our last weekend can be summed up in one word: snow. Since the polar vortex has decided to sweep through most of the United States, and most noticeably, the midwest, this weekend consisted of staying in, cooking and catching up on Netflix.

We did get our workout in, and visited the Westside Market to stock up on quality meat and fresh veggies. For lunch, we picked up large and in charge gyros from Steve's Gyros, a classic at the Market. Matt picked out some short ribs and made braised short ribs for dinner, inspired by Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit's signature dish. So. damn. good.

We did it!

Since drynuary was my idea, and Matt was a trooper joining me the whole way, I decided to treat him to a night out on me. We had dinner at Lago in the Cleveland's Eastbank of the flats neighborhood. My first drink of choice: my good friend Pinot Noir. After dinner, we spent the night hanging out with friends and enjoying a lovely Cleveland evening.

#drynuary is over. Cheers to that!

So, was it worth it?

Andria: I'd say hell yes! I'm not big on deprivation but I feel energized after this month without alcohol. And there's more money in my bank account because we weren't going out as much. I look forward to the next drynuary.

Matt: I enjoyed it for the most part. I saved a lot of money and enjoyed not waking up with an alcohol-related headache on the weekends. The hardest part for me was the missing the occasional mid week beer before and with dinner.

Until next year, cheers!