6 Reasons to do Dry January

1.To Reset

If you dropped a frog in a pan of boiling water he would use those strong legs to leap straight out again. Yet if you put that frog in a pan of cold water and gradually heated the water he would sit there until he was boiled alive.

Well it’s a bit like that with alcohol which can sneak up on you over the years.

What starts off as literally “a glass of wine” to unwind after a day at work can easily become several glasses or even a bottle.

Doing a Dry January gives your body (and more importantly your mind) a bit of space. Space to recover, space to think about your relationship with alcohol and to decide whether you want to make any permanent changes.


2. To Detox


If you have been drinking a glass (or two) of wine every evening for years then your body is permanently in a state of mild “withdrawal”, which feels a bit like mild anxiety.

This is because it can take between 7 – 10 days for all traces of the alcohol to leave your system.

This is why that first glass of wine in the evening tastes so good – it’s ending your state of withdrawal and feels like a massive “relief”

Doing a Dry January gives your body and mind a chance to heal, to feel less anxious as your system becomes alcohol free


3. To Reduce your Anxiety

If you are in the habit of drinking alcohol to make you less anxious then you should know that it has now been scientifically proved that alcohol actually increases your anxiety.

A batch of lab rats were injected with alcohol every day for a month. The control batch got to stay sober.

Then all the rats were put through a very stressful “obstacle race” and guess what – the control group way outperformed the rats with alcohol in their system.

Conclusion is that alcohol will actually reduce your ability to manage anxiety.

You can even test this for yourself:-

On Day One of your alcohol free month write a list of things in your life that are currently making you stressed or anxious.

On Day Thirty revisit that list and you may just find that you can deal with it!


4.  To Freshen up your Looks

This is Nicola who came to one of our workshops – before and after she stopped drinking for 100 days.

Even if you are not up for 100 days of sobriety you will notice some immediate changes – you will lose the puffy face and tired eyes within a few days.

Within a couple of weeks your skin will improve – no more dull and dry skin – and no more broken veins or red blotches.

We make bad food choices when we drink alcohol so the combination of no booze, healthy food and lots of water means you are bound to drop a couple of kilos!

Next time you are at a party check out the most fresh-faced person in the room – the one with a natural looking glow – she’s probably not drinking!


5.  To get some High Quality Sleep!

If you have been relying on a glass or two of wine to get you to sleep you should know this:-

Although you get a few hours of “deep sleep” you may find you are awake and feeling anxious in the early hours of the morning as the alcohol leaves your body. Alcohol also reduces your essential REM cycles from 5-7 to about 1 or 2.

Another interesting fact is that when a non-drinker starts getting ready for bed their brain will naturally start to “dampen things down” to get them feeling sleepy.

However if you are a regular drinker your body won’t do that because it will be used to depending on the artificial effect of alcohol to get you to sleep.

That’s why for the first few nights of your Dry January you might not sleep so well – your body is just not used to doing that natural “winding down” thing…

The good news is that after 4 or 5 nights your brain will re-adjust and the quality of your sleep will dramatically improve!


6. To help a Disadvantaged Child

For the third year WorldWithoutWine has teamed up with the fabulous Earthchild Project in a fundraising project to provide children in Khayelitsha and Lavender Hill with yoga and life-skills classes.

Over the past 12 years Earthchild have taught yoga to thousands of children in disadvantaged areas.

Yoga empowers vulnerable children to transform their lives and communities.

Just R250 provides a child with weekly yoga and life-skills classes for a year.

You can start your Dry January right now or anytime up to the end of January – just decide on your 30 day alcohol free window and we will send you a Daily Mail – full of tips, tools and motivation to get you through..

Click HERE to donate and help us to sponsor some more little yogis!




7 Ways Alcohol Impacts Your Looks…

Many of us spend a fortune on “beauty treatments” not to mention gym membership and organic food bills but the quickest and certainly the cheapest way to get your freshness back is to ditch the drink…

If you need convincing then just check out Nicola in the photos – Nicola came to one of our workshops and as a result she quit drinking – she took a photo before she stopped and then again after just a few weeks of not drinking – they say a picture speaks a thousand words so I will say no more..

I will just post a quick listicle of how drinking impacts your looks…

  1.  Tired eyes – evening drinking affects your sleep – it cuts REM cycles from 5 or 7 to just 1 or 2 so you wake up feeling tired
  2. Grey skin – alcohol is a diuretic and makes your kidneys pass more fluids.  Skin needs moisture to stay healthy and will become dull
  3. Sagging – regular drinking can leave your skin missing the essential vitamins and minerals that help keep it elastic and smooth
  4. Red blotches – alcohol dilutes the small bood vessels in your skin which can result in red blotches
  5. It ages you – New York nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez always tells his patients “if you want to look older, then go ahead and drink!”
  6. Drinking leads to zinc deficiency which can lead to hairloss so those luscious locks may suffer as well as your face!
  7. We all want to be slim but did you know your body will not even think about burning any fat until its got rid of that deadly alcohol you drank?

We have more workshops coming up in September – make a booking and we will throw in a complimentary online support system called “Take a Break” which will get you through an alcohol free month – a great way to prepare for a workshop and find out how dependent you may have become.

If you don’t live in Cape Town or Joburg then just sign up for “Take a Break” – have an alcohol free month and get your sparkle back!

Just don’t forget to do that selfie at the beginning and end of your alcohol free month – send it to us and we will send you a WorldWithoutWine t-shirt.

janet x






Top Six Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol

Now those Soberversary Celebrations are done have been taking some time to reflect on some of the benefits of giving up the booze…here are my top six:-

  • Finding my purpose – when wine plays such a big part in your life it is easy to drift through the days in a pleasant haze – giving up is a shock to the system – so much so that it creates a kind of “void” and demands a switch of pace.  It also kickstarts energy and creativity – I used mine to build a community via World Without Wine and it’s been hugely rewarding to know that our workshops have helped some people to quit drinking.  Have had to learn about websites, social media and marketing with the help of some pretty awesome people.  (Oli and Mari – thank you for your endless patience!)
  • Having a happy Husband – and I think Son & Girlfriend are pretty damn impressed as well 😉 Friends have been awesome and have supported me all the way – nobody’s dumped me (yet) for being “boring” – in fact some of them have even joined me in the quest for sobriety.  Have also acquired some new pals – my very own “sober buddy” plus those awesome WWW ladies.
  • Losing weight – without dieting!  Having grown up with Twiggy as role model have obviously been on an eternal “diet” – existed almost entirely on cigarettes and white wine throughout my teens and twenties – then switched to healthy eating and exercising a lot but of course knocking back plenty of alcohol on top.  Well would you believe it – dropped the booze and those stubborn kilo’s just melted away.
  • Emotional maturity – after a lifetime of using alcohol to enhance positive emotions and chase away the negative ones am finally managing to live “in the moment”.  Abusing alcohol is like hiding under a massive and comforting cape – remove that “numbing shield” and there is nowhere to hide – I have had to meet challenges head on, feeling raw and exposed but gradually I got my strength back and and am living my life full on.
  • Health has improved – better sleep, more energy.  As a breast cancer “survivor” I live with the possibility of a recurrence – but at least I don’t feel I am tempting fate by consuming vast amounts of wine.
  • Being in control of my life – no more waking up at 2am agonizing over what I may (or may not) have said the night before.  No more wasted mornings staggering around trying to function through the fog of a hangover. True I have sacrificed some highs but also lost the major lows – the depression that follows yet another failure “to moderate”.  Overall I feel calmer, more balanced – and happier..

Workshop 3!

Another Sobriety Workshop done and dusted.  Another awesome group opening their hearts and healing together.  Our community is growing – each workshop resulted in a “Whatsapp Group” so the participants can keep each other on track – so now I am on 3 different groups and my phone never stops emitting those little “chings” to let you know another message has come in!  If someone has fallen off the wagon then we ask them to check in on a daily basis – and it seems to work.  We are also getting together in the flesh – monthly coffee mornings in the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens and we are doing the 5k Spar Walk in a group next month – baseball caps with WWW logo all round!

Did two very different radio interviews last week – started the week with TammyB (pictured) who is from 2OceansVibe radio – an internet radio station which prides itself on “irreverent programming with cutting edge and trending music” – podcast of the interview is HERE –  and for a completely different experience at the end of the week went to Fine Music Radio – their mission is to “provide classical and jazz music as well as presenting cultural and artistic content”.  Interview before me was about contemporary jazz and referred to “colliding pieces of music” – clever interviewer Philip Todres made a nice link in his intro to me about how all sorts of things can “collide” when alcohol has been involved 😉

Sobriety Workshop

We have our regular feature VICKY’S VIEW  by the globetrotting author Vicky Unwin – in SA we love to complain  as we teeter on the edge of “junk status” but Vicky manages to summarise what’s going on elsewhere in the world which certainly brings some perspective!

On a lighter note HERE is a little video clip from our trip to Khayelitsha last month – Soso was one of Earthchild’s first pupils 10 years ago – and now she is one of SA’s first young black yoga teachers!

In other news I have a publisher interested in my book idea “Living in a World Without Wine” – they want synopsis plus first three chapters by end of April – eish!   First section of book will be people’s stories of battling the booze – if you have a story to tell that you would like to be included (anonymously) then please send it to janet@worldwithoutwine.com


Dry January Challenge funds yoga in Khayelitsha

A big thank you to all our donors who gave up alcohol for  our Dry January Challenge and donated the money they would have spent on booze to Earthchild.  We raised R30,000 – 50% more than our target – check out the video to see how your money will be spent…

What is a Dry January Challenge?

Dry January is a custom of abstaining from alcohol for the month of January, particularly practised in the United Kingdom. The custom, as a formal entity, appears to be relatively recent, being described as having “sprung up in recent years” even in 2014.


Sober Just Got Sexy!

More proof that sober is the way to go.

Dry January is over, pay day is finally here, but not everyone is going to be hitting the bars hard, because there’s been an explosion in sobriety movements.

Going sober no longer resigns you to pints of cola or staying in. There are loads of new organisations, establishments, drink and even clothing brands looking to get in on the increasing number of people wanting to avoid the hard stuff – whether for a month or forever.

Which is great news! It’s never been easier it is for us to make clever, healthy choices whilst keeping our social life just as healthy and our drinks just as exciting.

If you’re tempted to try a new way of socialising, here’s Elle Magazine’s Guide to the most exciting sober stuff around.

It’s hip to be sober!

A mindful Sober & Hip subculture is emerging, indicating that we’re seeking out deeper, more meaningful connections to others.

Not everyone is a drinker by any means, and this social shift is welcome news, indicating that we’re striving to deepen (and actually remember) our tangible connections with others.


Read another piece that proves ‘Sober is the new Black!‘ An inspiring article from wanderlust.com


Cape Town Recovery Walk

It’s been an awesome ending to International Recovery month. On 24 September we had the first ever Recovery Walk here in Cape Town followed by the third Recovery Film Festival which lasted all week-end. Organizer Dougie Dudgeon had selected a great line-up of movies covering all types of addiction as well as mental health issues. I rather rashly promised Dougie some film reviews so managed to sit through five before eyes turned pink. For me the most chilling film was “web junkie” which tells the story of vast numbers of Chinese teenagers being sent to “boot camps” in order to de-programme them from their computer game addictions. All five film reviews will be up on the website soon.
Am discovering that Cape Town has a vibrant and active “Recovery Community” – cameraman Linda Liboto and I got to mingle with these lovely people during the walk – we hear a lot about “addiction” these days but not so much about “recovery”. The Recovery movement hopes to change all that – as they talk openly about their experiences those in recovery hope to inspire others to take that big step.
Just as I was “recovering” from the Walk and all those movies another event popped up on the calendar. Fiona McCosh has just celebrated 4 years in recovery. A talented photographer she had the idea to ask people in long term recovery to pose for a calendar. Her models are naked – a metaphor for having nothing to hide about their recovery.


fiona calendar


The event was a launch of her stunning calendar. Fiona herself was one of the models and I will be posting a full interview with her as well as a video of the launch on the site very soon.

If you know anyone who would like to start the pathway to recovery please tell them about WorldWithoutWine’s “New Beginnings” workshop which takes place in Cape Town on Saturday November 7th.

In the meantime check out our very first video which is all about the Recovery Walk.

To access the video click here.

We would love to know what you think of the video so please send us your comments!


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