Read of the Week

The 28 Day Alcohol-Free Challenge

Andy Ramage and Ruari Fairbairns


Review: Chantel Erfort

I started reading this book while I was doing a 30-day Paleo reboot earlier this year.

Apart from cutting legumes, dairy, sugar and sweeteners, and grains from one’s diet, you’re also not allowed any alcohol while you’re rebooting.

And so, I found I could relate to many of the things in this book, and was also keen to compare my experiences with those of others who had cut out drinking.

From the word go, writers Andy Ramage and Ruari Fairbairns make it very clear that they were once party boys who drank – a lot – and did not judge people who continued to enjoy drinking and had no desire to stop.

While they stopped drinking because they were starting to see the negative impacts of excessive alcohol consumption, late night partying and all-day hangovers were having on their lives, they also feared the possible negative effects not drinking might have on them. They feared becoming boring and also worried about how it would affect their business, as many networking events and business meetings involved drinking alcohol. You’ll be surprised when you read how they overcame these challenges and found new ways to entertain clients. These two, however, didn’t start small, opting to go 365 days without alcohol, and thus their website – and the subsequent movement – One Year No Beer was started.

Among the benefits the writers have reaped from quitting alcohol include better quality sleep, losing weight, having increased energy, and less anxiety.

But don’t take only their word for it. They’ve also included testimonials from others who have completed alcohol-free challenges. I’m a big fan of journaling and reflecting as part of the process of working towards one’s goal, so I really liked that each chapter in this book focused on a different theme, with personal challenges, checklists and practical tips. These chapters are broken down even further into each day of the challenge, with the focus on topics such as the habit loop (day 2); the first big social event (day 10); generating good habits to push out the bad (day 17); and lead by example (day 25).

The book ends with a consolidated list of tips for social occasions, recipes for mocktails (alcohol-free cocktails) and useful online resources and books about exercise, nutrition and mind and mental development.

I loved the intimate, chatty tone of this book, but wasn’t wild about the busy layout.