Health Hub

Having a Dry July has great health benefits. We've brought together a collection of articles that could help you with your Dry July.

Junk food cravings? We’ve got your back

By Anne Finch on

Cravings are pretty common when we make changes to our diet. It’s a classic response to telling ourselves we can’t have something! Here’s our top tips for dealing with cravings.

1. Investigate your craving 

Cravings can make us uncomfortable, so our instinct is to fulfill them at once. Next time, try taking a minute to think about what you really want. Are you tired and looking for a pick-me-up? Are you genuinely hungry? Or bored? Try and meet the underlying need of the craving, rather than a using a Band-Aid solution. If you’re tired, a brisk walk is invigorating (especially in the cold weather!). If you’re hungry, eat something satisfying rather than junk food that will leave you peckish again in half an hour.

2. Distract yourself 

If that craving is stubborn, try doing something to take your mind off it. Unlike true hunger, cravings pass. Here’s some ideas of things to do that are better for your health than eating junk food (obviously, this could be a very long list!). Try making a list of things that work for you, and refer to them if cravings strike.

  • Go for a walk 
  • Phone or email a friend
  • Rearrange the furniture
  • Take a shower
  • Bake and freeze some healthy muffins
  • Make a list of interesting ideas for your Dry July fundraising
  • Listen to some music (dancing optional but strongly encouraged)
  • Change environments. Reading on the couch? Move to the back yard

3. More nourishing swaps

Swapping a carrot for a cookie is not very realistic. Here, we’ve tried to identify the core yumminess of some common junk foods (hint: sugar/fat/salt!), and suggest some more nutritious alternatives from the core food groups

Junk FoodKey FeatureNourishing Option
PizzaGooey cheese, salty sauceToasted sandwich with cheese, tomato and mushroom
ChocolateSweet and creamy Homemade hot chocolate or banana smoothie
Crisps Crunchy and salty Homemade popcorn
Lollies Juicy and sweet Grapes or berries
Soft Drink Cold and bubbly Sparkling water with mint or citrus twist
Ice Cream Cold and creamy Homemade frozen yoghurt or blended frozen berries
Biscuits Sweet and crunchy Toast with peanut butter and banana, a handful of nuts and dried fruit
Cakes & Muffins Soft and sweet Raisin toast with cream cheese

4. A little of what you fancy

If you’ve decided to have the thing you crave, really savour it. Being more mindful when we eat makes it more satisfying. Sit at the table, turn screens off, breathe, chew, taste and take a break between bites. This can help you enjoy your food more, while eating less of it.

Written by Anne Finch
Anne Finch is a Perth-based Accredited Practising Dietitian with a passion for food and kitchen craft. She has a Bachelor of Science (Human Science), a Bachelor of Science (Nutrition) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics. She has been working at Cancer Council WA since 2013 on a range of programs to help people all over the state eat well and be healthy.
Likes: Coriander. Bike riding. Developing cheap, tasty, healthy recipes. Her current mission is inventing a veggie burger that doesn’t fall apart!
Dislikes: Coconut oil. Traffic. Health advice that makes eating well sound like rocket science. It’s only food!

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Eat well to make the most of Dry July

By Anne Finch on

Taking a break from booze is absolutely one of the best things you can do for your health. Not only are you giving your liver (and other organs!) a break, but you can expect these benefits:

  • Better sleep – alcohol might help us fall asleep, but it leads to poorer quality sleep 
  • Less bar snacks – drinking stirs hunger, and can also lead to sub-optimal food choices (I’m looking at you late-night doner kebab)
  • Less hangover remedies – greasy bacon and eggs, sugary drinks and fast food are pretty common on Sunday morning, meaning the effects of your weekend drag on
  • More movement – not being glued to the couch recovering means more opportunities to get out and about

If you’re looking for even more ways to treat your body right, we’ve got...

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Managing Sugar Cravings

By Peter Rule on

We all seek the taste of sweet foods naturally in our diet, however it can be easy to crave excess high sugar foods for many varied reasons.

We have 5 basic recognised tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savoury) however we can become imbalanced in our food choices due to stress, low energy, eating on the run, looking for psychological reward or treat or nutritional deficiencies, just to name a few.

We have 5 basic recognised tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savoury) however we can become imbalanced in our food choices due to stress, low energy, eating on the run, looking for psychological reward or treat or nutritional deficiencies, just to name a few.

When assessing a person’s current eating plan, it is not...

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10 Tips for Eating Out

By Olivia Horvat-Benson on

It can sometimes be a bit “too hard basket” to eat out when you’re on a “diet” or a specific health/food plan that limits what you can eat/drink, not to mention socially isolating; But it need not be like this. Firstly you need to remember that if you are on a “diet” or a specific plan, whether you’ve done it yourself or a healthcare practitioner has advised you of it, the intention for it was clearly to maximise optimal health, so it was a choice and when you make a choice you can’t say that you are missing out, because you’re not. All this means is that you’ll need to think outside the box a little from what you would normally opt for.

Here are some tips to help you.

1) Read the menu thoroughly & ASK questions.

Fancy words and...

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