The BRITA Boost 30 day challenge

BRITA have set me a 30 day hydration challenge for the month of January. Basically, staying hydrated is key for better skin in cold weather, improved performance when exercising, and keeping hunger at bay. And with my new exercise regime that started in November (I don’t believe in new year’s resolution because they always feel forced, hence me starting when I felt it was time) that consist of going to the gym 5 times a week, it was perfect timing. And to further assist in my efforts, they sent over a hamper full of health improving products. brita_hamper

BRITA Hamper contents

The hamper pretty much secured the fact that my face and skin has looked better than it ever has. Combined that with exercise and ridiculous amount of water that is going into my body on any given day, I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll finish my 30 days looking a good 2-3 years younger. But Brita was really just getting started as I was to find out. Not only did they send me things for the body, but they’ve made sure to nourish the spirit as well with themed activities, the first which involves laughing in the face of booze.

Five key reasons for drinking

The challenge consists of drinking  a recommended 1.2 litres of water everyday (while doing your best not to drink any alcohol). With most people choosing to have a drink for one of five key reasons, Brita have set me a personal calendar that features a weekly rescue remedy focused on alleviating elements I would be missing through my abstinence.

1. Taste

One of the top five reasons people drink is because of the taste of alcohol so as part of their month long support they wanted to host an event that would inspire us to find tasty alternatives to booze. They worked with the event mixologist to devise an exclusive list of mocktails that all use filtered water, to ensure they taste the best they can. Watch what happened in the video  and take a gander at some of the drinks that were created below.

The drinks

Elderflower mocktail

Elderflower mocktail

Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

Lavendar mocktail [2]

Lavendar mocktail

Pink Champagne

Pink Champagne

2. Socialising

6880909414_df644fd692_b Drinking provides great opportunities to spend time with friends, but Brita wants to show me that I don’t need booze to have fun. So they’ve hooked me up with ingredients from Foodelity to host a dinner party with three friends and top notch nibbles. The idea is simple – get quality ingredients delivered to your door along with a recipe for each course and away you cook!

The ingredients Foodelity sent were somewhat unbelievable. Full fat milk,  farm fresh produce, streaky bacon. 

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I had chosen a seafood chowder for appetizer, cabbage stuffed leaves for mains and a lemon and lime panna cotta with biscuits for dessert.

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The food packaging was so meticulous. They even swathed an egg in hay.

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Just follow along, step by step and you can’t go wrong.IMG_4014IMG_4016IMG_4017IMG_4018 IMG_4019

After a good three hours of cooking the guests were fed and a good time was enjoyed by all. As my first three course dinner party, I’d definitely recommend throwing one yourself. Its a challenge. But a memory.

3. Confidence booster

how_to_be_confident_mountain_base_1_1 I’m not really the kind of person who needs a confidence boost from booze (because I’m pretty full of myself as it is), but I get a lot of people like to have drink on a date or to be more sociable. And so, to navigate my confidence in an upward fashion without a sneaky drink, they’ve scheduled me in for a confidence session at  The School of Life.

This was an interesting one actually. At first I didn’t know what to expect after coming into what looked like a Mindfullness book store, but after about an hour or so of schmoozing and nibbles, we (the 30 of us) were invited to go into the ‘classroom’ in the basement and listen to a former journalist with a penchant for improv acting flick through a slideshow of motivational quotes. I didn’t get a lot out of it because I’ve done improv classes for years and didn’t find anything the teacher was saying new or exciting but it was clear that others did (I really don’t need any more confidence… the night was clearly not aimed at myself). But as an exercise in getting out of the house and interacting with people you’ll never meet again, it was good practice and I’d encourage anyone to go to nights like this if not just to get a sense of what other people are feeling, hoping and dreaming about.

4. Relaxing / de-stressing

masaseg Another reason people drink a glass of red or a pint of ale is because its a damn good way to relax after a stressful week (or day). To combat this, Brita has scheduled my wife and I in for a head, neck and shoulder massage at Champneys Spa Hotel. Seriously. All this insane stuff, not sure how I could possibly still be stressed but I’ll take the massage. Yessir I will.

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The room was dark and dimly lit, and after putting on my robe and lying face down on that massage table, I was ready for anything. As I remembered, getting a massage is a bit akin to going to the gym and working out for an hour, though there’s much less work involved and not as many endorphins released (unless you’re the masseuse I’d imagine).massage3

The massage was given by a woman who knew what she was doing… After about a half an hour I felt like a babe fresh out of the womb (which is just as sticky as you would imagine).

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I’d recommend it every once in a while (maybe once every three months) because it really wakes you up to new experiences and that wobbly feeling you get as you get up from the table is seriously enjoyable.

5. For the buzz

badminton And last but not least, the #5 reason people drink is because you get a buzz. Adrenaline pumps (if you’re drinking the right things I suppose) and your legs get all wobbly. Well, instead I’m going to be playing badminton. Take that body!

After playing my first game with my business partner Graeme (he won 4 games to 2) I was hooked. Since January I’ve gone twice a week, every week. So thanks Brita for these new experiences and the formation of good habits.