Holidays, celebrations and long weekends with old pals can jack you up with joy. But, along with the laughs and memories can come lots of boozy, noshy indulgences. And as you well know, too much merry-making can lead to holiday hangovers and food comas that send your body into a tailspin of mood swings, depression, dehydration, and a weakened immune system. Not to mention weight gain that’s difficult to bounce back from.
No one likes to feel like crap in the days following these shindigs, which is why I want to help you prepare, repair and recover.
Now, when I need a reset from carousing, as you can probably guess, I turn to a green juice or smoothie (even before my coffee!). I also get creative because certain ingredients are especially helpful when we’ve over-indulged.
But as we explore how to feel better, let’s stay real. There’s no place for punishment or negative self-talk around here. Though I’m a cancer thriver and a “well-known wellness blogger”, I’m no purist—believe me.
Life is full of detours—some more frisky than others. It’s important that you don’t beat yourself up. Instead, get right back on track and take care of yourself. Got it?
So, let’s dive into the belly of the par-tay beast and figure out how to feel better.
Why do we get holiday hangovers and fall into food comas?
For starters, alcohol burns up vitamins, minerals and electrolytes—vitamin B1 (thiamin) taking the biggest hit. B1 is mainly responsible for mental alertness. It converts your food into fuel and strengthens your ability to respond to stress.
In fact, levels of all the B vitamins suffer when you’re drinking, as well as vitamins C and D. Plus, alcohol is a diuretic. So drinking more than one drink per hour can dehydrate your body. As a result, one too many dirty martinis can cause headaches, mental fog, low energy, depression and increased anxiety.
A night of heavy drinking can also weaken your immune system making it easier to get sick and harder to recover. This is because alcohol reduces the good bacteria in your gut and the antibodies we need to recover from illness. Double whammy.
Food comas are linked to foods high in carbs, fat, and protein just like all the heavy holiday foods traditionally served at this time of year. They are also often high in sodium, while being low in fiber, and energizing vitamins and minerals. Rich, heavy foods also take a great deal more energy to digest. All this can lead to sleepiness, constipation and weight gain.
But don’t distress, dear wild one. Even when you’re trying to nourish your body and know all the reasons you should limit certain foods or drinks, it’s easy to get swept up in the spirit of the season. You’ll be able to bounce back quickly, simply by incorporating the following techniques for recovering from your postprandial somnolence (AKA the technical term for a food coma). These same tips are handy for overcoming hangovers, too.
How to Bounce Back from Ho-Ho-Holiday Hangovers!
An ounce of prevention works better than any of our hangover cures. If you suspect you might have a full night of partying ahead, consider taking a multivitamin. There are also enzymes that can help ease the damage of histamine-releasing foods and drinks, including alcohol.
Also, drink plenty of water during the day so you’re heading into the evening with a full tank. And drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink and another before bed—glug, glug. Of course, the best strategy to prevent a hangover is to drink in moderation or avoid alcohol altogether.
If you still feel crummy when you wake up, rest and nourish your body. A headache can mean you have an electrolyte imbalance and are short on fluids. Try hydrating with coconut water and sipping green juices full of potassium-rich ingredients, like spinach, Swiss chard and celery.
If nausea sets in, avoid citrus fruits and other acidic foods, then sip ginger tea or check out the Ginger Aid juice from my Crazy Sexy Juice cookbook. Guaranteed to help settle your stomach.
Ginger Aid (Crazy Sexy Juice)
Makes 2 Servings (16 to 20 Ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups spinach
- 1 large cucumber
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 large pear, cored and seeded
- 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
1. Wash and prep all ingredients.
2. Juice all ingredients