Why on EARTH am I creating an “avoiding the holiday booze sads” post? When I should be creating a “how to avoid wanting to loosen your top button the entire holiday season” post?
Uh…because we ALL know how to deal with the food hangover. Don’t we? Avoid stuffing yourself until you want to puke or take your pants off. Eat less cheese. Don’t eat chocolate from your stocking for breakfast. Eat breakfast, period. Actually…maybe I do need to write a post on this…hmmm.
Yeah, I think even the healthiest of healthy’s could use some good holiday hangover prevention every so often. Because the booze flows in the holiday season — even when you intentions may be to avoid it completely.
I am already on Day Bazillion of holiday celebrating. And I’ve hit the “Sad Wall”. You know what that is? It’s when you’ve had a rum & eggnog here and some mulled wine there and you may not even have considered yourself “drunk” at any point — but you can still feel the “sads”. That’s because alcohol is a depressant. And using it to prevent the SADS just makes things worse. (So don’t do that.)
This year is an exceptional weird year pour moi. As much as I like to think I go with the flow, traditions are important to me. FAMILY traditions especially. So it’s an upside down year. What that means is…new traditions. (Like putting up the tree, while eating sushi. NEW TRADITIONS. Yay.) And there’s nothing wrong with that. Hey, at LEAST I can listen to my favourite holiday album without snarky remarks from others.
Listen here because it rules: Sufjan Stevens Songs For Christmas
With that in mind, while you may be hopping from party to family function to party — you do NOT need to Drink. So. Much. Or at all.
Being hungover SUUUUUCKS…
And it only gets worse as you age. It’s possible to be “hungover” from a single glass of wine. So what does a hangover feel like? It’s feels like a pounding headache. It feels like you want to eat potato chips for breakfast. It feels dog-tired. It feels like you could drink a lake and it wouldn’t be enough.
However, the WORSE hangover symptom is the one that comes on hangover day #2 (or sometimes #3). That depressed feeling you get and you have no idea why. The one I spoke of above…called “the sads“.
With that said…if you’re going to do it anyway…
Reduce or Avoid The Holiday Booze “Sads” and Hangovers
DRINK WATER. But don’t just drink a glass of water before you start, and one before bed. Drink it ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!! I can tell you for CERTAIN that when I feel okay after a hang out with my girlfriends that involves “healthy” cocktails it is the WATER that saves me. This means at LEAST one big glass of water between every single solitary glass of wine or alcohol beverage. So if you only have one drink then you will be SUPER hydrated.
DRINK THE GOOD STUFF. Watch what you drink. Drink healthy-ish versions. There is something behind this — but it’s different for everybody. Some people feel like death (and super sad) after drinking red wine — but will be alright with white or with an organic version. Others experience a throbbing head from whiskey. The story goes that the lighter the choice, the better you’ll feel later. My pal sent me THIS recipe and it looks kind of perfect for a avoid-the-sads-and-hangover cocktail.
If you ARE trying to choose a healthy version consider the following:
Mixers: Sparkling water is the PERFECT mix because it’s free of gross sugar. You can make your own simple syrup by combining honey and water, bringing to a boil, and simmering for a bit. And/or throw in some citrus fruit to add flavour. Or perhaps some fresh herbs. Or make your own combinations with alternatives like cold-pressed juices or kombucha. YUM.
Wine: Like I mentioned…red wine can make your head feel like it’s been pounded in by a hammer. But for many people, organic versions reduce this a lot. And the more quality wines, grown in cooler temperatures, also help. Or stick to a dry white instead — and even better…add sparkling water for a spritzer, while being hydrated simultaneously. Bubbly can go straight to your head, but the less-sweet versions will make you regret your life less the next day.
Beer: Craft beer can be so wonderful and tasty. But watch out for the high, high liquor content. It’s not uncommon these days for a beer to be 8 – 10% ABV. Which is crazy if you’re drinking it like it’s only 4%. Watch out.
EAT. Eat before you drink. Eat WHILE you drink. North America is the only culture that I’m aware of that encourages no-food+binge-drinking. It’s so silly. Now maybe at holiday season you don’t need to worry about not having food around. There is TOO much food around. That doesn’t mean you need to eat a thousand crackers. But if you have a yummy stew on hand, like they did at my pal’s party last week, then you are SET!! YUM!!!!!!
DON’T EAT “HANGOVER FOOD”. Eat some fat (avocado?) and perhaps a slice of hippy bacon. It’ll balance your blood sugar, which will make you feel less crazy. But an all-out, big greasy breakfast is going to make you want to crawl back into bed and have a little cry. NOT good (unless you needed to do that anyway).
Green tea, kombucha, (maybe a few chips,) spicy and nourishing soups and stews…things like that will make you feel a-okay. And liver loving foods, like lemon-water, beets, garlic, avocados…go a long way. Even consider liver-loving dandelion root coffee substitute to replenish, instead of dehydrate.
P.S. You only THINK A&W is going to save you the next day…
EXERCISE. Take it easy, kinda — but get active, also. This is ESPECIALLY important for the “sads”. Getting your heart rate up will make you HAPPY, and push some of those toxins OUT of your system. Thankfully. As tempting as hot yoga may be for this purpose, do NOT do it. Ugh. You will get SO dehydrated. Yuck. Barf. And then just feel sad again. Use it for sweating BETWEEN nights out.
A great time to “embrace winter”. Do some outdoor, wintery activities. Sledding, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing or winter walking… It feels so good.
SUPPLEMENTS. B-vitamins get so depleted. And they are super important for stress and feeling good in general. Load up on these the next day, stat. And…Nux Vomica. It’s a homeopathic remedy for overindulgence and SAID to be THE thing for hangovers and too much turkey. Try it. Cheap and easy.
COCONUT WATER RULES. But those sugary Vitamin Waters or Gatorade’s will only make your blood sugar all WACK. You can make your own wicked-delicious Hydrating Elixir HERE. OR drink Spa Water to make boring ol’ water more interesting…
AVOID IT ALTOGETHER? The best thing to do is obviously avoid drinking alcohol. Don’t feel weird or bad doing this. Just grab a sparkling water, throw some fruit in it, and watch everyone get silly. Then drive everyone home, because you’re nice.
This year…this crazy year…I’m just going to be conscious of what I’m doing. But still do it. haha. There is always next year… Maybe this year…just maybe…it’s okay to feel a little blah.
However you decide to tackle it… Still…have fun! Sara xo