While we all try to make Good Decisions…Most of the Time, every once in awhile, a holiday party can get out of hand and we may find ourselves waking up with a hangover. This is never enjoyable. The worst part about it is the long wait for your liver to catch up and process the toxic byproducts left over from alcohol metabolism. Sometimes it is just a matter of giving your body time to deal with your overindulgence, but while you are waiting for your liver to catch up, you can do a few things to help your liver along.
Eat something fatty the night before.
If you know you are going to be drinking and the possibility of overindulging is present, eat a fatty meal before you go out. Not a bacon cheeseburger and French fries, but some quality fat such as coconut oil, butter, fish oil, or walnut oil. Fat will stick to the stomach lining and lube the intestines, sometimes sitting in your stomach for up to ten hours or longer. This gives the liver additional time to process the byproducts of alcohol metabolism and slows alcohol absorption in the body.
When I think of the perfect pre-holiday cocktail party meal, I think of a nice fatty duck cassoulet. This is a dish rich in quality fat and white beans known for their extremely high potassium and mineral content. It also provides a nice hit of B vitamins. All these substances are depleted by alcohol.
Coconut water is nature’s best electrolyte drink. It helps to replenish potassium lost via the diuretic effect of alcohol, and it provides water for rehydration.
If you do nothing more than drink plenty of water every hour to rehydrate your body, you will still be able to reduce your symptoms and aid the body in its recovery. The main symptoms of over consumption of alcohol are dehydration and loss of electrolytes sodium and potassium. So if your stomach won’t tolerate food, adding a pinch of unrefined sea salt to your water can give your body what it needs in a dehydration crisis.
Eggs contain abundant amounts of cysteine, an amino acid that breaks down acetaldehyde (the toxin that causes the hangover). This fact may explain why the body craves a nice fatty egg breakfast on the day after.
Watermelon is probably one of the most popular hangover remedies. Not only does alcohol deplete your body of water and electrolytes, but it can also leave you feeling shaky and weak with low blood sugar levels. Watermelon is a nice remedy because it is mostly water with natural sugars, potassium, and magnesium. There is also something cold and soothing about eating watermelon when you are hung over; it is almost as if the light, crisp, cleanness of the watermelon chases away the yucky heaviness of a hangover.
One of the worst symptoms of too much alcohol is nausea. And ginger is renowned for its nausea-reducing properties. While sucking on a piece of ginger when hung over doesn’t really sound tempting, a hot or iced ginger tea can be refreshing and help quell nausea.
Rich in water, sodium, vitamins, and minerals, soup is a nourishing meal that can help the liver catch up and process the toxic byproducts left over from alcohol metabolism. Save the carcass from Thanksgiving to make a nice homemade batch of bone broth, and freeze it to have on hand when you are sick…or hung over.
Kidney beans are an amazing source of potassium and electrolytes, delivering over 70 percent of your daily potassium needs in one cup. Top off a bowl of chili with avocado slices and you have the hangover remedy of champions. The only side effect of this remedy is the resulting flatulence that may leave you stuck with noxious gases of detoxification if your beans have not been soaked!
While sardines may be beneficial in reducing the unpleasant effects of overconsumption via a huge hit of minerals, if they are not one of your favorite foods, it may be difficult to choke them down, especially if you are feeling nauseous to begin with. This remedy should be reserved for those who love sardines and are not adverse to a salty seafood snack when feeling a little under the holiday weather.
Green Juice and pH
This mixture is my personal favorite because I can combine many helpful ingredients into one easy to digest, hydrating beverage. I add Matcha green tea and spirulina powders to this recipe for the extra hit of antioxidants and chlorophylls that bind to toxins and escort them out of the body. This concoction enhances metabolic and digestive processes, while protecting the brain, and it is delicious! Green tea is a neuro-protective substance that has an affinity for brain cells where much of the damage from overconsumption can occur.
Good Decisions Hangover Remedy
Makes: 8 cups
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup dandelion greens
Handful of parsley
1 green apple
1 ripe avocado
1 can coconut milk
2 cups coconut water
1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder
1 tablespoon spirulina
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 raw egg (optional)
½ teaspoon chopped fresh gingerroot
2 cups frozen green grapes
Put all ingredients into a Vitamix or blender. Start on the low setting and move up to high, using a muddler as needed. Blend until all ingredients have been thoroughly liquefied. Serve!
So, if you have a suspicion that you may get caught up in the holiday festivities, eat a fatty meal before you go out, and have plenty of these natural remedies on hand at home. While we all try to do our best to make Good Decisions…Most of the Time, every once in awhile, good friends and a fun Christmas party may be just what we need to make it through the holiday chaos. Even if they do land us at home on the couch, reaching for some watermelon.