We’ve never been huge drinkers—we’re much more interested in food than alcohol to be honest. But we’ve always been aware of the varying effects alcohol has on people, especially during the holidays: Our Filipina mum gets giggly on a sip of wine while our British Army father used to encourage we acclimate our palettes to wine back when we were teens. We say everything is good in moderation, so when we do serve wine , we tend to favor biodynamic varieties that have fewer nasties that’ll lead to a sore head! And especially during the holidays, we love making our friends and family refreshing, homemade cocktails free from refined sugars (like our Blueberry Lime Lavender Brandy Punch, pictured above) and people still love them.
But this article isn't about what to drink. It's about what to do if you've had a bit too much. Currently suffering? Read on:
On a good diet, hangovers don’t hit you as hard. This is something that clients (from our private chef days) and readers of ours have always remarked on. When your body is nourished and not taxed from the strain of poor nutrition, it is much more capable of handling and processing the occasional drinking session. The liver has an amazing capacity to regenerate. If you are already frazzled, stressed, or tired, the effect of any alcohol on your body is going to be increased—especially if the alcohol is flowing more freely than water!
Fittingly, pre-party preparation is key to avoiding a gruesome day-after. Keep well-nourished and well-hydrated leading up to an event. Eat a good supper, drink water throughout the night to stay hydrated, steer clear of sugary drinks, and don’t mix drinks. Hold the Jaeger Bombs! Sugar, caffeine, and chemical-laden mixers won’t do you any favors. Instead, look to appreciate an alcoholic drink. Sip and savor. Be conscious of its chemical effect on the body. We love to sip on mojitos muddled with mint, fresh raspberries, and sparkling water. Then take a break! A tumbler of sparkling water with plenty of fresh lime looks the business and has a refreshing fizz without the hangover potential. But avoid the tonic or soda option if there's sparkling water around. We love Badoit, a naturally effervescent water packed with minerals.
However, if you find yourself in less than tip-top shape after this, let us introduce you to our Feel Good Action Plan. While pharmaceuticals and artificial “remedies' may seem to assist in curing your hangover, they’re adding to your liver’s load of toxins to process. Here, we’ve crafted a plan, as opposed to simply a remedy, to help you to stay feeling fresh and well through your hangover and beyond. Doing something healthy because of the sheer enjoyment of it as well as the end result is well worth it. Remember that these thoughts and actions impact your everyday and lifestyle so take firm (but gentle) action. Any one of these methods alone will help you to feel better now and your body will thank you later!
Be sure to remove your makeup and drink some water before hitting the hay. We like room temp water with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Water that isn't ice cold hydrates you more quickly and is less of a shock to the body.
*Rest & Rejuvenate
*Sleep!It’s free and it’s easy and it does you a world of good. Go to sleep with a smile on your face and remind yourself that it is going to be a nourishing night (even if your alarm is set to go off a few hours later). Smiling reminds your body that everything is going to be OK! After all as the Irish proverb goes “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.” Meditation is also a fantastic reset, but if you’re feeling flaky then a snooze or even a little lie down will be a massive help.
Throughout the night there will be a lot of toxins trying to exit your body. First thing, scrape your tongue, put some sesame oil in your mouth, run the shower and while it’s heating up have a quick body brush while oil pulling (in that order). This may sound mental but it’s totally doable and will distract you from your sorry state. Then spit the oil and brush your teeth. Congrats! You have just eliminated a load of toxins that have risen to the surface while sleeping.
Dress For Success
Put on something lovely, cozy and flattering. Don’t reach for your largest, oversized item of clothing with the intention of overeating. If you have to go to work, then your favorite outfit will help you to look and feel professional even if you’re not feeling tip top.
Sip some lemon water and keep drinking throughout the day. If you can get a fresh coconut (full of electrolytes and minerals), all the better! A freshly pressed green juice will hydrate and add nutrients—just don’t gulp it down, especially if it’s cold. Some ripe fruit is a nice way to start—the natural sugars in fruit will also help to combat any cravings caused by excess the night before. If you’re a fan of “hair of the dog' then try Kombucha. It's effervescent, tangy, slightly sweet, and rich in probiotics. We love to drink this out of a Whisky glass Mad Men style.
Make time to head outside and get some fresh air, go for a walk, do some gentle yoga, or make your way to work (eek!). Don’t punish yourself at the gym. Aggressive exercise might release some feel-good hormones, but will be taxing on your body while it’s working hard at restoration. Gentle exercise will release the same good vibes and help you to ease into the day.
Keeping nutritious, homemade bone broth in the fridge is your key to kicking post-party binging. We’ve always got a pot on the go and a mug of bone broth with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little sea salt will soothe your stomach. It’s also the perfect base for effortless, one-pot cooking, such as simple, nutritious soup or Mung Dahl (we've got a recipe in our book) that can be quickly accessed from the fridge or freezer pre- or post-party. It also means no more excuses for not nourishing your body before a night out! Simple soups and vegetable stews also make a perfect last meal of the day because they are easy to digest so the body can promptly switch to sleep mode. Morning-after fuel? Look to eggs with a runny yolk for breakfast. The amino acids will help to clear out toxins as well as being super nourishing. Sunny side up in coconut oil or soft-boiled will allow you to gain access to these nutrients. Serve with avocado as a nutrient-rich, easy-to-digest alternative to toast.
Pep Up Naturally
Anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating, our Pep Up Tea is a delicious blend of turmeric, cayenne, ginger, and lemon juice. If you’re feeling groggy, it might be tempting to have a coffee but don’t add fuel to the fire. Coffee can get you through a temporary situation, but you’ll pay the price after.
Just don’t! Also, pretending it didn’t happen doesn’t help any more than dwelling on it. Take time to think about how you’re feeling and make a mental note of anything that you would do differently next time.
Take An Epsom Salt Bath
If you’re feeling more agile, boil up some more ginger to make a strong tea and add that to the bath to help you sweat out any toxins. Wrap yourself in a warming towel, drink a glass of room temperature water, and go to bed. Add a few drops of lavender essential oils on your pillow to soothe and relax.
So there you have it. The body is incredible and by taking a few steps to stay healthy, you’re more able to readily tackle free radicals and curve balls (as long as you take the time to recover and keep the curve balls to a minimum)! Working parts of the plan above into your lifestyle will help find that balance and aid in your body’s restoration. There’s no need to spend the festive season in bed with a sore head.
—Melissa & Jasmine Hemsley