Coming back from a holiday weekend is hard, isn’t it? (… What day is it?)
If you’re anything like me, this week has been a bit of a struggle. Today it’s easier to feel back on track, but it’s been one of those “I need a vacation from my vacation” situations none-the-less.Here’s a handful of my tried-and-true, expert-tested tips to help you feel your best and re-balance your body.If you’re anything like me, this week has been a bit of a struggle. Today it’s easier to feel back on track, but it’s been one of those “I need a vacation from my vacation” situations none-the-less.
Hey, everything in moderation… Including moderation.
Day-in and day-out, one of the questions I’m most commonly asked is “How do you do it?”
“It,” I imagine, is teaching the equivalent of 13-15 SoulCycle classes each week, running a blog (and all that entails) full-time, and still finding time to maintain a preeeetty vibrant social life.
So, enter today’s post.
Weekends in the summer are my absolute favorite, but let’s face it — AND we’ve all been there — a weekend of imbibing in boozy brunches, barbecues, picnics and late nights can make one’s workday even less productive than usual.
Overdoing it on food and booze can leave you feeling super sluggish and a little bit guilty. Fortunately, though, it seems my research (coupled with a few years of experience — haha) has paid off, as I seem to have a gift for pulling it together in what would be an otherwise very unfortunate state. (Dear God, I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.)
Whether it’s a holiday weekend or just another spring/summer soiree, here’s a handful of my tried-and-true, expert-tested tips to help you feel your best and re-balance your body after a few days of eating and drinking less virtuously:
THE NIGHT OF
Did you known it’s actually easier to prevent a hangover than it is to deal with it the next morning? Take these tips to heart before your next big night out:
Stick to the top-shelf stuff.
Stick with clear liquor — like vodka or gin, which has fewer impurities than their brown-colored counterparts.
Think of it this way: The more times alcohol is distilled (which generally makes it more expensive), the more impurities and toxins that are removed and the less likely you’ll feel like shit the next day.
Pro tip: My drink of choice is usually a vodka (Tito’s, Belvedere or Goose) and water with lots of ice and lemon.
Eat something substantial.
Believe it or not, the severity of a hangover isn’t solely related to how much you throw back, but how well you’re able to metabolize alcohol — which depends a lot on what you eat. I’d suggest eating a good balance of carbs, protein and fat before you hit up happy hour.
THE MORNING AFTER
Flip the switch.
Hey, it happens. How can we not go a little wild in a world where pizza exists?
Post-gluttony, it can be easy to feel badly and beat yourself up, but don’t let the pendulum swing to either extreme. Live your life! Laugh it off, double-check that Snapchat story and then quickly get back on track by tackling the physical symptoms for all these nasty post-party side-effects:
Get in the shower.
… And make it a cold one.
Duh, right? But seriously: the first thing you should do when you wake up is drink a large glass of water. Adding fresh will stimulate your digestive system, too. Aim for at least 64 ounces of H20 each day. Steer clear of alcohol and (too much) coffee, as both will just further dehydrate you.
If you’re type of gal who buys her H20-on-the-go, get in the habit of buying Boxed Water instead of those in plastic containers. (You can find ’em at your local Whole Foods.) Not only is the product’s material 100% recyclable (down to the cap), it’s extremely sustainable in the way that it’s produced, packaged and shipped. Lessen the hangover, up the karma points.
A big misconception is that hangovers are entirely about dehydration — that’s partially true, but you’re also dealing with inflammation and oxidative stress (the body’s ability to readily detoxify itself).
Booze flushes many of the nutrients and vitamins from your body, so taking a multivitamin (as well as loading up on leafy green veggies) will help your body rebound after a long night (or, uh, four) out. I take a multivitamin, generally, but more specifically: Vitamin C and B complex can improve your alcohol tolerance for the rest of the night and the next day, so it’s good to take ’em before you go out.
Fuel up with the right food.
Load up on foods that contain cysteine (such as amino-rich eggs, oats, chicken, cheese and fish), which helps break down a headache-causing toxin that’s produced when your body digests alcohol.
Have a spritzer.
If you feel nauseous or like you have a stomach ache, pour yourself a glass of Sprite and throw in an Alka-seltzer — the antacid will help to put an end to your nausea. If you didn’t know, Sprite increases the activity of ALDH, which is an enzyme that gets rid of those awful hangover symptoms.
Pro tip: Often times I’ll drink one of these before I go to bed after a late night out. It helps!
THE DAYS THAT FOLLOW
Now that you’re in a better state of mind, here’s how to quickly get back on track:
The key to any good detox is to be prepared, so get your ass to the grocery store and stock up on fresh food, fruit and produce.
Try to eliminate sugar from your diet (which creates that cycle of low blood sugar — or “hanger”) and load up on protein, veggies and healthy fats (nuts, legumes, avocado, etc).
Pick up some Pedialyte, coconut water or G2 Gatorade while you’re at it. The electrolytes will replace the essential fluids and nutrients you lose when you drink — and G2 has the same amount of electrolytes with much less of the added sugar. (Riptide Rush for life!)
Eat a shitload (ahem) of fiber.
Incorporate as much fiber into your meals as possible. Fruit, veggies and complex carbs like quinoa, sweet potato and brown rice will help you — uh, flush your system and get that digestion back on track.
Cut out the extra.
Instead of eating ’til you’re full, eat until you’re just not hungry anymore. Leaving a few bites of food on your plate at each meal will add up over the span of a few days, especially if you’re eating three to five meals per day.
That weekend lifestyle can interfere with your REM cycle — hard — so get your ZzZ’s. If you had a late night, just rest up the next day so you don’t run yourself into the ground. If you’re having trouble, take a melatonin supplement; that’ll help get you back on track.
I know, I know. This one can seem like a challenge, right? Even though you might not feel like it, working out will help your body get rid of the toxins that you took in the weekend prior. Increased circulation gets blood and oxygen movin’, too (especially to where you need it most — your brain).
So, there you have it. A few days of detox (plus plenty of water) will get back to your healthy, happy self in no time… Take these tips to heart, get back on track and gear up for your next summer night.
In sum, here’s your weekend checklist for partying a little bit smarter:
- The night before: Stick to clear, top-shelf liquor (like vodka or gin).
- Before bedtime: Water, an electrolyte-enhanced beverage and vitamin supplements (a multivitamin or Vitamins C and B Complex are key).
- The next day: Sweat it out, eat the right food and keep taking in those (non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic) dranks.
Last but not least, I’ll say it again: Don’t beat yourself up. After all, it’s what you do every day is what affects your long-term health. With a little mindfulness, you can easily turn yourself back into the clean, functional, productive little lady you are… Until next time! Wink.