“Tis the season” as they say and nothing’s wrong with a bit of reward and indulgence this time of year – I know I’ll be taking a bit of “Stuart Time” this silly season.
That being said you might be thinking you’re not really in a position to be over indulging too much - nor do you (nor does anyone) want excessive post xmas pud hanging around your waistline unnecessarily.
So I’ve put together a bit of a game plan for the Xmas/New Years season if you are someone looking to “mitigate the damage” if you will…
I’ve ALSO added some tips for the booze-hounds looking to avoid a nasty hangover after too much xmas cheer.
Tip 1: Don’t throw the Baby Jesus out with the Holy Water
In my experience – particularly when people are faced with a xmas party in the afternoon/evening, they write their whole day off.
Playing devils advocate here but just because you’re hittin it hawd tonight does that mean the whole day needs to be a free-for-all in the food dept? Realistically?
If you’re planning on pushing the boat out a fair way this year you’ll want to make sure your ship is sea-worthy (to the best of your ability) every time you leave the port.
In fact - you can be really smart about it and you’ll pull up better the next day and minimise the impending physical, mental AND (probably) professional damage… come on we ARE talking Xmas parties here…!
You should aim for 2 meals before the party as a baseline
Meal 1 (Breakfast)
A Protein Rich Breakfast (eggs) with Fats (avocado or nuts) will keep your blood sugar flat and will set you up for a lower glycemic response to any treats or poor quality meals later in the day.
Meal 2 (Brunch/Lunch)
You should try and eat twice before the party (minimum) so meal 2 can be something a bit lighter but with the emphasis on green veg.
So Chicken Salad would be perfect. Add some Balsamic Vinegar which will help with lowering the glycemic response to your consumption of party pies and cosmopolitans later on.
You want to look at these pre party meals as a way of best arming your system for the impending damage. The more micronutrients you have swilling around in your blood by the time the bosses card goes over the bar the better!
Trust me it works!
Tip 2: Xmas Lunches – Stack Your Plate the Right Way
Given most people sit down to at least 3 xmas lunches before the 25th you might want to make sure that not everyone of them is a shirt splitter!
The way to do that is to follow these basic rules:
1. Decide whether you’re having Pavlova and Dessert before you start your meal.
If the answer is “Hell YES” then eat accordingly:
Plenty of Meat and Salad/Veg but few if any carbs (Potato Salads, Pasta Bakes, Bread etc)
If the answer is “NO” – then its 20/20 BIG BASH cricket for you -- no limitations provided you follow points b) and c)
Rule 1: Protein and Carbs and/or Protein and Fats on your plate you cannot go wrong. Which means Crackling!! Yum!
Rule 2: Avoid combining Fats and Carbs (PARTICULARLY SUGAR) with no Protein…. this is the danger zone!
This combination (High Fat: High Carb) is the root of the problem for most people.
Interesting Fact: High Carb: High Fat is a combination that is not found anywhere in nature. The only plant that has high fat and Contains Carbs is Avocado, very low glycemic though… we’ll get to avocado a bit further on.
Tip 3: Xmas Drinks – “Pre-Load” the Right Way
Xmas Drinks can be a massive trap as a result of 2 probable scenarios.
1) They DO provide food but it’s only finger food which is high carbs, high fat (see above). This is the worst thing you can consume with alcohol… bye bye liver.
2) They DON’T’ provide any food AND you forget to eat anything beforehand… which means you’ll be commandeering the Uber driver through McDonald’s on the way home. “would like fries with that?” “Yes please…. ALL of them!”
The SAFEST bet is to ALWAYS eat beforehand. Even if there is finger food you won’t feel like it and if you follow the points in Bad Meal doesn’t Mean Bad Day above then you’re golden!
Tip 4: Hangovers – the good bad and the Vasopressin
Have you you’ve ever experienced time travel when you’re boozing?
You know how it goes -- a few more than a few drinks, next thing you know you’re slumped over a booth in Hungry Jacks stuffing your gob with a Whopper with Cheese…
“how the bloody hell did I get here?” “Who am I, what am I”… so on and so forth.
We’ve all been there...
What you experienced was not ‘interstellar travel’ but a suppression of Vasopressin.
Vasopressin is a hormone linked to our short-term memory and Alcohol inhibits its release… thus the old “Dude Where’s My Car…(??)” the next day.
The cheat sheet for this alcho-amnesia is to retain more water!
The reason being is that Vaso is also a diuretic hormone and is responsible for you pi$$ing like a Melb Cup Favorite when you’re out on the terps.
The actual hangover itself is caused by excessive dehydration – more often than not. So the greater your ability to hang onto H20 the better you’ll feel in the morn.
HOW TO BEAT YOUR HANGOVER:
Have a bunch of avocado before you go out! Avos are incredibly high in potassium (an electrolyte) much more than bananas in fact. They also have anti-inflammatory properties - which can’t hurt. Add some sodium to it (salt) and you’ve got an electrolyte nutrition bomb ready to kick start your evening.
PS: The added fat in avocado also helps lower the insulin response to any drink or meal you might consume during the night. This will ensure you won’t have a carb and insulin coma the next morning.
2) Aqua between Rounds
Have 1 drink of water in between each drink (sounds easy but few do it). I think I’ve said this to myself on the way to every bucks party I’ve ever attended… as I said, sounds easy… rolls off the tongue in fact. Yet the execution…
3) Clean Booze
Drink Clean Booze… yep you read that right. Vodka, Tequila – any pale drink for that matter – will get you drunk the quickest but with the lowest cost physically. #bangforbuck
Tip: Vodka Sodas with Fresh Lime is the way to go for this reason. The soda increases the absorption of alcohol into the blood, making you tipsy quicker and the lime is alkalising and supports liver function. #bestofbothworlds
4) Charcoal Tablets
Take “Activated Charcoal” Tablets.
Don’t worry I’m not going all Pete Evens on you… hear me out.
Charcoal (that stuff on your burnt toast) acts almost like a magnet for toxins. When you ingest it it forms like a magnetic sponge for toxins and chemicals which it traps and then escorts out of the body!
I’ve tried this a few times and I’d say it does work (probably)… although it much depends on the amount you’ve ‘refreshed’ yourself during the night.
At the very least buy some and if all else fails you can also use it to whiten your teeth – this definitely works! Although not when you apply it to your teeth initially… you’ll look more like a London street beggar from 1855.
Happy Holidays… and May the Vasopressin Be With You!