Sunday, December 31, 2017

Oye, how to I get rid of this hangover?

The world over has some pretty wacky hangover cures. Maybe you've heard a few wacky ones yourself. In the U.S. the most famous is the Prairie Oyster remedy. A raw egg (beware of salmonella poisoning), Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper, the idea is you down the whole thing in one big gulp and you're fit to face the day. Really? In Germany the hangover breakfast of choice is a pickled herring wrap stuffed with pickled cucumber and onion. Yum? In Romania tripe (animal stomach) in a salty soup with vegetables. Yuck!

You may not know this ... according to  a hangover can be the result of even 1 alcoholic drink depending on what your are used to however the general rule is the more you drink the more likely you are to have a hangover.

A hangover comes from the alcohol causing:
  1. Dehydration (thirst, dizziness and light headedness)
  2. Inflammatory response from your immune system (such as an inability to concentrate, memory problems, decreased appetite and depression) 
  3. Irritability of the stomach lining (abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting)
  4. Low blood sugar (fatigue, weakness, shakiness and mood disturbances, even seizures)
  5. Blood vessels to expand (headaches, reduced energy)
  6. Sleepiness (groggy and fatigued)
Replace, restore and rejuvenate.

The best way to get rid of your hangover is of course not develop one in the first place. However if you're in need of a cure the best cures address what's causing the hangover and no, it's not "hair-of-the-dog-that-bit-you". The recipe is replace the fluids you lost, restore nutrient balance and rejuvenate with rest and sleep. 
  • Hydrate - before you go to bed and the next morning drink water, electrolyte replacement drinks or juice.
  • Reduce inflammation - avoid sugar, sugary drinks, breads and pasta. Eat fish, seeds and nuts. 
  • Stomach irritation - drink ginger tea and peppermint tea.
  • Blood sugar stabilization -  eat healthy foods such as high fiber fruits, vegetables, beans.
  • Restore energy - take a good quality whole food supplement, B12 and B vitamins.
  • Rest - drink soothing lavender and chamomile tea, take a hot shower, go back to bed, relax and rejuvenate. 
DON'T  Your first thought might be to reach for the acetaminophen (Tylenol) to kill the pain, however your liver is busy metabolizing (detoxing) all that liqueur, this pain killer creates more havoc. So put it back on the shelf.

DO  If you must, ibuprofen (Advil) is a better choice. It's easier on the liver, however harder on the stomach. So do eat before you take ibuprofen and save yourself from an stomach ulcer later.

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant
WELCOA Faculty
Top 100 Health Promotion Professional 

Monday, December 25, 2017

5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Party

December is often jam packed with holiday parties. From neighborhood gatherings to church potlucks and dinners, these celebrations can add up to thousands of excess calories, but with a few simple tips, you can enjoy the holiday festivities and stay on track with your healthy diet.
Here’s 5 tips to help you enjoy the holidays in a healthy manner. Cheers to that!
1.   Choose wisely.
Survey the entire spread first. Take small portions of your favorite dishes, and skip the ones you can live without. It’s okay to enjoy your favorite holiday dishes, just choose small portions and take the time to savor each bite.
2.    Be aware of the biggest diet pitfalls.
Dishes that are cheesy, creamy or crispy, like potatoes au gratin or fried appetizers, are likely high in saturated fat and calories. Sauces and gravies can add calories and fat to otherwise healthy vegetables. Choose one favorite of these more indulgent items, and balance your plate out with lighter options.
3.     Slim down your sipper.
Traditional holiday beverages, like eggnog and hot chocolate, can add a few hundred calories to your meal. Instead, choose calorie-free beverages, like water, club soda or sparkling water, and limit alcoholic beverages. Remember that moderate alcohol consumption is defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
4.     Give the gift of a healthy choice.
Whether your hosting a party or attending one, you can provide a healthy dish that everyone can enjoy. Bring a vegetable tray with a variety of chopped fresh vegetables and a dip made with low-fat Greek yogurt and herbs or hummus. Trade creamy casseroles for salads made with whole grains like quinoa or wild rice, fresh greens like kale or spinach, seasonal fruits or vegetables, and oil-based dressings. Choose desserts that facilitate portion control, like small cookies or brownies cut into 2-inch squares rather than large layer cakes or pies.
5.     Focus on fun, festivities, family and friends.
Instead of letting food become the center of the party, direct your attention to enjoying good times with loved ones and fun seasonal activities – after all, that’s what the holidays are all about!
Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN 
Certified Health Coach 
Wellness Consultant