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A Holiday Without the Hangover

by Carmel Elmore December 25, 2014 5 min read


With the silly season upon us it’s important to take care not only of ourselves but also of our family, friends and colleagues. So let’s enjoy the festive cheer this year with a few simple tips for how to stay healthy, happy and safe:

Staying Healthy: A recipe to avoid hangovers and kick start your day if you are feeling a bit fatigued from so many late nights and over indulgences. (Note: this is not a prescription that allows you to go out and over indulge and drink to excess, but simply suggestions to enable you to keep a fully functional mind, body and soul over the next few weeks and a healthy kick start into the new year.)

Protecting digestive, liver and brain function is of utmost importance.

  • Ensuring that you have adequate HCl and proteolytic enzymes in the digestive system to help break down all those yummy christmas treats is vital.
  • Lack of HCl prevents us from digesting proteins, as a result fermentation takes place in the digestive system leading to unpleasant flatulence, burping and changes in bowel function, it also prevents us from having the adequate building blocks that we need to repair our cells and manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters - which we need to keep us happy and sane over the festive season and beyond.
  • Additionally low HCl leads to a poor production of pancreatic enzymes therefore continuing the poor assimilation of nutrients especially B vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids, all crucial for the aforementioned functions.
  • Sometimes, however it is unavoidable even with the utmost care to prevent the consumption of meals that contain gluten, dairy, egg, sugar or other proinflammatory dietary stuffs added to them.
  • Additionally nutrients such as NAC, Glutathione, Milk Thistle, Globe Artichoke, Licorice, Glutamine, B Vitamins, Turmeric and Slippery Elm that make recovery from the additional Christmas cheer quick and easy.

Plan of attack:

  1. Increase liver and digestive function before meals
  2. Ensure adequate consumption of non alcoholic fluids such as still or sparkling water, juice or the occasional soft drink in between alcoholic drinks.  
  3. Consume additional nutrient support whilst at festive gatherings.
  4. Consume additional nutrient support with adequate water before bed (1-2L H2O).
  5. Try using a small amount of guided meditation or white noise to help the brain relax and decrease the incidence of tinnitus or alcohol related anxiety.

How to:

  • Increase HCl and proteolytic enzymes; ½ a lemon in warm water or 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in warm water before meals.
  • Choosing dressings that have a citrus base - lemon, lime, grapefruit, vinaigrette, or bitter components: artichoke, dandelion, chicory, oregano and mustards.
  • Consume a small salad with bitter greens such as dandelion, rocket, watercress or kale with or before the main meal.
  • Where possible consume the protein portion of the meal first.
  • Keep a small container of digestive enzymes in your purse or pocket. Take enzymes with the meal.
  • Allow adequate time between courses for each meal to being to digest and break down, try to avoid consuming fluid with the meal and wait until between course or until 20 minutes after the main meal to continue consumption of fluids.   

Nutrients to take to help avoid the dreaded festive hangover:

  • Before drinking take 2 activated B vitamins and 2 NAC capsules, B vitamins are depleted by alcohol and required by the liver for alcohol metabolism. NAC is used by the liver to process, bind and detoxify intermediate metabolites - in this case it has a two fold effect, one: to support liver function and two: to decrease the presence of alcohol related anxiety. (Note: if you are having a particularly large festive session it is good to dose these nutrients every few hours).
  • Additionally nutrients that support liver function and detoxification can be taken before or after your festive session. I suggest taking 2 Milk Thistle capsules before and after, if herbal teas are available then a cup of Milk Thistle, Greater Celandine, Chicory, Dandelion or Yellow Dock tea will help to aid the detoxifying process. Where possible Turmeric, Ginger and fresh honey or Peppermint and fresh honey tea will also aid digestion, decrease inflammation and keep you on your party feet.
  • Upon closing time or when you reach your final destination take 2 Slippery Elm capsules. The mucilaginous effect of the slippery elm will help to decrease any irritation in the small and large intestine, as a prebiotic it becomes a useful fuel source for the probiotics, as a soluble fiber it will help to add consistency to the stool and aid in the binding of toxins. In addition, take 2 Activated Coconut Charcoal capsules. The charcoal will help to bind to and aid in the removal of toxins from the bowel. (Note: I often take another round of B vitamins and NAC just before I go to bed.)
  • Even though you are probably craving a big fatty meal of chips and a burger the best thing to do for yourself is to have a really nutrient dense smoothie or green juice. Where possible ensure that you have some protein to help with neurotransmitter production - ensuring of course that you take you AFP enzymes with it.  

Carmel's Over Indulgence and Hangover Smoothie Recipe:

1 cup Organic Red Papaya

1 handful of Organic Spinach

1 tsp Primal Collective Organic Turmeric

1 tsp freshly grated Organic Ginger

1 tsp Raw Organic Honey

1 Small Organic Lime

1 Small Organic Green Apple (Granny Smith)

375ml Organic Coconut Water

1 tbsp of Organic Hemp Protein

1 tsp of Organic Super Greens Powder

1 tsp of Glutamine Powder

Place in blender and combine, you can use a small amount of ice when required. Consume immediately, this smoothie will also keep in the fridge to have upon rising or if you want to prepare it before going out. Beneficial for cleansing the digestive system, providing a nutrient boost, alkalizing, balancing blood sugar levels and increase energy.

Follow up your smoothie with your regular morning bulletproof coffee, matcha or licorice tea and you are set to party again.

In addition to specific nutrient health incorporating a few of the following can ensure smooth sailing through the Christmas and New Years period.

  • Communicate clearly and openly with family and friends about feelings, time constants and previous commitments.
  • Its OK to say NO, no to that extra drink, no to the additional social commitments, no to the extra hours at work and no to the extra piece of Christmas Cake.
  • Practice gratitude for friends, family, colleagues and all the experience the universe offers you over the festive time.
  • Set yourself clear goals in regards to diet, alcohol consumption, exercise and work and family commitments for the Christmas period and stick to them.
  • Take time for yourself.
Carmel Elmore
Carmel Elmore

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