How To Hack The Holiday Hangover
Leftover Halloween candy. Marathon Thanksgiving meals. Up-for-grabs office chocolates, homemade cookies, and endless treats. We drift from one-holiday party followed by another…and another.
Let’s face it the holidays are a time to enjoy friends, family, and food. However, whether you want to avoid overeating and gaining those extra pounds, you need to control your blood sugar (for example, if you have diabetes), or you wish to consume only what your body requires, the holiday season can make that goal challenging. Luckily, there are ways to avoid holiday weight gain, depression, and fatigue.
Stress, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and gluten are all triggers for derailing your hormones and immune system.
As Functional Medicine practitioners, we treat the most amount of PMS, Autoimmune flares, fatigue and depression around the Holidays.
Don’t let that be you!
FIVE PILLARS OF INSPIRED HEALTH
We encourage you to let these be your guiding principles for LIFE and not to be ignored at the Holidays. Holidays are innately stressful, and this is when you need to lean on these pillars the most!
That being said, you’re human. You’re going to “cheat” or “fall off the bandwagon.” If you fall off, we hope you had fun, and that it wasn’t too painful, and get right back on again! No beating yourself up, it’s counterproductive.
We always say, sometimes falling off the bandwagon is a blessing in disguise…it doesn’t feel good!
Which is a good reminder to keep your priorities in check.
You’ll feel better if you get right back to it!
“Ok, that _______ (insert: cookie, 2 adult beverages, 2nd helping of pie and stuffing) made me feel _______ (insert: foggy headed, joint pain, depressed, fatigued, nauseous, like my snowboarding was terrible, like loafing not wanting to go anywhere).”
Tips & Tricks to AVOID the Holiday Hangover
Or, maybe the title should be…
“Tips & Tricks to stay (somewhat) on the rails, when everyone has decided to collectively go off the rails for the Holidays!”
(1) Schedule Exercise in the Mornings
If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist.
Accountability is key!
Make it a habit of exercising 4-5x per week. Sweating is our bodies greatest way to detox, increase Serotonin and Dopamine (your feel-good neurotransmitters), and keep your body healthy.
Before you overindulge, think about how you want to feel the following morning/day!
If you have exercise scheduled in the mornings, you likely won’t want to have that extra adult beverage.
- Schedule an exercise class
- Schedule an exercise date
- Make a date with your friend/s, spouse, child, parent.
- Go for a run, walk, bike or hike. The fresh air is refreshing and helps to stimulate your master endocrine gland (pineal gland) to keep your hormones balanced.
(2) Enjoy Happy Hour BEFORE you eat!
The Blue Zones research shows that one of the secrets to longevity includes Happy Hour!
If you are going to indulge in an adult beverage, time it BEFORE you eat.
If you’re not going to drink, take a tip from Melissa at Whole30 and simply say “I’m not doing that right now.”
- Bubble water with fresh lime is a great way to avoid alcohol and still stay a part of the party with a beverage in your hand!
(3) Press Pause. Reflect
Before you begin eating, take a moment to reflect upon how you feel.
Are you rushed? Stressed? Sad? Bored? Hungry?
What are your wants, and what are your needs?
Differentiate between the two.
After you have taken this moment to reflect, then you can choose if you want to eat, what you want to eat, and how you want to eat.
(4) Eat Protein + Fiber if you’re craving Sugar
When you reach for that extra piece of pie, ask yourself, “What am I really needing right now?”
That pie is instant gratification, it does not last long, and the crash is hard and low.
Do you want to feel that way? Was it worth it?
Sugar is honestly the most addictive white powder substance around. Once you start, it’s hard to stop.
- Fill at least ½ of your plate with veggies and salad
- Fiber expands in the gut and creates a sense of satiety or fullness. Plus it’s good for your gut!
- Add more protein to your plate
- Protein is a longer lasting fuel than sugar, and does not create that insulin spike and crash that sugar is so renowned for.
(5) Skip that Second Serving
You know you’re not going to feel good after you do!
Stop while you’re ahead.
Do you eat seconds on a daily basis?
- Try only eating until 80% fullness
- All health and disease reside in the gut. If you fill your belly to 120%, you don’t have room to digest and absorb your nutrients fully.
- Press Pause. Reflect (go back to step 2)
- Take notice if you are full.
- Engage in conversation – the holidays are a time to connect with friends and family. Do that!
- Drink a glass of water.
- Walk away from the table and clear your plate in the sink. Then you’ve got no dish for seconds 🙂
- Alcohol after eating is wasted calories
- If you’re going to drink, notice that you likely feel the best when you’re buzzed, not drunk!
- Try hydrating instead of going for that 3rd drink. Have a cup of tea, a glass of bubbly water, or regular water!
So now, if you had a “human” moment, and did fall off the rails, here are some supplement tips!
*please do not use these as an excuse to overindulge!
- Take a probiotic before you go to sleep!
- Probiotics help break down aldehydes, the toxic compound in alcohol that makes you feel like the poo emoji the next day.
ReNew Smoothie (see recipe below)
- This is truly our SECRET WEAPON! It is. We’ve been drinking this smoothie for 20 years now, daily. But it absolutely gets plugged in, without fail, after a night of indulgence!
- ReNew is a vegan protein detox powder that includes herbs and vitamins that help the liver detox and decrease inflammation in the gut. Plus it tastes amazing!
- B-Vitamins are the backbone structure for all of your chemical reactions in your body. They help you feel good (neurotransmitters) and detox efficiently.
- Magnesium is such a simple way to allow your cells to detox. It is like the electric spark of communication that your cells need to communicate with each other.
- N-Acetyl Cysteine is a potent liver detox amino acid and an antioxidant
- Win-Win: help your liver detoxify those extra calories and decrease inflammation!
- DPP IV Enzyme (GlutenFlam): is involved in the breakdown of gluten and dairy proteins which helps protect your immune system from overreacting!
- Digestive Enzymes (GI Zyme) which include plant-based enzymes Bromelain and Papain which help the pancreas secrete digestive juices that help break down your food.
- Adaptogenic herbs (Adaptocrine) help you adapt to stress, increase energy, and regulate your sleep!
- Adaptogens work directly with your brain and adrenals (your stress and cortisol hormone gland) to allow you the grace to respond, versus react to your life.
- When life is stressful, all of our neurotransmitters go haywire, and our nervous system goes on sympathetic overdrive…making sleep impossible.
- When you drink alcohol, it disrupts your blood sugar and sleep-wake cycle.
- Insomnia perpetuates the stress cycle or adverse side effects of stress!
- When stress is high, check your head during your nighttime routine.
- How stressful was your day?
- How much self-care was included that day?
- How indulgent (alcohol, crap food) were you?
- Keeping the following products on hand (in your bathroom medicine cabinet) is an effective way to ensure that you fall asleep and stay asleep!
- Kavinace combines two powerful ingredients that together effectively address symptoms of stress, anxiousness, and sleep issues. Kavinace promotes GABA which is the same neurotransmitter that Ambien works on. The beauty of Kavinace is that it is a nonaddictive amino acid precursor.
- MaxRelax: contains a blend of ingredients that relax the nervous system and supports sleep and blood sugar.
We hope you have a WONDERFUL Holiday, and if you need some extra support and guidance we are here to help you!
Dr. Dishman + Dr. Weintrob
ReNew Detox Smoothie
Our favorite daily smoothie!
And part of our ReNew Cleanse Program.
- 2 scoops ReNew Powder
- 2 cups Greens Kale, Spinach, Super Greens, Salad Greens
- 1/2 Banana Frozen or Fresh
- 1/2 cup Blueberries Frozen or Fresh
- 3 Strawberries Frozen or Fresh
- 1/2 Avocado
- 1/2 cup Non-Dairy Milk or Yogurt
- Water To desired consistency
Add all ingredients into Blender (or Vitamix)