St. Patrick’s Day weekend. A time when we all say that we’re Irish, because everybody is Irish in America. We drink green beer and McD’s Shamrock Shakes and eat lots of bar food. Come Monday morning you still feel like crap (am I still hungover?) and you find yourself wondering where it all went wrong. We’ve all been there, some more recently than others. And you know what? I’m here to tell you that
That’s right. It’s okay! We’re all allowed to have these kinds of nights from time to time. I would be lying if I said that I always drink my matcha and green juices and eat veggie bowls and curries. It’s called balance. Why do people scoff at balance? Because it’s not easy. It takes a lot of discipline and self-control to achieve balance.
Health and wellness is not all about nutrition. There is so much more that feeds you besides food.
- Having healthy, strong relationships
- Working a job you love
- Taking part in physical activity that you enjoy
- Doing something creative
- Finding your own spirituality whether it’s traditional or not
- Your social life
- Stable finances
- Safe and happy home environment
All of these factors affect your overall health and, to me, “wellness” is the balance between diet and the above list. If you’re only paying attention to what you’re eating and drinking you’re ignoring the enormous breadth of what really makes you happy and healthy. Food is secondary. Rather, what feeds your soul should be your primary concern.
This is why I say to enjoy your St.Patrick’s Day fun. If you’re fostering healthy friendships and joy, I don’t see a problem with it. That doesn’t change the way you feel when you wake up in the morning.
*cue horrible headache and nausea*
Chances are, if you’ve been really good about what you’re eating and drinking, this sort of night will really make you regretful. And we all know that all you want to eat and drink after a night of drinking is greasy food and sugary drinks to replace the electrolytes and nutrition your body is working very hard to detox. But that’s not ideal, is it? Because if you have another bad day you might get stuck in that terrible cycle and end up feeling worse than you did before. And we definitely don’t want that. The goal is to enjoy yourself, have that beer, eat those chicken wings and then wake-up the next morning back on track.
Here are some of my morning-after tips and tricks after a night of indulgence:
- Warm lemon water mixed with ginger and turmeric: I have this almost every morning anyway, but it’s most important to have the night after drinking and eating more unhealthy than normal because the lemon and water helps the liver detoxify quickly, while the turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and the ginger soothes digestion while amplifying the body’s cleansing properties.
- Get your body moving: My family has been telling me for years that the best way to cure a hangover is to go for a run. I always thought they were crazy. But as it turns out, it’s true. Sweat = bye, bye toxins! Even a brisk walk or yoga flow will help. I don’t blame you if you don’t want to run 5 miles. You could also go to a sauna or take a hot epsom salt bath if you’re really feeling rough. Just sweat and get your blood flowing, your body needs it.
- Breakfast: Make sure your breakfast is filled with protein, healthy fats and greens. The greens are super important because they will help alkalize your blood, which will help your body in it’s recovery. Ideal breakfast would be: Avocado Toast with two eggs and a green juice.
- Ginger Tea: You know how ginger ale always makes you feel better? Yea, except it has all of that sugar which is no good. Substitute with ginger tea! It does the same thing with real ginger! You can buy ginger tea bags or mince fresh ginger and let it steep in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Add a little honey if you need to.
- Apple Cider Vinegar– You can take it quick like the shots you may have done the night before, or you can dilute it in hot water. This is another detoxifying elixir. This will cleanse, kill bad bacteria, detox your liver and intestines and aid digestion.
- Probiotics– I always take a probiotic, but after an indulgent night I take two the next morning to really assist my body in the detoxifying process. Probiotics replace the bad bacteria in your gut with good ones which helps with digestion, bloating, gas, nausea and immunity.
- Detoxifying Juice or Supplement- A green juice with ginger, blue-green algae, dandelion root, fennel, daikon radish or mint is great for detoxifying. You can also find cleansing supplements like the ones I use by Hum Nutrition.
- Other soothing/cleansing teas: Dandelion Root, Peppermint, Licorice and Fennel Seed.
Do one or more of these things and I promise that you’ll not only feel better but you’ll be back on track. You don’t want to be in this situation every other day or even every week. When the occasion is right, here’s a helpful cheat sheet to help your body recover and achieve balance.
Be well, friends.