Is everything too loud this morning? If you partied so hard on New Year's Eve that your hair hurts, you need to act fast to ensure New Year's Day isn't spent shriveled in a ball on the couch. Clean Plate Charlie has been searching high and low this week to find as many tips and tricks as possible to help readers battle the dreaded hangover. (See links below.)
Raw food private chef Nina Kauder -- of Palm Beach County based Rawsome Eats -- has given us the nitty gritty details on the ultimate hangover menu, and why these foods are what the body craves. After the jump, find details on what you should consume from the start of the day to the finish, so that you'll feel back to 100 percent by the time the evening rolls around.
Plain ol' water isn't gonna cut it today. "Start your day with, and continue sipping, these rehydrating beverages throughout the day," Kauder said of these winners:
Warm water with lemon: Lemons are high in vitamin C and potassium, which stimulates brain, immune, and nerve function. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials to aid digestion. Alkaline-forming lemon juice purges toxins from the blood and clears skin. Lemon juice freshens your breath. Lemon water distracts from those acidifying a.m. coffee cravings.
White or green teas with lemon (served before 5 p.m.): Tea rehydrates and the antioxidants support liver function, giving you a mini-cleanse and reducing some of the damage caused by booze.
Ginger tea (or, chew a few slices of candied ginger): Fresh ginger is a great remedy for the waves crashing in your stomach and aches and pain caused by dancing well into the New Year. Brew up a batch of fresh ginger tea and sip all day. Candied ginger can be stored for months and is a great stand-in for fresh ginger. The tea helps support liver function and rehydrates the body while gingerols soothe digestion, alleviate mild nausea, reduce congestion and mucous. It's also anti-inflammatory and improves circulation. It also tastes delicious.
What's for breakfast? Maybe rethink that greasy pile of eggs and bacon.
Kauder recommends cooked oats or granola for the first meal of the day (whenever that comes around).
"Granola with its mixture of oats, nuts, honey, and dried fruits -- baked until crispy -- is packed with the very useful amino acid called cysteine, that the cells in the liver love for detoxifiying," Kauder said. "It also helps protect against cell damage."
Include unsalted almonds and dried apricots, Kauder advises. "Dried apricots are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin A (a powerful antioxidant), and vitamin C, which protects the liver, Kauder said. "Almonds are a good source of potassium and zinc, which builds healthy skin and helps to detoxify the body. Lastly, they are a powerhouse combination supplying selenium, an antioxidant increasing the healing and detoxifying potency of vitamin E." As an important side note, Kauder said that avocados are a rich source of potassium (even more so than bananas or potatoes): Consider incorporating them into your start-of-the-day meal.
Kauder said "by first having soothing hot beverages and a cysteine-heavy breakfast" you should already be feeling closer to yourself and in good enough shape to prepare a mid-morning "healing" smoothie, even if that means busting out "a noisy blender."
Kauder's "berry green" smoothie is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C. Kauder said the fructose content itself can help to rid the lingering alcohol in your system. The fiber content may help to detox and prevent a post-sugar crash.
To make the smoothie, combine one pint mixed, fresh, or frozen red, blue and/or purple berries, one banana (remember that avocados are a great substitute in terms of potassium), two big handfuls of baby spinach, one tablespoon of wheat germ, one to two cups of coconut water, and one cup of ice cubes. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and mix. Once blended, pour in a glass and top with half a teaspoon of flax seeds.
"Use extra coconut water if you prefer your smoothie consistency thinner," Kauder said. "The wheat germ and greens provide fiber and B vitamins and the sprinkling of flax seeds give you something to chew on, instead of gulping it down. You do not want 'brain freeze' with your hangover."
Oh, and those flax seeds? Kauder said they attach to, and move out, toxins in the gut and "help regulate bowel movements."
Kauder also advises having snacks throughout the day. And no, this doesn't mean the leftover contents of last night's cheese tray. Instead, she recommends toasted whole grain "hearty" bread with a "schmear" of nut butter. The whole grains convert carbs to sugars slowly, "so you gain a more balanced supply of energy." Nut butters provide rapid access to plant proteins and cysteine content without the acidifying, harder-to-digest animal sources of proteins (like eggs). Kauder also recommends a slow-roasted tomato bruschetta, as cooking helps to increase the tomato's lycopene content.
Lunch and dinner should be easy, one-dish salads. Kauder's recommended recipe includes one bunch washed, organic mustard greens, three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, one clove organic garlic (pressed or chopped), five tablespoons broth or water, juice of a full lemon (divided in two), a grind of salt and pepper (to taste), one cup cooked pasta (gluten-free is lighter and easier to digest), two chopped organic tomatoes, two tablespoons dried raisins, currants, or sultanas, and one-fourth cup toasted and chopped walnuts.
While pasta is cooking, rinse mustard greens under cold running water and cut into half-inch slices for quick and even cooking. To get the most health benefits from mustard greens, let them sit for a minimum of five minutes before cooking. Sprinkling with lemon juice before letting them sit helps activate their beneficial cancer-fighting enzymes. Strain pasta and run cold water over and strain again to keep it ready to be used in this dish.
Heat five tablespoons of vegetable broth or water in a stainless steel skillet. Once bubbles begin to form, add mustard greens, cover, and sauté for five minutes. Toss with one clove garlic, three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Adjust flavor, adding more lemon juice if needed. Add remainder of toppings, pasta, toss and serve.
"Mustard greens are an excellent source of many helpful detox vitamins including K, A, C, folate, and E, as well as a very good source of potassium, B1,B2, B3, and B6, protein, copper, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium," Kauder said. "Many in this list support skin elasticity to combat the dehydrating attack to your face from the alcohol you consumed."
Another good -- and easy to digest -- option for dinner is a baked potato stuffed with stir-fried veggies or roasted winter vegetables.
Other tips from Kauder include taking probiotics or probiotic supplements. "Probiotics are the good bacteria found in the gut, and if your gut is aching you probably need to replenish your body's natural defense," Kauder said. "A hefty dose of quality probiotics is available from fermented foods and supplements without taxing your sensitive system any further, but if you happen to have miso soup, cabbage, kimchee, or coleslaw on hand, and feel like you want that, let your body guide you."
Kauder said to aim for organic and vegan foods whenever possible, as both choices are less of a burden on your system. And for next time, consider this tip Kauder learned from Puerto Rico; "Try rubbing your armpits with lemon...The lemon juice supposedly stops you sweating, so you avoid the dehydration that contributes to headaches."
Happy New Year, and feel better soon!
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