The after party

Note: Since I did have a party Saturday night, I thought today would be a good day to post the Post-Party Survival Plan.

Too much to drink (delicious though it was) and far too many Lil’ Smokies left me and many of my party guests feeling icky the next day. I’m sure you’ve been there, too. However, according to Ladies’ Home Journal, a one-night-binge does not have to sabotage your weight loss and fitness goals or plunge you into a cycle of overeating.

The morning-after effects of overeating can range from annoying to serious tummy troubles. Here is how to recover when you’ve indulged in…

Too much fat
Rich desserts, such as cheesecake and ice cream, can overload your system and cause nausea and diarrhea –especially if you’ve been on a low-fat diet. At the very least, you will wake up feeling fatigued and full. Gross…

SOLUTION: Drink fluids, ideally water, to aid digestion. (I guess the half a pot of coffee I drank wasn’t helpful…) Eat something light and low-fat, such as fruit and cereal with skim milk (I did eat Shredded Wheat with almond milk). If you’re queasy, eat toast with honey. If you have diarrhea, eat bland foods and avoid fruit and vegetables, which are acidy.

AVOID: Starving yourself, which can worsen nausea and kick start a cycle of overeating.

Too much salt
If you couldn’t keep your hand out of the potato-chip bowl (for my guests… tortilla chips with skinnyshae’s awesome homemade salsa), you’re probably feeling thirsty and bloated (soooooooo bloated).

SOLUTION: Drink a lot of water early in the day… so whenever you wake up? For me that was noon-ish. Chamomile tea is also a good choice because it’s a natural diuretic.

AVOID: Salty foods, such as tomato juice and high-sodium soups, spicy foods and soda, which is chock full of sodium and will dehydrate you.

Too many carbs
The sugar rush or overwhelming need to sleep will have passed by morning, but you may still feel groggy and sluggish and parched, swollen and stiff.

SOLUTION: Hydrate with water and decaffeinated beverages (crap…), such as herbal tea. Eat light all day and include protein in your meals, which will satisfy your hunger without overloading your system. (I ate chili… bad chili… crap…)

AVOID: Starting the day with sweets.

Too much alcohol
Alcohol leaves you dehydrated.

SOLUTION: Drink diluted fruit juice (half water, half juice) to replace lost fluids, plus fruit juice can help move the alcohol out of your body. Bland foods, such as rice, dry toast and cereal, chicken noodle soup and bananas (I ate the banana, too) are easy for a queasy stomach to digest. Bananas also supply B-vitamins that alcohol saps out of your body.

AVOID: Acetaminophen, which weighs heavily on the live. To treat a hangover, take ibuprofen instead. Caffeinated beverages may keep you alert, but will cause further dehydration.

How to get back on track…

Exercising might be the LAST thing you feel like doing the morning after a night of partying, but a light workout is just what you need. Exercise stimulates your metabolism and heart rate, speeds the process of flushing away alcohol and extra calories and will keep you on track. Within 10 minutes, you will feel more alert and energized and less crappy.

Try this easy routine…

  • Do 10 to 20 mini-squats (go down only half-way)
  • Do a set of 10 jumping jacks followed by a set of 10 split jacks
  • Do two sets of 10 repetition crunches
  • End with a stretch for your lower back and hips (You get to sit down. Heck yes!)

Post-Binge Dos and Don’ts
Don’t weigh yourself – The extra weight is most likely from fluid retention.

Do watch out for the “What the heck, I already blew it” attitude – This is what I do all the time. Not good. A few brownies are not the problem. Continuing to eat brownies is a problem. Accept that you overdid it, and then move on and resume healthier eating habits.

Don’t be tempted – Eat a few peanut butter crackers or a small piece of bread to help curb your appetite. Make your first drink of the evening sparkling water to help lower your intake of alcohol. Substitute chips and dip with cut-up vegetables. Wait 10 minutes before driving into an extra-rich dish.

Do have fun – Try to focus on the other guests, not the food (I am bad at this… I like food).

BEST DRINKS FOR YOUR HEALTH
Instead of starting your night of wrong, start your party off right! All these cocktail recipes start with a master plan: Use this recipe for each cocktail–just swap in a different liquor and spice.

Step 1: Make spice-infused simple syrup. In a pan over medium heat, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of your ground spice of choice. Once the sugar dissolves, simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and strain. Makes about 12 ounces.

Step 2: Create the cocktail. Use a mixture of 2 tablespoons of ground spice and 2 tablespoons of sugar to coat the rim of a martini glass. Fill a shaker with ice, 3 ounces of your chosen liquor, 1 ounce of the simple syrup, and a splash of club soda. Shake well and strain into the glass. Makes 1 drink.

The Spirit Absolut Vanilia
The Spice Lavender
During the hellidays, stress levels soar higher than the star atop the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. For eons, lavender has been used to melt mental tension and relax muscles (hanging strings of lights can do a number on your back). And new research confirms that the scent of lavender can improve sleep.

The Spirit Hennessy Cognac
The Spice Chili
This is one of the best drinks to enjoy under the mistletoe. This zesty blend generates just enough heat to make your lips and tongue tingle–and to help you burn a few extra calories. Bonus: Two tablespoons of chili powder contain 88 percent of your recommended daily dosage of vitamin A, which fortifies mucus membranes to help hold off nasty winter viruses.

The Spirit Bacardi Peach
The Spices Ginger and Clove
Ginger can ward off the only things scarier than a week-long ski trip with the in-laws: cold and flu bugs. (Imbibed post-snowboarding, this drink’s natural heat will thaw you out, too.) Add cloves and enjoy a concoction that tastes like peach pie and is rich in fatigue-fighting omega-3s and bone-building manganese.

The Spirit Absolut Citron
The Spice Cardamom
Spicy-sweet, exotic cardamom fires up your metabolism, so no worries about wearing a pencil skirt to the holiday office party. The Indian spice is also a firefighter, so it’s a godsend for the heartburn you got scarfing down Uncle Ted’s green-bean-and-fried-onion casserole.

The Spirit Tanqueray Gin
The Spice Juniper
If December had a flavor, this pine-scented mix would be it. The slight bitterness makes it a tummy-soothing nightcap after an evening of gluttony, and studies show that juniper berries can prevent blood-sugar levels from spiking–so you can stay calm and composed even when you have every right to bludgeon your pushy cousin with a menorah.

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