With Thanksgiving less than 48 hours away, I’m burning the midnight oil in preparation. Between trying to complete work tasks on limited time, and finalize menu items, I’m more than ready to set worries and stress aside for a couple of days in order to focus on family and friends. As much as I’m looking forward to enjoying the long holiday weekend, and indulging in the big feast, I’m trying to take a more healthful approach to the holiday season this year. Thinking back on some of my own personal triggers, I’ve compiled a list of ways I can avoid the dreaded post-Thanksgiving hangover, where I’m left feeling bloated and unproductive for the rest of the weekend. Perhaps you’ll identify with some of my past missteps, and can appreciate the proactive approach I’m taking this year to avoid my own hangover, yet still have a festive Thanksgiving.
Avoid A Sugar Overload 1 of 7
Indulging in excess sugar is one of the key triggers to that typical hungover feeling - sluggish, headaches, moodiness and irritability can all result from consuming too much sugar. This can happen by having one too many pieces of pumpkin pie, or drinking one too many celebratory cocktails. A couple of years back my husband and I decided to drink mimosas while preparing our feast, and although we never consumed enough to get us tipsy, the cumulative effects of drinking small amounts of champagne in the morning, to consuming wine all through appetizers and dinner, left us both feeling useless by 6 pm. You may not feel like you're over-indulging in sugar at the time, but your body will let you know within a matter of hours.
Drink Lots Of Water 2 of 7
Indulgence is what the holidays are all about, right? Well, to a point, and as long as you take proactive steps to flush out your body of an overabundance of "toxins" coming from sugar and rich creamy dishes, your body will thank you. Try to remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration and to keep the digestive process working, since you'll most likely be consuming more calories than you normally do.
Alternate Rich Foods With Fresh Options 3 of 7
Thanksgiving is all about rich, heavy foods, between the butter loaded mashed potatoes, and the thick creamy gravy you pour on everything, the average dish can leave you feeling bloated and sluggish. So instead of skipping all your favorites, strike a balance between some tried and true indulgent favorites, and dishes that offer up more healthful options and incorporate more grains and fresh veggies than creams and butters. These Honey-Lime Quiona Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Cooking Classy are a perfect example of a seasonal dish that would fit in perfectly on turkey day.
Photo Credit & Recipe From Cooking Classy
Get Moving! 4 of 7
Weather permitting, take the family out on a post-dinner walk, or rustle up a game of flag football while the turkey's cooking. Even partaking in a game of Wii Just Dance is enough to get your body moving to help work off those extra calories, and keep you from feeling bloated and completely over-stuffed.
Ask For Help 5 of 7
If you're the host of the big feast, don't be shy and ask for help with clean-up, and accept help when offered. Even if it's not done exactly how you would do it, at least the clean up is done so you can get to bed at a decent time. There's nothing that can put you in a worse mood than having to clean up a huge mess after you've worked tirelessly to cook all day. Getting help makes your job easier, lets you rest and enjoy the fruits of your labor a bit more, and lets you get to bed before midnight, leaving you feeling thankful for family and friends, instead of resentful for the mess they've left you.
Skip Black Friday and Sleep In 6 of 7
Shopping Black Friday is a great way to get a jump on the season and tackle that gift list. But consider this instead, get a good night's rest and sleep in, then take a bit of time to get prepared and organized for the upcoming holiday season. Put up the Christmas lights and/or decorations, take stock of supplies you're low on, organize the calendar, and just relax. Then, come Monday, tackle the shopping list with Cyber Monday deals or hit the stores when the crowds have thinned. The extra time you set aside to prepare for the season will put you in a better state of mind, and will help you avoid any extra stress that comes along with the crowds and lines.
Juice It Up! 7 of 7
If you in fact do wake up with a Thanksgiving hangover, despite your best intentions, recharge with your favorite green juice. Drinking a green juice first thing in the morning can rehydrate you, help to flush out toxins, and the nutritional benefits are absorbed quickly and efficiently. I often feel a rush of energy far superior to coffee, and feel refreshed after a good green juice. Some of my favorite combinations include kale, apple, lemon & ginger, or carrots, apples, beets & ginger.