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Hangovers

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Badda-Bing, Badda-Boom

The response to the last blog entry was overwhelmingly positive. So, why not continue the fun? Let’s consider this Part II…with a little twist. Following is a list of great finds that will help you cope with the stressful-excess-eating-pressure-filled-gift-giving-primping-indulging holidays.

The Holiday Hangover. You know the hangover is inevitable…but is it? This one is gold: Drink Before Elixir is a pre-cocktail beverage that claims “No hangovers & reduces redness”. The product’s goal is to “make it healthier and more comfortable for you to enjoy alcohol.” Giddy-up. Loaded with vitamins, potassium and amino acids, I was sold. So does it work? I say “Hell, yes.” Worked for me during a crazy weekend outing when drinks started pouring at 2 pm and the night ended at 3 am. Yep, I still got it. No hangover, no nausea, no problem. Find it on Amazon.

Loyalty Program. Who doesn’t love the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupons, especially for holiday shopping? I can’t keep them in the house. If I wasn’t enough of a loyal customer before, now they really got me. They started a new loyalty program where you pay $29/year for an on-going 20% off your entire purchase. If you receive this exclusive invite…jump on it. Pure brilliance. Here’s more info.

Learn How To Read Your Body. This one is key. Especially during the holidays. Note what causes reactions to your body. Are you unusually bloated after you drink dairy? Do you crash hard after eating carbs? Are you unbearable after eating sugar? Are you especially thirsty in the evenings or AM from not drinking enough water or eating too much salt? Are you super lethargic in the morning from over-eating at night? Listen to these triggers and avoid them. Keep a journal of these reactions and when they occur and you will have incredible insights on how to feel and look better.

Luscious Lashes. We think holidays and we think lash extensions and falsies. There’s a new solution. No more expensive applications or over-promising mascaras. Rodan & Fields just launched this product called Lash Boost with clinical trials resulting in 85% longer, 90% fuller, 63% darker lashes with results in 4 weeks. And they’re killin’ it. Forget the iris-changing, crazy side effects of Latisse. Started mine 2 weeks ago and the difference is remarkably noticeable. They are offering a holiday gift with purchase – free cosmetic bag and eye cream. And now that I have access, so do you (or your favorite gift recipient). Buy here.

Get Matcha’d: I have searched for a good, authentic Matcha Tea for a long time  – however, most of them (including Starbucks) are not the real deal. I recently stumbled upon Motto Sparkling Matcha Tea: made to “make you feel and think better”. For centuries, Matcha has prepared Buddhist monks for meditation and readied samurai warriors for battle. Ok, so I’m neither – but I do frequently adorn my Wonder Woman cape. This Matcha tea is supposed to be a powerful agent of health, wellness and natural energy. Sugars are higher than I would normally grab (13 per bottle) but no more than the natural sugars in my afternoon latte. Small handcrafted batches made up of sparkling water, Matcha green tea, honey, organic agave, fresh lemon juice, organic apple cidar videgar and natural plant extract. (found it at Kings)

Read The Label: The most important thing in weight maintenance is reading the nutrition label. All too often, especially during the holidays, we have this “all or nothing” mentality. “I’ll get back into shape after the holidays.” Which I never truly understood why you would sacrifice 2 months of your life to binge eating. It only results in a guilt-filled, reluctant New Year with unreasonable “now I have to make up for lost time” pound abolishing goals. Learn to read nutrition contents and ingredients and always practice portion control. You can start using 4th grade math: If a serving contains 120 calories, 9 grams of sugar, 18 grams of carbs and 2 grams of saturated fat and there are 5 servings in the bag – and you eat the entire bag (and many of these bags are small and manageable enough to do just that), you have just indulged in 600 calories, 45 grams of sugar, 90 grams of carbs and 10 grams of saturated fat. Can you say sabotage?

Kill The Temptation. Want desperately to eat something on your plate you know is not the best choice? Spill water on it. Ever take a look at left-over food in the kitchen sink? Not very appetizing. Bet ya won’t want it anymore after it’s doused with water.

Talk In Code. We have all that partner in crime that we confide in at a holiday dinner. I mentioned The Skimm in my last write-up but what I forgot to mention was the kick-ass acronym cheat sheet they offer with the latest and greatest social uses. This one’s a must – read here (how fun to practice them over turkey dinner). And if you still haven’t joined The Skimm – do it now.

Burn Fat. There is a pretty good chance you will be indulging during the holidays (avoid making it a month-long habit). The key is to get your heart rate high enough to use up your stored glucose and get into the fat burning zone. How do you do that? Intervals. Workout example for a runner: Warm up 5 minutes at moderate rate (4.5 mph). Jog at a steady pace for 5 minutes (6.0 mph), then exert yourself running at a much faster pace (6.8-7.0) for 2 minutes. You should be breathing heavily and trying to catch your breath for those 2 minutes. Repeat that 5 min/2 min cycle for 30+ minutes, 2-3 times a week. This is the same concept of Tabata. High intervals with moderate rests in between. Adjust the times/pace to your level. Walkers walk for the 5 min and light jog/speed walk for the 2.

And that’s all folks. If you are looking for more tidbits or are interesting in a private nutrition counseling session, email me at dakarrat@yahoo.com. Happy, healthy holidays.

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My Hangover Cure

In case some of you were still wondering, our name, Heels to Laces, celebrates the fun of going out with our heels on, but always remembering to put our laces on the next day. We believe in finding the balance between fun and work.  And nothing addresses this theme better than today’s blog.14-hangover-140612

We have all been there – a few too many drinks the night before and you wake up with a hangover.  Your head is pounding and all you want to do is dive under the covers. Hangover symptoms are a product of dehydration, hypoglycemia, and the poisonous side effects from toxins in our drinks.  There are lots of suggested cures out there, but there is only one that I have ever found to work. Time and time again, I have resorted to exercise. Pure and simple – sweat it out!  Yes, some health experts may not believe it works, but if you find a healthy cure that can fix your ailment, why not go for it?

I had heard about using exercise to get through a hangover, but I never really had the motivation to give it a try when I was feeling lousy and tired.  However, on a skiing trip a couple years ago with my sisters, I had no choice.  The three of us were on vacation together for the first time, without kids and spouses/boyfriends, so we had an excuse for a little over-indulgence.

After a late night of too many drinks, we had to get up early to hike into the backcountry for some off-piste (outside the boundaries) skiing.  So there we were, at 8am, meeting our guide and completely hungover. He showed us how to use our transponders, pick axes and shovels in case there was an avalanche – very reassuring!  After riding the gondola to the top of the mountain, we strapped our skis onto our backs and started hiking.  At this point, all three of us weren’t sure we were going to make it – our heads were pounding and we were above 9000 feet in altitude, but we didn’t really have a choice, so we just got going.

After about 30 minutes of sweating, huffing and puffing, we reached our first peak and we realized that we felt great.  My headache was gone and so was my hangover.

Ever since then, I have used exercise as my weapon against the morning hangover.  Exercise raises your metabolic rate, which helps you clear toxins associated with metabolizing alcohol. Exercise also helps deliver oxygen to your cells, which can increase the speed at which you detoxify harmful compounds.

We are not condoning weekly hangovers, but it is human to overindulge sometimes. The next time you do, remember to drag yourself out of bed and run, hike or get to the gym – whatever it is you do – and sweat it out!  One other tip – drink lots of water, both before you go to bed and when you first wake up.  Too much alcohol leads to dehydration, so it is crucial to keep drinking.  Water will not only help hydrate your muscles and organs, but, like exercise, it will also aid in flushing out the toxins.

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