How was your weekend?
Seeing as it’s Monday, I thought this would be a great post-weekend topic 🙂
I was having a conversation with my best friend Lu the other day, as she nursed the devilish effects of too much red vino, about the necessity of a pantry and fridge stocked with emergency hangover foods that won’t blow your diet (or at least won’t blow it more than it already has been by all the refreshing beverages).
Lu has been on a quest lately to work off some poundage by “healthifying” her eating habits and kicking it up on the exercise front. However, she, like myself and probably many of you, finds herself from time to time caught up in the vicious cycle that is caused by drinking too much. You know, those times when you are out with friends and decide to have “just one more”, then you go home, binge on leftover dinner, wake up feeling like poo and in need of some major grease to coat your raw stomach. A night of useless calories leads to a day of poor eating choices, and often it can require some strong motivation and discipline to move past it and get back on your healthy bandwagon.
The obvious advice or solution would be to just not drink too much. Clearly it’s the main factor that leads to the rest of your problems. And while I totally agree that it is a great and noble goal to work towards knowing your limits and not drinking in excess, if many of us are real with ourselves, we know that there will most likely always be times when that goal falls second to our in-the-moment enjoyment.
This is where I believe that sometimes the best defense in a good offense. This can really apply to any faults or tendencies you have, but in my opinion, one of the best ways to set yourself up for success when it comes to healthy eating, is to know yourself and your tendencies and prepare for them. If you are a chocoholic, learn ways to have your chocolate, but not necessarily a half tub of Ben & Jerry’s. If you tend to drink too much then raid the refrigerator, then make sure your fridge is stocked with healthful foods that will not only relieve your craving, but also help restore the nutrients and balance your body is lacking from the alcohol.
This is where we came up with the concept of healthy hangover foods.
I am mostly speaking from personal experience and input from my friends and family, but when I am hungover these are the types of things I need from my food…
It’s need to be hearty and filling
Carbs must be involved
I prefer something warm to something cold
Grease always helps
So does cheese
My hydrating liquid needs to be bubbly
Coffee, don’t think I have to explain this one
And adding this one for Lu, it must not require much prep, time or effort
Given those requirements I’ve pulled together a list of healthy hangover foods to help you fight that hangover, while still maintaining your healthy eating goals.
Healthy Hangover Foods
- Waffles or Pancakes – if you don’t want to take the time to make them from scratch, there are always quick mixes like Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake Mix to take all the work out of it. Pile them high with fruit and nuts, top with maple syrup or a thinned out nut butter. You will feel full, carb loaded, satisfied, and it’s still a healthy start to your day.
- Omelets – the options are endless here as far as add ins go, but we try to pile in as many vegetables as possible (restorative and balancing), sprinkle a bit of cheese (goat cheese or laughing cow wedges go a long way without too many extra calories), and serve alongside fruit. If you don’t feel like taking the time to make a pretty omelet, just toss it all together in a big scramble, it all goes to the same place anyway!
- Breakfast Sandwiches – get your carbs, protein, veggies, and cheese all in one. Besides frying up an egg or two, this option is as quick as popping some bread into the toaster and layering away some flavorful ingredients. My favorite is thinly sliced sauteed asparagus and a fried egg on whole wheat toast.
- Fruit Salad – for the fruit and yogurt lovers, fancy up your morning fruit by chopping up a mix of fruits, tossing with some greek yogurt and honey, add some chopped nuts and mint, and you have a flavorful and texturally satisfying breakfast.
- Tortilla Pizzas – who doesn’t crave pizza when they’re hungover? Simply saute your favorite toppings, focus on veggies, spread over a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle a little cheese overtop (feta or goat cheese are strong enough that you don’t need much) and pop them into the oven until crisp and golden. Grilled recipe here!
- Pasta – make it whole wheat, make sure to include vegetables, and if you are like me and crave something thick and creamy, blend up a quick tofu cream sauce (tofu & your favorite marinara is easy, quick, creamy tomato awesomeness), or melt a wedge or two of laughing cow cheese wedges and thin out with a little pasta water.
- Burgers & Hot Dogs – we keep a stash of veggie burgers and smart dogs in our fridge and freezer at all times. When you are truly too hungover to even boil water, you can pop these guys in the microwave for a couple of minutes, slap them on some toast with ketchup and mustard, and they will do the trick for something warm and filling.
- Chips & Salsa
- Pita Chips/Veggies & Hummus
- Triscuits (I’m addicted to the Cracked Black Pepper ones!) & Cheese – even better melted!
- Soup – this is another option where the possibilities are endless. Husband and I usually opt for something more brothy. One of our favorites is sauteing some onions, mushrooms, and tofu, adding them to a pot of vegetable broth, minced ginger and garlic, some kind of greens, and rice noodles. This is also a great Sunday night soup. If you still don’t feel like cooking, make sure you’ve got some gourmet premade soups on hand that are ready with the beep of the microwave.
- Pasta – see above
- Pizza – different from above, when we have pizza for dinner we like to make it a little bigger, better, not necessarily faster or stronger, but you get the point. When we are low on time or energy we will grab a whole wheat all natural frozen pizza like Amy’s, or a Take-N-Bake from the deli at the grocery store, and pile on enough vegetables to make the cheese invisible. It’s much quicker than making it from scratch, and by sneaking in mounds of vegetables in the form of pizza it generally only takes a slice or two to fill you up.
- Curry Dishes – the great thing about curry dishes is they generally only require you to throw everything together and let it simmer for a while. We have a rice cooker (the greatest, highly used, and possibly cheapest appliance we own) that we consider to be worth it’s weight in gold. We toss some rice into it and let it get cooking while we simmer some vegetables, chickpeas or tofu, and a curry sauce together. For those of you wanting something more effortless, there are great curry simmer sauces in the international section of your grocery store. I also resort to my thai peanut noodles quite often when we want something filling and delicious. It’s almost equivalent to macaroni and cheese to me as far as comfort foods go. There are lots of quick recipes out there if you google, I hope to post mine as soon as I take the time to actually measure out the ingredients I use.
- Coffee – for us, strong, black, and hot is the only way to go.
- Sparkling Water – I gave up soda over two years ago, and hangovers were the toughest times for me to resist the temptation to grab a diet coke. I slowly learned that it wasn’t so much the soda flavor I was craving as much as it was the bubbles. I swear they help calm your stomach, and clean out your mouth and throat. Many times plain water just makes me nauseous if I’m feeling poorly, however, sparkling water hits the spot. It’s bubbly, refreshing, and hydrating all at the same time.
- Coconut Water – I’ll be the first to admit the stuff doesn’t taste all that great, but drink have a juice box size the night of drinking, and half the next morning, and it will do wonders to bring you back to life.
- Green Juice – It may not sound appetizing, but if you have a juicer and some produce on hand, a little green juice can really help revive you. We sometimes take a quick shot of a spinach, carrot, lemon, and apple/orange juice first thing as a first response to a nasty hangover.