Updated: Jul 6
Unless you are a college freshman, you never really plan to drink four Moscow Mules. You certainly don't seek out events where the dessert table is gorgeous, plentiful, and blessedly unoccupied by judging eyes. You can't possibly forsee that delicious bag of pistachio brittle being physically impossible to put down.
For heaven's sake- you are a reasonable, self-controlled, adult woman! You make wise choices and have enviable discipline.
So what happens when your self-control takes a holiday at the same time you are taking a holiday?
Never fear. I've got you covered.
Holiday Helper #1: Nux Vomica
The field of homeopathy has been around for the last 200 years. Homeopathy ("Homeo"- same; "pathy"- suffering) is based on the principle of "like cures like" (similia similibus curentur). Homeopathic remedies are minute dilutions of substances that can cause ailments. Used in tiny amounts, the substance works to heal the same malady that it can cause in larger amounts. For example, belladonna is the deadly nightshade. If ingested in normal doses, it will cause fever, flushing, malaise, and dilated pupils. However, if someone is presenting with the very same symptoms- fever, flushing, malaise, and dilated pupils- then a possible relieving remedy would be belladonna. Highly trained homeopaths (my instructor) can pinpoint symptoms and select the correct remedies most of the time. If you are not highly trained, proceed with caution. I have taken three official courses on homeopathy and studied it recreationally for 8 years. I still feel unqualified to select remedies for most imbalances. Frankly, I have seen many remedies work, but I have seen a greater number do nothing at all.
You may also see the homeopathic principle played out nutritionally and medicinally. For instance, collagen powder, made of bovine bones, is said to strengthen one's own bones and joints. Natural dessicated thyroid helps one's own thyroid to strengthen and heal. This is also the mechanism of action of vaccines- a tiny bit of a virus will stimulate the immune system to attack and destroy and remember and prevent.
The validity and efficacy of homeopathy is hotly debated, but there is no denying that certain remedies are highly useful and practical.
One of my favorite, trusty remedies is Nux Vomica. Made from the seeds of the strychnine tree, this highly poisonous, extremely bitter substance will induce violent vomiting if ingested in its original state.
But when nux is diluted down to a microdose, it becomes incredibly effective at nudging an overindulged body back to homeostasis.
Homeopathy first looks at symptoms. Here are the symptoms of someone in need of nux:
overindulgence in food
overindulgence in alcohol
overindulgence in coffee or caffeine
nauseous but unable to throw up
Basically- use nux after having too much fun. It is safe for pregnant women and children. You can give it to your little one after he eats too many pieces of Grandma's chocolate fudge and begins complaining of a stomach ache.
Dosing: Allow 3 tablets to dissolve under the tongue. Repeat every 30 minutes until symptoms subside. Alternately, you can take a dose right before bed if you are worried you may wake up in the morning with a food or drink hangover.
(Get Nux Vomica in my "Overindulgence" Dispensary Shop here. If you email or text me that you are ordering on the recommendation of my blog post, I will give you 20% off your order of those particular supplements)
Holiday Helper #2: B Vitamins
Excessive sugar and alcohol deplete your body of B vitamins. Your Bs are water soluble and are easily excreted from the body. They are also used quickly in times of stress. And eating crap and drinking booze are stressors on your body. And your B vitamin levels will suffer because of it. Alcohol interferes with the process that allows B vitamins to be absorbed and used. Sugar and refined flour need large amounts of vitamin B to break down and convert into fuel for your body. In contrast, whole foods like meat and eggs and vegetables contain natural and bioavailable B vitamins, which assist in the process of converting food to energy.
I have a few clients who tell me that they are not under a lot of stress, which makes me very happy. But sometimes we neglect to see that exogenous stressors are not the only factors that cause a cortisol/stress response in the body. Coupled with the stress of family and work obligations over the holidays, poor eating and drinking habits can lead to hormonal imbalance, which can manifest itself in weight gain disproportionate to the number of (excess) calories consumed.
This time of year, we warrior women also tend to increase our consumption of coffee. 'Cause its peppermint mocha time. And it's finally chilly in the valley. And it's delicious.
But more coffee = more caffeine = more peeing = more excretion of B Vitamins.
So now you have enough reasons to take your B vitamins. As your responsible nutritionist, I have to caution you that more is not better. Take the recommended dose.
I would also advise you to take your Bs in the morning. First of all, they will help with your food/drink hangover. Second of all, they will give you energy and if you take them at night, you will not be able to sleep.
(Get B Vitamins in my "Overindulgence" Dispensary shop here. If you email or text me that you are ordering on the recommendation of my blog post, I will give you 20% your order of these particular supplements).
And it goes without saying, please try to not have reason to use remedy #1 too often. Nux will not cure binge eating disorder. It will not cure alcohol addiction. If these are problems for you, let me know. I can work with you to conquer your binge eating disorder. And I can point you in the direction you need for alcohol addiction.
The holidays should be a time for joy. I see many of my clients struggling with the desire to enjoy celebrations wantonly competing with the desire to be healthy. These things are not mutually exclusive. You can enjoy this festive time of year responsibly and without too much metabolic or hormonal damage.
Three quick tips:
1. Eat 15 grams of animal protein before you hit the party.
A few slices of lunchmeat, some leftover chicken, three pieces of bacon- any of these will put some slow-burning protein in your tummy and make you less ravenously excited to see the macaron table.
2. Drink 1 shot of Tito's vodka with an entire LaCroix sparking water as a mixer.
Sip slowly. Enjoy the feeling of relaxing without stumbling over your words or having to wake up the next morning and send texts that begin with, "I think I shouldn't have told you (x), can you please keep it a secret?"
3. Take 3 belly breaths before you walk into a celebration or family gathering.
We eat and drink excessively because we are anxious, nervous, bored, worried, or angry. Taking long (5 second in, 5 second out) belly breaths activates your parasympathetic nervous system and turns off your "fight or flight" mode. You got this, girl! Think of your belly breathing as armor against your mother in law's verbal jabs.
To family, friends, and joy-