Kitchen MacGyver: Hangover Cleanse

I’m talking about a remedy for a food coma, and what I mean by “cleanse” is reasonable semi-purification—not the glorified starvation you’ll experience with fasts or other cleanses. Even the most virtuous eater overindulges once in a while and the aftermath of too much rich food can mimic some of the symptoms of an alcohol hangover. In short, the morning after can suck. Here are some tips to help soothe a protesting stomach (and mind):


*Exercise as planned, but try to add an extra 15-20 minutes of cardio if you can. Try to work out in the morning, even if you tend to be an afternoon or evening exerciser. The metabolic boost and endorphin rush provide a gratifying start to the day.

*You may be tempted to skip breakfast, but don’t. Instead, eat this: 1/2 cup cooked steel-cut oats with 1 tablespoon raw, slivered almonds and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Also eat 1/2 grapefruit.

*Avoid processed foods as much as possible.

*These words are your friends: steamed, poached (in water is best, broth is second best, wine, third), baked (as in fish with lemon, pepper and thyme baked in parchment, NOT Baked Lays).

*You’ll likely eat smaller amounts the day after an overindulgence just because you probably won’t be as hungry (or food won’t appear as appetizing), but if not, try to eat smaller meals more frequently. Eat only when you’re hungry and don’t eat while reading or watching TV.

*Try to eat as many raw vegetables as you can. I normally eat a lot of salads because I like them, but if I’m attempting a semi-cleanse, some of my normal salad ingredients might change. I avoid some toppings like: cheese, creamy salad dressings, chopped eggs with yolks, meat that isn’t fish and white-bread croutons. Even better, try to eat the raw veggies with just a few spritzes of lemon juice, salt and pepper. If you want something more interesting than simple oil and vinegar, check this out:

Lemon Chive Tahini Dressing:

zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 garlic clove, grated with a microplane

2 tablespoons tahini

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper or cayenne

1/2 teaspoon chopped chives

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.

I love to combine this dressing with a salad of mixed greens, red bell pepper, cucumber and chick peas.

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