Tuesday 17 July 2007

Hangover from Hell?

I had a sudden realisation on the 6 hour (so not that sudden) train journey from King's Cross to Perth that having written about parties, Ibiza and now weddings I have yet to come with any tips for a crashing hangover. Needless to say I was suffering with one at the time. It all started on Thursday lunchtime and I am not responsible. Thinking it was Friday (I had Friday off to get up to Scotland) I agreed to a boozy lunch involving me and a three or four pints of San Miguel. Having realised my error I was left to suffer at my desk until 5.30 with impending doom in my sinuses. Obviously to get over this lunchtime drinking hangover I had to continue - demanding Proseco and Champagne from Mr J when I turned up tiddled for supper and getting increasingly in the 'holiday' mood by being alternately mouthy and sleepy.

Danger. Woke up grumpy and sore-headed on Friday with a train to catch and a Boots shop to accomplish. Having downed some painkillers I started thinking about what we can do to get over self-induced punishments whilst still looking fabulous (well... trying to). It's always tempting to go for the hair of the dog option but why prolong the agony? Unless its a Prairie Oyster I say stay away. So here are my rules for making the day after the night before as bearable as possible.

1. The first and most important rule is take your make-up off before you go to bed. I know this sounds obvious but I know that we've all been in the position of too drunk to get undressed let alone remove make-up. I keep some face wipes and a small tin of Vaseline next to my bed for those times when standing is just a little too much (if you can't make it to the shops you can get it here Vaseline Petroleum Jelly No. 3 - 225g or you can get the small tin like mine here). You know its true!! Waking up with last nights make up down your face and mostly on your pillow is a recipe for hangover disaster.

2. Take a Vitamin C before bed. Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant which helps the liver recover from the alcohol and minimizes tissue damage. It also bumps up the immune system making you less susceptible to a post-hangover cold. It's pretty easy to track down but also available here Goldshield Vitamin C Orange Effervescent 1000mg 20 tablets.

3. Drink 1/2 litre of water before bed. One of the reasons you feel so bad is the dehydration caused by the alcohol so drinking water before bed will make it less of a shock to the system when you wake up. If you are not a fan of water a 'sports' drink will do just as good - in fact sometimes these are better as they are made to rehydrate you.

4. I know how tempting it is to reach for the coffee or the comforting tea in the morning but in fact caffeine will actually make you feel worse and add to the dehydration. Herbal tea is a much better option - one of my favourites is Jackson's Green Tea or House Japanese Green, 50 Teabags.

5. Aspirin - sounds obvious but they really do help. Having lived with Mr J aka Mr Hangover for sometime I have witnessed first hand the wonders of Alka Seltzer (Alka-Seltzer XS - 20)... they work they really work. Stock up and feel the relief (unless you are like me and throw-up on the first sip - we weaklings have to stick to pill forms of pain relief - I choose Nurofen Plus).

6. Food is good. If you can't face it then go for toast but egg is great for dealing with toxins. If you are feeling really nauseous then Coke is great - the sugar perks you up and the fizz helps the sickness.

7. So we know that your insides get dehydrated hence the gasping need for water. But your outside is also affected. Have a hot bath which will help you sweat out some of the toxins and have a good moisturise afterwards. A moisturising face mask will make you feel better on the outside and give you a chance to put your feet up for ten minutes. I recommend Drink Up! by Origins.

8. If the skin on your face is looking tired scrub your face vigorously to get the circulation going and then use lots of moisturiser to plump. Now I know this sounds like madness but for make-up in this situation less is more.

9. I know this sounds like most booze victims worst nightmare but exercise and fresh air (I sound like Mumma B) is really good. Just go for a walk and take some deep breaths if that's all you can face - it will make you feel better.
10. Not for the faint hearted. The Prairie Oyster. Now, there are many different ways of making this but in it's true form as a hangover cure it really should contain just a little vodka. Here's my recipe for the perfect Prairie Oyster although you should adjust the recipe to suit you!
  • 25mls Vodka (some people use Brandy)
  • 10ml Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Juice (I recommend Clamato Juice which I think is available in Tesco's now but unfortunately their site is too rubbish to find out)
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • Dash of celery salt
  • Dash of Pepper (starting to feel like Jamie Oliver)
  • 1 Egg Yolk

  • Rinse a Martini glass with olive oil.
  • Mix together the Vodka and tomato juice and pour into the glass.
  • Next slid in the egg yolk - do not break it!!
  • Season with the Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce, Celery Salt and Pepper.
  • DOWN IT... there is no point doing this half-heartedly. Down it and I guarantee you it will make you feel better. xxx

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