The Holistic Hangover Healer
We at Sauce/ on side are happy to have Nayeer Salem of Grove Wellness contribute this piece to our site! I would've been very grateful to have read this in my earlier days having some Jamo and 50's at The Brig thinking I could be Superman the next day for my shift, not the case. This lets us understand not only how to cure a hangover but what the hell that morning devil actually is! Enjoy.
The hangover: a cooks kryptonite. I can tell you from first-hand experience that one of the worst things to endure is a 10-hour kitchen shift on a raging hangover. Not only is it awful to do any job while hungover, but add to that intense prep work, a cutthroat kitchen environment, and a crazy dinner rush and you've got a recipe for disaster. I've tried many things to cure my hangovers before working a kitchen shift, from eating junk food and taking copious amounts of Advil, to combining Labatte 50 with Clamato for a "miracle" juice, and trust me it's disgusting...I do not recommend it!
The first step to understanding how to cure a hangover is understanding what makes us feel hungover (get ready for a science lesson)! The main reason we get those awful hangover symptoms is all thanks to a key ingredient found in every alcoholic beverage: Ethanol. This ingredient acts as a diuretic in the body, which simply means that it dehydrates the hell out of us, and that’s also why you probably have to go pee A LOT while drinking. Another main reason you feel like crap is because of our lovely, helpful organ; the liver. The liver is in charge of purifying the blood and eliminating bodily toxins. For the most part, it kind of works like a filter. Think of the liver as the border patrol organ of your body, it's like Donald Trump trying to build a wall in your anatomical system... no Bueno! The liver pretty much views alcohol as a super toxic substance in your body and wants to eliminate it as fast as possible. However, to properly eliminate, the liver must be properly hydrated. So now we're back to square one dehydrated and with a liver that's panicking because it thinks you're poisoning it...even though you're just enjoying your third rum and coke while singing Sweet Caroline at a karaoke bar. The good news is that you can actually cure a hangover, and it's pretty simple!
So, after a lot of first hand "research", I have concluded that curing a hangover takes three simple things: First and foremost is hydration. The most important thing during a night out is trying to balance out your alcohol consumption with an almost equal amount of water. Don't worry, this won't ruin the buzz alcohol gives you, it will just help you not feel like you woke up in the Sahara desert come morning. Second is to eat liver healing foods. These include beets, cabbage, broccoli, avocado and dark bitter green such as arugula, spinach, and kale. I know that the last thing anyone wants to eat when they are hungover is a nice big salad, but trust me it works a hell of a lot better than McDonalds. My recommendation: make every millennials favourite food - the avocado toast - and then stop by one of the many wonderful juice bars Ottawa has to offer and grab a beet-based cold-pressed juice, it's like drinking a salad instead.
Finally, and in my opinion is the most important thing: you need a good amount of sleep. Cells regenerate during REM sleep, and most bodily repair happens when you sleep, that's why people tend to sleep a lot more when they're sick. Try to get in a good 8 hours at least before going to bed and you'll wake up feeling a whole lot more refreshed.
Now that you know how to cure a hangover in the most holistic way possible, go out and have a shot for me. And remember, when you wake up, to have a beet salad on hand!