For the last couple of months, as its our off season, I’ve been going out much more than usual and having a really great time. The only downside to this is that, now that I’m in my forties, I get real hangovers. Im not talking the irritating headache and queazy stomach kind I got in my twenties and thirties, I mean the stay in bed and mainline paracetamol kind!!
So I thought I’d write about how I get over these in the hope that it will help any other poor souls trying to party like its 1999!! Unfortunately all medical research suggests that there is no miracle hangover cure so this is just me sharing what works for me and nothing has been medically recommended!!
Lets start with the basics. There is no easy way of saying this but the fact has to be faced that we aren’t 25 any more. Some of us could have 25 year old kids, so lets be realistic here, it takes us longer to get over our indulgences!! I remember in my 20s telling people that although I was flabulous I could still dance all night and was actually quite fit…… Yeah right!! Forward 15 years and I’m paying for that outlook!! It’s much the same with drinking.
With this in mind I’ve developed a,light hearted, four stage plan aimed at ensuring that, the day after the day after the night before, we feel how we used to feel on the day after the night before!!
STAGE ONE- WHEN YOU GET IN…
REHYDRATE– it goes without saying that when you are our age and enjoying too many drinkies, you wee more – We’ve all done it, and those who say they don’t are lying – So when you get back from your night out its always good to get fluids back into your system. At this point don’t worry about rehydration remedies or pills, just get at least a pint of cold water into your system!!
SLEEP– we’ve all had that spinning feeling that you get when you’ve drank too much. Some of that will be dehydration but you’ve just remedied that so get your head down, even if its just for an hour. And do it properly, get undressed and get into a bed, you will feel better!!
STAGE TWO- THE MORNING AFTER…
At this point you will feel like crap so it’s time to start treating your symptoms. These are usually headache, upset stomach, sickness and tiredness. Not to mention aches and pains if, like me, you pretended you could still dance. My remedy for this, and to continue rehydration, is to have another cocktail!!
My Hangover cocktail
1 Resolve, or other effervescent headache/nausea pill
1 berocca, or other effervescent vitamin pill
1 pint of water.
Mix well, allowing both pills to fully dissolve, swizzle round with a straw (or chopstick) and down as much as you can. Then finish off the rest.
Note: it doesn’t matter if these are shop brand pills or not , as those can be a lot cheaper and contain the same ingredients, but the ‘Resolve’ will treate the nausea, the headache and the upset stomach. The ‘Berocca’ will give you a boost of vitamins and make you feel more human, and trust me will make the whole mess taste a lot better!!
You may not feel like eating much but there is something to be said for giving your stomach something better to deal with than alcohol and kebab (come on, we are in our 40s, kebab was part of the deal!) . Try cereal, toast, bacon butty, bananas, pancakes, whatever works, but eat something. Just don’t overdo it this early!
Note: Lots of people suggest a fry up but I don’t agree. Do you really think that any amount of grease on top of everything else will help? Other people suggest ‘hair of the dog’ but unless you are about to go out on a two day bender then this will only make you feel worse- Anyone who hasn’t tried ‘hair of the dog’ , good on you, just the smell of what I was drinking last night is usually enough to make me hurl!! I did try a Bloody Mary once and whilst the tomato juice and spices will do you good the vodka did nothing for me!! A Virgin Mary on the other hand would be a good idea!!
STAGE THREE- RECOVERY TIME…
IF YOU STRUGGLED INTO WORK then what were you thinking, going out on a school night? Didn’t you read what we just said about being in our forties? Take my advise and cancel any meetings that are going to make you look bad and pick a task that wont challenge you!! I used to book a meeting room on a different floor, one that wasn’t overlooked, and recovered in there. If all else fails, hide in the disabled toilet and sleep for an hour!!
IF YOU ARE SAFE AT HOME get your duvet onto the sofa and keep rehydrating, preferably whilst watching non challenging TV…think reruns of shows you’ve seen before (Charmed works like a charm, it’s always on one channel or another) don’t try and deal with mail, relatives, friends or neighbours- now is not the moment for a final demand or post match debrief!!!
IF YOU ENDED UP ANYWHERE ELSE get home ASAP!! There is nothing worse than waking up in a strange bed, but if you did and you are not alone then it’s much better to arrange to meet later when you both don’t feel like crap, and if you are on someone else’s floor, on their sofa or in their spare room etc then they will be glad to see you go I promise!!
STAGE FOUR- LATER THAT DAY…
Now that you have dealt with your symptoms and you are starting to feel more alive you really need to eat something proper. If we were in our twenties this would be takeout but we aren’t so this should be something wholesome, comforting and easy to eat as, by this time, you are probably starving!!!
In order to really complete your recovery you need to carb load. For some of you it will be pasta, for others potatoes, yet more will want rice. Think bolognese, think chilli, think sausage & mash- it doesn’t matter what it is just get those carbs in to you, it will make the last of your weird feelings go away I promise!!
Once your meal is cooking you should really have a bath, you are about to create a chemical miracle that will complete your recovery so lets make things easy on ourselves.
Now that you are clean and in comfy clothes put on more TV and settle down to dinner. The chemical miracle is nothing more than a combination of a relaxing bath, non challenging TV and stodgy food, which induces a nice carb coma preparing you for an early night…
You will sleep like a baby!!!
My Boozy Beef
My ultimate carb loading meal has to me my boozy beef which I serve with mash. It has the advantage of being just as good when reheated so can be made in advance and frozen – a win win for me…
500g pack of braising steak
1tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of Salt and pepper
Garlic (either squeeze from a tube or 2 cloves crushed)
2 sticks celery
Handful of chantanay carrots halved lengthways (or 1 large carrot sliced)
1/2 bottle red wine
Pint stock (I use water and oxo)
2 bay leaves
Sprig each rosemary and thyme
Handful of Button mushrooms
Sprinkle of dried parsley
Toss the beef in the flour paprika salt and pepper
Brown in a casserole pan and then set aside
Chop onion, celery, leek and carrots and then add to the pan with the oil and garlic
Sweat veggies till soft then add in wine, stock, beef and herbs
Bring to simmer and add in button mushrooms
Cover with lid and whack into the oven for min 2.5 hours on a low heat
Uncover, throw in some dried parsley and return to hob for 20 mins while you cook your mash
Season to taste
Serve in a bowl over mash with broccoli and/or green beans if you are feeling ultra good!!