Weekend Recovery Tips (and Hangover Cures)

So you may have made some bad decisions over the weekend.  There may have been a day full of several different kinds of alcohol, and only eating bar food for 48 hours with very minimal water intake.

Or you may have just totally gone off the beaten path of your normal schedule, slept in a weird place, worn heavier make-up than normal, eaten some weird things, and now your body is so confused and everything is painful and gross feeling.

Whatever, I’m not here to judge.

Regardless, it’s now Monday morning and your face is broken out, your body feels as if you betrayed it, and you can’t shake the hangover (metaphorically and literally, depending on if the first portion was true for you or not).

Boy, aren’t you lucky you clicked here?  Because have I got some tips and tricks to get your body back in normal shape.  It’ll be like that weekend of sleeping on couches never even happened.

DO:

1.  Return to your normal schedule immediately.  Do not sleep in super late on Monday, as much as you want to.  You’re going to be tired all day no matter what, so you may as well make sure you go to bed at the correct time on Monday night so that this horrible hazy feeling doesn’t continue any later into the week because you’re wide awake after sleeping in until 12pm.

2.  Drink Water.  Chug-a-lug, baby.  If you’re like me, your skin goes absolutely haywire when you do anything even remotely out of the ordinary.  Restore those dehydrated cells to help your face get back your normal glow (and to speed the process of healing those new zits I definitely you may have).  Staying hydrated will also (obviously) help with a hangover.

3.  Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.  Your face, your hair, your skin.  Thank me later.

4. Eat salt.  Eating weird things all weekend, or drinking a lot will send your regular body chemistry super wonky, which is why you feel so horrible.  Though I said return to your normal schedule, which includes normal healthy eating patterns– eating salty things can help with a hangover by restoring normal sodium levels.

Protip: If you don’t have sodium, your body won’t want to absorb water.  So despite all we hear about low-salt diets, we do need a certain amount to remain healthy.  Especially if you are hungover, having something a little salty can help.  There is a reason why people recommend Pickle Juice as a hangover cure.

5.  Gatorade, coconut water, fruit juice, and ginger tea can sooth your symptoms.  Stomach churning from eating out so many times during the weekend? Ginger is said to cure stomach ailments.  Gatorade and coconut water also contain electrolytes to help restore the balance in your system– coconut water has more, so it’s the better option.  And fruit juice contains fructose, which can help with energy levels, and the restore healthy liver function if your weekend included too much booze.

DON’T:

1. Eat greasy foods.  Repeat: return to normal life.  Your body feels this way because you fed it cheeseburgers and beer all weekend, so why would continuing that make you feel any better?  Understandably, a salad may not be your best craving at the moment, but go for healthier options.  Grilled chicken and sweet potatoes, hot vegetable soup, a BLT on whole grain bread, etc, etc. Besides, having a ton of fatty grease when you’re stomach is already iffy is bound to lead to some bathroom problems, if ya know what I’m saying.

2. Have a ton of acidic foods.  Especially if you spent the weekend (or evening) drinking, avoid high acidity things, like tomatoes, citrus, coffee, etc.  Your stomach is already sensitive, and those things will hurt it more.  Trust me, I know from experience that inflammation of the stomach is stupid painful and should be avoided at all cost.

Protip #2: Coffee seems like the best thing in the world when hungover, but don’t reach for it immediately.  Coffee is a diuretic, which will dehydrate you more, and it is also a vasoconstrictor, which will cause your blood vessels to constrict and make getting blood flow to places (like your pounding brain) even harder.  It will only serve to amplify your headache, so stick with the water or coconut water for best results.  And add a cup of fruit juice for a boost of energy.

3. Pile on the acne cream.  Your face is freaking out because of the weird places it went and the weird things you put in your body, so don’t add more weird into the mix.  Return to your normal skincare routine and let the inflammation sort itself out.  Careful about applying too much make-up too.  Don’t irritate anymore than you already have.

…..

And there you have it.  I am taking some of my own advice today, (and yesterday), to get my life back to normal after this weekend.  Now I’m off to look longingly at my coffee pot while I drink a glass of tea instead.

The sacrifices we make for having a good weekend, huh?

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Autumn Bucket List

I know it’s already 12 days into October so (per usual) I am kind of late to the game here, but I have been seeing more and more of these Autumn Bucket List posts popping up all over Bloglovin’ lately.

Speaking of– if you have a Bloglovin’ account, why are you not following me already?  How lame are you? Just kidding, I love you.  I just want to bake a cake made of rainbows and unicorns so we can all eat it and be happy and be best blogger friends.

As the season is finally in full swing, and the weather is finally colder in my little part of Ohio, my Fall spirit has been through the roof.  So much so that mine and Cathy’s new favorite fighting topic is the fireplace.  I love having it on full blast, adding to the ambiance of the room, but she hates the heat.  I sense a long (and sweaty) winter ahead of us.

Now that my love for autumn finally fits with the weather, and I’ve been feeling inspired the past few days (if you couldn’t tell by yesterday’s knitting tutorial post), so I thought I’d share the Autumn Bucket List activities that have been marinating in my brain lately, snuggled right in there along with the fantasies of flavored coffee, piles of leaves, and new nail polish colors.

1.  Start wearing lipsticks.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a very neutral style when it comes to make-up.  As I’ve been getting more and more into beauty channels on Youtube, and beauty bloggers, I’ve become inspired.  Some super bold reds and deep plum lipsticks have me feeing very Autumn-esque, so I think I want to take a stab at them this season!  And with people like VivannaDoesMakeup talking lips 24/7, how can I not want to get involved in the game?

Plus, people just look like they have their lives sooooo together when they wear lipstick.  Like inside their boots, their socks actually match, and they didn’t sniff their shirt to make sure it was clean before they got dressed. I want to look like that too.

2.  Carve a pumpkin.  It’s been years. But honestly, I’ve always thought of pumpkin carving as kind of gratuitous because like… literally, you’re plucking a squash from the earth, killing it, and hacking out it’s insides for the sake of fun and home decor. Basically ruining something that could nourish somebody’s starving body for the sake of entertainment. Does that not sound morbid to anyone else?!

— Anyway.  For some reason I’m just really in the mood to carve one this year.

3. Start running again.  Running in the summer was brutal– Midwest heat +  humidity around here made me feel like I was practically swimming in the air sometimes, but I loved seeing the world wake up early in the morning when I ran in the park near my house.  I can only imagine how gorgeous it is now that the colors are changing.  And how much better my butt will look in my leggings if I start moving again.

4. Eat a caramel apple.  They keep tempting me at the grocery store, so I think I’ll have to stop by the apple orchard by my Dad’s house and pick up a real one soon!  Or I’ll just stop at Kroger and pick up container of Oreos.  Whatever is easiest.

5. Go to a football game.  This may prove tricky as I work every weekend, but I want to at least try.  Maybe.  Or I may just want to dress up in the cute outfit and drink a beer outside on a Saturday morning.   Or a mimosa.  Or a Bloody Mary.  Or we can just forget the game and I’ll just drink Bloody Mary by myself in my bed on a Saturday morning while watching the updates on the ESPN iPhone app. FOOOOOTBALLL!

6. Use the crockpot!  I love thick stews (that’s what she said?!), and hearty soups.  I made this really great beef stew recipe while I was at school, but have yet to break it out since moving home.  And there is no better smell than a simmering crock pot all day.

7. Bake.  I’ve been craving muffins lately– I’m thinking revamping a banana muffin recipe is in the works.  I’ve had an idea to switch around some ingredients to make it a little healthier, which could be really fun to experiment.  And I’m actually being sincere with this one.  Stay tuned.

8.  Catch up on Sons of Anarchy. I am a season (or two… or three?!) behind, and the final season is airing now.  One of my co-board members in the CSAC watches it, and is begging me to get caught up so we can talk.  I’m mostly afraid of everyone I love dying, so I think that’s why I’ve been hesitant.  But Jax is also hot, so maybe I’ll catch up on SOA while drinking that aforementioned Bloody Mary.

9. Revamp my wardrobe.  I don’t know if this is as much an “Autumn” goal as it is so much a continuous life goal for myself.  But now that I have a little bit of money to spend, I am trying really hard to fill my closet with well-made pieces that will help me not feel like a troll doll make some good outfits.  Also, I’m trying to steer clear of the typical places with cheap clothes that will fall apart by the next season, and focus on good, long-lasting clothes.  Which will be expensive as sh*t, but will make me feel pretty, so it’s totally worth it.

10.  Enjoy the season! I know I gripe about working 24/7, but that’s because sometimes it honestly does feel like all I ever do is go back and forth between the restaurant and the gym, with weekly appearances at sports for the CSAC. Autumn is my favorite season, and as much as I love my workaholic tendencies, I do want to make sure I take time to enjoy these months.  And see my friends, and eat good food and actually appreciate the fact that the leaves are changing.  But mostly I want to enjoy the prime coffee drinking and pretty-leaf snap-chatting time while I still can.

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Green Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Smoothie

HOW TO: Breakfast Smoothie Guidelines | Candidly Kelsey

As lazy as I consider myself in general (which is really, really horribly lazy), it is 10xs worse in the morning.  Getting out of bed, finding pants, and getting coffee is basically my daily trek up Mount Everest.  Especially now that my schedule is so erratic with my different jobs, it makes it really hard to just hop out of bed in the morning like I was used to.

In college, when my schedule was super consistent, my favorite part of the day would be Breakfast.  Even when I had to wake up at 4:30am several days a week to work the opening shift at the gym, I would still cook myself amazing breakfasts.  It was just such an essential part of my day that I didn’t mind waking up an extra 20 minutes early to get it done.  Eggs, hash browns, bacon, coffee and scrolling through Buzzfeed before the birds even started to sing? Uh, yes, please!

Now, however, it takes a crowbar, and the dog jumping up on my face to finally convince me to get out of bed.  And I’d gladly skip breakfast if it meant not having to leave my bed.

Which presents a problem: breakfast sets the tone for your day, so it’s never wise to skip it.  Especially if you are a person who battles with their weight.

To fix this problem, I started adopting breakfast smoothies.  Nothing is easier than spending 5 minutes tossing things into a blender.  And they’re so variable, you can make something delicious with what you have in the kitchen.

It’s important to have a good ratio of macronutrients:  Fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Fat 

Fat being bad for you is a taboo that we need to get away with.  We need fat in our diet to keep our bodies healthy, and most people aren’t getting the right kinds of fats.  Plus, fat can help keep you full, so why not start out the day with a little healthy fat to tide you over until lunch time?

Protein 

It’s not just all about muscles.  Amino Acids break down to do important things in the body.  They keep our brain firing as neurotransmitters, either directly, or helping to create other neurotransmitters, which help keep us awake and alert.

Carbohydrates 

Especially, what we call “complex” carbohydrates.  Whole grains, fruits, and veggies take longer to digest and don’t spike your blood sugar like refined grains do– which will make you sleepy after the spike goes down.  Pairing the protein with a complex carb will keep you full longer as well!

Then add in some other important goodies:

Fiber 

Again, stay fuller longer.  And help that digestive system!

Vitamins and Minerals

It’s hard to absorb vitamins and minerals on an empty stomach.  Eating them in their natural form, in fruits, veggies, etc, can help them be digested easier.  It’s like taking a morning vitamin, except better!

SMOOTHIE GUIDELINES:

Fruits smoothies, sweet smoothies, chocolately smoothies, coffee smoothies, savory smoothies! Mix and match ingredients to get what you like, but to start you off, here is my go-to recipe:

Green Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

2-3 generous handfuls of spinach
1 medium banana
2 tablespoons of nut butter of choice
1 tablespoon of soaked chia seeds

To make, add all ingredients to a blender.  Fill at least 1/2 way with water, as the chia seeds tend to make it a little thick.  Add a few ice cubes and blend.  Add more water to achieve desired texture.

The benefits?

You got the greens in the morning, if, like me, you have a problem getting them during the day, the banana for sweetness, the nut butter for those healthy fats, and the chia seeds for a little more healthy fats (omega-3), complex carbohydrates, and fiber.

Don’t have any bananas?  Toss in what you do have: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries?  Just as sweet, but be careful of the seeds in the strawberries.  You can keep the nut butter if you want a play on a PB&J.

Prefer kale, or another green?  Swap that out for spinach, but be sure to adjust for sweetness, as not all greens have as mild of a flavor as spinach.  Toss in some extra berries, or some unpitted dates for sweetness to help with the bitter flavors.

Want a chocolatey smoothie?  Add your favorite chocolate protein powder, or some cacao.

Fruity smoothie? Skip the nut butter, toss in whatever you have.  Swap out the water for your juice of choice, being careful of the sugar content.  Frozen mango or pineapple with some orange juice could make a tangy tropical creation.

As you can see, the sky is the limit.  The more variety in your smoothie, the more benefits you’ll get from it.  Mix and match with different things until you find your favorite!  And hopefully this is more helpful than just offering you one simple smoothie recipe.

What is your go-to breakfast? Let me know in the comments!

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Fitness Phony

Eat a pizza.  Eat chicken and green beans.

Go to the gym… watch Netflix for 9 hours straight while eating Oreos.
As my first foray into health blogging, I posted some health tips and talked about how it’s not important to be perfect, it’s just important to do better.  It’s all about balance.  Moderation.  Take the stairs, switch to water, park your car further away from the front of the store, blah, blah, blah.
Those are all fine and dandy tips– and don’t get me wrong, they’re SUPER important if you are taking your first steps into making healthy changes in your life– but those don’t help me anymore.  At least, I didn’t think they would.
I oh-so-humbly consider myself a Health Veteran.  Not only do I have a fancy piece of paper that says I studied Nutrition in college but I also have a weight loss story that ends with losing 30lbs, and I am working towards becoming certified to help others get healthy.   I can estimate the macronutrient information for most foods within an impressive degree, and can spit facts about nutritional deficient diseases by their symptoms, and how to treat them.  
So, so humble.
On the other hand, I love ice-cream.  I am good at blocking out the nagging voice at the back of my head asking about what the real ingredients are in my meal as I drive through McDonalds.  I am also good at talking myself out of that morning run, or the workout I planned the night before.  I am even so talented that I can successfully avoid the pre-cooked and healthy meal in my refrigerator in favor of making nachos or ordering pizza.  My grand finale, however, was finding at least half of that weight I lost back in 2012.
I am a woman of many talents.
I say this because sometimes I feel like I am living a lie.  I spend my afternoon reviewing Anatomy for my personal training exam while snacking on Hershey’s Kisses.  I get in a quick workout, and then spend my evening after work eating my weight in cheese and apples in front of the TV.  
At this point, it’s all I can do to remind myself about moderation.  I have reverted back to my old ways.  But this time, instead of doing so because I don’t know better, I am repressing my better judgement.  Each time I reach for the fork, Fit Kelsey is holding a barbell and shaking her head in disappointment while I eat an entire box of macaroni and cheese. 
My name is Kelsey, and I am a big, fat fitness phony.
And hopefully, by admitting this, I will shame motivate myself into working out tomorrow for the first time in weeks.  Or, if not that, maybe do something else good for me.  Like eat breakfast, or actually get my recommended intake of fruits and vegetables.  
(Also, can we talk about that baby bicep in the picture?  If you look reaaallllyyy closely, you can see the shadow of a bicep poking through.  Shoutout to March 2014 Kelsey for PRing 110lbs for 10 reps on the bench press and feeling super proud about it, apparently.)

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What is “healthy”?

I have been very aware of my health and my body for as long as I can remember.  I distinctly remember weighing myself as early as 11 years old, after giving up sweets for two months in hopes that it would help me lose weight.  At 11 years old.

Ignore how totally wrong that is, first off.

That led to more and more crash dieting, until I found books that started to teach me more about health and nutrition while in high school.  This lead me to MyFitnessPal.com, which was my first real experience with something that could been considered “healthy” dieting (if there is such a thing). Then from there, I started to take nutrition classes in college, and read more information on my own.

This took me to my first serious weight loss journey that began three years ago, the summer before my junior year of college.  Using My Fitness Pal, and my new found knowledge of “clean eating”, I managed to lose 30 pounds in four months.

Since then, I’ve learned quite a bit more about eating “healthy”.  And my basic conclusion is that it is so entirely confusing, that it is no wonder that people have a hard time with it.

First off, we have been programmed that all fat is horrible, and all carbohydrates are bad, and sugar should be taken in with moderation.  This makes people afraid of things like fake butter/margarine (hydrogenated oils), milk, breads, pastas, rice, and candy, but also things like avocados, eggs, plant oils, whole grain bread, and fresh fruit.  So, does this put something like an avocado on the same level as a tablespoon of margarine?  A slice of white bread = a whole grain tortilla?  Or an orange on the same level as a donut?

Now, add in different points of view, such as:

*Paleo: No dairy, no grains, no legumes (peanuts), no processed foods, no white potatoes.  Eat how our ancestors ate.  Grass-fed meat, fruit, vegetables, and nuts.  The benefits of this diet have been long debated, but overall it promotes a whole foods diet.

Or,

*“Clean” eating: Not eating “chemicals” (or non-real food ingredients).  The premise is aiming for whole foods, no mystery ingredients or things you can’t pronounce.  Mostly plant based, include lean meats, whole grains, shoot for organics.   A lot of clean eaters dislike dairy as well, but it depends on your view.  Many clean eaters also stick to lower-calorie diets.

Or even,

Eating for your macros/Flexible dieting: Eating to fill specific grams of our macronutritents (“macros”), which are protein, sugar, and carbohydrates.  Specific amounts are calculated based on your specific needs, such as body mass, amount of body fat, etc, and give you a calorie count for the day.  Many subscribe to the “I can eat whatever I want” on this diet, because food is all just chemicals (scientifically speaking), so you should eat it in the ratios that your body requires, regardless of what actually makes up that food.  I.E., it doesn’t matter if you eat a donut or an apple, as long as whatever it is fits into your macronutritents for the day.

*Note, I say SOME feel this way, and do this, but not all.

Not to mention that you have vegans, vegetarians, the gluten debate, raw diets, alkaline acid diet, and much, much more.

It’s no surprise that we have an obesity epidemic with this many conflicting ideologies.  Based on all of these styles, how is someone who has very little nutritional knowledge supposed to be confident when creating a meal?

Someone wants to make chicken for dinner.  But they don’t have organic, free range chicken, so is it okay?  Then they want to add sides.  Fresh vegetables are good, but can they add real butter to it?  Or should they use the less calorie butter substitutes, but they have “chemicals”?  Then they want to add something else to the meal.  They have a frozen vegetable and rice mix that is marketed as “low fat” and “all natural” on the label, but the ingredient list has “chemicals”.  But it fits in their macro requirements for the day.  But it has dairy.  But it is brown rice and mixed vegetables.  Is it okay? Is it not okay?

These are the things I think about whenever I think about eating.  Where is the line?  Which lifestyle is right?  Is there a right diet?  What is “healthy”?  And how does including your mental status and happiness into that equation and diet style factor into what you consider to be “healthy”?

Even since losing weight three years ago, this is an idea I have fought with, and will probably continue to fight until I figure out what my definition of “healthy” is.

*Please note that these dietary lifestyles are described as I understand them, or how I’ve been taught to understand them. I have included the links to sites that I think do a decent job explaining it.  I am obviously not a doctor, nor an expert of nutrition or of these lifestyles. If you have a differing view on how these lifestyles or styles of eating are, please do not hesitate to let me know! The entire point of this blog is to illustrate how confusing this is, so I am happy to evoke a conversation about it! 🙂

 

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