The Art of Mastering the Morning [Week 6 - Final Week]

HELLO loyal readers (mom)!

Welcome to my last blog post for my summer series :(

Let me start of by apologizing for leaving you in the dark the past two weeks - I got horribly sick the MORNING of my 21st birthday, yeah like pre-alcohol (except for a harmless bottle of champagne at midnight). Of course, I still went out which probably only made it worse and I had a fully-fledged flu for the next week. I missed my last week of work except for my last day when I went into the office and honestly it was all a blur because #DayQuil is my best friend. And then the next week I was babysitting everyday 8am-6:30pm so no fauxga mornings there, there was only room for pure hustle. 

ALSO: can we talk about something? When I was babysitting a 10 & 7 year old all they wanted to do was watch youtube videos of strange people playing minecraft?? Like this is the future generation of VR and this is how they chose to spend their time??? They thought it was "hilarious and interesting" but never laughed once??? Is this what it's like to feel old?? Are "all the kids doing it"???? Please let me know I'm very confused. 

Scientifically, what is the best cure for a hangover? 

Pounding headache, dizzyness, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, achey everything - the hangover has been taking down good men and women since biblical times. So like I said, I'm going to write on my experiments with hangover cures because #science. I'm a strong believer that there isn't one end-all-be-all cure to the dreaded post-drunkard state of deterioration. I think whatever works for you, works for you. But there's definitely some that are stupid and we're going to talk about them. 

1. "Just sweat it out!" 

Okay, I get how you need to get out of bed. But a hangover is a direct result of you poisoning your body. However, our bodies are literally designed to filter out toxins all day and our bodies can't store alcohol.  Your liver filters out about 90-95% of alcohol in your body and the remaining 5% that isn't processed filters out through your breath, sweat and urine. I believe partnered with eating a healthy breakfast and drinking a shat ton of water, working out can lead to you feeling better. Full disclosure: it's also very convenient for us lazy people if this hangover remedy isn't effective. 

2. Chug Gatorade and/or Coconut Water

I personally am a huge fan of liquids when it comes to curing a hangover. Gatorade has the electrolytes and the placebo effect you need for that extra boost. I didn't like coconut water until I started drinking it when I was hungover and now it is like a precious nectar to me. 

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means its causes you to produce more urine. That’s why you have to go to the bathroom so much when you drink, and it also means you’re at risk for getting dehydrated.
— Danielle Hamo, a registered dietician and licensed nutritionist.

3. Pedialyte

Yes. It's gross, but it has all the vitamins and nutrition your body is crying out for when it's hungover. But let's talk about something: Pedialyte was designed for babies who have diarrhea. The company has since then realized it's ability to market to disgustingly hungover 20-somethings, but it was still designed to rehydrate sick babies (what's the difference, really?). So what makes Pedialyte so special?

 "A bottle of Pedialyte has twice the sodium and five times as much potassium as the same size bottle of Gatorade--with fewer than half the calories (around 100, compared to 240 in a sports drink)." So basically, Pedialyte has a tonnnn of sodium which tells your body to start retaining water and therefore helps you rehydrate better. It's not a mysterious savior, it's just a salty drink made for poopy babies. Perfect for hungover college students. 

4. Greasy Burger with Fries. 

As much as I hate this remedy, this is the route I choose after by 21st birthday. Well, not exactly. Replace a "greasy burger with fries" with "Chickfila chicken biscuit with hash browns and coconut water". Of course, it's a temporary fix. The comfort our favorite guilty pleasure foods give us supplies us with the psychological relief we need. But if we're going to suffer, can it at least be with a delicious breakfast in front of us? However, even though greasy food isn't a true solution to your hangover, food definitely can be. 

The best hangover remedy? The one that works?


5.  2 Advil and a large glass of water before bed

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's medical school (and he's a Kidney specialist) said the root of hangovers isn't that the body lacks nutrients after a long night out. Instead, it's just that the body produces chemicals when breaking down alcohol that are toxic and pain-inducing. He claims no matter what you do, you just have to be patient and wait for the symptoms to pass while rehydrating your body. So if there's no cure to the hangover, what do we do? Take premeditative measures. 

Before you go to bed, take one or two Advil and drink at least 40oz of water. I also try to drink one glass of water between every alcoholic drink and whenever I'm able to pull this off, I wake up feeling great. The only problem with this avoid-based strategy is that drunk people aren't always the most responsible. But I live by the practice that if you're too drunk to remember to drink water before bed, you're too drunk. Balance, my friends. Be nice to your body and it'll be nice back. Binge drinking is an American cultural norm, but it doesn't have to be your norm. Know your limits, drink yo water, and enjoy a nice, headache-free morning. 


Reasons why you don't meditate and how to get past them:


1. "It's boring to sit there. I feel like I'm wasting time!"

I totally get how meditation is boring. When I first started meditating, I sought out some words of wisdom from our good family friend who is a professional yogi. She said that she once had a monk tell her that he wasn't "going to meditate" but he was going to "sit" because saying that you're "going to meditate" implies you're going to do something when, in fact, meditating is the act of doing nothing. But there's just one problem: people don't like doing nothing (myself included). 

Our society today pushes the idea that you always need to be doing something productive. There's always something to do. And that's just how it is, we live in the United States where contributing to an innovative society is ingrained into our culture. Being a driven, motivated, hard worker is not a bad thing. I'm completely guilty of saying this! Even I didn't meditate this morning because I thought "oh well I really just have to write this blog post and I feel like if I try to meditate I'm just going to be thinking about other things because I'm anxious and it's like super hot outside". 

So here's a solution: don't think of meditation as doing nothing. Think of it as an investment into your mental and physical health. 10 minutes a day. I stand in the CHIPOTLE line for longer than 10 minutes. Think of how many minutes you spend on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Reddit/Snapchat a day! 5-10 minutes? That's a minuscule amount of time to give for the incredible difference you will feel mentally, emotionally and physically. 

2. I can't concentrate for that long. 

Concentrating for a long time isn't what meditation is about. Honestly, it's almost better if you're easily distracted and meditation will actually help you learn how to concentrate better. Meditation is about the practice of cleansing your mind. It's about checking in with your physical and mental health. It's about learning how to be present. When meditating, the moment you get distracted but gently bring your attention back to the present you are doing exactly what meditation is designed for. Being "good" at meditating isn't necessarily a good thing - it's supposed to be challenging in a sense. 

3. I'm not into that spiritual, hippy-crap. 

You don't have to be, I'm not either. I'm not buddhist or hindu - I'm a Christian and I've actually found that the practice of meditating is a lot like the practice of my faith. Following Christ isn't about being a perfect sinless person (aka concentrating perfectly while meditating without distraction). Following Christ is about learning how to realize your flaws (realize you've been distracted) and coming back to the cross (coming back to the breath). 

Meditating can be purely a physical practice. Yeah, Jesus meditated. Yeah, a lot of mantras stem from Hindu and Buddhist teachings. But just because you don't personally believe in those religions doesn't mean you can't learn from their teachings. 

4. I don't have time. 

"I don't have time" translates into "it's not a priority" 100% of the time. 

"You should sit and meditate for 20 minutes a day. Unless you're busy. Then you should sit for an hour." -Old Zen saying

5. I don't know how to or even where to start learning. 

Down. Load. Head. Space. Download Headspace. Or Calm. Either app is amazing. They'll remind you daily to meditate and motivate you to come back the next day. They'll guide you through the practice and teach you techniques you can use everyday to become a happier, more present and calm person. 

Okay. That's the end. Thanks for following this series and making this summer wonderful. It forced me to research new topics, practice discipline and be more intentional about my health. I really enjoyed seeing all your snapchats, hearing about your morning routines and struggling in solidarity with me. Go forth and conquer this Fall. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books:

When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.
— Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist