I fell off my healthy wagon at a wedding recently. I ate a chicken wing. And had a margarita. Then some deep fried cheese. And I topped it off with too much sparkling wine and a bout of Gangnam Style.
I’m not perfect. I’m so ashamed.
Actually, I’m not. I needed a good blow out. I needed to vent some pent up frustration from sitting at my desk chewing my cucumber sticks while less then 10 metres away the Strategy team eat their team lunch of fried chicken and chicken salt seasoned fries. No, I’m fine with it. Honest.
My point is, I’m not a quinoa obsessed, kale devouring, natural food robot.
As good as I felt at the time and as outrageous as my dance moves were, the next day I suffered like I have never suffered before. My body went in to what I can only describe as sugar, wine and cheese shock and made it it’s mission to purge the evil from my body in any way possible.
This resulted in me lying incredibly still, face down while trying to negotiate water into my mouth.
Had this been the way I spent the rest of my day, I probably would’ve been ok with that. But it wasn’t was it. Ooooh nooo siree.
Early the day before – pre-wedding – I had loftily suggested that Jeff and I go for one of our hill walks seeing as he was driving that night and I wasn’t going to be drinking that much (reformed booze hag alert) We’d both be feeling great the next day and we may as well make the most of it.
Well, one of us was feeling great.
‘Live and let live’ is not one of Jeff’s life mottos. Nor is ‘Let the person having the worst hangover ever lie on the couch and be alone with their remorse, self loathing and headache’. Jerk.
Jeff managed to get me out the door by about 11am. On any Sunday morning that’s impressive. He waved painkillers in front of my face like a carrot until he got me into the car. He’s tricky that Jeff.
To save you from a mostly uneventful, yet lengthy story, I’ll get to the good stuff.
Everything was going perfectly fine and I was actually feeling almost back to normal. We got to the top of the aptly named Boulder Hill. I took a photo – standing on a boulder. I took several more photos of boulders. We even ran back down to the half-way marker. Damn my reoccurring smugness.
I suggested we try a different track back. We hadn’t done this track before but it couldn’t be any more challenging than Boulder Hill. Because we were feeling so bold, we ran for the first couple of kilometres. Over the streams, around the mud puddles, through the swarm of cicadas (I screamed), down one hill, up another. Go team go!
After about 30 minutes, I started getting pins and needles in my finger tips and an overwhelming craving for apples. Odd. I looked down to see two giant lumps of ham staring back at me. My fingers had each swollen to the size of a dog roll and the skin was bursting like sausages cooking on a barbecue.
Did I panic? Of course I panicked! Did you read the bit about my fingers the size of dog roll?!
With no idea how far we had to go, no cellphone reception and no epipen or antihistamine, it’s pretty fair to say I panicked.
Jeff on the other hand, was cool calm and collected. There wasn’t really any other option than to keep going. I was mostly worried about the reaction becoming anaphylactic. The last time this happened I ended up with a tennis ball sized lump on my ass from an adrenalin injection.
After what seemed like the longest walk of my life, we reached the car and headed straight to the emergency department.
Several hours of observation and a prescription for industrial strength antihistamines and the nice doctors let me go home to singlehandedly eat a family sized chicken.
There is probably a good moral here somewhere. Don’t over indulge. Always carry a survival kit. Make sure you’re wearing clean undies on a bush walk, just in case. But I actually think it’s this:
Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, you have a blowout. It might be sugar; it might be three large pizzas with stuffed crust in one sitting; it might be one more glass of wine that turns into five or it may be ditching the run to watch a marathon of Breaking Bad.
Whatever it is, give yourself a break, and get back on the horse tomorrow. You’re not a chia munching, coconut water gulping, tofu loving robot after all. Enjoy the ride.
TOP HEALTHY HANGOVER TIPS
- Coconut water smoothies – raspberries, strawberries, coconut water + blend = done.
- Run up a hill. That will sort you out.
- Wear your awesome shorts and you will naturally feel better.
- Lie in the sun and soak up the Vitamin D goodness but wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen.
- Let the dog lick your face. I’m sure that I once read dog saliva fixes hangovers (maybe not science).
- Eat a nice, juicy apple.
- Stay in downward dog until the urge to vomit goes away.
- Flick through one of your healthy cookbooks for an hour trying to find something to cook and then instead, eat almost a whole ready-cooked roast chicken with nothing but a fork and your determination, while standing in your kitchen. It’s protein. Shut up.
- Don’t have an allergic reaction and end up in A&E.