How to Decompress When you Overindulge, Overdrink and Plain Ol’ Overeat Around the Holidays:

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It is a common complaint around the holidays…good intentions…and then a night or day of excessive food consumption and/or alcohol…and then the aftermath is feeling miserably uncomfortable and ill.



I’d love to share some ways to save yourself some of this distress around the holidays and STILL enjoy time with your family, friends and loved ones!


Let’s start with general tips for when you have over consumed too much food, or the wrong types of foods…because, let’s be real, don’t we all fall pry to this around the holidays? Your Mom makes your FAVORITE cookie, cake, dessert..and you have eaten far too many servings and the sugar rush is making you miserable? OR, your grandmother’s sweet potato casserole is TO DIE FOR and you, well, literally, died and went to Heaven…and then fell into Hell!


First and foremost:


  1. Don’t beat yourself up about the indulgence…
  2. Lemon water and lots of it! The following day, give your liver some love and drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of filtered water with lemons squeezed into it. It will help replenish your hydration and support your liver simultaneously
  3. If your stomach is upset and this happens frequently with clients, consume ginger or fennel teas. These are easy to purchase online, Whole Foods or better grocery stores and sipping ginger/fennel tea has active properties to support excessive gassiness, bloating and stimulate gastric and biliary juices to not impede digestion. You can also chew fennel seeds, which are amazingly simple ways to ease digestive distress.
  4. Drink a green cold pressed juice. I’ve blogged about juicing in other posts, but this is a great way, if your stomach is feeling up to it, increase your intake of vitamins and minerals and get you feeling better faster!
  5. Avoid heavier meals for 48 hours…which means, don’t let one day’s overindulgence lead to many days of gluttony! Choose a light salad, green juice or pair lighter meals with cooked veggies. Avoid anything too carbalicious, too heavy or saucy.


Now, if you really did yourself in and had a hard night with excessive alcohol there’s fascinating supplements that can utilize to lessen the likelihood of sustaining a horrific hangover.  All supports really are designed to support detoxification processes, which occur namely in the liver, but also the lungs, skin and colon.


We know that too much alcohol make the body ill equipped to keep up with the need to break down more and more alcohol into acetaldehyde and ultimately your liver and glutathione levels can’t keep up…and then you start feeling buzzed and then later drunk.


So, years ago, when I worked as an ER nurse in Baltimore, we saw lots of Tylenol overdoses….many of whom were fatal, but one of the main ways of addressing Tylenol overdoses helps those that consume too much alcohol too!


NAC or N-acetyl cysteine, is a treatment used to protect the liver from injury with Tylenol overdoses, BUT is also really helpful with alcohol overindulgences, too. It helps replenish levels of intracellular antioxidant glutathione, which helps fight oxidative stress and is CHEAP and readily available. Think of it this way…NAC helps us FEND OFF hangovers!


And why is glutathione so important? It has many incredible properties, including: it reduces inflammation, oxidative stress, improves insulin sensitivity and it even fights H.pylori by inhibiting inhibiting its’ growth and inflammatory cytokines! So cool!

It is the master antioxidant in the body and we make less of it as we get older and deal with illness and disease, boo hoo!


So, these are my top tips for reducing your likelihood of having a hangover:


  1. Stay hydrated…lots of filtered water
  2. EAT before you drink! Seems simple, but alcohol is absorbed directly across the small intestine, so if you buffer this with some food, you will not get tipsy, drunk or buzzed without some effort!
  3. Stick to clear alcohols, namely vodka, gin or rum. We know that sugar in fruity drinks and the composition of beer is super inflammatory and harder to digest.
  4. Use Liposomal glutathione 500-1000mg before bed. This is specifically formulated to avoid being broken down before it can be readily used by the body. I like Bullet proof brand or Dr. Amy Myer’s Brands
  5. Use NAC 600mg before and after you have consumed alcohol.
  6. Use Vitamin-C 1-3gm before and after you have consumed alcohol. It helps potentiate the effects of the NAC.
  7. Use Magnesium..your body gets easily depleted in electrolyes, including magnesium and potassium with alcohol use. Even an Epsom salts bath will suffice. We also know that magnesium has amazing anti-oxidant properties

Well, I hope that these tips were helpful. Do you have anything that I missed that you have used successfully if you have overeaten or over consumed alcohol? If so, please share!













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  • Susan Kaiser

    Hello Cynthia,

    Earlier this morning, I saw you on Good Morning Washington. I am a Crohn’s disease sufferer, and I am amazed that you are advocating many of the supplements and habits that I must incorporate into my daily routine. I have learned these strategies from reading as well as trial and error.

    Your discussion regarding inflammation pertains to my daily situation. I take cod liver oil, ginger, turmeric, and probiotics every day. Another supplement I cannot live without is garlic, and I feel the difference if I miss it.

    Another food that I have daily is salmon. I never thought I would buy so much canned sockeye salmon, but it is quickly absorbed so it lets my digestive system get more rest. Your suggestions for post-indulgence inflammation hit so close to home for me due to my Crohn’s. Therefore, I would also recommend a diet high in salmon, and temporarily skipping meat or poultry as part of it.

    I also saw you on GMW discussing intermittent fasting. At first, I was shocked at this. Then I remembered that I used to stop eating entirely by 7:00 p.m. but still have vitamins, minerals, homeopathic, and herbal supplements. That helped my Crohn’s tremendously, and I am trying to get back to that schedule. My inflammation appears to go up at night so resting the system at that time is crucial.

    I have recently started applying principles of reflexology into my routine. I never thought I would be a believer in that, but it works, especially for digestive issues. There are many reflexology charts available online. It is so easy to practice at home on your own feet. If you have covered reflexology, I have not yet found it in your site.

    Moreover, I have also been gluten-free for 13 years. When I asked the doctor to test me for celiac, he told me that it was impossible. So I went gluten free, and my joint pain and migraines disappeared. I have had Crohn’s for nine years now. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease a year after I was on long-term and strong antibiotics.

    Cynthia, are you a Crohn’s disease survivor? Or is someone close to you a Crohn’s patient? It all seems to coincidental. I am very thankful to GMW for having you on TV. I will keep reading your site so I can decide where to go from here regarding your classes or appointments.

    Sincere regards,


  • Cynthia Thurlow

    Hi Susan, I am not a Crohn’s survivor, but do have many close friends with the disorder and am very familiar with it. I’m so glad to know that you found health and wellness through dietary changes and complimentary therapies. I appreciate your support and please do reach out if there’s something you are particularly interested in learning more about. Warmly, Cynthia

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