January 3, 2018

New Year’s Day self-care: How to look after yourself after a heavy night

Image credit: iStock/Traitov

If you’re dieting, you should really be avoiding any kind of heavy alcohol consumption. However, it’s the holiday season; you can be forgiven for overindulging a bit, especially on New Year’s Eve. Having a party on December 31st is traditional, and we wouldn’t want to deny you that fun.

Nevertheless, you should still be thinking about how to look after yourself before, during and after a big party. Very few of us are still able to shrug off a hangover like we used to, so it’s important to stay healthy and refreshed. So without further ado, here are our top tips for self-care around New Year’s Day.


The night before

There are a number of ways you can look after yourself on New Year’s Day, but it all starts on December 31st. We don’t want to stop you having fun, but you can still make sensible choices that will lead to you having a better time the next morning!

For example, when it comes to drinking, the best thing you can have is a spirit and low-calorie mixer. This is not only better for your waistline, it also isn’t full of sugar like a lot of drinks are. Anything too full of this substance will contribute to you having a bad morning the next day, so avoid any syrupy shots or extravagantly sweet cocktails.

One of the main reasons alcohol gives you a hangover is that it dehydrates you. You’ve probably heard this advice before, but drinking water will definitely help you the next morning. Staying hydrated throughout New Year’s Eve – even before the party – will go a long way towards you negating the worst parts of being hungover.


The morning after

So, you’ve just woken up after a great New Year’s Eve party. Your head’s hurting, you’re tired and grumpy, and you need a caffeine fix. But wait! Don’t reach for the coffee, no matter how tired you are.

Remember above, where we said that alcohol dehydrates you? Well, so does coffee. Your morning cappuccino is just going to add to the problem and make you feel even worse. The best thing to drink is water, water and more water.

If you want something a bit more effective, coconut water is a good option. It’s high in potassium and other electrolytes, which helps your body absorb the H2O it contains. It’s even more effective if you combine it with something salty, as sodium is another helpful electrolyte, or with a mineral-rich banana.

What about breakfast? Traditional hangover food usually involves some kind of fry-up, but all that grease is a bad idea and while a bit of salt is helpful, too much will just dehydrate you further.

However, you can keep the eggs, as these contain cysteine, which is known to break down acetaldehyde; one of the chemicals that is contributing to your hangover. They also contain plenty of vitamin B, which is one of the nutrients you’ll probably have lost plenty of if you drank too much.


The perfect hangover breakfast

Based on all this, we’ve come up with a perfect recipe for your hungover New Year’s Day. It’s a reimagined fry-up, but with most of the ingredients replaced with healthy alternatives and cooking methods. Make sure you have all this in your fridge in preparation for a delicious breakfast to welcome 2018.



  • About 80g mushrooms
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • About 30g of raw baby spinach
  • Two teaspoons of olive oil
  • Half an avocado
  • Two slices of wholemeal bread
  • Two eggs
  • About 100g of smoked salmon
  • One tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper



Finely chop the garlic and slice the mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat, then add the garlic and saute for about a minute. Add the mushrooms and reduce the heat to low. Stir regularly to prevent any burning.

Fill a pan up to about one-third full with cold water and bring it to the boil. Meanwhile, toast the bread and cut the avocado into slices. Cut the smoked salmon however you like it.

When the water is boiling, reduce it to a simmer and add the vinegar. Crack one of the eggs into a small bowl and gently tip it into the water. Repeat with the second egg. While they are poaching, add the spinach to the pan with the mushrooms and garlic and stir regularly until it has wilted.

After three to four minutes in the water, the eggs will have poached. Remove them from the water and put them on a plate with the smoked salmon and avocado. Top the toast with the mushroom and spinach mixture, season the whole thing with salt and pepper and tuck into your delicious breakfast!

The avocado will satisfy your body’s craving for fat – which is one reason you gravitate towards a fry-up when you’re hungover – and the salmon will provide you with vital omega-3 oils. The whole thing comes to just over 670 calories, which is enough to get you up and active sooner rather than later.


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