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The pre-Christmas party season can wear out even the hardiest of constitutions but these quick energy-boosting tips will leave you feeling as good as new, says Samantha Wong


Healthy eating is often the first thing to suffer when you’re par tying, so try to at least aim for three energy-rich meals and two snacks a day. Hungover or not, start as you mean to go on: A good breakfast makes you less likely to snack on all those sugary Christmas treats later in the day. Try a ‘grill-up’ rather than a fry-up; two poached eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes provide the perfect sustained energy pick-me-up.

A heavy supper with buckets of wine is likely on the agenda come evening, so keep lunch light but energising by pairing complex carbohydrates with protein and a little bit of healthy fat. Top wholegrain bread with a few slices of healthy fat in the form of avocado. Pile on tomatoes, bean sprouts and spinach – all packed with vitamins and minerals – and use canned tuna or shredded chicken breast for protein.

Another easy lunch option is a salad with lots of vegetables, beans for protein and a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar dressing. For a quick energy boost throughout the day, fresh fruit and vegetable juices are your go-to. Juices that combine fruit, milk and pine nuts actually tell the brain you’re full – plus they keep energy levels topped up for longer. Whizz up orange, apple and chocolate with milk thistle extract for a truly beneficial Christmas treat. Whatever you do avoid diet sodas, as these speed-up the stomach-emptying process so you end up eating more canapés.

When you need a snack, almonds are a great choice. Research shows that a handful a day helps you reduce your daily calorie intake by stopping ‘bad’ snacking. Stick to those with the skin on as they help to inhibit fat absorption.


There’s no simple answer as to why we bloat, as there’s such a wide range of possibilities. Usually, it’s down to air getting trapped in our digestive system, from either talking too much while eating or unconsciously gulping when stressed. Fizzy drinks can cause fast bloating – and all is made worse byeating high-fat foods that take longer to digest, keeping trapped air around for longer. No surprise, as we guzzle sparkling wine and eat rich food, bloating can be a real issue in the lead-up to Christmas.

To stop or at least reduce bloating, eat slowly, talk less and don’t chew gum. Lactose (in milk) and soya are notorious for those susceptible, and bloating is often worse during PMT. Giving up fizzy drinks and sparkling mineral water helps, as does avoiding sugar-free sweeteners that contain sugar alternatives. A salt-rich diet makes our bodies hold on to excess fluid, so cut the salt. Avoid pulses, sprouts and cabbage which tend to cause bloating within an hour.

There’s no de-bloating magic bullet but drinking peppermint tea between meals definitely helps, as does taking a daily probiotic. De-stressing is also important, as is stomach massage, as both help shift trapped gas. If you need to de-bloat fast, try this Hollywood pre-red carpet diet for 36 hours before a big night; it’s only a short-term measure. Stick to protein, salad and soft vegetables and cut out carbs, caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Also, forgo salt – this alone can mean the difference of 1 to 1.5 kilograms over four to five days.


When time is short and energy levels are low, try these sure-fire ways to top up your body’s batteries. Avoid the urge for something sugary for an energy boost; instead, go for a natural sugar source, like a sweet fruit such as mango or grapes. These satisfy that sugar urge without the subsequent slump.

Coffee can be useful when you drink it the Italian way, by rationing it wisely. Go for one cup in the morning and one cup in the afternoon when you really need it. And there’s nothing wrong with adding a teaspoon of sugar for an added lift. Or have a cup of matcha tea, this powered form of green tea comes with the same hit as a cup of coffee but with a lower dose of caffeine and, as an added bonus, it is high in antioxidants.

Oxygenating the body is one of the fastest ways to energise it, so try a stimulating breath exercise. Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose keeping your mouth closed. Keep the breaths short – three in and three outs in one second. Make it noisy.

A shot of vitamin C is another tried-and-tested energy hit to try. Take two 500mg capsules when needs must. Boost the supplement’s effects with a yoga stretch. Lie on the floor with your legs up against the wall. This sends blood and energy down into the organs, meaning they function more efficiently.

Looking for another way to revitalise a tired mind and body? Take a warm, not hot sea-salt bath. This age-old therapeutic soak promotes relaxation and
sleep, while supporting skin health, muscle and joint relaxation and mineral absorption. Use unrefined sea salt, and set aside at least 15 minutes.


When you finally get to bed, sleep with the windows open because anything that makes you feel stuffy keeps you awake. Bedroom temperature should be cooler than in the rest of the flat. And invest in ionizers particularly if you smoke. They clean the atmosphere for that sleepy, sea-air effect. Don’t use scented candles, they do the opposite.

Alcohol dysregulates hormones, which is one of the reasons you wake up feeling fat, lethargic and achy after a big night. The first thing to reach for is an easy-to-take rehydrating drink. Ola Loa provides a stronger detox than the popular Berocca or Emergen C, and it’s packed with vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin D, magnesium and zinc, along with electrolytes.

When you’re par tying hard, natural levels of vitamins and minerals fall, so it’s important to supplement daily. Boost your intake of vitamin C (it restores cellular health damaged by alcohol consumption) and B vitamins, which are necessary for energy, a good mood and cognition. Take magnesium (it supports relaxation, sleep and nervous system functioning) and zinc, which restores hormonal balance and the immune system after drinking.

You can also help counter the effects of the night before, with Nux Vomica 30, a popular homeopathic remedy. It helps relieve the digestive stress and acidity caused by too much alcohol. Take a probiotic too, to restore your gut’s microbial balance.

After popping all those pills, take a shower, get dressed and find time for a grill-up somewhere outdoors on your way to work. Follow the tips outlined above and you’ll be ready to hit the town again by 6pm. Before you head out, remember to take Liver Support – a clinical-grade formula containing milk thistle. It’s like first-aid for an over-partied liver.

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