Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

The Boxing Day Revival Plan

The Boxing Day Revival Plan

You wake up inevitably feeling hungover, sluggish, bloated, and definitely lethargic. How are you going to survive another day of in-laws, step-children and duty visits to distant relatives?

1. A hair of the dog - but make it Pineapple Fizz - half unsweetened pineapple juice, half champagne. The natural enzyme of bromelain in the pineapple soothes the aching head, stomach and joints, and the bubbles give you the magic lift that only champagne can produce.

2. Take a large dose, at least 500 mg, of vitamin C with zinc. A strong antioxidant which helps neutralise the damage of yesterday's alcohol.

3. You must eat. Once you've downed the fizz and vitamin C, the best breakfast would be two scrambled eggs with the smoked salmon left over from yesterday. The B vitamins in the eggs soothe the jangled nervous system and the fish oils in the salmon are nature's own anti-inflammatory that gets rid of the headache.

4. For the rest of the day avoid too many of the salty nibbles but eat plenty of fruit, especially apples and pears for fibre, mangoes for healing enzymes and fresh blueberries for a super-boost of protective antioxidants.

5. Your poor old liver has taken a pasting in the last few days so give it a bit of relief by eating a succulent globe artichoke, or if you can't face the cooking take a dose of Thisilyn Artichoke [lnk] Extract mid-morning and bed-time.

6. If your spirits are flagging and your digestion rebelling, have a cup of strong ginger tea in the middle of the day - grate half an inch of fresh ginger root into a mug of boiling water, leave for 10 minutes covered, strain, add a teaspoon of honey and sip. Before bed have a glass of mint tea which tastes best made from a sprig of fresh mint leaves, boiling water and a slice of lemon.

7. You must get some exercise. Don't go to the gym or squash court but take a gentle cycle ride or a fairly brisk walk to get the blood flowing and work off some of those delicious extra calories.

8. Unless you want a three day attack of 'telly-belly' don't slump in the armchair and stare at the screen for the whole of Boxing Day. Compressing the stomach and folding it in half slows down the whole process and leads to indigestion, heartburn, embarrassing rumbling and even more embarrassing wind. Spend some time in the garden, in the potting shed, or vacuuming the carpets, and if you must watch the Boxing Day blockbuster, stick to an upright chair.

9. By the evening you'll want to eat again, so enjoy some cold turkey with lots of cranberry sauce, and make some traditional bubble and squeak with the leftover sprouts, carrots and peas, mashed into the potatoes - a huge dose of more of the antioxidant and cancer-protective benefits from these vegetables. Ignore the stuffing and don't eat the cold sausages.

10. During the evening why not make the family a large jug of spiced mulled wine. Put the juice of a large orange into a stainless steel, enamel or glass pan. Then add the thinly sliced peel of the orange, 2 cupfuls of water, a tablespoon of honey. Add another large orange, well washed and stuck with a dozen cloves. Add a cinnamon stick, a generous grating of nutmeg, bring to the boil and simmer for twenty minutes. Add a bottle of red wine - not cheap plonk, but not your best vintage either - and serve piping hot. Nutmeg makes you feel happy, cinnamon is a natural antibacterial, cloves are one of nature's most effective pain killers and who needs an excuse to drink red wine - even though it is good for your heart.


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