Recently I have been considering the impact of choice on one’s health. It was kick-started in October by a fabulous few days in Kent courtesy of Vinyoga Deptford, where three days of twice/thrice daily yoga, meditation and (for me, eyeopeningly-good) vegan cuisine was a fantastic chance to reset, relax and reconsider. I was once again joined by my preferred yoga, wine, life companion and general accompaniment to all bon vivant, Divya.
Unlike literally everyone else on the retreat, we had brought wine along to accompany us for the weekend. This very quickly became medicinal as I succumbed to a hibernating cold. However, as I was assured by yoga teacher Angie, the retreat was for whatever we wanted to do… and hence our retox-after-detox was completely accepted.
The weekend left me with several thoughts. Firstly, being vegan for a couple of days a week might not be entirely impossible (although I still have a hard time reconciling that nuts make milk). Secondly, twice-daily yoga leaves you with an incredible feeling of content and flexibility. Thirdly, I am one of the angriest people when faced with a room full of yogas. Finally, for me, it is so important to have that balance of fun (A.K.A., wine) and health.
With Christmas fast approaching, you can barely turn a page or click a link without “Ten Tips to Get Through the Party Season” or “Deptford Mums have One Weird Tip to Avoid a Hangover on Tuesday”. And, as with my tips for every occasion, I might as well pile on.
Rule #1: Sandwiches are the King of Food
Before any party function, Pret a Manger, or your preferred merchant, is your friend. Early AM hours hanging over toilets (or Ubers) have taught me that eating is not cheating. If for some inexplicable reason you skip lunch, you’d better order two baguettes.
Rule #2: Stick to what you know
My personal rule is that the most complex cocktail one should order is a gin and tonic. Anything else is just obnoxious (unless you’re in a specialist bar). For me, it’s a light red wine.
Rule #3: I pay taxes for Corporation Pop
Water. Water. Water. Water. If you drink a litre before bed, you WILL throw up. If you fill your wine glass between drinks with water, it will stagger things out.
Rule #4: Keep your routine
Personally I’m not in the habit of having so many social events that my calendar is awash with commitments. However, I do get severely anxious if I can’t have at least one night at home during the weekday. Making time for normality – be that a usual exercise class, a film, or just slobbing at home reheating some leftover lasagne, is so vital to reset. Just because it’s December doesn’t mean that the last 11 months have to go out of the window.
Rule #5: You will get a hangover
Let’s face it. You will be hungover at least once. You will need access to a purveyor of bacon sandwiches, coffee and whatever else you need. You will feel like death because not only will you have drunk a bottle of wine on an empty stomach, but some fucker will have sneezed on the rail you’re hanging onto on the Tube home. If it’s the office party, chances are 50% of the people sitting around you will feel the same. If it’s another event, work from home the next day.