Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Health Tips during the Holiday Season

Christmas day at C1 Aconcagua. where's
the wine?!
   Some things you may already know, but a good set of reminders anyway…

1. Excessive food and alcohol intake. Christmas celebrations involve countless night parties – (and Filipino parties always mean a bounty of meaty and mostly fatty dishes); and the traditional Noche Buena (Christmas Eve celebration) mostly with the never-ending Christmas Ham, Queso de Bola (cheese), and everything delicious. Barkadahan / close-friend get-together from your high school, college, 1st company you work for, friends in a social club, and another - may mean endless beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks. TIPS:

a. Take recovery drink before sleep-time (to combat hang-over, dehydration and electrolyte lost). Here’s an old post in preventing hang-over. Also to share – I recall a scene in Travel and Living channel, wherein Greeks take spoonful of olive oil BEFORE the drinking party. That is supposed to combat bad effects of liquor intake. Apparently, Italians and Spaniards do the same. I have not tried (no one serves olive oil in the bar in the Metro, or in parties) – but will, soon.  And by the way - avoid the Pomace Olive oil version.  I got lured by its cheaper price tag not knowing before that it's made from latak (remnants from pulp) extracted via solvents. 

b. If you can avoid fatty and meaty food – good. Green tea may help you w/ digestion – right after dinner. Take ‘recovery soup’ in-between or after serious drinking – something hot, with medicinal concoction such as ginger, garlic, pepper, olive oil even (this one to balance bad fatty food). If you’re the host – serve this towards the end of the party. The normal ‘recovery meal’ that I’ve came across in my outdoor-group parties were either hot ginger-based lugaw (congee), or instant noodles. Skip the coffee. If you are the host – consider serving a recovery soup. See post on Survival Soups.  More Food and Eating tips here (past post).

2. Less sleep. Every hour of sleep we skip may mean a day lost in our lifespan, repeated lost of sleeping hours can easily translate to months if not years of shortened lifespan. Ask the centenarians. With the combination of stressful business/office work (either ramp up of business sales, or just ramp up of work due to upcoming long leaves), frequent parties, and maybe even Simbang Gabi (night or early morning mass for Catholics) – it is a challenge to get a decent 6 hour sleep. We need 7 at least, ideally 8 hours. TIPS:

a. Take a siesta (noontime nap), difficult in the office but if you have a car in a shaded / not-so-hot parking lot – maybe an option. Eat small, quick lunch followed by a quick stroll – then nap!

b. After office (before your run/ gym / exercise – hopefully), take another nap, maybe even 1hr sleep. Though non-continuous sleep is no match for the health benefit of 8-hour night sleep, it is still better than puyat (sleep-deprived).

c. If you’re the commuter-type – GOOD, sleep in the bus/jeep / taxi/ someone’s car. Just be safe (ex. with a companion-who-wouldn’t-sleep). Or, consider ‘borrowing’ your papa’s driver if you’re bringing a car.

d. Kill the late-night TV or Facebook habit. Get home safe, take recovery drink, wash up, then sleep.

3. Stressing out. Stress weakens our body, immune system, etc. making us prone to sickness or disease. We worry about many things - what to buy as gifts! Long queues in shopping malls! BAD traffic! What to cook for Christmas dinner! Many urgent/ sudden work in office/business! And sometimes, driving and bouncing from one social activity to another. TIPS:

a. Take it easy. Keep a positive attitude even if you're rushing things. In the first place, we should have finished our gift shopping and wrapping 2 months ago (or at least 70% of it). And maybe not ideal, but not bad to give gift after Christmas, if one is to avoid the shopping chaos.  Or skip wrapping queue in mall - to lessen task and trash (use unused paper bags, re-useable manila paper, etc.  Or ask someone to help you shop and wrap - some would love doing that. Bad road traffic (jam) is a difficult challenge – plan your day and week to avoid the long road to stress-dom. Be very early or late in the party to avoid longer rush hours.

b. Don’t forget the routines. Call it exercise or whatever – don’t compromise fitness routines (one of the best stress-buster) ‘just because you’re busy’. A 30min run in the morning or right after work is better than nothing.

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