It’s mid-June and summer is almost here. For many this means Europe vacations, weekends at the lake and the kids home ALL DAY. It also means that the Calgary Stampede is right around the corner. And while you may be busy dusting off your cowboy boots, purchasing Instagram-worthy western wear, and making (too) many plans, now is also a good time to prepare for your Stampede health. Because as much fun as the 10 days can offer, wouldn’t it be nice if it didn’t leave you feeling like you need at least double that amount of time to detoxify your body?
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is indeed great – but for many of us, it involves too much alcohol, poor food choices and little sleep. But, you say, that’s what it’s all about! And don’t worry, you don’t have to forgo any Stampede fun in order to emerge feeling good after it’s over. Instead, there are several simple things you can do, starting today, to mitigate some of the not-so-happy consequences.
1. STAY HYDRATED
We begin the list with a practice that not only helps keep us alive, but also: alleviates hangovers, reduces puffiness, improves the skin’s appearance and aids digestion, among other essential things. Of course drinking water is a great way to stay hydrated – especially whilst attending a Stampede party where free alcohol is being served. Drink water all day. Start with a large glass in the am, and try to consume it as the day goes on (the traditional rule is about eight glasses per day). When drinking alcohol, try to drink a glass or bottle of water in between each boozy libation – this will not only help keep you hydrated but will also slow down and limit your alcohol intake.
You can also keep hydrated with more tasty drinks, like smoothies chock-full of hydrating foods and coconut water. High in naturally occurring electrolytes, many of which you may need after a day or night of Stampeding, coconut water is one of the best ways to hydrate your body and skin, while also curing you of the dreaded hangover. Made Foods has several new and delicious smoothies starring coconut water and other super-hydrating foods such as apple, cucumber and pineapple.
The Em’Pear’or Strikes Back (coconut water, apple, cucumber and pear), Beauty & the Beet (beets, apples, hibiscus tea, coconut water, blackberry, orange, ginger and honey) and Pineapple Express (coconut water, pineapple, pineapple juice, carrot, banana, orange, goji berries, cashew and hemp seeds) are all super hydrating.The Cucumber Mint Iced Tea – which contains green tea, honey, cucumber, mint and basil – can also help rehydrate and refresh you.
2. EAT TO FEEL BETTER
Chances are, you will be hungover at some point during the 10 days of party. Moreover, you may have to go to work while being hungover! But never fear. There are foods that can help you feel better and get through the day.
Eggs are a great hangover food and, as luck would have it, are delicious for breakfast too! If you’re too ill and have no time to cook, stop by one of Made Foods seven convenient locations and pick up a breakfast including eggs. There are many delicious options. The Greens, Eggs and Naan (scrambled eggs, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, chickpeas, spinach, sweetened yogurt and naan) is a great way to kick your hangover’s butt. The Wakey, Wakey, Eggs & Bakey (scrambled eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, baby spinach, roasted vegetable puree and a whole wheat tortilla) is another satisfying choice. And the Bacon & Egg Breakfast Muffin (eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese and green onion) is a quick and easy on-the-go option.
If it’s just an egg you’re after, grab the Egg-cellant – a free range, organic and antibotic-free hard-boiled egg.
Choose leafy greens at lunch. Made Foods Green Goddess Salad (quinoa, cabbage, kale, tomato, cucumber, red onions, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and Green Goddess Dressing) will definitely make you feel better. The Chicken Hummus Wrap (grilled chicken, hummus, spinach, tomato, red onion and feta cheese) is another tasty and filling option.
And if by dinner time you’re still not doing well, try the Been There, Thai’d Thai, a yummy Thai green curry which includes broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, carrots, zucchini, snap peas, brown rice, cilantro, lime and ginger – a well-known cure for nausea.
3. SNACK WISELY
While running from one Stampede party to the next, refuel with healthy snacks. This will help you avoid those not-so-healthy options (i.e. fried foods) which will inevitably greet you at said next party. A good snack will also help slow down the time it takes the alcohol you have/will consume to affect your brain, as well as fills you up and helps prevent you from drinking more drinks.
Made Foods has several delicious and healthy snack options, including the Apple Ginger Fruit On The Go, the Mixed Seed Bars, the Super Oat Granola Bars and the Mountain Trail Mix. All of these will give you the healthy boost you need to make smart choices while Stampeding.
4. EAT TO SLEEP
If you find yourself going to bed later because you’re having so much fun partying, try to eat foods that will at least help you have a good sleep. Almonds are a great sleep food – they are a high source of magnesium, a mineral needed for good sleep. The Super Oat Granola Bars and the Mountain Trail Mix both contain loads of almonds.
Chickpeas are another great sleep-inducing food. They are a great source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin, the hormones that regulate your sleep-wake cycles. Made Foods’ Hemp Seed Hummus makes for the perfect before-bed snack.
5. REMEMBER: THIS HAPPENS EVERY YEAR!
Try to remember that the Calgary Stampede is an annual event (it will happen again next July! and the July after that! and so on…), so you don’t have to party like it’s 1999 every night! It’s a 10-day celebration of the city and it’s Western Heritage, not an excuse to act like a 15-year-old left home alone with the liquor cabinet and an unlimited credit card.
So try to behave like a responsible adult. Or, at the very least, behave like a responsible adult now and stock up on all of Made Foods’ hydrating, hangover-curing, sleep-enhancing, healthy and delicious foods. Your Stampede-self (whoever he or she turns out to be) will thank you.