Gluten-free vegan hangover food

We held our housewarming party last night.  Old friends, new friends, work friends, church friends, and two neighbors.  And alcohol.  Holy frick ,so much alcohol. This will not be an artfully done expose on the science behind these hangover foods.  This is simply my hung-over attempt at providing you, dear Gluten-free Vegan, a concise list of what I was scouring google for all morning.

For starters…B12 and water before sleep.  I don’t care how late it is or how drunk you are, you have got to remember this one.  Or make sure you designated friend-not-having-fun knows what you need.  This is the Holy Grail of all miracle hangover preventatives.  My worst debauchery has nothing on B12 and water.

Water! Water water water.  Does this need explaining?  Ok good.

Raw honey* –You need to get a good quality honey, something raw and not messed with too much.  Honey is packed with antioxidants and concentrated fructose, which you need to flush those toxins out of your system. The fructose will help your blood sugar stabilize; alcohol is mainly sugar, which causes your pancreas to produce an excessive amount of insulin to try and bring the sugar level down.  It produces too much, which brings it down too far, which causes this terrible headache and makes you ravenous.  Low blood sugar will make the nausea worse as the day drudges on, so you need to get this stabilized, pronto.  I like honey on almonds; its messy, but packed with much needed nutrients.

Naked juice, or blend your own (INCLUDE A BANANA!!). No orange or grapefruit, because these can irritate you’re your stomach.  This is good for, again, getting your blood sugar raised and stabilized and is easy on queasy tummies.  Banana, coconut water, some easily digestible berries, greens, honey, and this smoothie has the potential to change your life (er, day). 

Banana – We’ll delve into this more (see quinoa), but your muscles are seriously depleted of amino acids after a night of excessive drinking, hence the shakes and weakness.  A nice ripe banana will restore your body’s potassium levels.  Coconut water is a beast at potassium restoration as well.

Qiunoa – since alcohol sneaks in and robs your body of its amino acids, you’ll need to replenish these protein building blocks with the perfectly balanced amino acid profile of Quinoa.  Quinoa is the gluten-free vegan’s best friend.  Make it like oatmeal the morning after, stir in some berries (sugar) and almonds (fat) and you’re good to go.

Peppermint tea will help settle the stomach, as will chamomileGreen tea, though caffeinated, is great at detoxing the liver and super high in antioxidants.  Go easy until you’re feeling more hydrated, but you should be drinking green tea everyday anyway.

Speaking of caffeine…good God, all I want hungover is a mocha.  Coffee is going to dehydrate you further, so take. it. easy.  However, lets be serious; a day without coffee is a day that sucks, I always say.  I dosed my (small[ish]) cup of coffee today with a teaspoon of raw cocoa powder and honey.  Then I started googling hangover remedies and you know what?  My drink rocked.  We already know about honey, but chocolate, too, is excellent for hangovers.  It’s packed with antioxidants, helps raise your low blood sugar, and stimulates the pleasure center of the brain by releasing serotonin and dopamine.  And who doesn’t want their brain’s pleasure centers stimulated whilst fighting a hangover?

Also, chips and salsa.  I don’t know why but this is all I want to eat post alcoholic frenzy.

Luckily for me, miso soup is free at my workplace, so when I drag my sorry ass in there this evening I’ll will be helping myself to more than a few servings.  Bring on the beneficial bacteria!

Bonus tip; take your dog for a walk.  She’s bored to death, your party stressed her out, and the fresh air and exercise will do you good.

*There are so many ways to get your blood sugar stabilized; you need not feel like you’re missing out if you’re a honeybee empathizing vegan.  I almost excluded it from the list, but because I eat honey (for now) I figured I’d be truthful and include it.

I own a broom.

I’ve been in my new home for a week.  One week and one day.
We have bought pots and pans, a broom, toilet paper.  We have turned on internet, water and utilities.  I rode my bike to work today for the first time.  (5.2-mile round trip.)   Tonight I am using our utensils and stove for the first time, cooking* lentils, quinoa and random veggies.  I am also drinking wine my roommate brought home from her trip back home to Portugal.  My dog is lying at my feet, the Civil Wars are streaming from my laptop, and I am genuinely content

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I had a few days with the house to myself.  My roommates were either in Portugal or else working too much to be able to move in.  I had days to walk around my empty home with Kira, nights to get to sleep silently and in the dark.  I read.  I walked to Starbucks. I got acquainted with my home and my intentions here.  I found myself comforted by Kira, and comforted by my reassuring her; ‘this is our home for the next twelve months.  This is where we live, this is where we’ll be at the end of the day.  You can relax now.  You don’t have to think about it for the next year.  And a year is eternity, haven’t you noticed?’.

Rest.  Security.  Stability.  I never thought I wanted it until I really didn’t have it.  And even though this is temporary stability, it is a weight off my shoulders nonetheless.  I am so content; school, the ultimate stability, begins next Monday (Intro to Nutrition, Food and Culture, and Math) and my job is actually fun.  We’re allowed and encouraged to get along and communicate with our co workers, even the cooks.  We can eat between tables, so we don’t, I dunno, have dangerously low blood sugar, contract a complex migraine headache, have it mistaken for a stroke, and go into hospital debt.

I already love my roommates, and I love this location.  It’s technically Tempe, but north of the lake, which provides a comforting separation from ASU and the Mill Ave lifestyle.

Home.  Its such a complicated idea.  Because what is home on earth, when you know this isn’t your final resting place?  How can you feel at home when you know you were intended for something more and something other?  I used to full-out reject the idea of “settling down”; I was attracted to transience, other-worldliness, and the rejection of physical possessions.

These days?  The attraction is still there, but it is mellowed by my longing to fit into my own space.  To love my location, to let the world slip off my shoulders at the end of the day, to know where I’ll be sleeping for the foreseeable future.  I am craving stability in my friendships and the place I end up at night.  I am aching for community and for normalcy.  I want something that’s mine.

I am tired of so violently rejecting commitment.  I’ve got, for the first time in years, ⅖ of my family living within twenty miles of me.  I own a broom.

I want to experience holding my lifestyle (even with its legally binding commitments) with an open hand. I want to be neither attached, nor angrily rejecting, the Stuff of Earth. I want to be here, now, present and aware, and I want to be excited for the plans and unknowns of the future.

*I am a broke gluten-free vegan with pet deposits and school payments, and I thought I could go raw at the height of all this spending.  C’mon Self, give me a break; we’re already eating things like sprouted quinoa, for God’s sake.

Kira, pt. two.

My dog killed a cat.
Just let those words roll around in your mouth a minute.  Wait ‘till they’re good and chewed before you try to swallow.  Let them sit in your stomach and digest a few days, and then write about it.

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When I finally got the keys to my new house, of first importance was retrieving my dog from the generous family in Gilbert who was taking care of her.  Upon this joyful reunion, however, I innocently asked how Kira did with the woman’s cats.

“Oh…she killed one.”

She killed one.

If it wasn’t so tragic it’d be hilarious, don’t you think?   “Oh, thanks for taking care of my pet…sorry she mauled and killed yours.”  I called my friend the moment I left the property.  “Well, that’s awkward,” she said.

This has prompted much thought on Animal nature, regardless of Petsmart training classes, personalized tags, human names and shared beds.  I can anthropomorphize the crap out of my dog, but she is a dog. She likes to chase and kill animals.

She makes me nervous at dog parks.  If there’s a chihuahua or some tiny thing running around she becomes feral; eyes fixated, her body tense.  And if I don’t physically stop her, she will propel herself toward the unsuspecting canine, usually barreling into it, her mouth clamped around the thing’s neck.  There is no calling her off her chase; she doesn’t seem to hear me or take note of her surroundings when there is “prey” to be mauled.

You know what else she does?  She attacks any dog, regardless of size, age, or gender, if I’m sitting and the other gets too close.  Or even looks like it’d want to get close.  If I am sitting, my dog is a territorial bitch and fiercely defensive.  It’s completely inappropriate and I reprimand her, but this problem hasn’t abated.

The past few days I’ve meditated on how animal my Kira is.  She seems wilder than other dogs.  She is wiry, stalking, watching.   If I am home, I am never out of her sight.  She will wake from her nap and follow me to the kitchen, then back to my bedroom, and wait outside the bathroom door.  They say its because she is a Border Collie/ German Shepherd mix.

Animal.

I spoke with a friend about Kira’s…behavior, and this friend suggested what I already suspect; that Kira is insecure because her pack keeps changing (she’s moved homes and changed families at least every six months in the last four years, and the past seven months? I don’t even want to think about it.) and this insecurity causes her to try desperately to defend what she sees as hers.  (i.e. me.)  For an animal that craves leadership and stability, my dog’s transient lifestyle has been torture.  You wouldn’t know it watching her zoom around the park this morning, tongue lolling, but if you saw her wary eyes when I leave the house or the way she keeps her head low and paces around, you’d suspect she doesn’t quite know her place.

Or maybe I’m attributing my own insecurities to her.

Nevertheless, my dog is not, as I’ve always claimed, good with other dogs and certainly not with cats.

It was recommended I do the “right” thing and find her a stable home.  My stomach churned.

The truth is, my “rescuing” of Kira was not for her good, it was for mine.  I was sixteen and lonely and she was the cutest damn puppy you’d ever seen.  And I do love her.  But it is definitely a self-benefitting kind of love.  I need her more than she needs me.  Certainly this was the case when she was an eight-week-old whirl of potential.  Now she is almost five, “quirky” and fiercely attuned to my every move.

I wrestled with the idea, as I always do when I know deep-down that I use Kira.  I use her for companionship, a walking buddy, an ice-breaker, and a confidence booster.  (“Oh, your dog sits on command?  My dog sits on command from afar, then lies down and crawls to me, sits back up and gives me a high-five with a paw corresponding to the hand I hold out to her.  She also doesn’t beg for table scraps, because ewe, who wants a dog up in your grill when you’re eating??”)

How strange, the way we use animals.  The way we need them.  How strange when we’re shocked and appalled that they aren’t us; my dog has no concept of morality and certainly no regard for the bonds others have for their pets.  She is so other.  She can kill for the joy of the chase, and she could, conceivably, bite the hand that feeds her.

Have you ever ridden a horse?  I used to work at a ranch in high school and one daily chores wa lunging.  You hook up the horse’s halter to a long-line, stand in the center of a ring, and get the animal to walk, trot, and canter around in circles around you.  Working with the two-year-olds always got to me.  They were young, strong, and seemed arrogant of their bodies.  The boys kicked, tossed their heads, fake-charged at me, and I stood yards away terrifyingly small and defenseless.  Their muscles were fascinating, fluid and perfect.  Their snorts, their wild eyes, the way they kicked up dust just for the Hell of it.  Oh, I was so in love with those horses.  Their strength and beauty!  There is nothing like a horse at full speed.  I was always amazed they didn’t kill me.

Riding them is the same feeling.  Here is this animal, this huge, muscled animal, and there you are, small and somehow you’re sitting on him, just trusting he isn’t going to snap and throw you, then stomp you to a pulp.  I rode every day for years and never got over that exhilaration and amazement.

Actually, I hope I never do.  I hope I am always fascinated by our relationships with companion animals.  I hope I never discredit my dog’s carnivorous nature, or a horse’s power.  I hope I never take for granted that Kira is my docile, obedient shadow.  I hope I never attribute my character to her.  She is not an extension of myself; she is utterly separate, an independent being.

I love and need her…but I’ll never 100% trust her.

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Rawgust

I once was in a heated debate over the band Kings of Leon.  My friend who we’ll call Jason (because that is his name) claimed KOL sucked, and I counter-claimed they were fantastic.  He bashed their repetitive drumming and I tried not to confess my crush on Caleb, the lead singer.  Eventually I gave up on proving their musical prowess and said something to the affect of, “they’re just, very simply, a refreshingly raw -sounding rock and roll band.”

I know, its only rock and roll…but we like it.

I like the word raw.  I like the feelings it conjures.  (See; raw emotion.)  It seems like such a genuine word, uncorrupted by pretense or fancy drumming.  Or heat.

This month I crave renewal and healing.  Healing spiritually, from the selfish panic at watching the South America fund become the Moran Kid Preservation fund.  Healing physically, from the self-destructive stress binge that has been my diet.

And healing from feeling helpless and apathetic.  I want a kick-start.  I want a challenge.

I want something pure and genuine, and I want to get back to basics.

And rawgust has such a fun ring to it, don’t you think?

My newest roommate and I are already gluten-free vegans (ish…I’ll explain later), and we figured, why not go the full caveman monty for a bit?  The mental and physical health benefits are littered all over the internet, complete with images of gorgeous old women holding raw “cook”books.

Its August first now, but because my food processor is in storage and I’m living out of a backpack, we’re starting Rawgust officially on the fifth when we get the keys to our new home.  I’m excited to let you know how this goes, and I’ll be honest with you about what it costs and if its difficult.  (I keep finding these sites where people are like, ohemgee, its so cheap and easy being raw, and I’m like

You and I both know that’s not the case.

I think they’re full of it, but we’ll see.  I can already tell that one of my stay-sane tips is going to be celebrating at least bi-weekly with raw vegan cupcakes from Tsom.

I did make some raw vegan ice cream (thankyouthankyouthankyou Pinterest, you addictive substitute social life, you) the other day for a barbeque, and it was actually very well received by my carnivorous friends.  Here’s how it happened;

Cut up bananas and freeze;

Handy-dandy Craigslist-bought food processor.  Cross them fingers.

Rejoice when it works!!!

Its good with just bananas, but I love peanut butter.  You can use raw peanut butter for Rawgust, obvs.

And cocoa;

Then get fancy and put ‘em in mason jars until you’re ready for the barbeque.

Viola!

Probs I will live off this “ice cream”, as it truly is cheap and easy. (Oh man…I’m going to become one of them!!!!)

 

Anyone ever gone raw before? And if so…please help.  We’re new and need recipes over here.