Dec. 31. 2015
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Happy New Year, well, almost! So, some of you might thank me for this later (*cough, cough* like tomorrow morning…). I actually don’t drink that often, but when I do I’m all about drinking responsibly, and this post is hopefully informative especially for those of you who had a little extra fun last night. Here are my top 5 tips to naturally beat a hangover as well as a couple tips I personally use when I go out. Bookmark or share this with your friends, I’m sure they’ll thank you later too.

I get asked this question frequently, whether I drink alcohol or not and my answer is yes, sometimes! I don’t restrict alcohol for health reasons, but I’m also very moderate and responsible about it…I wasn’t always (thanks, college at Ohio State), but have learned how to honor, respect, and nourish my body as much as possible. AND Living Whole and Eating Well is all about flexibility, so if drinking a couple cocktails or glasses of red wine are enjoyable to you, be flexible about it but always put your health first and exercise balance. Okay, off my mini-soapbox about drinking and on to some of my personal tips I follow when out enjoy the city, catching up with old friends, or just enjoying a nice drink!

No. 1

Always drink at least 1 glass of water in between each cocktail and 1 glass of water with the cocktail. Again, this is what I’ve found to be most helpful at decreasing hangovers the next day and drinking alcohol is incredibly dehydrating (especially for those B vitamins that give us our valuable energy).

No. 2

Make sure you have a moderately full stomach; you don’t want to be “stuffed”, since that’ll just impair your digestion and make you feel crummy. You certainly don’t want to drink on an empty stomach – that’ll go straight to your head and bloodstream, literally! I find that enjoying alcohol with a meal is the best way to go. I think this goes without saying, but opt for drinks without simple syrup and all that loaded sugar – go basic as possible. My go to is red wine or a gin with club soda and lime with a splash of grapefruit (a tiny splash), or vodka club soda with fresh lime and lemon.


Know and set your boundaries. If you know how much alcohol it typically takes you to “feel” it, be mindful and aware of this number and stick with setting a boundary of knowing how much your body can handle before you’ve had too much. Some suggestions: enjoy your drinks by spacing them out and savor them before guzzling down more, again drinking water in between helps to space them out.

No. 4

Be mindful. This kind of goes against the grain of alcohol since it’s a depressant and typically lowers our inhibitions and ability to make decisions, SO this is even more reason to be cognizant and aware of your mind-body connection and setting your boundaries with how much you’re drinking and reasons why. I talk about this concept frequently with my clients– especially about mindful eating while drinking, this can be a diet/health goal disaster. Be aware of your meals and mindful, especially when you’re drinking.

No. 5

Get to those nutrients the day after! My favorites are ones that are naturally diuretics (i.e. make you pee!). You might think this would be counterintuitive, right? Nope! These foods naturally help you use the restroom which is great for helping you flush the extra alcohol out of our system. It’s all about releasing, then replenishing, with more nutrients and minerals. Foods like: cranberries, asparagus, celery, cucumbers, and any cruciferous veggie is great. The morning after, I’ll typically pop some chlorophyll tablets, drink about a quart of water with fresh lemon juice, avoid the coffee or have Coffee, Elevated, Turmeric Tea, or a Matcha Tea Latte.

Try these nutrient dense, easy to digest recipes:

  • Lemon Lime Guacamole– the healthy fats in this will satiate you while providing some stomach soothing fats and fiber.
  • Creamy Ginger Green Smoothie– a combination of B vitamins, fiber, healthy fats, and ginger will soothe digestion
  • Thai Green Curry– tastes amazing, easy on digestion, loaded with fiber, healthy fats
  • Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse– sweet, filling, loaded with healthy fats to keep you satiated, fiber for digestion, and a little caffeine naturally from the chocolate (which helps headaches in some!)


+ Sleep, B vitamins, and Naturally Calm (a magnesium drink) can help replenish lost electrolytes. Also get out and move in nature – breathe in the fresh air and have a sweat session! Sweat it out with either exercise or by getting into a sauna.


What ways do you stay feeling great? On special occasions, what are your go-to drinks? Share below your remedies, I’m sure some will appreciate it!

With lots of love and light and I’ll see you in the “New Year”.

xx McKel