Hot Sauce and Aspirin

Some tips and tricks to survive a hangover.

First off, happy Friday, you sly dogs!  You made it to the weekend again, and I drank too much on a Thursday again, so we are both killing it.  Yesterday was the holiday party for a few local democratic clubs, and I helped organize it, thus was in attendance.  It ended really early, so rather than do the responsible thing, we went to a bar, but I figured, it was for research, right?  At the party I made some traditional holiday punch with vodka, cranberry juice, ginger ale and frozen cranberries.  Once it ran out I switched to Shiner Cheer, because it is festive.  After the party we went to Vincent’s and I had some drink with 2 kinds of vodka in it, then 2 drinks that had vodka, beer and champagne in them.  Go big or go home!  Eventually I did both of those things.  Once I got home, I did what I could to take the pain off the morning, took a milk thistle, drank a glass of water, and watched TV so I could sober up a little before I went to sleep.  I knew it would help, but that I would likely still be doomed.

If I am being honest, (and why would I ever lie to you?) I didn’t have a lot of faith in the remedy I had lined up for today. Peppermint oil seemed too easy, too hippie, and too far fetched.  But, I said I would try it, and so I did.  I woke up around 9 AM, thankfully not feeling too bad, but I was queasy and wicked tired.  As far as the right hangover for the cure, this was hand delivered to me.  The peppermint oil is supposed to help with nausea and energy.  Could it be the thing to save me?  Proceeding with caution, I applied some to my wrists and my stomach.  I also resorted to sniffing the bottle.  Honestly, that helped the most.  However, it did nothing for the energy factor, I am still exhausted.  But it did make it so I could get up and brush my teeth and not feel like throwing up.  That’s something.  After it wore off, fairly quickly, a second application went on, and even a third.  Can you overdose on peppermint?  Eventually I realized that slightly less queasy was the best I could hope for and I ordered Denny’s to deliver me pancakes, hash browns and OJ.  I decided that rather than leave you, and me, with a failed attempt, I would power through and try the greasy food and OJ method.  If we are going with percentages, I would say the peppermint oil made me feel about 8% better, and the food added another 17%.  I’m still a long way from feeling great, but I have a car to unload, a party to plan and a sister in town, so hungover or not, the world waits for no drunkies.

A lot of people swear by both of these methods, so if you have had a good experience with them, let me know. Every body is different.  Silver lining, it’s nice to smell good when you are not feeling good, and I think smelling the peppermint activated some hunger receptors.  Usually if I am hungover I will go until around 6 PM without eating, and that does not help matters.  At least the peppermint made me eat early enough in the day to not make things worse.  So, maybe the 8% isn’t fair, I would say it directly contributed to the 17% and that as a two step process, it all gets you about 25% less hungover.

Enjoy your weekend, be safe at your holiday parties, and don’t drink and drive!  But do #hellodrunkies or #hotsauceandaspirin on instagram so we can all see what you are up to! And follow me @hot_sauce_and_aspirin on Insta.  Until next time, my favorite drunkies!

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Today is Friday, which is perhaps not the traditional day to be hungover, but I live in Austin, we are all just a bunch of drunks here.  It’s a full time job.  Yesterday, being Thursday, I finally was able to make it to some plans I had to cancel due to sickness for over a week.  My friend Lisa, who is moving soonish, and I went to Midnight Cowboy, a speakeasy on dirty 6.  And it really is on the dirty part, the doorway next to the secret entrance stunk of pee and had some homeless people sheltering in it to get out of the rain.  The homeless population of our fair city is it’s own problem, and were this not a hangover blog, would be deserving of it’s own series of posts.  But, if you are hungover and also inclined to help, visit Frontsteps.org to donate or volunteer or learn more about it.  Anyway, we went to this awesome little place, where you have to press a secret buzzer and they let you in or not depending on reservations and if they want to.  It was fun to see them turn people away at the door throughout the night, it added to the exclusive and secret feeling.  More importantly, the drinks were strong and delicious.  These were not your standard vodka soda or beer, these were handcrafted, hipster delightful, prohibitionesque masterpieces.  We reserved a spot for 2 hours, and had 3 drinks.  After our time was up, they unceremoniously gave us the polite boot, but it was only 10:00, so we wandered into the world, and found a new bar.  The next bar was not adorable, hipster, handcrafted delight, but it was cheap and they had cranberry deep eddy, so I was set.  We hung out there for a couple rounds and made another reservation back at Midnight Cowboy.  By this point, Lisa was less than sober, and her husband had arrived to escort her about the town and then safely home.  Back at the speakeasy I had a rum, rhum, rummy punch, then headed back out into the rain in pursuit of pizza and a cab.  (6th street closes down to traffic, so drunk people don’t get run over, which makes it challenging to Uber, so they have good old fashioned cab lines.)  

Having learned last week that water was key, but also really wanting to try this new remedy I found on instagram, I drank a couple of glasses of water throughout the night, but not enough to completely ward off a hangover.  I do this for you, so you better appreciate it.  I also took a milk thistle before heading out, wanting to somewhat mitigate the effects of 4 very strong cocktails and 2 vodkas.  So, prepped and pretty sure I would be hungover today, I drank a small glass of water and went to sleep.

This morning, around 8:15, my bleary eyes opened, I took stock of my situation, and for a second I thought, “hmmmm, am I actually OK?”  Then I moved, and I was not.  Bizarrely, because all the prevention stuff has been working so well, I was kind of fine with being hungover.  At least I could finally try this remedy I bought almost 2 months ago.  The Remedy, is called SB Remedy, which stands for Sober Boost Remedy.  I don’t work for their marketing and naming department, or legal department, I don’t know what to tell you.  The claims of SB Remedy are that it will sober you up the next day, give you energy,  and make your stomach feel better.  The ingredients are pretty spot on for those claims, there is caffeine anhydrous, milk thistle, b vitamins, thiamine and activated charcoal.  The strange thing, though it makes sense from a science place, is that the ingredients are in different pills.  I think if you put the charcoal with the vitamins it might take down the vitamins in an epic dark versus light, good versus charcoal battle royal.  So, important takeaway, there are 4 pills you have to take.  And they are not vegetarian/vegan friendly, they have gelatin capsules.  I’m a terrible vegetarian and often take supplements with gelatin, unless they have a humane option.  Anyway…I am totally landing this plane, but I’m super caffeinated right now.  Wait, spoilers!

Once I realized I was really and truly hungover, I first thought, “if remedy this doesn’t work, I am SO staying in bed and watching Netflix all day.”  I then thought, “Oh my gosh, am I about to throw up?”  I didn’t, phew.  What I did do was swallow down those 4 pills and think about trying to nap until they kicked in.  So, I snuggled back down and kind of got right to edge of a nap without really letting it take over.  Around 9:00 I had the strange sensation that I was vibrating, I also had the strange sensation that I was less hungover than I was minutes earlier.  But the vibrating was a more immediate concern, so I rolled over and grabbed the packet the pills came in, rolled back the other way and grabbed my phone, and I googled Caffeine Anhydrous.  It’s basically pharmaceutical grade caffeine.  The little pill has several cups of coffee worth of caffeine in it.  It’s worth nothing that a teaspoon of the stuff is lethal and equal to like 28 cups of coffee.  I went to check their website today to get an official photo and description for you all, and it is down.  I assume it’s because they claim to “sober you up” which has some ugly legal ramifications due to drinking and driving, operating machinery, etc, and there is no disclaimer with the “sober boost remedy” that it can’t actually sober you up if you take it while drunk.  (If you read my first post, you know legal issues around alcohol are a real and serious thing, and that none of my “research” is backed by medical advice, and is likely contrary to it!)  That and they have pretty serious levels of caffeine in their product.  But I’ll tell you what, I am GLAD I bought a 5 pack of the stuff, because I feel AMAZING right now.  The caffeine high got me out of bed running around, motivated and happy.  The charcoal sucked out the bad stuff.  The b vitamins, milk thistle and thiamine work like they always do to improve mental clarity and kick start the liver.  All in all, if you aren’t sensitive to caffeine, it’s the perfect product.  It looks like it is still available through Amazon, even though their website is down.  I reached out to the company for an update about that, and will let you know if/when they respond.  But if they did go out of business, and I hope they did not, you should buy this stuff while you still can!  I am going to get a 10 pack of the SB Remedy in case this is the end of it.  I sent 1 pack to a lucky reader last week, maybe I’ll add another pack into a prize around Christmas.  Either way, the stuff is awesome, though I feel the caffeine crash sneaking up as I type.  Hopefully they did not go out of business, because it’s a game changer! So, if you are unlucky enough to have a hangover despite all the ways I have shown you to avoid them,  I hope you are lucky enough to have a packet of this hangover crack handy, it will save you from having to use a sick day, and make you want to organize your CD collection!  Alphabetically and by genre!  

Happy Friday, my drunkies!  Have a wonderful and safe weekend, don’t drink and drive, make good choices!  Oh, and while you are out celebrating or getting into mischief, #hellodrunkies or #hotsauceandaspirin your photos on instagram, twitter or facebook, so we can all see what you are up to! And follow my instagram page Hot_sauce_and_aspirin. If your weekend gets away from you, remember I am here to help you feel better!  I just received a new product in the mail to test that I think will be a crowd pleaser, especially among the organic, yoga, oil types, so stick around for that.

Update from the folks at SB remedy:

They are still in business, working with Amazon right now while they get some issues worked out with their web hosting. But never fear, hangover crack is not going anywhere. Also good news to you fellow vegetarians, they are changing the capsule soon to not be made of gelatin! As for the theory that they had some legal troubles with the vagueness of their claim that “It will sober you up after a night of having any kind of partying fun…” they are confident no one will be dumb enough to assume it’s something that can actually make you sober. And their Instagram page does clearly market it as being for hangovers now, so they are definitely heading in the “avoiding a lawsuit” direction. I am paraphrasing their message, they were much more corporate and pragmatic about it. However, look at our president and any Florida news story. If it were my amazing product, I would still change that wording to be “Nothing exists that can sober you up while you are still under the influence but we can help you in the morning after any kind of partying so you can …” Regardless, my faithful party goers, this stuff isn’t going anywhere, and I for one am very relieved to hear it! Thanks for the update, SB Remedy, good luck with your website and let us know once you have a new home!

Good afternoon, drunkies.  It’s Sunday, we navigated the first weekend of holiday parties, and lived to tell the tale.  Happy Hanukkah to any Jewish drinkers who may be reading today! This week, I dug deep (not really) and went with a pretty obvious solution.  Honestly, I was counting on it not working so I could try out a different cure I picked up this week, but that will have to wait until next time.  (That’s how I keep you hooked!)

This week I suffered from both allergies and a bad cold, which meant until yesterday I laid low, drank a lot of fluids, and spent an inordinate amount of time in the dark.  Sounds familiar, right?  It gave me the idea, the not at all original idea, the idea that is actually backed by science, that if fluids can expedite the curing of a cold, pushing all the germs and toxins out of your body, it would probably work for a hangover.  And I’m not talking pedialyte, nuun, gatorade, or smoothies.  I’m talking good old fashioned water.  Hangovers basically exist because we introduce toxins into our bodies, and our body uses all of our water to try to expel them, right? Sure, sounds like science.  So, the obvious conclusion is that if we give our body more water to use, it won’t have to use the fluid in our brain, stomach, liver, whatever.  Usually, we end up drinking all the alcohol and forgetting that we aren’t drinking any water, then we wake up and drink water, but the damage is already done, it’s too late.  That’s why we need the remedies, they help our body use the water efficiently an effectively, instead of just throwing it up.  So, the trick is to introduce the water while you are introducing the alcohol, not once it is too late.

It’s funny, I woke up this morning and a friend had tagged me on a Vox article, about a book called “Hungover” by Shaugnessy Bishop-Stall.  I was intrigued and ordered it on amazon, here is a link so you can check it out too, Hungover. He also tries to tackle the age old quest to cure the hangover, and coincidentally enough starts his search with dehydration too.  So, maybe we are all onto something!

Anyway, I was talking abut the beginning of holiday party season. Before that we went to 512 Brewing, where you get a glass and 6 8 ounce pours all for $12.  If you are in Austin, and haven’t been yet, it’s such a good deal!  48 ounce of beer and a glass for $12, unheard of!  Also, there is a cool art studio that shares the parking lot with them, so you can see a ton of awesome neon and metal art while you enjoy your beer.  So, already the day was off with a bang.  After our afternoon, we had some pizza, headed home, and started getting ready for the party.  While I was getting ready I drank a couple glasses of water, and made the decision that between every glass of holiday punch (Tito’s, cran-apple, ginger beer, ice and cranberries), I would drink 1 glass of water.  I repeated this process 7-8 times.  Understandably, I spent some time in the bathroom, but that seems like a good indication of hydration!  By glass number 4, it was hard to remember, and even harder to convince myself it was necessary to keep chugging that water, but I committed to it, for you, so I stuck with it.  When I got home, I drank 1 more glass of water, watched some TV, and went to sleep.

This morning, I opened my eyes, cautiously, warily, slowly, remembering all the Sundays past.  I was nervous, because I felt like I hadn’t really tried anything to prevent the inevitable hangover, and was steeling myself for the headache, the nausea, the doom, another day in a dark room testing weird herbal remedies.  Imagine my delight when I felt GREAT.  Not a hint of a hangover to be found.  No shaking, no sweating, no indication of inflammation, no dry eyes, none of it!  Could it be that since the vodka was mixed with juice, and was distilled and of decent quality, I would have been fine anyway? Not likely.  By now you have all seen me undone by as few as 4 drinks.  Drinking water between cocktails has a double benefit of drinking water consistently, and taking a quick break between drinks, thus probably drinking slightly less.  It’s definitely worth a try.  What can it hurt? If you live somewhere in the country or world where you have access to clean drinking water, it’s by far the easiest remedy out there.  If you want to help those who do not have such access, here is one link to some ideas, or write to your representatives and ask what they are doing to support people in your community.

Happy Holiday Season!  Everyone be safe this year, use cabs, or uber, or drink at hotel and then stay there, drink plenty of water, and fear not, just because I may have cracked the code, don’t mean I won’t keep trying new things!

We all made it! Great work, everyone! It’s Sunday, familial landmines have hopefully been avoided, everyone is beating hasty retreats back to their homes, cities, or states. If you hosted the holidays, congratulations on a quiet house, that probably stayed pretty clean all weekend, because you had the stress of unexpected pop ins all weekend. If you traveled for the holiday, you are probably home or en route now, about to sink into your couch or bed, and deeply breathe that sigh of relief. You did it. You made it! I’m so proud of you! I love my family, and we host thanksgiving every year for 18-25 people. I honestly enjoy seeing everyone, hearing the cacophony of voices, seeing the flow of alcohol and gravy, providing a home and gathering place for 3 generations of family and friends. But sparkling and shining for 4-5 days takes a toll! The Sunday after Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year after my birthday. I relish the quiet. There is so much joy that comes from knowing the next knock on the door will be a political canvasser getting ready for the runoffs, or a window salesman. Someone I can ignore if I want!

This is not a typical hangover blog, because today I’m suffering from a social hangover more than an alcohol related one. And the best cure is quietly cocooning in my bed until the hunger drives me out. My husband knows that post Thanksgiving Sunday is sacred and vital to everyone’s survival. I recharge, alone, and he, who doesn’t seem to get the drainage that comes from being on for 4 days straight, spends the day on the couch with the dogs, who usually also spend the day sleeping and recharging. Sometimes I don’t even turn the TV on for hours, instead choosing to sit in silence.

Of course, 4-5 days of entertaining while the booze and gravy flows, means, a lot of those booze are flowing into me. So here’s what I do for the long game!

Wednesday my mom arrived, with her husband and adorable tiny dog, and a seemingly endless supply of wine. She’s the main popper over. Showing up as soon as I wake up, or walk in the door from running errands, or step into the shower. It’s like she has a tracker on me and picks times just to mess with me. She’s also incredibly sensitive, so even though the timing of her arrival is always the absolute least convenient moment, she has to be greeted enthusiastically. The fact she shows up with an endless supply of wine helps soften the blow of being dripping wet, or sound asleep, or also in the driveway, having just arrived home. How relatable is this post? Anyway, Wednesday…my mom and company arrived, and I had been anticipating it, so earlier in the day I went out and had a drink with a new friend, then had another drink with said friend at my house. Then convinced a different friend to come over and have a drink or 2. Eventually my husband came home and we had a drink. So before the arrival, I was 5 deep. After the arrival and subsequent departure (of which I remember very little) I was around 9 deep. Thankfully it was also only 9 o’clock. (That’s the trick for thanksgiving week, stop early.) I woke up on Thanksgiving, feeling tired and a little queasy, but totally able to rally. WAY back, in one of my first posts, I reviewed blowfish, but only based on other people’s experience with it. They didn’t care for it at all. But, I threw caution to the wind, and used some myself, because the Facebook and insta reviews are so great. I was honestly as underwhelmed as the people who reviewed it for me last year. It has aspirin, caffeine and something to calm your stomach. It claims to taste great and give you your mental clarity back. It tastes terrible, and only coffee and a gallon of water got the brain going. The one thing it did was curb the nausea. And thank goodness for that, it would have been a long day! But for me, it was 3 strikes for Blowfish, I won’t be ordering it again. It was so hard to choke down 16 ounces of it, and really had almost no effect on me.

Thanksgiving happened and with it came so much beer. I have a theory that the CBD oil I have been taking makes me not really want to drink as much as I normally do. (Yes, this is less, are you judging me? Because if so I’d like to point out that you are reading a hangover blog.) But, once the coffee kicked in, I took a milk thistle (Get some right now) and cracked open a beer. I didn’t keep count, but it wasn’t too crazy, since I was hosting, keeping an eye on everyone, making sure the new guy who came with some friends was ok, running down a trash bag from the neighbors, and generally being awesome. The trick that day was a lack of consistency and an early quit time. Which is the constant refrain for the weekend. Friday I drank wine, but took video game breaks and stopped by 8 PM. And Saturday, I tried! We had around a dozen people filter through, maybe 15. I was drinking a pretty high ABV beer called “melted snowman” which was actually pretty delicious. Then I switched to a much lower ABV, Shiner Ruby Redbird. I honestly had every intention of drinking a little too much because I got a new remedy in the mail that I wanted to try. But my body had other plans and decided 7:30 was a good time to stop drinking.

Edit to add: Another really important key to the whole weekend was not looking like I was hungover, tired, or over it. So, while hangover remedies, hydration, and quitting early all helped me feel ok, skincare made me look great too! Being 40 and having TERRIBLE life habits, (hello hangover blog) means I need some heavy duty help with my skin, otherwise I’m sure I would like a gremlin who ate after midnight. My secret skincare hangover cure is Rodan and Fields. I use redefine, eye cream, and lash boost! If you want to get some, here’s a link! How to look hot!

So here I am, Sunday, at 11:02 AM, with an emotional hangover. And no traces of a physical one. Am I growing up? Learning to quit early? Or was it just a fluke, or some self preservation, knowing I had to keep it together for so many days? Who knows, my amazing drunkies, who knows. The important thing is, we made it. So find a cozy spot, and enjoy the silence today! Soon I’ll be reviewing SB Remedy, so check back for that. In the meantime, drink lots of water, go buy some milk thistle and b-12, and don’t drink and drive! Happy Thanksgiving you sauced turkeys!

I was working the door collecting covers for a couple great bands last night, you know, like I do. (I don’t, but how would you know that?) It was a favor for the band Lunar Eclectic, since I set the gig up for them. They played with Trouble in the Streets, who are awesome, and you should totally check out.  Anyway, there I was at Skull Mechanix, one of my favorite newish breweries in Austin.  I love them because they are close to home, have an actual parking lot, delicious beer, and the owner is awesome.  Man, this blog is a commercial for Austin today.  Sorry, but it’s a cool city, hard not to end up promoting all the things I did on the journey to write this blog!  Since I am not TABC certified, I wasn’t in charge of checking ID’s, they had a guy for that, who coincidentally runs trivia out of the brewery and some other places and was a really fun person to spend the evening talking to.  You should go like his instagram and facebook pages, “Unknown Trivia”.  The takeaway isn’t that I am Ray Bensoning the shit out of this story, it’s that I was legally able to be drinking while being at the door, so I took a lot of advantage of that! Plus, the lead guy of Lunar Eclectic put me on his bar tab to thank me for collecting all their money. (They took in like $1200, I kind of wanted to rob them and go to Tijuana for the weekend. But free beer kept me honest.)

After all that name dropping, I thought we could all use a new paragraph.  The door was held and money was collected until around 11:15, and then I REALLY started using that tab.  All in all, since I wasn’t driving, and had been there from 7:30-1:30, I had around 7 beers.  Life was good, the music was danceable, and Brian and I headed home to face the inevitable hang over.  I left my milk thistle in Florida, and keep forgetting to buy more, so the hangover have been REAL lately.  In fact so real that even though I write a hangover blog, I didn’t want to put that hopelessness on here!  Around 2 AM I downed a Morning Recovery and some water and fell into an immediate sleep.  I slept until around 10, when I opened my eyes to the realization that, while the MR took the edge off, I was hungover.

You all might remember some months ago I butchered an attempt at a firefighter friend of mine’s tried and true hangover recovery system, “The Randall Method”. If you didn’t read that one, go back and see it, especially the comments where he roasted me and told me the proper technique. Having nothing to lose, and the desire for a nap anyway, I forced myself to get up, brush my teeth, rub my eyes with cold water for a minute, drink more water than I have in the previous 2 days, take an advil, pop an antacid and go back to sleep. You might think, after I have done all that, I will never get back to sleep. To that I say, you have never been truly hungover. Roughly 2 hours later, I awoke, blissfully not hungover, ready to share the good news with all of you, my favorite drunkies!

Today, I will be buying more milk thistle, to keep this party train on it’s rickety 40 year old tracks. I will also be heading to Total Wine to meet Zane Lamprey, one of my husband’s heroes, where I will be buying some Monkey Rum, and then probably drinking it from the safety of my house.  Godspeed my drunkies.  May the Randall method be with you all! Cheers!

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Everyone has that one friend who says the best cure for a hangover is to keep drinking. In my case, that one friend is my husband. As a general rule, I hate this method. It seems so wrong. It seems like if you drank so much that your body is rebelling and punishing your transgressions, you really ought to listen to it and take the day off. On the other hand, sometimes you have a trifecta weekend, with a concert late on Friday, a Halloween party till 2 AM on Saturday, and an “October Fiesta” (because, Austin) combined with a birthday party on Sunday. And sometimes that trifecta comes after a 30 day detox. I’m back, drunkies! (Except for citrus, #HelloScurvy.) I couldn’t not drink at any of those things, and HOTD is a tried and true method used by party people the world over, so it deserved it’s day in the sun.

But did it work?

Kind of.

Friday night I had 1 beer, followed by 3 poinsettias (champagne/cranberry), then 2 more beers. Not enough to be hating life on Saturday, but enough to be tired and consider taking a break. Break considered, and break rejected. Next stop, Halloween party! where I drank 1 beer and 4-6 glasses of “witches brew”, which was made of purple glitter vodka mixed with prosecco. It was not for the faint of heart, and could definitely remove paint or battery acid. Sunday I woke up and my body was like, “look drunkie, I get that you were in hiding for a month, but I am so old and tired.” And I was like, “you’re right body, let’s snuggle.” UNTIL, the confirmation texts started coming in for the October Fiesta/birthday brewery day. Thankfully they came in with a side of a bagel and bottle of water. (Austin was on a city wide boil order last week, that was a whole thing.) So at 12:50 I dragged my exhausted ass up and at em, and found this adorable pair of boots!

After I emptied 3 of them I decided it was going to be OK, and kept on keeping on until around 9 PM. So, it works. But…

Sunday night my stomach was done with me. My brain was done with me. My kidneys were done with me. This morning I woke up at 8:30 to help sort mail in ballots for the midterms, please vote if you haven’t yet, and almost didn’t make it out of the house. And now, Monday night, I’ve been in bed since 8:00. I’m writing this not from my office computer, but from my phone. Because I can’t force myself to move.

So, yes. Hair of the dog works. But all it does is delay the inevitable crash, while taxing your body. My advice, if you’re gonna treat your organs like a dumpster, give them time to recover before you start all over again. But, if you have a trifecta weekend planned, buckle up and drink some caffeine, you can do it. Be sure you are buckled up in the back seat of a Rideshare though! I don’t want to lose you, because you specifically, are my most favorite drunkie!

I’m back, I’ve missed you! Go vote! Oh and my instagram will start being a thing again, so check it out too, @hot_sauce_and_aspirin.

Happy Halloween!