Everything You Need To Know To Survive Mardi Gras

Tyler Lafleur
What a great weekend to be a Cajun! I’m sure all of you readers have plans for staying home and ensuring you get your recommended water intake while diligently meal prepping for next week, right? How awesome of you! For the other 99% of the readers, here’s your intricate, professional advice:

Don’t screw up your past two weeks of progress with one weekend of gluttonous activity trying to earn your Louisiana citizenship!

Now that we have that part out of the way, let’s discuss a few topics that you can file away in your mental Rolodex prior to 5 pm today. I have written on the topic of alcohol before (here), but mainly in regards to how you can indulge without slowly killing yourself. I may have gone to Catholic school, but “mama ain’t raised no fool!” I have a slight hunch that most of you will be having a Coor’s smoothie for breakfast for most of the holiday. Besides, you can’t “drink all day if you don’t start first thing in the morning”, right?
Now, onto the meat (and hold the potatoes……)
While most may think this article is still attempting to sway you from drinking, my veterans will know better. (Although for legal purposes, I am neither condemning nor condoning your participation in inebriation…..) Moving on.
The internet is riddled with “best to worst” lists of alcoholic drinks. Just for fun, if you are planning on doing some sipping this weekend, then this is what a fairly accurate one might look like:
(Green = some of the better choices.Purple = Hide your scale come Wednesday morning)
  1. Vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, other distilled spirits
  2. Dry cider, dry champagne, dry white wine
  3. White wines, red wines, dessert wines, beer.
Most of you (that have been acting like you listen to my advice) know that I encourage, those that do choose to drink, to stick to liquor and club soda. Why so? Let’s get real for a moment:becauseit provides the most buzz for your caloric buck!And here in Louisiana, “social drinking” is just another cute word we like to use. Like “gluten free gumbo” or “whole grain jambalaya”. We all like to use our imagination, sometimes……

Adobe Spark (40)

So how can one navigate the holiday appropriately and not end up taking a gurney into work on Wednesday? Here is the quick and dirty.(Note: I don’t claim any of the following suggestions as my own. They are just some of the best that I have come across in the past 10 years. Also, just because you can’t follow these guidelines “exactly”, doesn’t mean that you won’t benefit with some of them. As with most situations in life, some is better than nothing.)

Supplement Suggestion and Eating Protocols

  • Vodka with club soda and citrus (lemon/lime/orange/grapefruit) wedges. (That’s club soda, not tonic water) I know those of you planning to attend Mamou Mardi Gras this year are probably asking yourself, “But isn’t tonic water and club soda the same thing?”
What’s the difference, you wonder? About 32g of sugar per 12 fl oz.
Since most parades last about 2-3 hours, you can go ahead and calculate what that starts to look like on top of the 70 empty calories of liquor mixed with it.
Aside from navigating the best choices for alcohol, here are a few supplements and eating protocols that can severely limit your chance of getting a hangover: 
Before alcoholic use: 
  • Eat meat (particularly turkey) with added turmeric and egg yolks (1-2 is enough)
  • I usually encourage clients to have a large serving of broccoli or spinach prior to drinking as well. Age old adage based the theory around “filling the stomach” prior to drinking, which presumably would slow the absorption into the blood stream. But the reality is that the greens greatly enhance the liver’s detox pathways.
  • Hence the next suggestion as well: 5–10 g (0.17–0.35 oz) chlorella or a serving of dried greens powder (helps the liver detox the alcohol)
  • Vitamin B1 and alpha lipoic acid
  • 100 mg glutathione (preferably in a liposomal form)
  • Milk thistle (silymarin) and fenugreek
During alcohol consumption: 
  • 500 mg vitamin C and 200 mg N-acetylcysteine (NAC) before each alcoholic drink
  • 300 mg ginseng (accelerates the exit of acetaldehyde from the system. Which is what your alcohol breaks down into)
  • A glass of water with each alcoholic drink (this is the easiest one to accomplish. Don’t be lazy)
  • Remember, your inhibitions fly straight out the window when you’re drinking, so stay away from any salty snack mixes or chips. What you may want to eat, following any episode of partying, is a meal consisting of a healthy fat or protein, such as an avocado with a bit of sea salt or a small handful of almonds, which will help stabilize your evening blood sugar and growth hormone levels. You are also better off having this type of meal prior to drinking as well. Pre-gaming on bread and pizza is setting yourself up for a world of hurt and disappointment in the next few days.
  • Popping a few Activated Charcoal capsules before and after partying can really ease the toxic burden on the body. The charcoal (the same used for drug overdose) will absorb the majority of toxins as it passes through the GI tract. “T, will it also absorb 4-6 slices of thin crust pizza?” (Ha, surely you jest! Only toxins, not calories.)
  • And, of course, for the renegades reading this post who are going to cling to the Cajun Mardi Gras status quo (“only” drinking Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday), the following smoothie blend should ease your next morning hangover quite nicely.
Hangover Cure
  • 3 dl (1 1/4 cups) coconut water
  • 1 avocado
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Couple of broccoli buds
  • 300 mg red ginseng
  • 2–3 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp chlorella
  • Sea salt and fenugreek, to taste
Blend the ingredients in a blender. 
There you have it. For those of you who choose to follow the guidelines, best of luck. As for the rest of you, I guess I’ll be seeing you in Mamou.

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