Get Ready to Party! Audrey Helps You Get Through the Holiday Season

’Tis the season to indulge, so go ahead — don’t let us be a wet blanket on the festivities. Just heed a bit of pre-party advice to minimize post-party fallout. And when you’ve binged to your heart’s content, we’ve got a few tips to help you recover.

PREGAME:

* Two weeks before, make sure your teeth are party-ready with Glo Science’s latest G-Vial whitening gel — just apply with a brush twice a day for 30 seconds.

SoloGVialWeb

* Pregame like dermatologist extraordinaire Dr. Jessica Wu, who says in her book, Feed Your Face, that she like to have a snack (try almonds!) before a big dinner to avoid overeating.

* An hour out, before you slip on that special dress, maximize your hotness with a Wei Beauty Décolletage Treatment Pad, a mask with coconut water, kelp and free radical-fighting gingko, specifically made for the delicate skin on your chest.

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PARTY TIME:

* In her book, Dr. Wu recommends a dry red wine like cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir for maximum antioxidants (chardonnay, if you prefer white). If you’re more a cocktail kind of girl, she says go for vodka with club soda or diet tonic water.

* Don’t forget to hydrate with a glass of water after every drink. That’ll also help you moderate your drinking.

* After all that rich, scrumptious food, chew gum with xylitol, like Vitacare Whitening Gum, to freshen breath.

POST-PARTY:

* Whatever you do, don’t forget to take off your makeup. Keep Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water and Pure Cotton on your nightstand to remove even waterproof makeup with mineral-rich water from Japan’s Yumura Hot Springs — no tugging and no rinsing required.

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* In the morning, apply cotton balls soaked in soy milk (squeeze out the excess) for five minutes to reduce swelling, hydrate skin and constrict veins in bloodshot eyes, says Dr. Wu.

Read more tips to get you through the holiday season in Audrey‘s Winter 2013-14 issue, out now!

 

Hot Beverage: World’s First Sriracha-Flavored Vodka Launches (Yes, Really)

While an LA judge may have just ordered a Southern California sriracha hot sauce factory to partially halt its operations after complaints from neighbors, it seems like there is a new, and definitely interesting, way for us to get our spice-fix.

In what may be the most genius (or horrifying, however you look at it) alcoholic concoction, Phillips Distilling — the same company that has debuted other flavored vodkas like UV Cake and UV Espresso — has just released UV Sriracha Vodka.  As stated by the company’s press release, the vodka has a blend of “chilis, garlic and vegetables” that “honor(s) the traditional sriracha hot sauce.”

UV recommends putting it in a Bloody Mary or a strawberry margarita and offer recipes on their website.  Of course, you could also take a shot of it straight on like other vodkas or put it on your food like regular sriracha, but we don’t necessarily suggest that.

As unique of a concept as it is, we have to ask, would you take a sip?

Throwback Thursday: The Truth About Asian Women & Alcohol

Story by Janice Jann.

BOOZE CONTROL

Studies indicate that nearly 40 percent of Asian American women drink alcohol and, while that’s less than the 55.2 percent national average, we are at a higher risk for all sorts of medical issues due to our binge drinking. So why do we do it? Editor Janice Jann investigates.

As I lean over the toilet bowl, my hair grazing the rim, I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the water. “Who is this puke-strewn girl, bleary-eyed and green-faced, with her pajamas on backwards, staring back at me?” I think to myself. I mutter, “Never again, never a—,” before nausea sweeps in.

There have been many morning afters like this in the years I have been drinking, each time steeped with more regret than the last. Most of my peers have stories like mine. Many laugh, “Who hasn’t gone through it?”

As normal as binge drinking has become, new studies indicate that Asian American women may want to hold off on that second cocktail the next time they drink for reasons more than just avoiding the toilet bowl the next morning.

The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that the national average of alcohol use for all adults in the U.S. is 55.2 percent, while the national average for Asian Americans is 39.8 percent.

Genetic factors play an important role in why Asian have lower rates of alcohol consumption, according to Tamara Wall, a University of California, San Diego professor of psychology and the director of Psychological Services for the Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. Studies have shown that 30 to 50 percent of the Asian population have a gene, inactive aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2–2), which causes them to metabolize alcohol differently from people who do not have this gene. This manifests itself physically through headaches, nausea and facial flushing, a.k.a. the “Asian glow.”

Jess, 24, can attest that facial flushing causes her to drink less. “I think if I didn’t have it, I’d be more open to having a casual cocktail with friends and clients,” she says. However, that hasn’t stopped her from binge drinking one recent weekend. Stressed out about her job and living situation for the past couple of months, she “needed a way to just vent and live in the moment.” According to Jess, “I was determined to let myself loose and it was actually my goal to drink until I didn’t remember anything at all.” After four double shots of tequila and two single shots, she did exactly that and stayed in bed sick until 4:30 the next afternoon. “I think it was the stress that had been piling on that pushed me over the edge,” she says.

 

Using alcohol to self-medicate, to relieve stress or to forget problems, has become an increasingly common occurrence among women of the post-Baby Boomer age. As more women enter the workforce, they have to deal with the stressors of the 21st century: increasing challenges in their careers; cultural norms of the workplace, which often includes happy hours and two-martini lunches; motherhood and familial obligations; the list goes on.

Christina, an attorney, agrees. When asked whether work causes her to drink more, she says, “Oh, definitely. That’s a definite issue. I think one reason why people drink so much, especially in my profession, is we’re pretty stressed out. We’re responsible for other people’s issues so when we do have a chance for release, it does get out of hand. Alcohol lets you forget about things for a moment. I knew of one associate who was so stressed, she used to drink every morning before going to work. It was a way to numb herself before she had to deal with the day.”

Though Christina may drink out of stress, she also drinks to celebrate. “After I passed the bar exam, I went out with a friend and I was taking shots galore,” she remembers. “I drank so much tequila that it made me sick to my stomach. I just didn’t give a sh—t that day because I was so happy I passed.”

By the end of the night, Christina “was sitting at my bathroom, wanting to die. You just wanted it to be over with. Every time something like that happens, I tell myself I will never do that again and it happens again.”

Meky had a similar experience on her birthday. “I’m kind of embarrassed to say I got wasted on my 25th birthday and not, like, my 21st or something,” she laughs, thinking back to the celebratory weekend where she downed five Jack Daniel shots in less than an hour, was carried to her car on a friend’s back, and woke up the next morning, her clothes piled by the door.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse defines binge drinking for women to be four drinks over a time span of two hours, but once you’ve hit that zone, it’s often difficult to stop at merely four drinks for the night. “It all starts tasting the same after a while,” says Christina. “You become desensitized after a certain amount.”

What’s scarier is that blackouts and vomiting are not the only negative consequences associated with binge drinking. Wall cites an increase in dangerous behaviors such as driving while intoxicated and risky sexual activities.

Binge drinking could also lead to alcoholism, which will require CA drug and alcohol detoxification eventually.

And even though the ALDH2–2 gene have put Asians at a lower risk for developing alcohol problems, it puts them at a higher risk for developing medical problems. Wall lists esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, hepatitis and liver problems as common problems for Asian binge drinkers. “The data are pretty clear that if you have the [gene] and you drink heavily, you’re much more likely to developing head and neck cancer,” she adds.

Being an Asian woman, there are even more consequences to frequent binge drinking. In a 2008 New York Magazine article, Susan Foster of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University said, “There are huge differences in the way our bodies metabolize alcohol. Women have less body water and more body fat than men. The water dilutes the alcohol in the bloodstream, and will stay in her body longer, even if she is the same size as the guy.” What that means is that women get inebriated with lower levels of consumption at a faster rate. Additionally, alcohol has been known to interfere with fertility and increase the risk of breast cancer. Some researchers believe that a woman who has four drinks a day would increase her nongenetic chance of developing breast cancer by 32 percent.

Freaked out yet? Researching this story has made me think twice about reaching for that soju bottle again at our next staff happy hour. Now, instead of just dreading how I’ll feel trying to get the alcohol out of my system, I’ll also worry a little about what it’s doing inside my body. Just thinking about it stresses me out so much I want to grab a drink.

So what are some alternatives for a lush like me?

“Working out is probably a more positive avenue,” says Christina about dealing with work pressure. “I find as I get older, I try things like meditation courses to help me not think and stress out as much.”

Moderation is also key. “The standard guidelines for women is you shouldn’t drink more than one drink per day,  nd for men two drinks,” says Wall.

Sure, a mere one drink a day could be a buzzkill, but at least I’m at a lower risk for killing myself faster.

 This story was originally featured in our Winter 2011-2012 issue. Get yours here

Feature Story | Booze Control

BOOZE CONTROL

Studies indicate that nearly 40 percent of Asian American women drink alcohol and, while that’s less than the 55.2 percent national average, we are at a higher risk for all sorts of medical issues due to our binge drinking. So why do we do it? Editor Janice Jann investigates.

ISSUE: Winter 2011-12

DEPT: Feature Story

STORY: Janice Jann

As I lean over the toilet bowl, my hair grazing the rim, I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the water. “Who is this puke-strewn girl, bleary-eyed and green-faced, with her pajamas on backwards, staring back at me?” I think to myself. I mutter, “Never again, never a—,” before nausea sweeps in.

There have been many morning afters like this in the years I have been drinking, each time steeped with more regret than the last. Most of my peers have stories like mine. Many laugh, “Who hasn’t gone through it?”

As normal as binge drinking has become, new studies indicate that Asian American women may want to hold off on that second cocktail the next time they drink for reasons more than just avoiding the toilet bowl the next morning.

Continue reading

Fall 2012 | The Market: Dynamic Duo

DEPT The Market
ISSUE Fall 2012
AUTHOR Paul Nakayama

HED: THE DYNAMIC DUO

He’s one way when he’s sober, completely different when he’s drunk. Columnist Paul Nakayama uncovers the truth behind your masked man.

I just returned from Comic Con with a pile of Batman books, and it’s a few days before The Dark Knight Rises premieres. I’m almost fanatically on the Batman bandwagon this week, and if I could look good in black leather and spandex, I would be running around dressed in it. Now, this is probably not a good way to portray myself considering I’m the magazine’s resident dating columnist, but I’m more of an “unintentional-abstinence-sucks-so-don’t-do-what-I-do” sort of advisor anyway. So, in sheer geek revelry, I’m going to use Batman as my device for talking through this month’s Awful Truth topic: “dual identities,” or why men are flirtier when drunk.

Continue reading