But this post isn't truly about the gingerbread houses, as much as it is about dealing with the overindulgence of the season. As is to be expected, decorating candy houses includes a bit of sampling, eating the ugly pieces, quality control, eating the oopsies, and guilt-free snacking. On candy. For someone who hasn't eaten that much sugar in YEARS, suffice it to say by the end I wasn't feeling so hot. By the time we finished cleaning up, I was already dreading the sleeplessness and morning after effects, if the mild headache and sickeningly sweet taste in my mouth was any indication of the hours to come.
Usually my Seasonal Splurges are limited to a cookie here and there and a few sweeter cocktails than I'd normally consume, and that's plenty to satisfy my desire to participate in traditions, enjoy my treats, and still maintain some healthy boundaries with my food.
For once, such an activity didn't include overindulging in alcohol to add insult to injury, thanks to a little bit of forethought. And I was hoping that the proximity to having just eaten dinner would be helpful. Still, I realized I had to do something to try to minimize the impact of the overindulgence. But I wasn't really sure what. So I just kind of guessed.
- I've been taking cinnamon pills to stabilize blood sugar anyway, but I usually take them in the morning. I took an extra couple pills (after midnight no less) for good measure. My evening supplements include a probiotic anyway, so I figured that could only help as well.
- Around 1am, I ate a grapefruit to get the sickly sweet flavor off my tongue, and to cut the richness a bit. Not sure why, but the sour flavor was really calling to me. I almost wanted to suck on a lemon.
- I brushed my teeth really well to help minimize the impact on my teeth and the cravings that typically come when that sweet flavor goes sour--you want more sweet to cover it up!
- Right around midnight and again before bed (2am! speaking of indulgences), I drank a nice, big bottle of water, to try to flush everything through. If you do nothing else, I think this is the most important thing to do.
Ultimately, a little self-care was all I could do for myself. I don't feel guilty for the fun I had, and I certainly enjoyed myself, but I don't want to make it a habit or allow this to spiral into a chain of indulgences that last the whole season. A cookie here and there is one thing, but I'm certain I ate at least a pound of sugar.
Believe it or not, just after eating the grapefruit I actually felt like I'd gotten rid of the headache. And when morning came, I felt a little lethargic, but not as cruddy as I'd expected. So I must have done something right!
What are your home remedies for over-indulgence? Any particular times you struggle to stay healthy, or give yourself a little extra leeway?