How to Recover from a Sugar Hangover

In my posting about how to host a cookie party , I neglected to mention that as the host, you'll probably be right there with the kids eating cookie dough, as well as icing, candy decorations and the cookies themselves. If we're being realistic, there's a high potential you'll eat more sugar than you have since childhood. Shortly after your guests leave (for me it was about 20 minutes), you'll probably crash, and crash hard. Even with a good meal beforehand (my counterpart provided ham and eggs). Your pancreas will just be overwhelmed, and you'll go down.

Not only that, but the next day, you'll be sluggish and dull and generally out of sorts while your adult body tries to recover. (If you have kids, they will be fine.) I'm not a nutritionist but I do have some basic advice if you find yourself in this situation. Here are some simple steps you can take to bounce back:

1. Get Out the Oatmeal

Oatmeal is actually pretty good for stabilizing your blood sugar. It's a complex carbohydrate so as you digest it, it will break down more slowly than, say, a doughnut. Or nothing at all. Add a little protein - like nuts or a side of eggs or Greek yogurt - and you should get through the morning fairly well.

2. Have That Extra Cup of Coffee

You're tired, and a little extra caffeine will help get you going. Plus some studies have shown that there is something in coffee (not caffeine) that helps regulate blood sugar. (NOTE: this is coffee we're talking about, not soda and especially not diet soda. Those will cause more harm than good today.) Don't forget Mary's Common Sense Rule on Caffeine After Lunch, though. Any caffeine consumed within 8-10 hours of bedtime will interfere with your ability to get to sleep, so you still need to cut yourself off at around 11:00, awake or not.

3. Fruit Is Your Friend

Especially today. You will want that quick hit of refined sugar. You may even be craving it. You cannot give in to it. Have some apples close by. You'll get the sugar hit from the naturally occurring fructose in the apple, plus there's something in the skin that controls the breakdown of the fructose so you won't peak and then crash.

4. Get Moving

Nothing helps get the blood flowing like fresh air and a little exercise. Today you'll really benefit from a lunchtime walk. Even if it's cold out, at least take a turn around the block to get things moving again. And if you work out regularly, don't skip it just because you're a little dragged out. You'll feel better for it.

5. Hydrate

When your blood sugar dips, you get thirsty. Soda will not cut it today, not even diet soda. Both contain ingredients that contribute to dehydration. Plus the last thing you want to do today is feed that sweet tooth with refined sugar or anything that tastes like it. So it's good old water today. If that sounds less than appealing, add some lemon or try mineral water.

6. A Sensible Lunch and Dinner

We already covered breakfast. For lunch and dinner, make sure you focus on protein and veggies over starches and carbs. And, in this instance, potatoes and potato products (i.e. fries) are a starch, not a veg. Same with ketchup. I had my reliable soup and salad combo for lunch. This is a particularly good choice if your sugar hangover includes indigestion, which mine often does. This is a nice light lunch that's full of nutritional goodness as long as you stick to a clear-broth soup and go easy on the salad dressing. Dinner should also be well-balanced with most of your calories coming from protein and veg. And no dessert. Not today. Unless you want another apple. It's just the way it has to be.

7. Go to Bed On Time

To make sure you feel refreshed and fully recovered, make sure you go to bed on time and allow for the full 8-9 hours of sleep you should be getting. Any housework/school work/ work work will still be there tomorrow. Tackle it then. You should be fully recovered.

This is what dinner looks like for the next 3 weeks