We’ve all been there – waking up on a Monday morning after a weekend of late-night partying consisting of too much drinking and over-indulging. It doesn’t feel good, nor does it make you look good. This year, with Halloween on a Monday, the celebrations began on Thursday, lasting four or five nights. This is hard on the body, especially since Halloween means a lot of fun-size candy bars and sugary witch’s brew (aka jungle juice). Don’t worry, the damage isn’t permanent; you can easily bounce back and restore your body.
You know you’re ready for a detox when you are sluggish, breaking out in pimples, having digestive issues and are achy. Detoxification is all about eliminating toxins from the body. Rest is key to detoxing, so take a few nights off from the late-night parties. While you eliminate toxins from your body, you want to feed it with nutrients so it can restore itself and boost its immunity.
To start, try and lessen or eliminate your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugars. Detoxing doesn’t necessarily mean relying solely on disgusting-tasting liquids as fuel. Some detoxes are extreme and usually involve fasting and drinking a combination of water with lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. This type of detox can be dangerous and isn’t a great choice for college students. Instead, eat a lot of fiber-rich foods such as brown rice and other whole grain foods, fruit and vegetables. Some great detoxifying foods include broccoli, artichokes, radishes, cabbage, seaweed, avocados, squash, eggplant, carrots, spinach and beets.
To cleanse the liver, drink green tea, and if you can, take some herbs like dandelion root and milk thistle. A great spice to consume is cinnamon because it helps to stabilize blood sugar. Try adding it to tea or foods – butternut squash, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, cereal and yogurt all taste great with cinnamon. High protein foods will also aid in stabilizing your blood sugar. Fish, chicken, turkey and tofu are good lean protein sources. By stabilizing your blood sugar you will avoid the cravings caused by a sugar crash.
Make sure to consume plenty of immune-boosting vitamin C, which may be taken in supplement form or by eating apples, oranges and grapefruits. Exercising is a good idea, too, because as you sweat, toxins will be removed through your pores. Most importantly, drink a lot of water!
If it’s too difficult to throw out all your leftover Halloween candy, keep in mind that some are better choices than others. Here is some advice:
- If you can’t resist, allow yourself one piece a day.
- Keep the candy bowl out of sight to resist temptation.
- Avoid Starburst. Yes, they are delicious, but they are one of the only fruit candies that contain fat. Lemonheads are a better, less caloric and fat free option.
- Avoid candies with nuts and caramel such as snickers. Instead, opt for an airy and light filling like a York Peppermint Pattie or Junior Mints.
- Peeps aren’t a bad option as they have only 16 calories and no fat.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins have 170 calories and 10 grams of fat; they are among the absolute worst for you because the combination of chocolate and peanuts make for a very high-fat snack. One redeeming quality they do have is that they are made with non-hydrogenated oil, making them better than candy made with other oils with trans fat.
- Dum Dum lollipops are great for satisfying your sweet tooth at only 20 calories and no fat.
- If you have a chocolate craving, opt for Hershey’s Special Dark, which has heart-healthy antioxidants.
If you’re able to throw out your entire leftover candy bowl, hats off to you! All candy is loaded with sugar and should be enjoyed in very small doses.
By Emily Borgeest