Healthy Halloween

Growing up, Halloween was a favorite holiday for many of us, but it has now become one that many of us dread.  Faced with all that candy, will power just can’t hold up, and we succumb to stuffing our faces full even when we know we’ll regret it for many reasons:

 

The guilt because we’ve broken some diet

The emotional ache because we feel we’ve done something bad

The frustration with ourselves as we know it’s not what our bodies want but we do it anyway

 

There are two places we face this candy most – in our homes and at work.  I’m going to share with you a few ways to keep your will power strong in the face of these sugary treats.  These are important steps to keeping your immune system strong so you don’t head into the holiday months more susceptible to illness.

 

Give Out What You Want to Receive

I’m not talking raisins and apples here.  There are yummy sweet treats that you (and the kids) can feel good about – think fruit leathers with no added sugar, and dark chocolate with as little added sugar as possible (note: the higher the % of chocolate, the less sugar and the better for you).  Now you can feel good about what you’re giving out and about the leftovers that may linger in your home.

 

Be the Switch Witch, Then Ditch It

Get some little things that you know your kids will love – fruit leathers, dark chocolate, stickers, crayons, homemade coupons for a day to sleep in, a favorite dinner, etc. I advocate non-plastic toys and things they can use like art supplies over items that will likely just add to the clutter around your home. When your kids bring home their haul, start trading!

 

Set up some guidelines ahead of time, and if you want to, let them keep a few pieces of candy. Maybe a crayon or sheet of stickers is for one piece of candy, but 5 (or 10!) gets them a coupon to pick the movie to watch or the meal to cool. Be creative!

Once you’ve switched, ditch! I’ve heard stories for years of parents raiding their kid’s candy stashes for their favorites.  Just like your kids, you can pick a few pieces (best to tick to the same guidelines so you can set a good example), and then ditch the temptation.

 

Don’t feel guilty about throwing it out because candy is full of additives that we should be cutting down on and even avoiding.  High Fructose Corn Syrup and other added sugars, artificial flavors and colors, and preservatives.  These all impact our health in negative ways and can therefore be thrown out guilt free!

 

Resist Temptation with Healthier Choices

Now you might be thinking, why not just bring the leftover candy to work?  Do you really want to be that person?

 

Over the years I’ve watched an incredible shift happen.  A shift from joy about the candy that appeared in break rooms at work to despair. People stopped wanting it, but it was there, so, well, just one piece…. Ooohh, I haven’t had one of those in years! … Okay, just one more piece as I’m passing through the room.  Don’t be part of the problem this year.

 

Here’s my tip for avoiding that trap yourself. Pack yourself some sweet and healthy snacks to enjoy during this time.  In addition to eating a healthy and balanced breakfast to start your day and a well balanced and fulling lunch, have some tasty treats on hand (dark chocolate, fruit, nuts – the basics that make up a lot of candy flavors anyway). If you find yourself reaching for a piece of candy, reach for a glass of water instead.  If, when you’re done your water, the craving is still there, indulge in one of the favorites that you brought with you.

 

Of course, it’s all about moderation.  If this is the one time of year that you let yourself indulge a little, do it guilt-free.  If you want to be making shifts to a healthier and happier you, use this time to see how you can take control and make empowering decisions for your body.

 

Wishing you a safe and fun Halloween.

 

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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