Happy & Healthy Halloween
Feeling conflicted about enjoying Halloween candy? It’s not about deprivation it’s about salvation! Save your candy and enjoy it for the fall. Find ways to increase your intake of healthy foods or replace the candy with healthy sweets if you're trying to abstain. Here are some ideas on how to achieve balance during the fall holidays:
1. Take those giant candy bars and break the squares apart. Eat a few at one sitting and freeze the rest. Not only will it be out of sight, when you do pull it out from the freezer it will take longer to eat and you will be able to savor and salve the flavor longer.
2. What do you do with all those choices? Open up your favorite candy, whether it is Snickers, Milky Way, Nestle Crunch or Hershey. (I like the mini size for this) Cut both flavors in half and eat one–half of each kind. Then you get both your favorite flavors together and have the rest for later.
3. Do you like sundaes for dessert? I like fruit sundaes. Layer your favorite berries on the bottom, chop up your mini candy bar and sprinkle on top of berry cup. You are adding in a healthy dose of fiber and vitamins from the fresh fruit.
4. Resisting sugar cravings can be tough during the holidays. I prefer not to use the word resist but rather give in to them with some fun substitutions. Try PB2 chocolate peanut butter powder, reconstituted. Pour on top of bananas or berries for a sweet treat without the processed white sugar.
5. Consider foods that are “nature’s candy”. Dates, figs and even take your apples slice thin and dry out in lowest setting in oven for homemade apple chips. Also go for sweet vegetables. Sugar snap peas, carrots, baked squash or sweet potato with cinnamon and some earth balance spread melted on top is guaranteed to help you get through the sugar craving.
6. If you have had a sugar binge and need to “dry out”, take the following day or next meal to load up on protein and good fat. It should help stabilize insulin levels that were spiked from the over indulgence.
7. To help curb sugar cravings when you feel you can’t stop, I say small steps, if you have that latte in the morning, go for the sugar free syrup. If you want that ice cream after dinner, try greek yogurt with some berries and a little honey, puree for a few minutes for a smoothie. If you have a chocolate fix, substitute that milk bar for 70% dark chocolate or more. The sugar content is less. When you start to make these small changes over time the net effect will be big because you will be retraining your taste buds while cutting out at the same time.
8. If you are limiting refined sugar, it takes about a week to feel like you don’t want the refined sugar anymore. So during the hardest days of 4 thur 6, I recommend substituting in sweet vegetables because of the extra dose of fiber and vegetables. A sweet potato mashed or turned into your own chips can help you get through the tough days.
9. I don’t eat foods with white flour or white sugar because if you look around most things that come directly from this earth are colored. What does color offer? Nutrients, vitamins, fiber. What does color look like? Nutrients, vitamins and fiber. If you choose fruits, vegetables, lean meat you see color. White bread started from the wheat. Wheat is a honey color. What happened to turn it white? Many many processes. It is the same with white sugar. Sugar started as a plant, the sugar cane plant is beautiful with green leaves popping out of a purplish colored stalk. Eating refined sugar today is pure white and all the beautiful nutrients and vitamins have been stripped out so I would be putting something nutritionally deficient in my body by eating white flour and sugar.
10. I always have Oasis hummus in my refrigerator. It comes in about five different flavors, from original to garlic or red peppers. Why, you can eat twice or even three times as much of it compared to some other brands. I dip raw veggies or crackers in it, use it to make deviled eggs and put on top of my steamed veggies as well.
11. My favorite nutrition based tips are quality over quantity. If you are buying organic, which can be more expensive, don’t buy in bulk. There is more opportunity for spoilage if you buy more than you can eat in a few days.
12. Quality pops up again in the kinds of fats I eat. I love avocado and prefer that healthy dose of fat in my tuna salad instead of mayo or spread on my turkey sandwich.
13. Here is an example where you can get both quality and quantity. Try popcorn for that afternoon fix because one serving of a packaged brand like Skinny Pop allows for 3 cups per serving. Have a big beverage with it and you will get through the afternoon crash without hitting the bad stuff.
Have a safe, healthy Halloween!