Beware of the Halloween sugar trap!
Hey hey Diva friends! So much has been happening recently and I am just so excited about all of it! Before I hop into the strategies to a healthier Halloween, I wanted to make some fun announcements!
1) In November I'll be launching an AWESOME Holiday Survival Guide - completely FREE!!!! You'll have access to a guide, a shopping list, tips, recipes and support!!! Get excited!!!
2) I've opened a FREE Facebook group where I will run all my free guides/groups/materials in the future including your holiday survival guide in November. So be sure to join Stop Dieting and Live your Life to join this fun community!
3) I'll be launching a paid group in January all about gut health called "Get Gutsy With Me". Our gut is our second brain! It's super important to have the right balance of bugs (good and bad), eat the foods that nourish our body, and find out what to eliminate in order for us to kick disease, bloating, gas, fatigue and more to the curb for good!!! This will be jam packed with lots of amazing materials, tips, recipes, and actionable items and I am thrilled to bring this to you January 15th 2018!!!
4) To make sure you never miss an announcement, blog post, workshop or free guide, you'll want to sign up for my newsletter that goes out once a week on Thursdays. Just click here to become my VIP!
Without further ado....let's get spooky!
Personally, Halloween is not my favorite. I simply don't like gross, gory, evil, dark, or negative things. I do like fun, sweets, and silliness however, AND it's my Mom's birthday. So Halloween has a few redeeming characteristics for me :) But for many of you, this is a big holiday every year! The dressing up, the trick or treat....the CANDY.
This can be a source of stress on many parents as they try to limit their children's intake of sugar and it can be a really self defeating time for individuals as well as they think "well there go all my goals this month!"
While their are many strategies to navigating this, I wanted to focus mostly on the health impact that many of the traditional candies present and what we can focus on instead.
1) Gluten. In our house the #1 non-negotiable no matter what is that we are gluten-free. Our approach was to allow Keegan to go trick or treating, but he knew that certain candies with wheat or wafers in them like Twix and Kit Kats for example, would have to go. Honestly, this wasn't ever a huge issue since the sheer volume of candy the kids get these days is enormous! Trust me, he was left with plenty of options.
2) High Fructose corn syrup. Many candies will have this yucky ingredient that highly correlates with obesity, unlike other sugars like fructose from fruit. Decide ahead of time what your position on this ingredient is. Whether you are willing to have little, or none at all.
3) Food dyes and unnatural, or highly processed ingredients. Many children are allergic to red food dye. This should be a warning sign to us that unnatural food dyes are just that....unnatural! Food dyes are correlated with hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and even cancer!!!
4) Artificial Sweeteners. While refined white sugar is said to be 8x as addictive as cocaine, artificial sweeteners are just as bad and have been linked to poor brain performance, migraines, addiction, bloating, and more! To find out more about artificial sweeteners and better alternatives click here.
So what now?
Well good grief Kylene, you just eliminated all candy everywhere. Well, kinda :) But I realize that not everyone is as hard core as I am, and not everyone wants to eliminate everything all at once. So here are a few guidelines to keep your Holiday as healthy as possible.
1) Limit yours and your child's intake. Whether that be 1 or 2 pieces of candy a day, this will limit any negative exposure to any of the ingredients above. Prioritize healthy foods full of vitamins and micronutrients the rest of the day. Particularly leafy greens and foods filled with chlorophyll which is a natural detoxifying agent in the body. You may even consider the chlorophyll detox drink below which Keegan happily agreed to drink every day in exchange for his daily dose of Halloween candy:
- 1/2 cup water
- 2TBS chlorophyll
- Splash of cranberry juice ( to taste)
2) Know what candies you are and are not willing to have. Like I mentioned above gluten free is always our priority which means certain candies just get thrown out. The rest are limited. Decide ahead of time what your negotiables and non-negotiables are.
3) If you don't have a child that goes out to Trick or Treat, then this is easy! Don't buy the candy and bring it into the house! Out of sight, out of mind. On the flip side if it's sitting on your counter it's guaranteed to be eaten! If you choose to pass out candy, simply dump the rest of it into the last kids pillow case or throw the remainder in your trash can at the end of the night.
4) Consider healthier alternatives. There are candies out there are are higher quality and less damaging. Find these at your local Whole Foods or health food store. Enjoy Life and Theo are some of my favorite brands that you may find at your local grocery store. They provide a great and healthier dark chocolate! Whether you really splurge and pass these out to kids or you just stash a couple away for your own indulgence... that's up to you!
5) The safest bet is always to make your own candies or treats. You know what's in them, you can stick to your goals, and you don't have to worry about dyes, white sugar, gluten or other....