Do you wish you had a bit more will-power around that seductive candy bowl? It’s a challenge for so many people. Halloween is the time when kids and adults ritualistically collect sugary treats and then gorge themselves on their candy loot….Oh, and they also wear costumes while doing it.
I was never one of those kids who consumed heaps of candy at Halloween and ate until I felt sick. Every year I would pick at a few pieces, leave most of it untouched, and the reset ended up in the trash once I got bored of looking at it. This, of course, is not how most kids (or adults) feel about candy, including my 11 year old sister who stashes it in the most creative places; and once confessed that she has a piece of gum in the shower in case she “gets bored”!
Halloween’s Greatest Trick is the Treats
If scary costumes weren’t enough, just turn a package of candy around. The list of ingredients are far more frightening than a spooky ghoul or haunted house. Every Halloween you and your kids (if you have them) are bombarded with tiny packages of junk food passed off as a “treat” in lieu of getting a trick. The sad irony is that it’s all a trick!
Those tiny packages seem so innocent. At first, maybe you just have one or two, because they’re small, but then “one or two more won’t hurt”, you think. In the middle of offering up a few other justifications, all the sudden you’ve lost count and are now feeling regret for the empty calories, sugar, fat, GMO’s and chemical yuck you’ve just now put into your body to process. It can happen so fast!
So what’s a person to do in this festive time of hoarding candy?
Approach #1 Abstain.
Don’t buy it, don’t be around it and just say no. GBT Expert Laurisa Truemper mentioned in her article that sugar is a “food drug”, so treat it like that. If this doesn’t work, then move on to #2…
Approach #2 Stop Binging. Eat Chocolate Like Slender Europeans Do.
Americans in general over-indulge in just about everything, and candy is no exception. Taking a cue from our slender European friends, slow down and savor the flavor. A European will get a chocolate bar (with all natural, high quality ingredients) and break off a few pieces at a time. They don’t just pop it in their mouth and scarf it down. They savor it bite-by-bite appreciating its flavor fully, and wrap the rest back in its foil package to save for later.
Also Europeans tend to eat chocolate after dinner, not as a snack at 3pm to get a caffeine and sugar fix; something that GBT Expert Donna Sonkin also pointed out in her article as a healthy habit when consuming sugar.
Approach #3 Buy Better Candy.
Even if I don’t binge on sweets, I still have my weaknesses. Before being a truly healthy eater, I really loved chowing down on the occasional Snickers Bar, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twizzlers and other American classics available in the candy aisle.
As my taste buds began to prefer whole foods over processed junk food, those ‘treats’ began to taste like waxy chemicals.
However, from time-to-time I’ll get a nostalgic craving for my old favorites, and have often wished there was a more natural alternative that would satisfy the flavor combos I loved. Clearly my wish was heard all the way in Massachusetts where Unreal developed an entire line of candy that mimics those old time favorites done “the right way”.
UN 8 (pictured above) is comparable to my ex-beloved Snickers bar. After one bite of theirs I was in a very happy place. Unreal should call themselves “The Most Real” because they use real and wholesome ingredients. No GMOs. No corn syrup. No synthetic colors. No artificial anything! AND they source their ingredients sustainably! [cue angels singing from the heavens!]. And no, you don’t have to give trick-or-treaters a whole candy bar, they conveniently make mini sizes at this time of year. Read their story here. It’s a good one – and involves Halloween!
Luckily there’s a huge variety of options in many major stores for high-quality, natural, even organic chocolate. Yes, they are more expensive than a standard chocolate bar, but you are really getting in flavor and ingredients what you pay for.
What to give out to the kiddies?
Seek out healthier options appropriate for the situation and audience. You don’t want the kids egging your house because you offer boxes of raisins (AKA “nature’s candy”), but you don’t have to succumb to offering bowls of junk either. I love the idea of homemade sweet treats to give out within your circle of friends. Of course there’s a lot of fear regarding homemade snacks in schools, etc. which is a shame, since the packaged stuff is way scarier.
I’d love to hear your creative ideas on how to have a healthy Halloween – please leave some comments below.
A Happy Healthy Halloween to you all!!