Curbing the Candy Cravings
While sugar is a powerful “drug” (see the latest report below), it’s not just the cute and colorful treats that tempt us. Halloween may hold loving memories for many of us, of our own childhood costumes and candy collecting, as well as those of our children dressing up for trick-or-treating and their squeals of delight as they came home with pillowcases filled with candy.
But it’s not all fun and games. Sugar can weaken our immune system, increase symptoms of ADD/ADHD, and contribute to weight gain, moodiness and lack of energy. And the more we eat, the more we want. So what can you do now to avoid “over-treating?” Here are few healthy tips:
- Focus on the Festivities.There is a lot to get excited about besides candy: Make creative costumes, plan a neighborhood party; build a haunted house; have a pumpkin-carving contest; spend the day decorating your yard and house.
- Speaking of healthy treats …What if you (and/or your kids) try making some cute, nutritious Halloween treats like in the Recipes section below? Now we’re talking fun and nutritious!
- Don’t trick-or-treat on an empty stomach.I know the kids are excited, but it’s a great idea to have a nutritious meal ready when they get home from school. If you’re in a hurry, kids can have a “snack-ful dinner” – almond butter on whole grain toast with apples; carrots with hummus; black beans and quinoa, or a whole-grain pita with avocado and chopped chicken.
- What is your favorite Halloween candy?Whatever it is – leave it at the store!If you must buy candy to give out to the trick-or-treaters, consider buying candy that you’d never eat if it was the last sweet on earth! Perhaps buy it that morning, and get just enough to give out that night.
- You can’t eat it if it’s not there.Don’t let one night of sweet treats turn into a month of candy snacking. Toss out leftover candy the next day, and give your kids just a few days to indulge. Better to be a little wasteful by throwing out the sweets than to derail your health and weight goals (not to mention adding to tooth decay and all the other sugar symptoms).
Just because it is the 31st of October doesn’t mean we have to indulge in daily sweet treating that we wouldn’t normally do. It’s really about making better choices that keep YOU feeling better. Have cut-up fruits and vegetables in your fridge; fill snack bowls with almonds and walnuts (and take some to work, too!) Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and give yourself permission to break with old Halloween traditions to start your own.
The Secret is Out in the Sugar Industry
A recent report published in the JAMA Internal Medicine reveals that the sugar industry paid scientists in the ’60s to shift the focus from sugar as a link to heart disease and blame saturated fat instead.
The New York Times reported the discovery of internal sugar documents. The documents suggest that many of today’s dietary recommendations were influenced by the sugar industry.
According to the NYT, “A trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation paid three Harvard scientists … to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies … minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.”
Sounds similar to the decades-long cover-up of the health hazards of nicotine, doesn’t it? The NYT article also cites the previous revelation of soft-drink companies covering up the link between sugary drinks and obesity.
Why do health coaches and health practitioners care so much about the recent report? As the NYT cites, “For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.”
Just one more reason to recognize that sugar is addicting and harmful to our health; the better choices we can make, the better we can influence our health and longevity, and the health of our kids. Read the entire article, with links to the research, here.
This Month’s Recipe Treats
Banana Ghosts and Tiny Pumpkins
Perfect for a party, these treats are a great way to provide your kids with some healthy choices.
• 6 bananas, peeled and cut in half horizontally
• 24 carob chips
• 12 tangerines or clementines, peeled
• 2 stalks celery, peeled and cut into 12 ½ inch pieces, and sliced thin (see picture)
For the Banana Ghouls, place carob chips as “eyes” on the bananas, turning them into ghostly goodies! For the Tiny Pumpkins, insert one cut celery piece into the center of each clementine to make a party “pumpkin” treat. Serve on a large platter at room temperature!
No-Bake Ghoulish Chocolate Treats
* 1 ½ cups walnuts
* 1 cup pitted dates
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 1/3 cup cacao powder
* ½ cup fresh mint
Mix all ingredients together in food processor; pulse and then blend well. The mixture should have the consistency of peanut butter. Use a melon baller to form mixture into one-inch balls and place in mini muffin cups in a mini muffin tray (the tray just keeps them from sliding around as you fill the cups!). You can leave the mixture as a round ball or simply press mixture into halloween muffin cups.
Take out filled muffin cups and place them in a re-sealable storage container using wax paper in between layers; place in freezer for at least an hour. Serve cold or at room temperature. These are great to help you crowd out the Halloween candy!
MAKE TIME FOR YOU! Let the change of seasons inspire healthy changes for you! Get the BEST results by working with your own personal Health Coach. What you eat may be causing your symptoms and sabotaging your weight-loss goals!
Right now is the PERFECT time to focus on YOU!
Start NOW to avoid pitfalls of “the season of treating.” If you would like to look and feel better, have more energy, and reduce your food-related symptoms, I would love to help you!
Visit my website at www.FatimatIntegrativeWellness.com to learn more about my Holistic Weight Management.
Learn more about my one-on-one health coaching and how my clients succeeded even when they thought it would never happen for them. Find out how my clients learn to break unhealthy habits; stop “binging” and “emotional eating;” reduce cravings; sleep better; balance their blood sugar, reduce their cholesterol level and diabetes symptoms, and much, much more!
I look forward to supporting you!
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