Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season. The next couple of months are filled with treats, parties, family gatherings, alcohol, and a packed schedule.
How do you continue to pursue your health and fitness goals despite this time of year?
When it comes to avoiding “holiday season weight gain,” one thing comes to mind: The definition of insanity is:
Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
As the holiday season approaches this year, do things differently than you have done in the past. It’s not about “depriving” yourself of your holiday favorites but rather substituting healthier foods and behaviors. (Although I would argue that choosing your health and wellbeing over sugar and less healthy food, as well as the health of those you love, is NOT deprivation.)
Halloween is later this week; do you plan on handing out candy to trick-or-treaters? Let’s face it; kids will receive enough candy filled with high fructose corn syrup between parties at school and trick-or-treating. What if you handed out something that wasn’t candy? My guess is parents would thank you, and your house wouldn’t get egged!
- Glow Sticks
- Temporary Tattoos
- Plastic jewelry that glows in the dark and Halloween themed
- Mini Play-dough containers
- Halloween-themed mini-toys: plastic eyeballs, fake fingers, etc.
The bottom line is to be creative. Ask your kids what they would like to get other than candy.
The biggest issue with Halloween candy other than the obvious (sugar!) is the high amounts of high fructose corn syrup and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). You can bet that any product containing high fructose corn syrup is a processed industrial food void of any nutrients. We should seek whole, natural, unprocessed foods rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to increase health.
If you still want to hand out candy, here are some “better” choices free of the ingredients above.
- Endangered Species individually wrapped chocolates
- Yummy Gummy Candies
- Annie’s Gummy Snacks
- Trader Joe’s Organic Pops
- Unreal candy
- Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups
You can find these products at Whole Foods stores and some other local grocers.
What is the Switch Witch?
The Switch Witch lives on the dark side of the moon. She LOVES candy. The Switch Witch loves candy so much that she’s eager to trade toys to girls and boys in exchange for their candy stash.
The girls and boys can choose to keep a little candy for themselves, but the more they give the Switch Witch, the better their toy will be! The Switch Witch eats the candy over the year. Just when she runs out, it’s Halloween time again and time for another visit from the Switch Witch.
The Switch Witch can also be known as:
- The Candy Fairy
- Great Pumpkin
Have the Switch Witch come to your house this year.
After trick-or-treating on the 31st, allow your kids to pick 5 of their favorites pieces of candy. Place the rest on your front step for the Switch Witch. In the morning, your kids will find a new toy, book, or something else they would value more than candy in exchange for the candy they left the night before.
Recipes to Try this Halloween
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- 2 mashed bananas
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 4 Eggs
- ½ cup Almond butter
- 4 TBSP melted coconut oil
- .5 cup Coconut flour
- ½ T Cinnamon
- ½ T Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- ¼-1/3 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine your bananas, eggs, almond butter, vanilla, and melted coconut oil. Mix well.
- Add coconut flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Mix well. Fold in your chocolate chips.
- Grease a metal loaf pan with coconut oil. Pour in your batter and spread evenly.
- Place in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 2 frozen bananas
- ¼-1/3 cup canned organic pumpkin
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk
- ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)
- Add bananas, pumpkin, coconut milk, and pumpkin pie spice to a food processor.
- Process until mixture becomes the consistency of ice cream.
- If you like the “soft serve” texture, enjoy it right away. If you want it to be thicker, put it in bowls and place it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- up to 1 frozen banana
- .5 cup canned organic pumpkin
- ½ cup canned coconut milk or 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 scoops Your Favorite MELTDOWN approved Vanilla Protein Powder
- ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice or ½ tsp. cinnamon
Add all ingredients to a blender and enjoy!!!
The holiday season is a wonderful time of year to connect with family and friends. Remember, it doesn’t always need to be centered on food and treats. Use this year’s opportunities to start family traditions that do not involve food. Examples include pumpkin carving, cutting down a Christmas tree, ice skating, etc.
Or you can enjoy a healthier version of your favorite treats and not completely derail your supportive nutrition plan!
If you’d like guidance through the coming months to know that you’re doing your part with physical activity and accountability, then let me know. Go to our Homepage and fill out the Ignite form to get a conversation started by letting me know how I can help you most.