It’s SO hard to avoid sugar this time of the year, isn’t it? And really, Halloween is the season kickoff, because it’s followed by more food, treat, dessert and sugar inducing holidays – Thanksgiving, Hanukkah & Christmas. Not to mention New Year’s Eve!
So, either you throw in the towel now, and spend the next two months off-plan, in a sugar fog, or you can take control and get your mindset right now so you continue on a healthy eating routine. Of course, there’s always room for an occasional treat, but my feeling is that when those instances are well thought out, and far and few between, you set yourself up for success.
Time for a confession: earlier this week, while I was at Target, I picked up some Halloween candy. Granted, we live at the bottom of a hill, so we typically don’t get too many Trick-or-Treaters, but I’d rather be ready than not. And, admittedly, it does bother me to buy the candy at all, but I don’t want to be the house giving out the boxes of raisins (hypocrite).
Anyway, my favorite candy is (was) 3 Musketeers. Oh, how I loved those little bite size nuggets of nougat covered in chocolate. I’d always stash a few in the freezer and then binge eat them. I came home and promptly ripped open that bag and ate two. TWO. Fast forward about an hour, and I was in bed with a raging headache. We all know what happens when we consume sugar (spike, and then crash), but since I don’t eat sugar on a regular basis, the effect felt 10 times worse than usual. Sometimes we need a little kick in the pants to remind us why we avoid certain substances. I’m glad I had that digression, because it helps me avoid the things that aren’t good for me. Who wants to feel like crap? Not me.
Here’s a game plan for success on Halloween, whether you’re just hanging out at home handing out treats, or going to a party, to avoid toxic sugar overload:
- Get enough Sleep – Don’t sabotage yourself by skimping on sleep, you’re more likely to reach for caffeine, and sugar.
- Plan Ahead – When you get up, think about your day and what you will be eating. Try to plan a delicious meal (preferably dinner!) to look forward to.
- Have a Protein Breakfast – Instead of reaching for cereal, or pancakes drenched in sugary syrup, opt for something more substantial, like a frittata or breakfast hash.
- Exercise – get your heart rate up, go for a hike, take a class, do some cardio. Just move your body in any way you feel comfortable, it will keep your energy up and you’ll feel good (hello endorphins!).
- Have a piece of fruit if you have a sugar craving – cut up an apple and smear some almond butter on for extra protein. Pears are even higher in fiber than apples, so you’ll feel full longer, and there are some delicious pears at the markets lately.
- Stock your kitchen with a healthy treat: Whip up a batch of my Almond Date Energy Bars, they always satisfy my sweet cravings!
- Learn to Say No – This is difficult at first. Friends will think you don’t like their cooking, or their taste, but just let them know you aren’t hungry. Or, be honest and tell them you’re watching your sugar consumption.
- Have fun – I know it sounds contradictory, but don’t stress about holiday eating. Take it one day at a time. If you fall off the wagon, get right back on. One digression doesn’t mean you’ve blown it for the season.
Happy Halloween friends! Enjoy your day <3