How To Have a Healthier Halloween
Oh, the enormity of sugar on Halloween! It pains me each and every year to witness the endless supply and demand by so many people for something that is making us so sick, sad, and fat.
This Halloween I encourage you to change things up for the sake of the health of you, your family, and community.
In my opinion, Halloween is the official beginning of the holiday season (even though Halloween is not an actual holiday). Being so, it’s a really great time to set the stage for living healthier the rest of the year into the holiday season.
I was once the poster child for an unhealthy Halloween. I would fill my pillowcase with candy on Halloween night, and immediately after my parents checked my candy for razor blades and poisonous needlepoint holes in the wrappers, I would tear into the “fun size” Snickers, Kit-Kats and M&Ms. Often times I would gorge so much I would make myself sick despite Mom limiting me to only 2 pieces per night, I didn’t often obey that one.
At age 13 I was already struggling with blood sugar problems, anxiety, adrenal fatigue, and nutrient deficiencies, and I’m certain that Halloween played a big part in how my body handled (or rather couldn’t handle) itself when it came to functioning properly. This was because Halloween candy stayed around for about four weeks, and then the next round of sugar bombs came at Thanksgiving. Followed by six weeks of the rest of the holiday season of festivities and sugar, sugar, sugar all around, all the time—just as it is now. That’s why Halloween can be a big key to helping the whole family live healthier especially with the holiday season right around the corner. That is only if you make different choices.
To have a healthier Halloween this year, give out Halloween goodies and have festive fun that isn’t centered on sugar, toxic chemicals, and genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). Let your kids enjoy the fun of dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating but offer them something bigger and better in exchange for all the candy they collect such as a gift card, a new game, a special date day with Mom or Dad, etc.
Parents, you guys and gals are the most important factor in determining how your kids relate to food. Let me say that one again: You guys and gals are the most important factor in determining how your kids relate to food. Your example weighs so heavily on your kids behaviors and relationships with food.
Your kids mock what you do much more than what you say, as actions always speak louder than words. So if you are telling them to eat less—or, ideally, no sugar and junk—but you are buying and popping Halloween “treats” left and right, that’s not going to produce the results you want for your kids. Right?
It may take a little time before the transition becomes a welcome change for everyone in the family, but one step forward is still progress.
Just to be clear, when I refer to sugar I am talking about refined sugar which is usually derived from genetically modified sugar beets. Sugar has a whole host of problems associated with it. Sugar feeds much of the bacteria, fungus and viruses that keep us sick, sad, and fat. Sugar depletes and actually freezes your immune cells/system making the body more vulnerable to illness by breaking down the quality of your gut health which is where over 70% of your immune system lies.
Sugar negatively impacts your ability to digest and absorb (assimilate) the nutrients from the foods that you eat which then places the body into a state of nutrient and mineral deficiency. These deficiencies in my opinion are one of the primary reasons that Americans are so unhealthy and I don’t necessarily mean fat.
Many folks don’t realize that the reason they are not losing weight or have brain fog, memory problems, energy problems and even hormone issues is due to their sugar consumption. It is my strong opinion that sugar is at the heart of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. because sugar absolutely alters metabolism and physiological function—and never for the better.
As a holistic health coach, I am constantly helping clients fight the battle of removing sugar from their lifestyles. I am not only helping them fight against a lack of willpower, but more so an ADDICTION to sugar and old habits that have been ingrained in their emotions, psychology, and lifestyles for a long time.
Sugar is legalized crack. Your brain responds to it just like cocaine as researched has shown us. More often than not, it is actually the microorganisms in our bodies that are demanding our addiction to sugar vs. a lack of willpower to quit. So if you just can't muster up the mental power and discipline to quit sugar, it may be time to rethink your strategy in order to win your battle against it.
Kids are more easily addicted to sugar because they have more sensitive palates, typically don't get meals and snacks that don't contain fruit sugar or other sugars because the food industry sneaks sugar into nearly EVERYTHING. Kids are at a serious disadvantage in this regard. That's why it's up to Mom and Dad to learn how to limit their sugar intake in order to set them up for success sooner in life than later.
Sugar converts to energy very quickly but a constant overabundance of it overtime creates metabolic chaos. This is where heath problems arise overtime such as leaky gut syndrome , immune problems, anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, brain fog, inflammation, nutrient malabsorption, and more due to the chronic burden of factors that block out a healthy, thriving, and high functioning metabolism.
If you do consume sugars, less harmful and more natural sweeteners are:
By nature our bodies were not meant to consume a lot of sugary, sweet foods. Our intake was to be a rare occurrence hence why there are not an enormity of natural sweeteners available. But biologically we don’t NEED any of them.
I also encourage you to avoid foods that contain really scary ingredients like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial colors and artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal), sucralose (Splenda) and saccharin (Sweet ‘n’ Low). HFCS does a real number on the liver and artificial colors and sweeteners inhibit proper neurological function. Eek! Now that’s some scary stuff.
I am happy to say that I am no longer dependent on my drug of choice, sugar. It took time and one change led to two and three and so on over the course of years. I encourage you and your family to start slowly in your efforts to reduce or hopefully eliminate your sugar intake and distribution this Halloween and the years to come. It does get easier and it is totally worth it, after all there is no price you can put on good health.
Who knows where you’ll be this time next year … and oh, the willpower you will have for treats that once broke you, no longer will. You will help set a new standard for your kids and your neighborhood too. Everyone wins and you are empowered! High five on that!
To help you get started, here are 35 ideas to help turn your focus toward healthier habits for you, your family, and your community this year. Everything on the list is inexpensive enough to buy a lot of if you plan to give them out to trick-or-treaters, depending on your budget of course. You can find all of the items on the following websites: Amazon, Oriental Trading, Party City, Dollar Tree and Michael’s.
Glow-in-the-dark sticky hands
Rubber eyeball bouncy balls
Stretchable flying bats
Slime or Silly Putty
Mini Play-Doh containers
Halloween mini puzzles
Spider, bat and eyeball rings
Fake vampire fangs
All-natural juice boxes
Little bags of roasted pumpkin seeds or almonds
Pumpkin muffins (if you are so pumped to bake this season)
Little boxes of raisins
Real fruit leathers (Trader Joe’s)
Clementines (You can make them into Jack-o’-lanterns with a black sharpie)
Gluten-free granola bars
What to do with all that candy that is collected from Halloween? Here are a few ideas:
Make a plan with your kid’s involvement to minimize how much stays in your home and for how long (if at all) then make and stick to a rule of 1-2 pieces a day but not as a reward as food should not ever be used to change behavior
Throw away half of it! It’s garbage junk food with zero nutritional value anyway.
Buy it from your kids and then do away with it.
Give it away at work and/or send it with your spouse to take to his/her work
Send it to Operation Gratitude and they will distribute it to our troops and first responders in care packages
Fill a pinata that is sure to be tough to break open one day…maybe
Use it for holiday decorating and crafts
Use it for science experiments…ever microwaved a marshmallow peep?
Candy bomb a parking lot!
Give it to your enemies…just kidding…sort of 🙂
Remember, if you want to function and feel amazing, you have to stop doing what everyone else is doing. You can do it, I know you can!
Drop me a comment below and let me know how your changes went this Halloween. Have a safe and healthy Halloween!