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Healthy Halloween Survival Guide

Happy October!

With October in full swing, Halloween candy bowls are already out, and it's time to decide on costumes.... it’s also time to determine how you will celebrate!

This is the opportune time to set boundaries around sugar, plan for healthy traditions, and find ways to celebrate the season in a nourishing (and super fun!) way.

When it comes to Halloween and every other holiday, I like to ask myself what I want our family traditions to be, what isn't serving us, and how to celebrate without sugar. It's the perfect time of year to expose the kids (and yourself) to All. The. Squash (including pumpkin) and getting them cooking too!

As I always say, let's tackle these goals one by one!

Lower the Sugar:

My favorite candy options have monk fruit, stevia, or allulose (that don't impact blood sugar) or are made with less sugar and have less impact. Here are some good ones:

1. Evolved Chocolate

2. The Good Chocolate Company

3. Smart Sweets - an excellent replacement for Halloween or in movie theaters.

4. Lilly's – a great alternative that uses stevia instead of sugar -they have so many different flavor options and they’re usually easy to find at the store

5. Hu Kitchen; uses coconut sugar and will still impact glucose but it’s clean without emulsifiers or soy.

Sugar Boundaries:

You need to decide how often you will indulge and when to cut it off. The reality is, candy is delicious, and we will mindlessly eat it until it's gone.

The Plan:

· plan head!

· have alternatives ready

· make sure you’re nourishing your body during your meals with lots and lots of vegetables and adequate protein AND water so you will feel satisfied and not be as tempted to indulge

· pre-portion out how much you will eat in one sitting or set a phone alarm to set your time to ditch the candy!

· I decide how much candy I’m going to buy for Halloween and stick to that amount. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

· For candy to pass out to the trick or treaters, I pick things that I don’t like to eat myself. We have our smarter stash of treats around for weekend desserts, but they are not an every night thing. This quickly becomes a habit that can be difficult to shift away from.

For the kids:

· The stash you’ve collected of sugar free and low sugar candy can be offered as an alternative to the kids if a neighbor, schoolmate, or friend has candy.

· Plan a shorter trick or treating route but make it fun by dragging it out. Make it feel longer by walking, throwing in some fun games in between/before/after, visit houses just to look at decorations, etc. Avoid the trap of having an entire pillowcase full of candy.

· After trick or treating, let them keep 5-6 of their sweets haul to enjoy over the following week, and offer to trade out for any of the above candy to lower their sugar intake.

· Use the Switch Witch book and swap the rest of their candy for a toy on November 1st. (if your kids are older, just trade their candy for something else they’d REALLY like such as a game, etc)

Nourishing Traditions:

You are in control and have the opportunity to plan for and celebrate your way!

  • Pumpkin Spice Everything!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie: 1.5 cups nondairy milk 1 serving unflavored pea protein powder 1 tbsp almond butter 1 tbsp chia seeds 1 cup frozen cauliflower 1/2-1 cup organic pumpkin purée 1 tbsp pumpkin spice Blend and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins:

3 eggs 1 cup canned pumpkin 1.5 ripe bananas 1/2 c nondairy milk 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp baking soda 1.5 tsp baking powder 1/4 almond flour 1 cup gluten free flour 1 scoop unflavored pea protein powder 1 tsp Himalayan salt 2 tbs pumpkin spice Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine wet ingredients and mix until smooth (can be done in a blender) Combine dry ingredients then slowly add into wet ingredients. Pour batter into greased muffin tin (I use coconut oil or olive oil spray) and bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

🎃 Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding 🥣 1/4 cup chia 1 1/2 cup nondairy milk 1/2 serving unflavored pea protein powder 1 tbsp pumpkin spice 1 tsp vanilla *blend milk with protein, pour over chia and transfer to the fridge. Mix after 15 minutes.

🎃 Pumpkin Spice Creamer 🎃 1/4 cup pumpkin purée 1 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning 1 tsp cinnamon 2 cup coconut milk (1 can) or cashew milk 1 tsp vanilla 5-6 drops of monk fruit (optional)

Make pumpkin soup and roasted spiced pumpkin seeds! Try different squashes and decide which are your favorite. There are so many available this time of year. See if you can find some unusual ones and make it fun taste testing them.

Food Free Entertainment:

  • Watch a scary Halloween movie or read a fun book to your kids. Room on the Broom is a kid favorite!

  • Plan a Halloween game night

  • Carve Pumpkins

  • Decorate the house together with all the spooky things

  • Make some Halloween crafts together

  • Go on a Halloween Hike or get moving for a cause. Find a Turkey Trot or Santa Run

  • Put on some Halloween music and have a dance-off. Add some glow sticks for a glow in the dark dance party!

  • Go on a Scavenger hunt looking for all things spooky

  • Take turns making up silly ghost stories

The more you can pivot Halloween traditions away from the candy, the easier it will be to stay away from the mindless sugar binge and the resulting Sugar Hangover effects. Are you feeling ready for Halloween? Let me know how you’ll celebrate this year!

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