Brace yourself…another round of sugar-crazies is coming! I don’t mean your kids getting all pumped up on seasonal candy–I mean you!
Yes you, we all do it on Halloween: open that big colorful bag of confectionery fun and start gobbling down, piece after piece. ‘Cuz none of us buys candy we don’t like, do we? NO! You bought the stuff you like, so you can have a piece or two…17 pieces later you’re feeling woozy, semi-nauseous and slightly wired, trying to get your litter into bed, with Halloween still a week away.
This year lets adjust a couple things for a happier reality, shall we? Halloween has become as much an adult holiday now as a kid’s. Let’s explore some ways to enjoy but not deprive ourselves of the season. If you want to enjoy, fit in your jeans and hate to throw food away, check out these ideas:
1. Quality not quantity. Get the stuff you like in a small bag. Consider treating yourself to a small amount of more adult type candy, like Sees® Candy, and keep quantity down.
2. Hold off till the big day. Sounds like I’m asking you to abstain until you get married but what I mean is: Don’t open it until the 1st trick-or-treater arrives! Trust me, they will be willing to wait 2.4 seconds for your to pop the bag open. This will help you not “snack” on candy.
3. Set aside the amount you think you might want and bag it. Put them in a freezer bag and stick them in the back of your freezer, hidden. When you know the candy is there if/when you want it, it lessens the “I better eat this while it’s available/before the kids/husband/roomie get it”. You might even forget about it…See my Freezer Tummy idea.
4. Don’t freak out a couple days after Halloween when there’s still a pound & 1/2 of candy leftover. There are lots of options (beyond the office dump)…
a. Freeze it all and use for Xmas stuffers. Or for Xmas parties. Or an over-the-boarder orphanage holiday gift/donation (So Cals & Texans).
b. Hold for a few weeks and right before Thanksgiving donate to a homeless shelter or charity kitchen.
c. Do the dentist thing.
d. Combine like candies (e.g.: Snickers®, Twix®, Reeses®, PayDay®, etc.), open and chop up. Freeze in small freezer bags. These candy bits are awesome ice cream toppers, toppings for cheesecake or additions/substitutes for the chips in chocolate chip cookies.
e. Repeat (d.) above but this time use the colorful M&Ms® or chocolatey candy bars for the sprinkles on cut out cookies and use as gifts for holidays. Make a turkey cookie w colorful feathers (M&Ms®), corncob (Twix®) w dark and light kernels, or Christmas tree w colored lights (M&Ms®). These are so cute and such a good way to recycle instead of repurchase similar ingredients for next month’s baking!
5. Out of sight, out of mind. Research has shown that you will eat more of the foods that are in your line of vision. So stick the candy in an opaque container in the garage or up in your high cabinet shelf. Only bring it down when the kids ask for it and have a piece with them.
6. Make sweet socks. Buy a bulk pack of men’s socks, fill with (or wrap socks around) candy, and tie off with ribbon or twine. Keep the lot on the passenger’s side of your car and hand out to the homeless when you encounter them. (Have your kids help you make the sweet socks!)
7. Forgo the candy and indulge yourself in another way. Schedule a massage for Sat, Nov 1st. Or get a great bottle of wine and enjoy that while you pass out candy. Make a delicious dinner and taste every bitty bite.
As we launch into the holiday season, full of rich foods, parties and goodies, seek balance. Don’t deprive yourself of traditional and tasty delights–this is part of a full and healthy life! (We have little research on joy and laughter, and their effect on metabolism!) Instead seek to be fully present in your life and body. Listen to your body, stop when you’ve had enough and take care to move and rest in a balanced way. What else is fitness for but to enable you to live fully and enjoy cookies covered in Halloween candy? (Duh!)