How to have a sugar-free, junk free 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 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 a 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.

You might say, healthy at Halloween, Monica?  Seriously?  How’s that possible?

Don’t get me wrong; 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 tonight, 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  ’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. Then 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, if you choose to 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, etc.  

Parents, you guys and gals are the most important factor in determining how your kids relate to food. 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 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 practitioner, 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. 

Kids are more easily addicted to sugar because they have smaller bodies and usually a very fast metabolic type.  This means that they convert food into fuel very quickly.  

Sugar already converts to energy quickly but when you give a body with a fast metabolic type sugar, you rev up that metabolism which is not the goal of supporting metabolism and overtime create metabolic chaos.  This is where heath problems arise overtime such as gut dysfunction, anxiety,  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.

Less harmful and more natural sweeteners are honey, maple syrup, stevia, coconut sugar and organic cane sugar and not to forget fruit.  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 a ton 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. 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.  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!

Cutie Pumpkins

Cutie Pumpkins!

 To help you get started on your sugar-free Halloween, 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

Non-Food Items

  1. Glow sticks 
  2. Glow-in-the-dark sticky hands
  3. Mini flashlights
  4. Rubber eyeball bouncy balls
  5. Stretchable flying bats 
  6. Slime or Silly Putty
  7. Princess bracelets
  8. Mini Play Doh containers
  9. Mini Slinkies
  10. Bubbles
  11. Yo-yos
  12. Pennies/coins 
  13. Halloween-themed straws
  14. Halloween jokes
  15. Halloween-themed notebooks
  16. Halloween pencils
  17. Halloween erasers
  18. Halloween mini puzzles
  19. Games
  20. Stickers
  21. Temporary tattoos 
  22. Spider, bat and eyeball rings
  23. Silly Bandz
  24. Fake vampire fangs
  25. Toothbrushes 

Food Items

  1. Mini Larabars
  2. All-natural juice boxes
  3. Little bags of roasted pumpkin seeds or almonds
  4. Pumpkin muffins 
  5. Little boxes of raisins
  6. Real Fruit leathers (Trader Joe’s)
  7. Apples
  8. Clementines (You can make them into Jack-o’-lanterns with a black sharpie)
  9. Mini pumpkins
  10. Granola bars 

 

Drop me a comment below and let me know how your changes this Halloween went—or head over to our Facebook page and post a picture of them! 

Have a happy, safe and healthy Halloween!

 

 

 

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