By Guest Blogger Kimberly Kincaid, Fitness Expert
I have a confession to make, and it’s a big one: I’m a sucker for fall. Cooler weather means hunkering down with a blanket and a good book, or taking a trip to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch to enjoy autumn’s bounty (Psst! Apples pack a great amount of fiber and are low in calories, and pumpkin is a vitamin A powerhouse). It means nice, long walks taking in scenery, and cups of warm cider.
It also means Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes a ton of candy.
Halloween candy starts out innocently enough. A piece here, a piece there. For those of you (still!) keeping your food journals, you can vouch for the fact that if we’re not careful, these pieces truly add up. How can we avoid letting the pounds add up with it? Read on, writer and reader friends!
Aside from the above-stated writing it down to keep track (a natural deterrent—none of us wants to be accountable for 6 Snickers bars, no matter how good they taste!) and the obvious “don’t buy any” (really, really tough for those of us with kids or who plan to offer goodies to Trick-or-Treaters), try any combination of the following:
1. Toys! Many retailers are now catering to the health-conscious and offering Halloween-themed pencils, stickers, gummy bracelets and other trinkets for Trick-or-Treaters. They last longer than candy, and most kids adore them.
2. Healthier snacks. Several snack companies make treat-sized packages of pretzels (usually less than 100 calories per pack), animal crackers, granola bars or dried fruit that are suitable for handing out. Another great option!
3. Follow the same limits you set for your kids. Chances are, you wouldn’t let your son or daughter have free reign over his or her treat bag. Don’t let yourself have it, either. If the rule is one piece after a healthy meal, make it apply to you, too.
4. Give the Halloween Fairy a call. Pool all the candy (after it’s been inspected, of course). After indulging in a piece or two (it’s Halloween…we have to have a little fun!), allow each child to choose ten items. Place those items in a baggie, to be eaten later, and leave the rest for the Halloween Fairy in a trade. Last year, the Halloween Fairy left Pillow Pets at our house in exchange for our extra candy. We lounged around reading books on our new treasures, knowing we were a little healthier for not having eaten all that candy.
5. Donate it (in case you were wondering what the Halloween Fairy does with the goodies!). Local food pantries usually take donations of candy so they can offer a few treats to go along with the food baskets they make. Shelters often do the same.
Remember, resisting temptation and healthy living don’t mean starving yourself or removing all indulgences from your life. A small indulgence here or there lets us know there are rewards along the way for making healthy choices most of the time. Moderation is the key to health and happiness!
Next month is Q&A grab bag! Post any fitness questions you’d like answered either in the comments section below or email them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll answer five randomly drawn questions on the second Friday of November. Also, if you have a trick to avoid the treats, feel free to post it below!