How to have a happy & HEALTHY Halloween!
Halloween without candy isn’t worth celebrating, right? Wrong!!!! Many of you have expressed concern about sticking to a healthy diet over Halloween weekend. We have plenty of healthy tips and recipes that can help you and your families have a fun and festive Halloween season without all the extra calories.
Tip #1: Lace up your sneakers! Celebrate the holiday with activities other than snacking on candy. It is such a beautiful time of year in New England and there are plenty of ways for you to get outdoors and enjoy the season with friends and family. For example, take a walk around your local pumpkin patch, head over to a haunted hayride, or sign up for a Halloween fun run/walk. Keeping yourself active will keep those endorphins higher than any sugar rush could!
Tip #2: Buddy up! Have a friend or family member who is also working toward adapting a healthy diet? Make a pact with him/her that you will avoid snacking on candy this season. If one of you is feeling your will power slip away, call up your friend for some reinforcement. Holding yourself accountable to another person can help you through any weak moments.
Tip#3: Practice mindfulness and self-control! Halloween candy is actually a great way to practice portion control. The mini and fun size candy bars let you get a taste without having to open up a whole big bar. Remember your mindfulness techniques and savor each bite. If you can spend a minute eating one raisin then you can certainly spend a few minutes savoring a fun size Snickers!
Tip #4: Avoid the guilt! If you have a piece of candy, enjoy it and move on! One of the biggest mistakes people make is letting one slip-up derail their whole day. In other words, one piece of candy doesn’t mean that you may as well have the whole bag. Avoiding this “all or nothing” mentality will help you to quickly get back on track if you do happen to stray from the eating plan.
Tip #5: If you can’t get candy off the mind, get it out of the house! Whether you are preparing for the big day, or tackling the after-math, keeping the candy out of close reach will help you to avoid it all together. Remember, whether it is kept in a drawer, top shelf of a closet, or even in the garage…out of sight=out of mind! If just having it in the house is driving you crazy, then buy it the day of Halloween and get rid of it the next day. Many charitable organizations will accept individually wrapped candy so consider donating your leftovers! Check out this list of organizations that will happily accept your unwanted candy!
Tip #6: Healthy snacks for all! Instead of giving trick-or-treaters candy, pass out baggies of popcorn or healthy homemade trail mix. This way, you can join in the snacking!
Tip #7: Surround yourself with healthy options. Here are some yummy ideas for holiday treats…
Layered Candy Corn Cup:
Ingredients: pineapple chunks, orange slices (cut in threes), sugar free cool whip, one piece of candy corn
Directions: Place a ¼ cup of pineapple chunks in the bottom of a clear glass. Then top this layer with a ¼ cup orange slices, and finally top it off with 2 tbps sugar free cool whip. Garnish it with one piece of candy corn and you’ll have a pretty, tasty treat!
Nutrition Facts for one cup: 8 g Carb, 1 g Fat, 0 g Protein
Banana Ghost Pops
Ingredients: 1 banana, 1 cup white chocolate, 24 mini chocolate chips, 4 popsicle sticks
Directions: Cut the banana in half, then cut each half in half again (length wise). Carefully insert a popsicle stick into each banana piece. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave (stirring occasionally), and dip each banana in the melted chocolate. Quickly use the chocolate chips to make a smiley face on the banana (just like a happy ghost!). Lay the chocolate covered bananas on wax paper and place on a baking sheet. Place in freezer and enjoy when frozen.
Nutrition Facts for one pop (recipe makes 4): 14 g Carb, 4.5 g Fat, 1.3 g Protein
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Ingredients: 3 cups raw pumpkin seeds. 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1.5 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp sea salt, 1 tsp cayenne pepper
Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 F. Then melt the coconut oil, and toss the seeds in a bowl with the coconut oil and spices (if you are looking for a sweeter taste, feel free to use cinnamon and nutmeg instead of spices listed above). Spread on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for ten minutes. Seeds can be cooled and served right away, or stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts for ¼ cup: 5 g Carb, 8 g Fat (approx.), 3 g Protein
Nut Butter Cups or our Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bites
Ingredients: 20 oz. bittersweet dark chocolate, 16 oz. of your favorite nut butter. For this recipe I will use natural peanut butter but please note that the nutrition facts (listed below) may vary depending on the nut butter of your choice.
Directions: Line a muffin tin with baking cups. Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Pour approx. 1 tbsp. of melted chocolate into each tin and freeze. When frozen, scoop one tbsp. of nut butter over the chocolate and spread it out evenly. Top with another tbsp. of melted chocolate and freeze. It is recommended to defrost for approx. 10 minutes before eating so the chocolate isn’t too hard.
Nutrition Facts of 1 cup: 8 g Carb, 13 g Fat, 6 g Protein