Avoid the Halloween ‘Sugar Blues’
What’s in the Food You’re Eating?
As a clinical nutritionist I am a heavy label reader. Knowing what’s in the food you eat is a critical first step to getting healthy. Of course my favorite foods are the ones that have no ingredient list – think spinach, kale, blueberry… you get the idea.
You probably have noticed that much of the holiday candy and desserts that you encounter don’t have labels either. But it’s certainly not because they fit into the ‘natural’ category. Rather it’s due to the miniature nature of the Halloween candy or the fact that the original box or bag is unavailable because someone else purchased it.
The moral of the story is that unless you know what’s in it, don’t eat it!
Candy, Candy Everywhere!
Unfortunately we have entered, within the month of October, the dreaded ‘candy and dessert season’. It begins with Halloween and continues through New Years. Whoever decided that ‘holiday’ meant lots of sugar definitely was not interested in preserving health.
It’s difficult to go anywhere this time of year without seeing candy. I was in the bank this morning and there it was – a big bowl of candy. Even my dry cleaners had some available! I speak at many Silicon Valley corporations and when I sign-in at the front desk the bowl of candy is typically nearby.
Danger: Eating this is Hazardous to Your Health
What do you do when surrounded by candy that’s loaded with sugar, dairy, gluten, high fructose corn sweeteners and artificial flavors, colors and preservatives?
My recommendation is this: Make believe it’s made out of plastic – because truly it’s about as good for you as eating plastic!
I know that’s easier said than done but try to make a game out of it. If you look upon candy as not ‘real food’ you’ll be less tempted to eat it. Better yet, look upon it as something that will cause you to gain weight, feel tired and moody… See how it starts to seem less appealing?
Make a Decision
This is the time of year for you to make a decision – an important decision that will result in one of two possible scenarios:
1. You begin the New Year feeling great, healthy and excited about all that you’re going to accomplish.
2. You begin the New Year feeling horrible – you’ve gained weight, you’re tired, grumpy and feeling blue about how terrible your body feels.
Which sounds better? I know, silly question. It may be silly but it doesn’t make the above scenarios any less true. I have been treating patients for over 20 years and therefore lived through over 20 holiday seasons. Believe me, the above is all too common.
The patients who have made the choice to eat well and enjoy the holidays without sabotaging their health, have done beautifully. The patients who have decided that they’d rather ‘blow it’ during the holidays and ‘have fun’, didn’t think it was much fun when they were feeling sick and had gained weight.
It’s Fun to be Healthy & Feel Good
What’s fun? I think fun is enjoying the company of friends and family while doing something you enjoy. Fun for me is not feeling ill, tired or grumpy. Having great energy to do what you want, when you want, with a body that responds properly truly is enjoyable. But some patients get upset and don’t know what to say when others tell them to ‘just have a little’ of a food that makes them sick. Or when they’re told that they’re ‘too good’ when they’re simply eating the foods that don’t make them ill, it causes them stress.
I’ve told patients throughout the years that if a ‘friend’ doesn’t stand by you when you explain that a food makes you ill, then they’re likely not a very good friend. I’m not saying that friends and family don’t need some explanation of why you choose to eat the way you do, but once that’s occurred if they don’t honor that decision, then I think the friendship should be re-evaluated. Does this sound harsh? It’s not meant to. I just really want to give you some information so that you can enjoy this holiday season and begin the New Year healthier.
I promise you that no piece of candy or holiday cookie that contains something you shouldn’t eat is worth compromising your health – they’re simply not THAT good! And don’t worry, we can help you make/find some yummy treats that won’t make you ill.
In the clinical nutrition department we are committed to improving your health and that of your friends and family. Please let us know how we can assist you. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally. We are here to help!
Are You Gluten Intolerant?
If you have doubts, get them clarified!—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (408) 733-0400 to schedule. Our medical center is located in Sunnyvale, CA. If you are not local to us, our DESTINATION CLINIC treats patients from across the country and internationally. We will help you find the underlying root cause!
To your health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”