Surviving Halloween without Wrecking Your Healthy Diet
Does Halloween Spell ‘Doom’ for Your Diet?
Halloween can be a very fun holiday. If you have little ones, the excitement of getting them into costume and sharing their delight as they go from house to house getting lots of goodies and treats is memorable.
I still remember the Halloween where my children were 4, 6, and 8. They were so excited that they were literally bouncing up and down – and that was before eating any sugar! Unfortunately, there is a ‘dark’ side to Halloween.
As a clinical nutritionist I dread this side. It begins each year with Halloween and, for some, extends right through to New Years. What is this ‘dark’ side? It’s going off your diet during the Holiday season.
Leftover Candy Can Be Your Downfall
We feel obligated to buy candy for those adorable Trick or Treaters, but what happens with the leftovers? We can feel tempted to eat them. What about all the candy the children bring home?
When my kids were little I would hide a lot of their candy so they wouldn’t go into sugar comas. Did I ever snitch some of their booty? You bet I did. And of course the insidiousness of high sugar, highly refined junk food is that it’s extremely addictive.
It’s pretty darned hard to stop once you get going. Once your household becomes gluten-free or dairy-free you may feel inclined to only purchase candy and treats that fall within those parameters. It makes sense and that’s certainly what I’ve done in the past. But let’s look at this from a different perspective.
I must warn you that this concept only works if you are dedicated to your gluten-free (or whatever food you’re avoiding) diet. If you would NEVER go near anything you knew had gluten in it, if that’s your sensitivity, then this is for you.
Try This Strategy to Prevent Temptation
Let’s think about this. If you buy candy for Trick or Treaters that you CAN eat, you’ll be tempted to do so. But what about buying candy you definitely CAN’T eat?
You know it will make you sick so you’re not tempted. The Trick or Treaters don’t care. And if they are children with certain food sensitivities, their parents will cull through it all and remove what’s unacceptable anyway.
So, buy any one of the following, happily distribute it to the neighborhood ghosts and goblins, and also, happily, don’t get yourself in trouble by feeling tempted. It’s a Win/Win!
Common Candy that Contains Gluten
Here’s a list of gluten-containing candy.
- 100 Grand
- Butterfinger Crisp
- Clark Bar
- Good & Plenty
- Hershey’s miniatures
- Hershey’s Take 5 Bar
- Kit Kat
- Milky Way bars, original
- Nestle Crunch bars
- Reese’s Sticks wafer bars
- Rice Krispies Treats
- Wonka Kazoozles
For those of you who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, there is a very thorough list of gluten-free and gluten-containing candy at celiac.org. Remember that barley, barley malt and malt are all gluten, so you’re not just looking for wheat on the label. Many of the above are glutinous due to their barley content.
What to do with the Candy the Kids Bring Home
When it comes to the kids, consider allowing them to eat a designated number of ‘allowed’ candies the night of Halloween, a smaller amount over the next couple of days and then trading the rest in for a small toy.
Or better yet, make or buy a favorite treat that is healthy and have them ‘trade in’ their candy for that. Some coconut ice cream, favorite cookies, fruit bars or even bean brownies made with coconut sugar -they’re delicious and far, far healthier than any traditional candy on the market. I know some dentists that buy back candy from children and they can then use the money to buy themselves a gift. Check with your dentist. If he or she doesn’t do this already, perhaps you can suggest it. I hope this is helpful and is a workable strategy to get you through Halloween successfully. Soon we’ll discuss how to get through Thanksgiving!
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If your health is not at the level you desire—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (408) 733-0400 to schedule. We are 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!”