Everyone knows Halloween is synonymous with candy. After all the goblins and ghouls have scoured the neighborhood for every bit of candy they can possibly get their hands on, we’re left with mounds of immune-suppressing sugar bombs that are beckoning to be consumed.
It’s not just the kids that dip into the Halloween sweet stash – it’s the parents, too. Candy ends up everywhere – work, school, your salon, your bank, and even in some doctors’ offices (an oxymoron). And, this is just the beginning! As we approach the Holiday Season, more and more sweets are added to taunt you.
This time of year also brings cold and flu season. Most people assume it is the cold air that stimulates cold and flu season. But, I beg to differ. I believe it is all the sweets that are consumed during the season, beginning with Halloween. Just two teaspoons of sugar can suppress the immune system for up to four hours by limiting white blood cell activity.
Check out the sugar content in common candy:
What can you do to escape this monstrosity? You could move to another country that hasn’t been overtaken by our western ways; but that’s likely not feasible. So, if you’re opting to stay in the U.S. and be part of society, you may consider adopting the following strategies:
For your Halloween hand-outs, opt for non-candy items instead. I always handed out glow sticks, stickers, and other trinkets that kids could have fun with. Several years ago I discovered “Yummy Earth” organic 100% fruit lollipops that are a nice alternative, as well. They taste much better than a Jolly Rancher and don’t contain any artificial ingredients.
On Halloween, allow only two pieces of candy to be consumed. Sort the remaining into the “gotta have” pile and “donate” pile.The “gotta have” pile immediately goes into a container (I always used a shoebox) and put up on a high shelf. The “donate” pile gets taken by the candy fairy (you opt where this goes).
The shoebox candy stays hidden away and only two pieces can be consumed each week. I only allowed my children to consume their two pieces on Saturdays – we called it “Sweet Saturday.” If they forgot, they would have to wait until the next Saturday. After a few weeks, they pretty much forgot about the candy entirely. When the next Halloween came around, we would dump out last year’s candy and to make room for the new stuff and repeat the process. Note that whatever technique you decide to use in your home, I highly recommend NOT allowing your children to have candy during the week.Not only will it affect their immune system; but also their ability to concentrate and function properly in school. This goes for adults, as well.
Many dentists & orthodontists participate in a candy buy back program. They offer cash or prizes in exchange for the candy and then send it to the U.S. Troops abroad. Check out the website to find a participating provider near you! http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/
If you go places (like work) where you know you will be tempted by candy or other sweets, try the following strategies:
Keep fresh and dried fruit on hand to help curb any cravings.
Drink plenty of water daily, as this will also help curb cravings.
Be sure you have breakfast and lunch. Skipping meals makes your body feel like its starving and you will likely seek a quick energy fix like sweets.
Also, be sure your meals include a rainbow of vegetables, which contain vital nutrients that will help provide your body what it needs. When it has what it needs, it won’t crave sweets.
Don’t skip the carbs! Whether they are complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, or carbs from starchy vegetables, your body needs them for energy and nutrition. If your body doesn’t have the energy and nutrition it needs, you will likely crave sweets.
By adopting these strategies during the Holiday Season, starting with Halloween, you can avoid the pitfalls and stay healthy and happy. Best wishes for a safe and Happy Halloween!!!