So many of us who are trying to eat well find Halloween to be as haunted as that house on the hill. Everyone uses different techniques to avoid downing an entire bag of miniature Halloween treats in one sitting or stealing—or, perhaps, permanently borrowing—their kids’ bounty of sugary deliciousness.
But, as admirable as it may seem to Paleo-diet your way through Halloween, it’s a rather harsh bend in tradition. (You can do it, however, if you limit yourself to homemade Almond Joys and almond butter cups.)
Being the traditionalist that I am, I want to make sure you celebrate October 31st by bringing out your inner child and having fun without feeling deprived. There is no reason to white knuckle your way through any holiday, and All Hallow’s Eve is no exception. That is, unless we aren’t talking about your diet here, and you’re just scared from all the tricks. That’s okay.
Here are my top 3 recommendations for Halloween treats:
For the chocoholics: I’m feelin’ ya if you are all about the chocolate. Me too. Let’s be honest, when you’re digging through your kid’s loot, you’ll find a lot of Hershey’s. Look at the ingredient list—it’s not as hauntingly corrupt under the wrapper as you may think.
Yes, there’s sugar and sunflower oil in most of the choco-treats, but your body will forgive you for a momentary deviation from your usual clean eats. Have two miniatures (88 calories, 5 gm fat). A few (three) Hershey’s Kisses with Almonds are also a good choice (70 calories, 4 gm fat).
If you aren’t digging through the old school pillowcase (or you want something for YOU when your kids start digging through THEIR pillowcases…), I recommend snack size Justin’s peanut butter cups (80 calories, 5 gm fat) or one of the many “cleaner” dark chocolate treats on shelves made with coconut butter. I’m loving Nutiva O’Coconut. They are super delish, and a very good choice for when you really want to have a conscious indulgence.
For the sugar daddies and mamas: If you’re the type that can’t get enough of gummy, sweet, sticky yumminess, and go for the Dots, Smarties, gummy bears, Mike & Ike and Twizzlers, don’t be fueled by the ‘fat-free’ sales pitch on the packaging. Sugar is pretty much the devil (on Halloween and on all other days, too) so be fully aware that you are confronting him straight on every time you pop these babies down the hatch.
All that sugar turns into fat in your body, so if you really want to indulge in this type of sweet, do it consciously (pay attention and enjoy it!), in a portion-controlled manner (don’t go bonkers!), and then move on from there back to your healthy eating (salad, anyone?).
Oh, and P.S.: there are indeed some healthier organic candy brands out there that might ditch the artificial coloring (bonus!) but it’s still ALL sugar (bummer!), so don’t be tricked.
For the sweeties: If you like a little sweet but prefer real food, (high five already!) I have some ideas for you. Caramel apples seem like such a good idea, until you realize you’re in over your head at the first messy and unwieldy bite.
Try homemade Jackson Pollock apples. Just like the name implies, these apples are splattered with chocolate—both artistic and delicious. Popcorn is also a great Halloween treat that can be made into a festive and perfectly indulgent trail mix with a few peanuts, some dried apricots, and a sprinkle of the junk such as candy corn and black and orange M&M’s.
Of course, if you decide to forgo my approved treats, you should still have some Halloween fun. No matter how you plan to celebrate, be mindful, enjoy the tricks and treats of the day and then put the whole holiday behind you. Get back to living your healthy diet and Nutritious Life right away!