Monday, October 21, 2013

A Happy, Healthy Halloween

Enjoying healthy holidays--- 

*peaceful music playing*  
I have a dream that we can all have a happy, healthy halloween 
that will lead us into happy, healthy holidays!

Junk food, junk food, everywhere . . .
photo by ymmed, stock.xchng
What is it about his time of year that makes people over-indulge on junk food? I think the biggest problem is that it is EVERYWHERE!  So what to do about it?  One plan might be to allow yourself your favorite candy twice a week, or other limited amount and then make the decision not to indulge other times. Another plan might be to require yourself to eat something with protein first when you have a craving or temptation.  You won't be as tempted to overeat if you are satisfied earlier.

photo by cliodna, stock.xchng
Or how about drink some water before you indulge? Your stomach will be more full to start with and sometimes you are just thirsty, so you may satisfy yourself.

My favorite suggestion to avoid halloween or holiday overeating is from my daughter. "Go hide in a cave far, far away."

After we had a good laugh about that one, she had a more practical suggestion, "Make healthy food in a festive way so it's fun to eat the healthy stuff too."  Great idea.  Half the battle is having the right stuff easily accessible. So, cut up those veges and fruit to make them the easy go-to food.
photo by lightbulbf, stock.xchng

Why am I eating?
What about when your blood sugar gets low and you are hungry or tired?  That is one of the times when I tend to crave junk food. Try to recognize why we want to eat.  If we are truly hungry, then healthy food should satisfy us.  If we are craving food for other reasons, even the junk food won't placate our yearnings.  Keeping a journal of our feelings may help us figure out why we eat.  Are we lonely or sad?  Are we anxious or stressed out? Allow yourself to feel those feelings.  That is healthier than trying to drown them in halloween candy!

 photo by GretheB, stock.xchng

The other issue is the the cold weather setting in.  Eating and digesting food actually produces heat.  Do you just need a jacket or a quick nap?  Do we seek those warm baked goods that smell up the house with blissful memories of our childhood?  Are we cold, thirsty, or just homesick?  We eat for many different reasons.  Realizing why you are eating is half the battle.  Once realized, you can make an informed choice of what or if you should eat.

Does your health decline in the autumn and winter months?
photo by iwanbeijes, stock.xchng
There are other reasons our health might be declining this time of year. We can think about why and make a plan to make it not happen.

Maybe we are starting to be less active than in those playful summer months. Have you made that commitment to get the exercise you need at least 3-5 times each week?  I know it is more of a struggle for me to get going when I'm cold.  Swimming doesn't sound so great when it is 30 degrees outside!

It helps me to remember that I always feel better when I'm done exercising and I have made the commitment to exercise.  Like Elaine Dalton said, "I can do hard things" and "In the strength of the Lord, I can do things."  We show our body and spirit who is boss when we show the discipline to be active even if in the moment "we don't feel like it."

photo by alexbruda, stock.xchng
Did you ever feel like you needed to eat to be polite? That isn't healthy either. With all the holiday events coming up, parties, festivals, whatever, remember you are the ultimate controller of what you eat. Don't give that power to someone that thinks you "should" eat. Eat because you are hungry.  Eating to enjoy food is the way the Lord made it, when used in moderation.

Plan on having a healthy autumn and winter this year!


  1. I have found that out of sight out of mind can really help me. I have Jon hide the candy before he leaves for work and bring out what we decide we should eat for the day.