I love Halloween…the costumes, the excitement, the decorations! I have a love/hate relationship with the candy! I have to get it out of the house or I will eat the chocolate! This is my first Halloween as a “clean” eater, so the quicker its out and gone, the better! Here’s a plan to help with sugar overload for you and for your family.
First, I researched the web and found two great resources on sugar and the harmful effects on our liver and whole body. This information will increase my will power because I can visualize the damage to my liver and see the fat cells forming as I eat each piece of candy! Robert Lustig in his YouTube video series calls sugar a “Toxin.” He claims sugar, eaten in large doses damages the liver. The liver can not process all the fructose and poisons you. I can now visualize the Snickers bar turning into fat on my belly! The New York Times article is long but an informative piece by Gary Taubes who has researched the harmful effects of sugar for several years. Mr. Taubes has followed the sugar debate between the FDA and advocates similar to Lustig. The food industry, corn growers and high-fructose corn syrup manufacturers claim sugar is an “empty calorie.” This explanation is too simplistic and he outlines how dangerous regular sugar consumption is. Once again, calories in and calories out is a myth!!
The New York Times Article, April 13, 2011 by Gary Taubes:
A YouTube Video by Robert Lustig (UCSF Professor) on Reducing Sugar Consumption
Second, I spoke to my children about moderation. We discussed the importance of good healthy foods. My 10 year old is learning about energy in school so I jumped on it by explaining our body’s need fuel to run, jump, and function. We went over all the good types of food he can eat on Halloween day before indulging in some junk food. He told me yesterday, “Mom there’s something in my stomach. I’m hungry all the time.” I laughed and told him he is just getting ready to grow. It was a great opportunity to explain how eating a combination of protein, carbs and fat is ideal for his growing body. He listened but didn’t jump up and down with excitement! So my plan for Halloween is to insert some protein before and during the sugar consumption. I will limit their candy to a few favorite pieces on Halloween night. All of my boys enjoy hard-boiled eggs, so we will eat one before the candy in hopes to slow the blood sugar spike.
Next, I am passing out one bag of candy and several non-candy items for our trick or treaters. I am giving out pencils, stickers, temporary tattoos and bouncy balls. We have at least 100 trick or treators every year in our kid-laden neighborhood so I’ll be ready. This will demonstrate to my kids my healthy lifestyle choice. For our outside block party, I am providing a vegetable tray.
Lastly, what are you going to do with all that candy? We are donating it to our neighbor who is currently in Afghanistan with the Marine Corp. Several of my neighbors will put their extra candy on my porch and I’m shipping it off on November 2. It will feel so good to get rid of all that sugar!! It is an easy sell with my boys too because the candy will go to Afghanistan children and troops who definitely need it more than we do. Hoorah!
Have a great Halloween holiday. Be safe, watch for cars and enjoy your children!